Naturalist Course

From time to time the Bimini Biological Field Station (BBFS) offers a non-technical course in the general conservation and biology of sharks.  This features illustrated lectures, daily field trips, presentations and personal encounters with several species of actively feeding, free-swimming sharks.  The entire 6-day course is held at the BBFS an isolated research facility on the island of South Bimini, Bahamas.




From time to time, the Bimini Biological Field Station Foundation offers a non-technical course in the general biology of sharks. The course features daily field trips, presentations and personal encounters with several species of actively feeding, free-swimming sharks. Guests will also receive daily lectures from experts actively working in the field of shark research, including Dr. Dean Grubbs,
Associate Director of Research at the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory. The entire 6-day course is held at the Bimini Biological Field Station (Shark Lab), a relatively isolated research facility on the island of South Bimini, Bahamas, 46 miles across the Gulf Stream from Miami, Florida.

Daily field trips are provided to immerse you in the rich surrounding of flora and fauna of Bimini’s diverse and pristine habitats that support the sharks you will encounter. From mangroves forests to seagrass meadows and shallow sandy flats to rocky shores fringed with coral reefs, you will gain insight into the role of sharks in these unique ecosystems. Students learn how sharks are captured, tagged and released for scientific research, observe a dozen Caribbean reef sharks while they actively compete for food, watch a great hammerheads glide over the sand in search of prey, and more. Classroom lectures and presentations provide for engaging discussions on the biology and ecology of sharks, as well as the research conducted at the Shark Lab over the past 28 years.

Current courses for 2018:

Naturalist Course 2018

This course is open to anyone with an interest in sharks and marine biology. Youngsters under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. We aim to make the course hands on and comprehensive; thus, a background in marine biology is not required. Students should be able to swim and stay in the water for 45 minutes, as well as use snorkel gear and understand English.  

The price for this all-inclusive course is $2,310. We provide round trip charter flights from Miami Executive Airport (KTMB) to Bimini International Airport (MYBS). The station is air-conditioned, and we prepare the best food we can provide including vegetarian meals (no vegan please). We meet your flight (if you fly on our charter) and provide ground transport to and from the airport in Bimini; field trips, activities, and lectures, a gratis copy of  book Shark Doc, Shark Lab (www.sharkdocsarklab.com ) are all part of the tuition and a course video (optional if desired on DVD or smart card) will be available on request.

The station is a small wood frame house on its own tiny cove. Living conditions are close: Four persons sleep in each room on a pair of bunk beds. Bedding and linens are provided. Hearty meals are prepared in a small kitchen and there are two bathrooms with showers to serve the group. The Station is reasonably comfortable, air conditioned and electric power is reliable. (About - Facilities).


 

What students need to bring:
 
 1.  Proof of citizenship: passport required for all visitors; Visa waiver or USA tourist visa required to enter the Bahamas for most non-US citizens (check with Dr. Gruber if unsure).
 2.  Soft suitcase for easy stowing in the aircraft.  Maximum 40 lbs!!
 3.  Insect repellent (many mosquitoes and sand flies)
 4.  Sun block lotion
 5.  Hat and polarizing sunglasses
 6.  Foul weather gear: rain pants /jacket (no ponchos)
 7.  Snorkel gear: masks, fins, snorkel and wet suit
 8.  At least two bathing suits
 9.  Beach towel or large towel (bath towels are provided)
10.  Clothes that can get wet or soiled:  T-shirts and shorts, sweat shirts and long pants, warm jacket, long sleeve shirt (in winter), sandals or shoes that can get wet
11.  Any special foods and medicines
Environmental hazards: Depending on season  students must be prepared for intense sun, rain, wind, cold, heat, constant wetness, sea sickness and biting insects.
 
Bimini information: There are limited shops or stores on S. Bimini but there are more extensive shopping facilities in Alice town on N. Bimini.  We require travel and health/accident insurance.  There is a small medical clinic in Alice Town, but for any serious condition you will be airlifted back to Miami or Nassau.
*** All medical costs including transportation will be covered by the student's own insurance as explained in the appended waiver of liability and agreement***. 
 
Close content
Open content