FOR TEACHERS AND EDUCATORS
JUNE 24TH - 30TH, 2023
JULY 21ST - 27TH, 2023
ABOUT THE SCHOLARSHIP
This year we are pleased to offer 28 scholarship positions for two Teacher and Educator Courses during the summer break, thanks to the support of the Save Our Seas Foundation, and the Ocean Mokum Foundation. For each period, 14 successful applicants will be awarded a 7-day field course held at the Bimini Biological Field Station (the Shark Lab), a relatively isolated research facility on the island of South Bimini, Bahamas, 46 miles across the Gulf Stream from Miami, Florida.
The course features daily field trips, presentations and personal encounters with several species of sharks in their natural environment. Scholars will receive daily lectures from experts actively working in the field of shark research, led by Dr. Dean Grubbs, Associate Director of Research at the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory, and Matt Smukall, President and CEO of the BBFSF.
From mangrove 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. Scholars will learn how sharks are captured, tagged and released for scientific research, observe a dozen Caribbean reef sharks swimming gracefully over rocky reefs, watch baby lemon sharks weaving though mangrove roots, 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 32 years.
Our goal for this scholarship is to provide an opportunity specifically to teachers and educators who can take their experience back into the classroom and reach students who may otherwise have no connection to the ocean. We believe that by providing educators with real life encounters and learning experiences in the field, we can help inspire the next generation of marine scientists/educators/conservationists, etc. We hope that by expanding our educational reach to under-resourced and under-represented communities, we can help aid in the diversity and inclusion in the field of marine biology for ALL who are interested.
To help us fulfill this mission we are looking for candidates who are:
Actively working in the field of education
Teaching middle & high school age groups
Able to educate in under-resourced and under-represented communities or areas without access to ocean environments
Activities in the field may be physically taxing. Bimini is a sub-tropical climate, and field activities will be conducted in the hot sun, on boats and surrounded by water. While there is no diving or snorkelling experience necessary, we want to make sure applicants will be comfortable and safe in and around the ocean. Snorkel gear can be provided for those who may not have their own.
Applicants must be 18 years or older and currently located in either the USA, CANADA or BAHAMAS.
The scholarship will include round trip charter flights from Fort Lauderdale (Tropic Ocean Airways at Sheltair) to Bimini International Airport (BIM). We meet your charter and provide ground transport to and from the airport in Bimini. Accommodations will be shared with fellow guests at a nearby rental house, walking distance from the Station. Breakfast, lunch and dinners will be prepared for you by our station crew. While we are able to accomodate vegetarian meals, unfortunately we are unable to provide vegan meals.
Our team will take photos of you during field activities so that you can bring your experiences back to your classrooms and share with your students!
Field activities will include:
Interacting with juvenile lemon sharks in pristine mangrove habitat
Snorkelling with free swimming Caribbean reef sharks, blacktip sharks, lemon sharks and nurse sharks
Interacting with southern stingrays on a white sand beach
Snorkelling coral reef, mangrove and seagrass habitats
Snorkelling with sea turtles at the famous SS Sapona shipwreck
Potential encounters with spotted eagle rays, Atlantic spotted dolphins, or bottlenose dolphins and more marine wildlife
Scholarship awardees will receive a copy of Shark Doc, Shark Lab, a Shark Lab neck gaiter, one long-sleeve performance Shark Lab shirt and one regular Shark Lab T-shirt.
While we aim to make this opportunity as all inclusive as possible, we are unable to include the following in the scholarship:
Airfare to/from Fort Lauderdale from your location (we encourage applicants to apply for travel grants through their school board)
Meals/Accommodations during your travel to/from Bimini or additional snacks
Travel Insurance (DAN insurance and SafetyWing insurance are affordable options we recommend) - Travel insurance with repatriation to your home country is REQUIRED.
Recommended reading material authored by Dr. Dean Grubbs (course teacher): Shark Biology and Conservation: Essentials for Educators, Students and Enthusiasts
Please note: we are unable to accomodate family or friends who may wish to visit the island with you if you are awarded a scholarship.
Please be prepared to submit a professional letter of recommendation along with your CV/Resume to the application. Application form must be filled out entirely in order to complete the submission. Application deadline is MARCH 1ST, 2023 at 11:59pm EST (applications submitted after the deadline will not be reviewed).
ONLY successful applicants will be contacted by email on APRIL 1ST, 2023.