Field Trips and Lab Sessions
Every year, more than 30 groups visit BIOS to take advantage of research and education opportunities, as well as the beautiful location and dedicated classroom and lecture hall facilities. BIOS offers a variety of classroom and field activities for students of all ages, and can also work with visiting groups to tailor courses to meet their students' needs, curriculum metrics, and learning goals. BIOS education staff, faculty, and interns are available to direct and supervise both field trips and lab sessions, as well as provide lectures and excursions on a variety of timely and relevant topics.
If you are interested in generating a sample schedule for a new course for your school or university please contact Alex Merkle. Some of our most popular lab and field programs are:
Coral Identification Lab
Students are given a brief introduction to the reef ecosystems of Bermuda and encouraged to consider a variety of questions, such as:
- What is a coral animal?
- How are corals so productive?
- What do corals require in order to grow?
- Where are reefs located in Bermuda?
Hands-on activities, including a hard coral skeleton ID lab and a video transect lab, are provided to engage students in an in-depth investigation of individual corals and reef ecosystems.
Field Trip to Nonsuch Island
Nonsuch Island is a wildlife sanctuary whose restoration has been the lifework of Dr. David Wingate. WIth limited public access, the island is a living museum of pre-colonial Bermuda, with many habitats represented onshore and great opportunities for snorkeling in the surrounding waters. During the course of the field trip, students will learn about the island's natural history, as well as efforts to conserve and reintroduce an extremely rare endemic seabird, the Cahow (or Bermuda petrel).
Plankton Tow and Lab
In this lab, students will learn about the roles and importance of phytoplankton and zooplankton in marine ecosystems. They will participate in a plankton tow aboard R/V Stommel and learn the process of net deployment and retrieval. Collected samples are brought back to the lab for examination under compound and dissecting microscopes, with various species identified using local ID manuals and observations discussed among the group.
Reef Fish Lecture and Identification
Students participate in an interactive lecture on the dominant reef fish species in Bermuda, including a discussion of the defining features of different families. The lecture can be coupled with fish surveys during snorkel trips, with population comparisons made between various sites around the island.
Other group activities can include, but are not limited to:
- Snorkeling in Whalebone Bay, at North Rock, on a shipwreck, or in a mangrove habitat and sea grass bed;
- Field trips to Walsingham Nature Reserve, Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo (BAMZ), Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI), or the Bermuda Botanical Gardens.
Walsingham Nature Reserve
Students can take part in a tour focusing on the geology of Bermuda, its cave system, and some of its endemic flora and fauna. Students get a chance to explore some of the amazing geologic structures on one of the oldest land formations in Bermuda, along with exploring a mangrove ecosystem. Students normally bring mask and snorkel (but no fins) for this tour. This is approximately a 2-mile hike and good shoes are required for the terrain, but ones you can also get muddy!
South Shore Hike
This 2-mile hike takes students from Warwick Long Bay to Horseshoe Bay along the south shore of Bermuda, which is known for its “boiler reef” formations. It is a hilly hike through sand and cliffs. Opportunities to snorkel in the coves are possible, but weather dependent. The tour ends at Horseshoe Bay where there are changing rooms and bathrooms. This is a great chance to see the pink Bermuda sand.