Study Abroad: Bahamas

Join Hands-On Learning in the Bahamas  

Snorkeling Underwater PhotoMaymester/Study Abroad 2024: San Salvador, Bahamas

USCB Biology and Hospitality students, led by USCB faculty, will conduct fieldwork at The Gerace Research Centre on the island of San Salvador, Bahamas.

This intensive Maymester/Study Abroad course examines the natural history of the Bahamas including its cultural, historical, biological, geological, and physical characteristics.

This is a hands-on field course: students will snorkel to observe local coral reefs and seagrass beds.

Trip dates:

May 11-22, 2024  (Bluffton campus classroom dates May 6-10 and May 23-24).

Academic credit:

Students enroll in:

  • BIOL B499A&B - Natural History of the Bahamas – Two credits each (4 Credits total).”


  • HRTM B498 - Natural History of Bahamas for Tourism Interpretation - 3 Credits


Estimated Cost:

$4,311 + Travel Insurance (includes 3 or 4 USCB credit hours)


San Salvador Nature TreeStudents will learn about:

  • Caribbean geology
  • Natural history and ecology of this unique marine habitat, which includes rocky keys, sea grass beds, mangroves, and coral reefs
  • Distribution and habitat of birds and plants
  • Archaeology of prehistoric and historic sites
  • Regional culture
  • Human impact and preservation thorugh sustainable practices to minimize
    the impacts of the tourism industry
  • Challenges and richness of island geography for tourism and scientific research

During this experiential learning opportunity, students will gain:

  • Global understanding
  • Cultural experiences

Cultural appreciation, cross-national understanding and respect for socio-economic differences are values echoed in USCB's mission statement. 

Location: Gerace Research Centre

Gerace Reserach Centre arial photo

The Gerace Research Centre provides accommodations, laboratory space, and logistical support for both teachers and researchers.It has been in operation for over 50 years as a center for academic research in the areas of Archaeology, Biology, Geology and Marine Sciences. It is located on the shore of Graham's Harbour on the north coast of San Salvador. This is on the Atlantic side of the archipelago of The Bahamas.

Draft Schedule

  • May 6 - Orientation lectures and intro to course
  • May 7 - Intro to island geology and biology
  • May 8 - Planning for individual projects/reports
  • May 9 - Discussing the overview of trip to Bahamas
  • May 10 - Prep day and possible travel to Miami
  • May 11 - Departure and arrival to San Salvador via Miami
  • May 12
    • Orientation to field station
    • Orientation to seagrass habitat
  • May 13
    • Introduction to local habitats
    • Introduction to invertebrates and fish in coral reef, rocky and soft bottom habitats
  • May 14
    • Inland habitats and organisms
    • Orientation to coastal xeric ecology
    • Field excursion to interior hypersaline lakes
  • May 15 - Orientation to mangrove and estuarine habitats
  • May 16 - Tropical ornithology
  • May 17-21 - Field experiments (student projects)
  • May 22 - Returning flight to Miami



Kim B. Ritchie, PhD

Associate Professor of Genetics and Prokaryotic Cell Biology
Department of Natural Sciences

Beaufort campus
801 Carteret Street
Beaufort, SC 29902
Office: 843-521-4135
Kim Ritchie, PhD