A unique aspect of our programs is the inclusion of numerous field experiences to apply learning to natural phenomena. Consequently, we provide field experiences to all of our majors in many of our classes as well as special field courses that offer students real-world laboratories to conduct research, identify and address challenges, and to further their own perspectives on the process of scientific discovery.
For marine sciences, GEMS offers a field course at the Roatan Institute for Marine Science located on the western Caribbean island of Roatan, Honduras. Roatan has over 30 miles of fringing and barrier reefs, seagrass beds, and mangroves that are home to an astonishing variety of life. Founded in 1989, the primary objective of this facility is the preservation of Roatan's natural resources through education and research. RIMS has established itself as a dedicated and widely-used teaching facility to study tropical marine ecosystems.
For geoscience majors, field camp is an essential tool for learning mapping skills and methods of collecting and interpreting field data. There are many field camps around the U.S. and in other countries that offer field courses. A partial list of these courses is found here.
Environmental science majors can complete the GEMS course ENV-340 Environmental Field Methods and Data Analysis. This course includes advanced activities incorporating field-based exercises, GIS analyses, statistical analyses, and database management. Students will also complete an independent project focused on a relevant topic.