Study Abroad in the Bahamas (Geology 3750, H3750) 

Schedule and Example Field Itinerary for Spring 2015

Specific locations and activities are subject to change due to tides, weather, and logistics. Other locations may also be visited.

Friday, March 13

Arrive in Ft. Lauderdale at designated hotel by 6:30 PM. Students arrange their own transportation to Ft. Lauderdale, which may include carpooling with other students or flying. The hotel is near the airport and provides complimentary transportation between the airport and hotel. Meet during the evening to discuss logistics such as flight times, etc. 


Saturday, March 14

·         Fly from Ft. Lauderdale to Andros Island in the Bahamas


·         Blanket Sound School – walk the route that Bahamian school children once followed across the sound and tidal flat to attend a one-room school; observe a sustainable habitat using waste recycling and water reuse


·         Blue Hole Cay blue hole in the back-reef; excellent first snorkel

Sunday, March 15 - beaches, tide pools, rocky shore

  • Sundial Beach – tide pools; Goniolithon (red algae) encrusted rocks
  • Church’s Blue Hole – largest blue hole on Andros; 440 feet across
  • Androsia Factory – Bahamian factory where cloth is dyed and made into clothing
  • Maidenhair Coppice Botanical Walk – native plants and their traditional uses; Pond bush, airplant, bromeliad, horseflesh tree, white torch, paradise tree, brassalito, five fingers, orchid, pumpa bread plant, love vine, gumbo limbo, and others; relationships between native plants and geology; banana holes

Monday, March 16 – back reef and barrier reef

  • Pigeon Cay – back-reef area with patch reefs; sediment trapping sea-grass; rocky intertidal zone with urchins, barnacles, and other organisms grazing on algae; blowholes; Pleistocene dune and modern beach ridge; paleosols; compare sandy beaches with rocky shores; explore geological origin of cay (theorized to be two lithified sand dunes or megaripples); brackish pond in center of the cay
  • South Pass – outer barrier reef; provides a variety of reef subenvironments within an easy snorkeling distance of each other; also a wide variety of reef life

Tuesday, March 17 – back reef and Pleistocene fossil reefs

  • Saddleback Cay – back-reef area of bars and tide pools; sandy beaches abut rocky shorelines; Halimeda (aragonitic green algae) as a sediment producer ("oatmeal sand")
  • NichollstownPleistocene fossil reefs with Diploria (brain coral), Milleopora (fire coral), and Acropora (elkhorn coral); also paleosols and paleodunes
  • Three Sisters Patch Reef – excellent snorkel

Wednesday, March 18 – barrier reef

  • Staniard Rock – Andros barrier reef; stunning array of coral, fish, and invertebrates; examine relationships between physical processes, organic activity, and sedimentation on the reef
  • Staniard Creek – mangrove environment and its significance to sediment stabilization and island accretion

Thursday, March 19 ooid shoals

  • Joulter’s Cay a band of agitated, clean ooid sands on the windward-facing margin of Andros; includes ooid shoals, bars, and flats; a broad sand flat penetrated by numerous tidal channels is present immediately behind the active sand flat; will explore abandoned cays and snorkel through the tidal channels; Joulter’s Cay is one of only 3 places in the world with active ooid creation and deposition
  • Morgan's Bluff - highest point on Andros Island and an important historical site; sea cliffs and cave
  • Water Supply System - collection of Andros fresh water by an intricate system of trenches; water is then transported to Nassau by multimillion-gallon tanker ships

Friday, March 20 – tidal flats and Bahamian Village

  • Red Bays Tidal Flat – tidal-flat sedimentology; tidal channels; dolomitization; lithified sand dunes are present along the road to Red Bays
  • Charlie’s Blue Hole – 70-feet deep; ancient worm-holes and cave-like pockets around the edges
  • Red Bays Village - opportunity to talk with villagers and experience local customs; visit woodcarver

Saturday, March 21

Fly from Andros Island to Ft. Lauderdale


Notes: There will be a lecture or other activity most evenings at Forfar in addition to the daily field excursions.

This page was last updated on June 25, 2014. Maintained by Dr. James Castle.