Dominica

waterfall in DominicaDominica (pronounced Dom-i-nee-ka) is an English-speaking, peaceful, autonomous nation, located in the Eastern Caribbean approximately 375 miles (604 km) southeast of Puerto Rico. It is the third largest island in the Eastern Caribbean, 29 miles (47 km) long and 16 miles (26 km) at its widest point, totaling 290 square miles (750 square kilometers).

The island offers a spectacular variety of tropical ecosystems. The rugged topography rises to nearly 5,000 feet (1,500 m) and includes elfin woodlands, cloud forests, rainforests, dry coastal woodlands, grasslands, sea cliffs and volcanic sand beaches. Rainfall in the mountainous interior can exceed 300 inches (7,500 mm) per year.

Sixty-five percent of the island is forested and much of it is protected. The Caribbean’s first UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, Morne Trois Pitons National Park, is about an hour's walk from the Archbold Center. The island’s diverse habitats support a rich variety of endemic, regionally endemic, and indigenous tropical terrestrial and marine life. Biologically unique geothermal fields, a boiling lake, fresh water crater lakes, rivers, waterfalls, an underwater volcano and coral reef associations are all teeming with life and a wealth of unanswered questions.

Most of the villages are located on the coast where the majority of the population lives. Agriculture and tourism are the two main industries. The largest and one of the last remaining indigenous populations of Amerindian descent, the Kalinago People, live on the island.

In sum, Dominica offers an exceptional opportunity to study tropical ecology, entomology, botany, marine biology, biodiversity, biogeography, environmental conservation, sustainable agriculture and forestry, climatology, cultural anthropology, and emerging economic development.

Our goal is to serve as a unique resource of inspired learning for all and to develop model programs for conservation and sustainable development.

Related links

A Virtual Dominica Guide to events, sites and culture of the island

Commonwealth of Dominica Official government Web site