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UF in Akumal - Marine Ecology
Akumal, Mexico (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Spring 2
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Budget Sheets Spring Short-Term
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Graduate, Undergraduate
Minimum GPA:
Program Advisor: Brian Henry
Type of Credit:
Program Type: UF Sponsored Field of Study: Marine Ecology
Program Description:

UF in Akumal

Marine Ecology
Spring: Feb 21 - Mar 10, 2018


Are you interested in life under the sea and how organisms interact to shape entire ecosystems?

Are you looking for independent research experience that will be invaluable to your resume?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a marine biologist?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then this course is meant for you!


About the Program

This course has two core goals: 1) provide a conceptual understanding of ecology with an  emphasis on marine community ecology in tropical coral reefs, 2) immerse students in field research, from conceptualization to final products (including formal presentations and reports).

The first week and a half of the course (7 meetings total) will cover core topics in marine ecology, including pop. biology, community assembly and succession, biodiversity, and species interactions. Following the on-campus portion of the course, we will depart for an extended field trip (17 days) to Akumal, Mexico (Mayan for “place of the turtle”). Students, assisted by instructors, will conduct field research using snorkel gear and surveying/manipulative techniques in Akumal Bay, a coral reef and sea grass-based ecosystem teeming with wildlife (including an abundant sea turtle population).

About the Location

Akumal, Mexico (Yucatán Peninsula) — is an ideal base for studying one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems. South of Cancun, Akumal is just meters away from the world’s 2nd largest barrier reef system and is surrounded by mangrove forests and jungle that house ‘cenotes’ — breathtaking underwater caverns.

The crystal-clear Caribbean sea invites exploration of the wondrous world under the sea, while the nearby Mayan ruins at Tulum offer a glimpse into Mexico’s pre-Columbian past. Because tourism in the region has placed a strain on the environment, there is a local non-profit NGO, Centro Ecologico Akumal (CEA), advocating sustainable development and ecological conservation. The course instructors have an ongoing scientific collaboration with CEA, recently publishing a scientific article on the impact of tourism on the coral reefs of Akumal Bay.


We will stay in the beach-front eco-resort “Hotel Akumal Caribe”, providing us immediate access to the reef, where students will conduct field research projects. The owner of the resort is a conservationist and a friend of the instructors; she has supported this course for many years, when it was offered through the University of Texas at Austin. Here is the resort website:

Course Information

Department of Biology, University of Florida
Course taught by UF Faculty

ZOO4926 / ZOO6927
4 UF GPA credits

Total Number of Credits Offered: 4


  • Integrated Biology II (BSC 2011) or equivalent
  • 2.5 GPA or higher
  • students in good standing

Format: Introductory activities, lectures and discussions at UF (7, 2-hour meetings), immersive (literally) field research in Mexico: data collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation

Required Text: Required readings will be provided for free, in PDF form.

Tentative Class Schedule: 2018_-Class_schedule_Marine_Ecology_Akumal.pdf

This course has a limited number of seats!
Apply today to ensure your spot!

Click Apply Now above and click this link to reserve your spot!



Financial Aid

Most financial aid that you would receive on campus during the semester can be applied toward the cost of this study abroad program; however, all financial aid eligibility is determined by Student Financial Affairs. You must speak with your financial aid advisor to determine what aid can be applied to the cost of this study abroad program, including scholarships.

2018 Pricing

Undergraduate Program Fee: $2,867
Graduate Program Fee: $3,201

A $350 nonrefundable deposit toward the total cost of the program is due at the time of application. The remaining fees are due no later than 45 days prior to departure. If you receive financial aid, you can defer payment until it disburses.

What's Included:

Tuition for 4 UF credits, all course reading materials, meals, accommodations, and ground transportation in Mexico, international health insurance and emergency medical assistance.

What's Not Included:

Round-trip airfare, additional personal travel, and personal expenses.

UFIC Study Abroad Advisor
Brian Henry


Faculty Program Director
Mike Gil


This program is currently not accepting applications.