University of Delaware Institute for Global Studies
Winter 2018: Cayman Islands MAST

Program Dates January 03, 2018 - February 01, 2018
This program is closed.

Program Overview Study Coral Reef Biology and Ecology in the Cayman Islands and learn scientific diving skills for underwater research on some of the most stunning and undisturbed coral reefs in the Caribbean. The Caymans are unique in their low population density, marine resources and a rich heritage as a member of the British Commonwealth. Living and working for a month in a remote field location is a unique opportunity for students interested in Marine or Environmental Sciences.

Based at the Little Cayman Research Center (Central Caribbean Marine Institute), you’ll interact with UD faculty and CCMI faculty and staff experts as you study coral reef ecosystems. Experiential learning includes extensive underwater SCUBA diving and snorkeling surveys and research data gathering from different reef types and habitat locations around the island. In addition, you’ll learn about biological diversity through excursions to unique areas on Little Cayman while traveling to almost every location on this small island including lagoon environments, coral reefs in high/low energy systems, seagrass habitats, mangrove communities, and reef walls. Training as a Scientific Research Diver is an important component of the program, adding a valuable skill set for field research to your education in coral reef systems and marine science in general.

Students live in dorm style bunk rooms at the CCMI laboratory facility which is located right on a beach with direct access to a shallow back-reef lagoon. Family-style meals are prepared and served on site (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the course. Room and Board are included in the program fee.

Whether you’re interested in Coral Reef Conservation, Environmental Studies or living and working in a small Caribbean Island community, the Winter Session on Little Cayman Island is your chance to experience what it is like to conduct marine research in a remote tropical field site.

Have a look at this video from the 2014 program!

Note: Medical certification for diving and Open Water Scuba certification are required for participation. All students must be fully certified to dive prior to their arrival on Grand Cayman in January 2018. THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS RULE. Students who are not currently certified may enroll in BHAN132: SCUBA in the fall semester (if space is available), or through an independent dive shop.

Please note: All students are required to purchase their own mask, fins, snorkel, camera and, if desired--wetsuit. Students must also purchase Diver Alert Network (DAN) insurance at a cost of roughly $30 per person

The Program Fee includes housing, all program-related excursions, meals and international medical insurance.

The Program Fee does NOT include airfare to/from the Cayman Islands, nor airport transfers within the U.S. The program officially begins when students arrive in Little Cayman. Students will receive detailed travel instructions after acceptance, explaining how and where to purchase their plane ticket. See the Cost section below for estimate airfare. For this program, students will be given recommended flight itineraries for traveling together.

ACCESSIBILITY: Participants with disabilities should know that accessibility and accommodation in some program locations may differ from the United States. Transit systems and legacy building construction practices may not meet U.S. accessibility standards, and alternative access to public transportation, buildings, or public sites cannot be guaranteed. But UD students with disabilities are welcome and encouraged to study abroad. Review these questions with the Office of Disability Support Services to determine whether this program can meet your accommodation needs.

Courses: Students must enroll in all credit-bearing courses for a grade. Only the UNIV (zero credit) course may be taken pass/fail. Audit registration is not permitted on UD Travel Study. Please refer to the University Catalog to verify requirements and prerequisites. Honors credit may be available. Check with the faculty director and the Honors program for approval (check before departure). All students must enroll in at least 6 credits, as well as the 0-credit UNIV course.
MAST 410: Scientific Diving (3 credits)
MAST 443: Field Studies of Coral Reef Environments (3 credits)
UNIV 370-034: Study Abroad - Cayman Islands MAST (0 credits) pass/fail
Satisfies the following requirements:
  • Discovery Learning

Program Costs:

How much does it cost?.
Delaware ResidentNon-Delaware Resident
Final Tuition based on current year$2,228.00$5,976.00
Final Program Fee$5,800.00$5,800.00
UD Registration & Activities Fee$30.00$30.00
Total to be charged to UD account $8,058.00$11,806.00
Plus Airfare Estimate (purchased separately)$800.00$800.00

The rates above may not apply to you if you are a UD graduate student during the time you are studying abroad. Please refer to for the appropriate rates.

When and how do I pay?
If you are offered acceptance to the program, you will have 3 days to withdraw without financial penalty. After the 3 days have passed, you will be officially accepted to the program, and IGS will post the full Program Fee and Tuition/Fees to your UD student account.

*All students will receive an email when they are accepted to a program and will have 10 days from that notification to make their $1,000.00 Initial Payment.

Contact Information:
Adam Marsh
Faculty Director
Marine Studies
114 Smith Lab (Otis H) Mariculture - Lewes Campus
Mark Warner
Faculty Director
Marine Studies
104 Smith Lab (Otis H) Mariculture - Lewes Campus

Submit Program Application by 5pm on November 13, 2017
Recommendation also due by 5pm on November 13, 2017
Acceptance and Scholarship Announced: May 02, 2017

Interest Meetings:
03/15/2017, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM, Robinson 105
03/30/2017, 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM, Robinson 206

Program information is subject to change at any time. Please check this web site periodically for updates.