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Choice Camps Recommendation of Academic Treks: Marine Biology Adventure

Backed by sixteen years of experience in running educational programs for thousands of teenagers, Academic Treks combines the finest elements of experiential learning, traditional classroom learning, and service learning with wilderness adventure, international travel, and cultural exchange to create extraordinary college-accredited expeditions. Each course includes an important community service component with themes of teamwork, leadership, and personal growth interwoven in each AT experience.

Academic Treks students are fully immersed in an educational program in a real world setting, gaining a global perspective and hands-on understanding of the topics studied. They also get a head start on college by earning college and/or community service credit and by building a host of skills they will use both in school and beyond. For students looking for an educational and exciting summer experience, Academic Treks may be the perfect choice.

Program Description

Fascinated with the underwater world or interested in becoming a marine biologist? Join Academic Treks at the world renowned Gerace Research Center in the eastern Bahamas to learn about the marine world and intricate reef systems firsthand, with the reefs, seagrass beds and beaches of San Salvador as your classrooms. The sheltered waters of Grahams Harbour are immediately accessible to the Center, with nearby seabird rookeries and patch reefs. Other study areas close by include hypersaline lagoons filled with ancient stromatolites, mangrove channels and fringing reefs that are home to an abundance of colorful marine life big and small. Under the instruction of professional marine biologists, the curriculum is designed to anchor traditional learning with immediate real-world application and hands-on experience. The combination of dive training, field experiments, lectures, exams and marine surveys provides a comprehensive overview of tropical marine biology.

Staff Overview

Academic Treks leaders bring a wealth of experience to every program. They share a love for working with young people, as well as a passion for experiential learning and teaching. The average age of AT staff members is typically around 26.

The Academic Treks course design requires the use of several instructors for each program. Two AT staff members lead the trip, providing focus and continuity to the program. In-country outfitters are used to provide the local knowledge and expertise for expedition phases. These additional teachers and outfitters provide a perspective, depth of knowledge and access to resources that could not be obtained otherwise. Formal instruction is given by professional educators with experience teaching young adults through experiential and project-based learning.

Setting & Accommodations

San Salvador lies along the outer boundary of the Caribbean Sea in the Bahamas, a gateway to the vast ocean that reaches east to Africa. The Gerace Research Center is located at the northern end of the island, perfectly situated for incredible diving and marine studies. San Salvador is known for the diversity and quality of dives, friendly people and miles of deserted beaches.

The Gerace Research Center boasts a teaching and research lab, an outstanding specimen repository, a library, animal holding tanks, dorm-style facilities, and a cafeteria. With the ocean at the school's doorstep, participants have immediate access to one of the most biologically diverse marine environments in the world. The Gerace Research Center is perfectly equipped for students to live, study and play!

Safety Standards

Academic Treks Course Lead Instructors complete intensive staff training before the program, which includes a focus on risk management, in-country logistics, emergency protocols, leadership training, and teaching students how to integrate experiences learned on program into their everyday lives when they return home. At least one of the course leaders is a certified Wilderness First Responder (WFR), Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT) or Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with a minimum of 80 hours of emergency medical training.

Academic Treks: Marine Biology Adventure Session Dates

Session Name Dates Ages Tuition Get Info
Trip One 6/25/14 - 7/15/14 15 - 17 $4980 Request Info
21 Day Adventure 7/21/14 - 8/10/14 15 - 17 $4980 Request Info

Academic Treks: Marine Biology Adventure Overview

Program Overview

  • Type: Community Service, Language Immersion, Study Abroad
  • Specialty:
  • Religious Affiliation: none
  • Camp Gender: Co-ed
  • Campers per Session: 12
  • Camper-to-Counselor Ratio: 6:1

On-Site Activities

  • Diving
  • Swimming
  • Academics
  • Community Service
  • Hiking
  • SCUBA
  • Marine Ecology Projects
  • PADI Certifications
  • Cave Tours

Off-Site Activities and Trips


On-Site Facilities

Special Accommodations

  • Vegetarian Friendly

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