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The Bahamas: Cultivating Conservation Networks

Explore marine reserves, mangroves, unique national parks, and community-driven conservation projects that focus on local communities at the forefront of conservation.

Course Overview

The iconic Bahama Islands archipelago is home to hundreds of species of terrestrial and aquatic life as well as many collaborating to protect and restore local ecosystems. Explore two breathtaking islands as we unpack historical colonialism and highlight current Bahamian experts leading in the fields of conservation and education. Visit marine reserves, mangroves, unique national parks, and community-driven conservation projects that focus on local communities at the forefront of conservation. Project Dragonfly is glad to partner with Science & Perspective and The Bahamas National Trust, among other local organizations, to offer this course.

Possible investigative activities include exploring marine biodiversity, studying bird and plant interactions, understanding the impacts of climate change on natural and human communities, and participating in local conservation workshops. All students will also have the chance to conduct an investigation of the local ecosystem, asking their own questions, collecting data, and presenting conclusions. Prior to and following the field experience in The Bahamas, students complete online coursework as they apply experiences to their home institutions.

Course Details (Note: This class is held over the Winter Term and Spring Semester)
In person travel dates: January 7-16, 2024
Students arrive at least one day before and depart on last day of course.
On the Web:

Pre-travel preparations: November-December
Winter coursework: December 11 - January 28
Spring course: January 29-May 5, 2024


Winter course: 5 graduate credits

Follow-on spring course: 2 graduate credits

Credits from this course can be applied to the GFP or AIP (or other programs if approved)


Winter course: $3,450* + your own airfare to into Nassau, The Bahamas then will depart from Eleuthra island to head home

Spring course: $790

*$3,450 is calculated as = $395 per credit tuition x 5 graduate credits + $1,300 program fee + $175 Miami global fee.


Course Themes

  • Partnerships, networks, and leadership for conservation
  • Marine and terrestrial ecosystems of The Bahamas
  • Community-based conservation
  • Participatory education
  • Inquiry-driven learning

A typical day in The Bahamas is likely to include:

  • Ecological studies at national parks
  • Guest lectures by local researchers
  • Student-led discussions of key course topics
  • Engagement with local community members
  • Ocean-based inquiries and visits to marine reserves
  • Journal writing

The Bahamas

With 700 islands and renowned clear blue waters, The Bahamas are rich with aquatic life, intertidal species, and unique terrestrial ecosystems.

Planned Sites in The Bahamas

Google Earth image of the Bahamas with three locations marked. A second image shows the locations in closer detail with the labels Abaco Islands, Blue Lagoon (Salt Cay), and Nassau.


The tropical town of Nassau is the nation's capital and is home to most Bahamanians in The Bahamas. The city was built up by loyalists and slaves in the 18th century and many colonial influences are still seen in the city's architecture. The Bahamas National Trust, one of our course partners and the organization that set up and manages the nation's parks and marine reserves, is based in Nassau.

Eleuthera Island

As part of The Bahamas archipelago, Eleuthera is a long, thin island with rich opportunities for time in nature. This includes miles of marine coastline with access to rich waters and a number of well-established field stations conducting long-term scientific investigations.

2024 Costs

In addition to covering the price for five graduate credits of Miami University tuition, field course costs cover all basic expenses, including:

  • Meals (incidental snacks and drinks not included)
  • Lodging
  • Course activities (optional activities are not included)
  • Ground transportation (van, boat, train, etc., as needed)

Course costs do not cover personal expenses, such as airfare to the course, personal gifts, or ancillary costs, such as passport fees, country entry fees, required course readers, and any additional course texts.

Airfare: To estimate fares applicants may wish to visit an online fare finder or call a travel agent. Bear in mind that airlines have seasonal fluctuations in fares.

Miami University also requires all participants in international workshops to purchase travel health insurance for about $40. (Successful applicants will receive more details in their web-based learning community course workshop.) In some classes an additional textbook is required. In some countries, you may have to pay entrance and departure taxes/fees at the airport.

Because of support from Miami University, the course costs listed above are a fraction of actual program costs. Earth Expeditions recommends that accepted applicants to the program check with their school district or employer to see if professional development funds are available to further offset costs.

 We offer some further ideas on Helping to Fund your Degree and Scholarships for Current Dragonfly Students

U.S. Students and Students Living Abroad

To support involvement by a broad range of professionals nationally and globally, Miami University discounts tuition for participants accepted to an Earth Expeditions graduate course. Applicants must be over the age of 18 and hold bachelor’s degrees. Upon successful completion of both the field and web-based components of the Earth Expeditions course, participants earn seven graduate credit hours.

Students Seeking Undergraduate Credit

Undergraduate students at Miami University or elsewhere may apply for an Earth Expeditions course and earn five credits for the field component, with the option to complete two additional credits for the fall web component. Normal Miami tuition rates apply, as do eligible summer tuition waivers and scholarships. Contact Project Dragonfly for more information.

Course Options for Miami Students

Are you a current Miami University undergrad or grad student interested in participating? Check out our Miami students page to learn more about program requirements.

Note that costs shown above are for graduate students only. Course costs for undergraduate students are based on each student’s tuition rate. If you have questions regarding your tuition promise rate, please contact the Bursar.

Inquiry & Action Follow-on Course

The 2-credit follow-on course, Inquiry & Action, puts the Earth Expeditions course ideas and concepts into practice. Students in this course will choose a research topic and construct a multidisciplinary semester-long project of their choice that includes inquiry-driven learning, participatory education, and community-based conservation to experience and promote action in real-world contexts. Students will connect and collaborate with peers and their instructional team throughout the semester working to make a positive difference in their local communities. This class is a required part of the Global Field Program (GFP) master's course sequence. Inquiry & Action is recommended though optional for non-GFP students.

Spring 2024 Course Cost: $790 (2 credits)


Do you have questions? Go to our Frequently Asked Questions page for some answers.

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