SCIE 639
Coastal and Forest Ecology and Geology of Puerto Rico: A Travel Field Course in Puerto Rico

Suzanne O'Connell       

Topics to be Covered (syllabus subject to change)
Map reading
The geologic (plate tectonic) and human history (Museum) of Vieques
Beach Morphology

How to make a beach profile
Difference between north and south shore beaches

Marine Life

Plankton (Bioluminescence)
Invertebrates (including corals)
Vertebrates (especially those that live in coral reef environments)


Mangrove Swamps: adaptations to salt; vertical habitats, storm protection
Invasive species
Rain forest plants


Prior to trip, each class member will assume responsibility for learning about one aspect of the areas we are visiting. This can be a detailed look at a particular type of coral, or a general view of island botany. At the conclusion of the trip, everyone will write a paper and give an oral report about their paper.

Day trips to places on Vieques, with trips to El Yunque and Culebra (all weather dependent)

We will be doing our own cleaning and cooking, so everyone will need to share jobs (summer camp for grownups)

Useful web sites:

El Yunque:

Vieques information: