• Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior
• At the time of application, students must have completed one semester at a US college or university.
• Previous college-level ecology, biology or environmental studies course required for semester program.
• 2.8 cumulative GPA for semester programs; 2.6 cumulative GPA for summer programs
• All SFS courses are taught in English.
• Open to UW-Madison degree-seeking students only
• Good academic and disciplinary standing


Biology, Ecology, Environmental Studies, Zoology

Classroom Language



Field Research Station

Program Duration

Fall: Mid-September - Mid-December
Spring: Early February - Early June
Summer: Early June - Early July or Mid-July - Mid-August

Application Deadline(s)

TermApplication Deadline
Spring 2017-18  9/29/2017
Summer 2018 Session II: Jul-Aug 2/23/2018
Summer 2018 Session I: Jun-Jul 2/23/2018
Summer 2018 Session I & II: June-August 2/23/2018
Fall 2018-19  2/23/2018

Future durations will be posted at a later date.

Questions about this program?
Contact a Peer Advisor!

Turks & Caicos, South Caicos Island
SFS Marine Resource Studies

Overview | Academics | Cost | Logistics | Student Voices | Apply

Offered through the School for Field Studies (SFS), the Marine Resource Studies program is an approved UW affiliate program. Options include the semester program and two summer sessions: Session I - Tropical Marine Ecosystems: Monitoring and Management, and Session II - Applied Marine Research Techniques.
The clear waters of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) are considered among the world’s top 10 diving destinations, where vibrant coral reefs, a dramatic sea wall, and a deep ocean trench harbor a stunning diversity of sea life, from corals to whales. The charismatic fauna include more than 300 species of fish and the colorful and cryptic biota is easily spotted in the warm waters just steps from our field station. Nearby seagrass beds, mangroves, sandy shoals, and reefs lend a patchwork appearance to the miles of shallow blue waters that surround the Islands. But beneath the turquoise waters, a delicate ecosystem is threatened. A relatively healthy ecosystem supports much of the community on South Caicos Island, with fisheries providing the primary source of livelihood. However, pollution and increased extraction of precious marine resources, coupled with large-scale, unsustainable tourism and industrial development, is very likely to inflict irreparable damage to this delicate ecosystem.
Depletion of key resources would have a dramatic impact on employment and social structure on South Caicos Island. Developing sustainable fisheries is essential if this resource-dependent community is to survive. SFS is working with the Turks & Caicos Islands (TCI) Department of Environment and Maritime Affairs (DEMA) and the National Park Service to develop management strategies to help conserve marine biodiversity and provide economic opportunities for island residents.
Snorkeling and SCUBA diving in the waters surrounding South Caicos, you will practice field research and monitoring techniques to identify and assess the health of a wide range of marine organisms and habitats. You’ll learn to identify and observe the behavior of marine species, assess coastal and marine habitats, and quantify fisheries resources through hours of training, observation, and study in the water. In the community, you will grapple with the challenges of assessing the rights and needs of local stakeholders and reconciling those with conservation goals. 
The field station is just steps from the ocean with coral reefs, barrier islands, mangroves, and seagrass beds within a three-mile radius.
You will be working closely with both IAP and SFS on this program. You can access the program's main information page through the SFS website to learn more about the academics, housing, excursions and activities, and location.
Please note that this program may fill before the application deadline, so you are encouraged to apply early.