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SWIC students to study marine biology in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico


Students can earn college credit for swimming with manatees, snorkeling in a coral reef and hiking the Everglades in the Southwestern Illinois College Introduction to Marine Biology lab course.

BIOL 110 Introduction to Marine Biology – Increment II-Lab: Field Experience offers you the unique opportunity to travel to the Atlantic Ocean, Florida Keys and Gulf of Mexico to study the coral reefs and fishes of the region May 20 to June 2, 2017.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for students to see remarkable marine ecosystems first hand,” said SWIC Biology Professor Randi Papke, Ph.D. “Think of BIOL 110 as an intense hands-on experience filled with fun, excitement and life-changing opportunities. There really is no better way to learn.”

In Georgia, students will experience a behind-the-scenes tour of the Georgia Aquarium. In Florida, they will visit numerous marine biology sites including the famous Everglades, the Florida Keys and, as a highlight, Dry Tortugas National Park. They will also get a chance to participate in real scientific research on a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lab and at Mote Marine Laboratory.

“Visiting just one of these places would be an amazing experience for anyone, but visiting all of them in one trip is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students,” said Biology Professor Bob Weck.
The cost of this two-semester-credit lab course will be approximately $1,200 per person (based on a class size of 16 students), plus tuition and fees.

The cost includes all travel to and throughout Georgia and Florida, camping and lodging, some meals, all field trips, park entrance fees and adventures, and lab equipment. Scuba opportunities and equipment will be available for licensed divers at an extra cost.

To earn credit, you must enroll in BIOL 110 Introduction to Marine Biology Increment II-Lab: Field Experience. A nonrefundable $200 deposit is required when you enroll.

Partial scholarships may be available through the SWIC Foundation, as well as fundraising opportunities.
SWIC also offers the three-semester-credit BIOL 110 Increment I-Lecture class, which can be taken separately.

For more information or for a course application, contact Papke at (618) 235-2700, ext. 5458, or; or Weck at (618 ) 235-2700, ext. 5607 or

Visit to find out more about BIOL 110 lecture and lab classes.

— From the Illinois Business Journal via SWIC news services

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