SPEA in the Caribbean

Learn more about the SPEA in the Caribbean program

May 4 - 18, 2019

Island Conservation and Sustainability Management (3cr.)

Program Directors: Stephen Glaholt

SPEA in the Caribbean is a three-credit course (E482/E582), which seeks to discover how the entire Caribbean island of Bonaire is applying conservation and sustainability techniques to preserve the island’s rich diversity for future generations. One focus of the course will be on how island life has changed in recent years to become more eco-friendly. On the program, you will assist in flora and fauna diversity monitoring projects and will participate in ongoing management programs associated with migratory birds, coral, reef fish, and other organisms, to develop an understanding of the problems and solutions associated with island conservation and sustainability. By taking part in this program, you will gain valuable applied knowledge and research experience in field sampling and experimental design techniques while learning first-hand how conservation and sustainability practices are being implemented to protect and restore the islands terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

    • Learn about marine biology and island ecology in an open air classroom located within walking distance to the ocean
    • Snorkel Bonaire’s pristine coral reefs and experience its diverse fish communities
    • Conduct fish and coral diversity, population, and health surveys
    • Night snorkeling and tide pooling using black-lights to explore the colorful nocturnal species of the underwater world (Optional)
    • Assist in migratory bird and bat population survey program
    • Participate in the restoration efforts of the endangered Queen Conch
    • Learn about the islands terrestrial and marine invasive species and the programs implemented to manage them (or develop and implement your own program!)
    • Contribute directly to the conservation and research efforts to protect Bonaire’s diverse communities

You will stay in Kralendijk (the largest city on Bonaire). The accommodations will contain multiple rooms all with access to private bathrooms, kitchen facility, and Wi-Fi.

 Note: Your IU Bloomington Bursar account will be charged two amounts for participation in this SPEA Abroad program:

  1. SPEA Abroad program fee (two payments)
  2. IU Bloomington Tuition

Please see below for additional details.

2018 SPEA in the Caribbean Program Fee: $2,100*

The program fee will be charged to your Bursar account in two installments:

  1. A $500 non-refundable pre-payment shortly after you confirm your participation in the program
  2. The remaining program fee balance will be charged in April

The program fee for this program includes:

  • Lodging
  • Medical insurance
  • Some meals
  • Group transportation on the island
  • Cultural excursions

* Program fee is subject to change due to unforeseeable circumstances

IU Bloomington Tuition – 3 credits

The tuition cost for this SPEA Abroad program is based on IU Bloomington tuition. The cost of tuition you pay will vary based on your student status. For more information on the cost of summer tuition, please contact IU Student Central.

Additional Costs

You will need to pay for your flight to Bonaire, food that is not included in the program and other incidentals.


The SPEA Abroad Summer Scholarship/Fellowship is available to help SPEA students from IUB and IUPUI study abroad. Please visit our scholarship page for eligibility requirements and application deadlines. 

Other scholarships are available on a competitive basis.

The course is intended for, but not limited to, students interested in conservation and sustainability management practices as well as marine biology and island ecology. All undergraduates and graduate students are encouraged to apply.

During the application period (November - January) an "Apply Now" button will be available at the top of this page. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. It is to your benefit to apply early as some programs will close before the deadline. Acceptance letters for those who apply by the priority deadline will be sent out in early December. Acceptance letters for those who apply by the final deadline will be sent out in early February.

Application Process

  • Meet With Your Academic Advisor
  • Submit Online Application
  • Submit Online Disciplinary Check

After Acceptance to the Program

  • Submit Signed Acceptance Letter*
  • Submit Signed Release Form*
  • Submit Photocopy of Your Passport*
  • Submit Online Medical History Form
  • Submit Flight Information, speaintl@indiana.edu
  • Attend All Program Specific Orientations
  • Attend Health & Safety Orientation

*IU Bloomington Students should submit all documents to SPEA 201. IUPUI students should submit all documents to BS 3025 B. Students from all other IU campuses should mail forms to: 1315 E. Tenth Street, Bloomington, IN 47405

2018 Tentative Syllabus