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Bonaire: The Geology of the Caribbean


Students will spend two weeks in the Netherlands Antilles island of Bonaire doing field work in geology and exploring how this Caribbean island came to exist.

This program offers coursework at two levels, a 100-level introductory course for newcomers to the geological sciences, and a 300-level advanced course for majors and minors with a geology or biology background.

Students will spend the first week of J-Term on campus, learning the science behind geologic processes, and then head off to Bonaire, where they will see first-hand, both above and beneath the waves, just how the island came to be.

This program does require sufficient swimming skills to be able to snorkel and has an option for students with SCUBA certification to go even deeper in their exploration of the island’s base.


Eligibility and program cap: Requires a 2.00 GPA and sophomore status. Open to all majors, however the upper level course option does have prerequisites. Program target is 20 students, 10 at each course level.

Courses and credits: This program offers parallel courses at two levels of experience with geology.

GEOL 123 (PN): Build Me An Island: Introduction to geology through study of processes of island formation.

GEOL 321 (PN): Carbonate Sedimentology & Paleoecology. This upper-level course in field research is for students with a background in Geology or Biology. Prerequisite: BIOL 200 or GEOL 201.

Faculty contacts: For more information, please contact: M. Wolf (geology) or K. Arkle (geology)

Dates: Jan. 6-28, 2020, with required pre-departure meetings in 2019 fall semester.

Budget and fees

Program fee: $2,955 ($3,655 with scuba). Augie Choice is available for juniors and seniors.

Includes: Airfare, lodging, two meals a day, insurance, ground transport, excursions.

Does not include: One meal a day, rental or purchase of required snorkeling/SCUBA equipment, or discretionary spending.

Out-of-pocket estimate: Depending on eating habits and rental/purchase of equipment: $300-$900