Tropical Marine Biology Camp
There's a damsel in distress! Actually it's a Yellowtail Damselfish, a colorful reef fish native to the coral reefs of British Virgin Islands. You grab your snorkeling gear and scour the crystal-clear waters to survey Damselfish along with other tropical creatures like four-eyed butterfly fish, French Angel and Peacock Flounder. This is no mere exercise. These fish populations are vital to the environment so you transform yourself into an undersea sleuth and document their size and numbers. Knowing your data will contribute to protection of this fragile ecosystem might just make these some of the most meaningful—and thrilling—academic credits you'll ever earn.
Sierra is home to our tropical marine biology studies program. We've partnered with expert marine biologists for a 21-day adventure set in the beautiful BVI. Visiting these islands' white sand beaches, scenic palms and dramatic rock formations, your catamaran is both your home and your launching pad for expeditions above and below the sea! If you've got a love of the deep, this is the place to put your passion into motion.
With your spacious catamaran as your base at these marine biology camps, you'll explore the BVI's white sand beaches, coral gardens, intricate reefs and fish-filled seas. Every day, you will explore these waters through scuba diving or snorkeling. You will also have some nights to apply your diving skills and your new marine biology knowledge learned that morning in your floating classroom. You'll immerse yourself in the unique island culture and enjoy virgin frozen drinks while exploring the islands. You can even earn marine science credit at your high school credit through the activities, research, lectures and discussions each day. See a Sample Sierra itinerary
You can earn academic credit by working with marine scientists on exciting hands-on research projects, field studies and by participating in dynamic discussions. The surrounding coral reefs, mangroves and shallow water habitats will be your laboratory as you collect data on water quality, plankton abundance, coral health and tropical fish abundance. Your work will depend on your snorkeling & scuba diving skills in the BVI's crystal clear waters. You can earn your PADI Open Water, Advanced Open Water and some specialties. Or you don't have to dive at all. In addition to our research and classroom time, you'll lead and participate in discussions and activities as part of our True Course initiative for leadership training and personal growth. More about Learning on the Sierra Tropical Marine Science program
There's always something new to try on Sierra! Snorkel in crystal clear waters. Swim in and explore the Caves at Norman Island. Go on a morning swim, organize an activity and lesson for local students during a community service day, and enrich learning through discussions, presentations and activities.
In addition to the academics and outdoor adventure activities, you'll also have the opportunity to earn 15-20 hours of community service credit through our environmental service and community outreach. You'll teach local students about the importance of conservation and the marine environment and then introduce them to the fun of snorkeling. You’ll gain a passion for the British Virgin Islands as you explore its rich and diverse ecosystems. In all these projects, you'll see the long-lasting impact of your work. Learn more about Activities on the Sierra program
Take a break from your busy schedule of marine biology studies and community service activities, and enjoy additional courses. The Sierra program is for both certified and non-divers. If you are not certified, we can certify you! You can get your PADI Open Water certification and even go on to get your Advanced Open Water. If already certified, you can earn your PADI Advanced Open Water certification and some specialties during the program. Dive services are provided by PADI dive instructors from own year-round dive center, Sail Caribbean Divers on Tortola. Learn more about Optional Courses