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  • Locations: Belize City, Belize
  • Program Terms: Summer I
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Class Standing: 2 - Sophomore, 3 - Junior, 4 - Senior, 5 - Graduate Program Type: ODU Faculty Led Program
Maximum Credits Earned: 5 Minimum GPA: 2
Language of Instruction: English Area(s) of Study: Biology
Faculty Leader: Butler, M.
Program Description:
Summer in

June 1-Jun 12, 2018
Field Studies in Marine Biology
 BIOL 444/544,
5 credits 

Modern marine biology is a vibrant field of science that requires not only specialized training (e.g. molecular biology, computing, statistical analysis) but also in situ field experience and a global perspective of our planet’s diverse marine environments. This program will allow students a “marine biology immersion experience” in the Caribbean where they will study, conduct research, and reside at an island marine laboratory in Belize alongside other motivated students and faculty. 

This study abroad program will focus on tropical marine ecology and will introduce students to the coral reef, sea grass, and mangrove organisms and ecosystems of Belize. Along with daily lectures and field work, students will conduct independent research projects and hear from a local government representative on environmental issues the country is facing. Students will also visit a local village on the Belize mainland and interact with elementary aged school children to instruct them about marine stewardship. 
 There will be opportunities to snorkel and dive on the Belize barrier reef, interact with researchers from around the world, and visit the Cockscomb Rainforest Sanctuary on the mainland.  Additionally, students will interact daily with the Mayan and European natives of Belize; gaining insight into the rich history and culture of this once British colony in Central America.


Snorkel, Dive & Study on the Belize Barrier Reef

Accommodations on
South Water Caye at International Zoological Expeditions Laboratory

Optional scuba diving excursions

Mama Noots Zip line Adventure
*Subject to change. The Office of Study Abroad reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, and/or any other unforeseen circumstances.

 PREREQUISITES: In order to participate in this program, students must have taken the following classes: BIOL 121, BIOL 122. BIOL 123, BIOL 124  All participants must be proficient swimmers. All students must be in good academic standing.

*Students must register and pay for 5 credits in BIOL 444 (undergraduates) or BIOL 544 (graduates) during the Summer 2018 registration period in order to participate in this program.

Tentative SyllabusSample Syllabus Marine Bio.pdf

Dr. Mark Butler received his Ph.D. from Florida State University and joined the faculty at Old Dominion in 1989 where he teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in Biometry & Marine Ecology. Professor Butler has been designated an Eminent Scholar and in 2011 received the Virginia Outstanding Faculty of the Year award from the State Council of Higher Education. Much of his research on lobsters and tropical ecology takes place in various locations throughout the Caribbean.



Program Cost with Dean's Scholarship: $2,740

Cost Includes: Roundtrip airfare from/to Norfolk, in-country flight, airport transfers in country, accommodations, most meals, kayak and boat use, all travel, study abroad and instructional fee, travel and health insurance.

Not Included: ODU tuition for 5 credits (participants are required to register for credit), meals other than those indicated above, transportation other than indicated above, snorkeling/diving gear, scuba tanks, expenses of a personal nature.

Financial Aid: For some students, regular student financial aid support may be increased due to the additional cost of studying abroad. Students seeking financial aid should obtain a program budget from the Office of Study Abroad.

*ODU Scholarships: 
Dean’s Education Abroad Awards are available for the first 7 qualified students accepted for this program.  Eligibility: Full-time, degree-seeking, ODU student, 2.5 GPA or higher, approval of participation by the Office of Study Abroad and the program’s faculty leader. Completion of online application, advising and deposit payment holds your space for scholarship consideration; no additional scholarship application necessary.

If eligible, scholarship award will be credited to your student account sometime in late summer. The Office of Study Abroad handles these arrangements and will notify you via email. 

Estimated cost without scholarship: 3,140

Payment Schedule: $300 deposit upon application; half of remaining total due on February 16, 2018 and the other half on March 16, 2018



Dr. Mark Butler
Biological Sciences
302K Mills Godwin Bldg.
Office of Study Abroad
2006 Dragas Hall
49th St. and Hampton Blvd.

ODU collage

This program is currently not accepting applications.