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Charles Beeker
IU Underwater Science

Last modified: Wednesday, May 7, 2003

Teachers to study Caribbean coral reefs through IU program

Teachers who want a first-hand experience studying coral reefs will have an opportunity to do so this June through a pilot program in the Caribbean coordinated through the Underwater Science Program at Indiana University.

Charles Beeker, director of underwater science for the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, and Ania Budziak, a research associate in the program, have developed the marine science project in cooperation with Teachers Field School from Columbus, Ind.

High school and elementary school science teachers will visit Bonaire in the Netherlands Antilles June 14-22 to pursue snorkeling or SCUBA diving at the Bonaire Marine Park. "This is one of the world's most beautiful, accessible and oldest marine protected areas," explained Beeker, "and those participating will be able to learn about the coral reef ecosystem firsthand."

Budziak said the goal of the pilot project is for teachers "to incorporate this unique field experience into classroom lessons and thus enhance the learning environment for their students."

The activities will include daily lectures, field experience of snorkeling or diving and the development of lesson plans and curriculum. Graduate credit will be available, and enrollment will be limited to approximately 12 students interested in marine science.

For more details on the program, contact Beeker at 812-855-5748,, or visit the Teachers Field School Web page at