Geology in the Bahamas

By Jordan Monroe

Staff Writer

Geology majors: pay attention! Here is a unique opportunity to travel to a beautiful location and learn about geology and biology.

Blair Tormey is taking a class to San Salvador Island, Bahamas, May 11-22, 2009. It’s officially called GEOL 140 SAN SAL: Environments of the Bahamas.

This is a two-week introductory liberal arts course to study the ecology of the island and the human affects on the ecosystem. You will explore many environments, such as caves, coral reefs, beaches, and bird and reptile colonies.

Blair Tormey has been taking students to the Bahamas since 2006, but has been doing research there since 1997. He says, “One of the benefits to studying geology in the Bahamas is that the sediments of the islands are extremely sensitive to changes in the ocean, biologic community, and climate.” Any changes made to the environment on the islands will be observable in the geology. “The students are literally immersed in the environment, and gain a better understanding of its complex and fragile nature.”

This class is open to everyone at all levels and majors. No prerequisites are required.

The course is $1600 plus summer tuition which includes airfare, housing, food, materials, and transportation. Snorkeling gear will need to be bought separately, which goes for about $100, and you might want to bring money for snacks and souvenirs.

You want to make this decision fast: the first $500 deposit is due January 30, 2009.

You can contact Blair Tormey at or 828-227-3916 and Susan Barbour-Wood at