Texas Tech University

Caribbean Coral Reef Research




The Texas Integrated Diving & Ecological Studies (TIDES) Laboratory is a multi-institutional undergraduate research program that focuses on student driven research projects on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System between McLennan Community College and Texas Tech University. This reef is the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere with more than 60 species of coral, 500 species of fish (including the elusive whale shark), and thousands of invertebrate species found on the reef.

Lago De Yojoa

Texas Tech students register for BIOL 3303 and BIOL 4301. Upon return from Honduras, students analyze their data, develop a research paper, and poster. The class will culminate in a poster "conference" where students will present their research.

In addition to completing their research projects, students will also participate whale shark monitoring research and various other opportunities provided by the Whale Shark & Oceanic Research Center. Additional diving certification opportunities may be available through the Bay Islands College of Diving – an onsite 5-star PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) dive school.

Over the course of the program, faculty from several different universities and colleges lead students through concepts and research techniques of coral reefs: Dr. Donna Hamilton, University of North Texas - Dallas; Dr. Stephanie Lockwood, Texas Tech University; Stephanie Randell, McLennan Community College; and Dr. Traesha Robertson, College of Coastal Georgia. With faculty from across different biological disciplines, students receive information from faculty with expertise in those fields.

Faculty dive with and monitor students while completing research projects. Faculty also ensure that students are following proper protocols when it comes to dive limits and diving logs.

Courses Offered

  • BIOL 4301 Coral Reef Research

Program Fee

  • $3,250 for new divers
  • $3,150 for returning divers

Program Dates

  • May 12-20, 2018

Program Open To

  • TTU Waco students only. Faculty leader approval required.

Program Fee Includes

  • Lodging and most meals
  • Flight to/from Honduras
  • Guided tours
  • Excursions

Program Fee Does Not Include

  • TTU tuition and fees
  • Insurance ($1.76/day)
  • Education Abroad fee ($200)
  • Personal spending money

For more information:

Contact:Dr. Stephanie Lockwood

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