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  • Locations: Bay Islands, Honduras
  • Program Terms: Q4 Course
  • Budget Sheets: Q4 Course
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Q4 Course 2019 12/02/2018 ** Rolling Admission 06/08/2019 06/22/2019

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Instruction Language: English Housing Options: Program arranged housing
Class: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Graduate Program Type: Faculty-led, On-line course
SUNY Code: 842 Program Coordinator: Megan Kropf -
Faculty Leader: Elizabeth Balko (
Program Description:
Honduras - Starfish Roatan

 View a Power Point Presentation about the program.
Students at Roatan
The Program   |   Itinerary   |   Housing and Meals   |   Costs   |   Financial Aid   |   Enrollment and Requirements 

The Program
This program is open to all SUNY students as the class is taught online.

The two weeks spent studying abroad will focus on observing and comparing a variety of different coral reef and marine communities within the Mesoamerican reef system (second in size only to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia), snorkeling through mangroves, conducting hands-on work with dolphins, snorkeling with a dolphin pod, and exploring the local island culture. Online instruction completed before traveling to Honduras has been designed to prepare you for field projects investigating ‘the effects of reef geomorphology on fish assemblages found off the island of Roatan’, and ‘behavioral signaling and social alliances among young-adult bottlenose dolphins at the Institute of Marine Sciences, Honduras’. While in Honduras you will also have the opportunity to observe the diverse terrestrial fauna- including anoles (e.g., Anolis allisoni), basilisks (Basiliscus vittatus), key deer (Odocoileus virginianus clavium), tropical birds, and the endangered Roatan island agouti (Dasyprocta ruatanica). 

Please note that this program requires a lot of time spent in the water.  Participants should be comfortable swimmers.

The above video highlights opportunities for studying dolphins at the Roatan Institute of Marine Sciences (RIMS). Funding for video production was provided by a SUNY-Oswego Curriculum Innovation Grant.

Tentative Itinerary   These dates reflect summer 2018.

Saturday, July 21 Morning depature from NY Area airport.  Afternoon arrival on Roatan. Transfer to Anthony's Key Resort (AKR), orientation to AKR. Unpack, settle in and explore AKR grounds.
Sunday, July 22 Breakfast at AKR. Orientation to Roatan Institute of Marine Sciences (RIMS). Morning reef snorkle & introduction to marine environment of the Roatan.  First Dolphin Swim. Lunch at AKR. Afternoon Dolphin lecture. Introduction to conducting behavioral research. Dinner at AKR.
Monday, July 23 Early morning Dolphin behavior study. Breakfast at AKR. Morning Fish Survey Technique Lecture. Bus to Maya Key.  Roving Fish Survey Snorkel. Picnic lunch at Osgood Key Beach.  Afternoon visit to Mayan Cultural Center. Return bus to RIMS. Late afternoon dolphin behavior study.  Dinner at AKR.
Tuesday, July 24 Early morning Dolphin Husbandry Session. Breakfast at AKR.Roving Fish Survey Snorkel. Lunch at AKR. Dolphin Behavior Study. Dinner at AKR.
Wed. July 25 Early morning Dolphin behavior study. Breakfast at AKR. Morning Roving Fish Survery Snorkel. Lunch at AKR. Afternoon Dolphin Lecture & Reef Snorkel. BBQ Fiesta on the Key.
Thursday, July 26 Early morning Dolphin behavior study. Breakfast at AKR. Mangrove lecture. Man-o-War Key Mangrove root snorkel. Lunch on Anthony's Key. Afternoon lecture on coral reef threats and reef snorkel.  Night Dive lecture and night dive/snorkel. Dinner at AKR.
Friday, July 27 Breakfast at AKR.  All day bus trip.  Tour of Arboretum & Hydrophonic Gardens, Oakridge Dory Ride along coast through mangroves. Lunch at Oakridge Key. Shopping for souvenirs. Dinner at AKR.
Saturday, July 28 Early morning Dolphin behavior study. Breakfast at AKR.  Data analysis session.  Lunch at AKR.  Data analysis session. Late afternoon Dolphin behavior study.  Dinner at AKR.
Sunday, July 29 Early morning Dolphin behavior study. Breakfast at AKR.  Day off.  Dinner at AKR
Monday, July 30 Breakfast at AKR.  Bus to Maya Key. Nurse Shark snorkel. Lunch at Maya Key. West End shopping trip. Early dinner at AKR. 
Tuesday, July 31 Early morning Dolphin behavior study. Breakfast at AKR.  Reef Snorkel. Lunch at AKR. Lecture on Sea Turtles. Dolphin Training Session. Dolphin Behavior Study.  Dinner at AKR.  Excursion to Half Moon Bay to watch fireworks.
Wed., Aug. 1 Early morning Dolphin behavior study. Breakfast at AKR.  Roving Fish Survey Snorkel. Lunch at AKR.  Lecture on Dolphin Husbandry. Dolphin behavior study. BBQ Fiesta on the Key.
Thursday, Aug. 2 Early morning Dolphin behavior study. Breakfast at AKR.  Reef Snorkel.  Lunch at AKR.  Free time.  Data analysis and Interpretation. Late afternoon Horseback Riding (optional). Dinner at AKR.
Friday, Aug. 3 Early morning Dolphin behavior study. Breakfast at AKR.  Reef Snorkel. Lunch at AKR Data analysis and interpretation.  Reef Snorkel. Late afternoon group discussion of reef fish assemblage and dolphin research projects. Dinner at AKR.
Saturday, Aug. 4 Bailey's Key: Say goodbye to dolphins! Breakfast at AKR. Departure for airport. Return to US.

Housing and Meals
Students will be housed and all meals will be provided by Anthony's Key Resort (AKR).

Program Costs(Budget Sheet)
The cost information (with details of included and additional costs) can be found by clicking the link below.

Payment Dates
  • December 2nd:   $250 deposit due
  • January 15th:     Program Balance due

Financial Aid
Students currently receiving financial aid can use their aid for overseas study, and may, in some cases, have their awards increased. Students not currently receiving financial aid may be eligible. Contact the Financial Aid office (206 Culkin) for information.

Course Enrollment & Requirements
The study visit is a required component of the 3 credit "BIO 394: Marine Wildlife Ecology - Honduras" course. The course is taught online during Q4 and a course syllabus will be provided with course requirements.
Updated: 10/1/2018