Academics

Marine Ecology Field Trips

During the 10-day trip, students have the opportunity to experience Jamaica through various field studies. The students may visit the following locations: 

Ocho Rios
Only 30 miles from Discovery Bay, Ocho Rios is a tourist town only second to Montego Bay in the Jamaican tourism industry. This once sleepy fishing village is now alive with tourists looking for the perfect spot to scuba, sun and shop.  It also hosts the annual Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. Ocho Rios is a popular spot for cruise ships to stop and is considered the one of safest areas for tourists in Jamaica. There are a number of good restaurants and resorts including Margaritaville, the Jamaica Inn and the Royal Plantation.  As a treat for all their hard work, students will have the opportunity to browse air-conditioned stores and open-air craft markets while keeping cool with a mango or pineapple ice cream cone.
Ocho Rios
Dunns River Falls Dunns River Falls
One of Ocho Rios' most popular activities includes climbing Dunns River Falls, famous for its natural beauty and being featured in several major motion pictures including the James Bond film Dr. No.  Making a human chain by holding hands, students will climb 600 feet of rock terraces. You don't have to be athletic to enjoy the climb as you splash your way up the falls, also known as "Las Chorreras." Although the town's name means "eight rivers," there are only four rivers (Cave River, Roaring River, Turtle River and Dunns River) that lead in to the falls which empties in the Caribbean Sea. You can climb as many times as you want or simply watch the other students see how many laps they can make.
Shaw Park Gardens
Situated on a steep, sloping hillside above Ocho Rios, the Shaw Park Property covers about 600 acres of one of the world's finest botanical gardens. Once owned by John Shaw, a prominent St. Ann resident, and used to produce sugar cane and oranges, the property went through many changes. After its agricultural beginnings, the Shaw Park estate was bought by Sir John McKenzie Pringle, who passed it on to his daughter Flora. The Shaw Park Great House was transformed to the Shaw Park Hotel, which, in its time, was an exclusive resort with its own ice factory and hydroelectric station. Later, Flora McKenzie Pringle Stuart established the gardens, and now students will be able to view many species of hibiscus and orchids. They may even catch a hummingbird or Jamaica's national bird, the Doctor Bird, perched amongst the flowers and waterfalls.
Shaw Park Gardens
Fern Gully Fern Gully
Once a river bed, now you can drive along a three-mile stretch of Highway A3 to see over 400 species of ferns. In a surreal setting, students will find themselves surrounded by ferns that blanket the road. At the most dense section of ferns, the sun is blocked by the huge plants.
Green Grotto Caves
Located between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, the caves have been hiding places for many people including pirates and the Spanish governor avoiding the British. Situated on 25.9 hectares of the island's beautiful North Coast, the caves feature a large complex limestone cave with numerous rock formations including stalactites, stalagmites and overhead ceiling pockets. The Green Grotto Caves are 1,525 m long and 12 m deep and are distinguished by many chambers, light holes and a subterranean lake - the Grotto Lake.
Green Grotto Caves
Seville Great House Seville Great House
Symbolic of the English period, when it was then known as Maima/Seville, the Seville Great House and Estate will show students how a plantation was run in colonial Jamaica. After the British captured Jamaica in 1655 from the Spanish, it was divided up and the land was given to victorious officers and other soldiers. Captain Hemmings, an officer of the army, was one of the recipients of the land, thus becoming the Seville Estate. In 1755, Hemming's grandson built the Great House, but it was damaged by a hurricane in the late 1800s. The house as students will see it is a one story home with mahogany doors and arches, a veranda, a projected entrance portico, a cedar-shingled roof and aluminum gutters. The Seville Great House and Estate also houses the remains and reconstructions of various buildings that would have been part of a plantation including the overseer's house, slave huts, coach house, gardens, well and church.