CCMI’s 3-day Marine Ecology Courses are open to both primary and secondary schools in the Cayman Islands. The team at CCMI tailor course content to compliment the curriculum and make the most of the student’s time with CCMI. The course introduces students to tropical marine biology, ecology and conservation at one of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs. CCMI’s aim is to change students’ attitudes and behaviors about the ocean whilst having fun exploring Little Cayman. Activities typically include snorkeling, species identification, beach cleanup, field trip to the National Trust Booby Pond, guided iguana tour, lionfish dissections and a range of interactive classes.
“I’m always impressed with the level of engagement of students at all learning levels and the way the presenters improve the content and activities each year.”
Karlene Buckle, Cayman Prep Grade 6 Teacher, Cayman Islands
“The activities were varied, and covered many of our curriculum outcomes. The variety of unique research opportunities was excellent.”
James McGill, St Ignatius Grade 12 Teacher, Cayman Islands
“I had so much fun snorkeling and learning about the reef. I can’t wait to come back to CCMI again someday soon!”
Trevon F., Year 6, George Town Primary School 2018, Cayman Islands
“It was fun being with my classmates, learning about marine life and how we can protect it.”
Kai R.,Year 6, West End Primary School 2018, Cayman Islands
CI $375 per student
CI $250 per instructor
CCMI provides scholarship opportunities for government school groups in the Cayman Islands. To become a sponsor please click HERE.
For more information about the Marine Ecology Course, contact CCMI’s education team directly via email.
Edmund F. & Virginia B. Ball Caribbean Marine Ecology Camp
Programme Dates: 4th – 10th August 2020
* Please note: due to travel restrictions to the Cayman Islands, the 2020 CMEC session is for local residents of the Cayman Islands ONLY.
Tentative Second Session (if first session capacity is filled): 12th – 18th August 2020
Spend a week scuba diving and snorkeling at one of the world’s most stunning coral reefs. High school students (13-17 years old) will learn about tropical marine ecology and conservation in our interactive programme where no day will be the same! Students will benefit from lessons and frequent interaction with experts in marine ecology including researchers and resident graduate students. Divers and non-divers are accepted into the programme.
What students will gain from the experience
Camp activities include building underwater robots, lionfish cook-offs, underwater fish and coral ID classes, UV night dive, island-wide scavenger hunts, beach bonfires and so much more! For returning students, we will build on their experience from the previous year, using underwater robots to and use their fish identification skills to conduct a fish survey, for example.
“My favorite experiences each year during CCMI’s camp is getting to swim with the incredible animals and fish in the sea. This year we saw lots of eagle rays and even got to watch a relationship called ‘nuclear hunting’ which is when other fish join the ray to eat leftover food it’s done with while swimming alongside it.”
Anna Symens – United States of America (CMEC 2017, 2018, 2019)
“I really enjoyed the whole week of diving and conducting research, but one of my favorite things thoughout the week was going out and planting staghorn coral on the reef. I know this kind of restoration will be a great benefit to the our local economy in a few years time and I just can’t wait to come back to CCMI in the future to see how the outplanted corals are doing. I hope to leave Cayman to get a higher education so that I can come back and do more diving and research on all of our corals and help cull the lionfish.”
Jesse Jackson – Cayman Islands (CMEC 2015, 2016, 2017)
“Aside from the great knowledge I gained by attending CCMI’s week long CMEC, I also gained unforgettable experiences from the warm-hearted staff, who felt like more than just instructors…they are really cool role models and definitely now my friends to say the least!”
Jacob Whewell – Cayman Islands ( CMEC 2017)
“Thank you once again for another great reef study experience for our daughter, Amanda.”
Karen Weissman – USA (Mother of CMEC 2018 & 2019 Camper)
Caribbean Marine Ecology Camp is Sponsored by The Edmund F. & Virginia B. Ball Foundation
Need Based Scholarship Information
applications due 1st June 2020
Applications are currently open for five fully funded need-based scholarships from the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation in support of the Central Caribbean Marine Institute’s (CCMI) Caribbean Marine Ecology Camp (CMEC), running from 4th – 10th August 2020.
The scholarship application is available HERE. Priority for scholarship awards will be given to students enrolled in government schools. Please submit the completed application form, including the short essay, to email@example.com. The deadline to apply for one of these scholarships is 1st June 2020.
Due to travel restrictions to the Cayman Islands, the 2020 CMEC session is for local residents of the Cayman Islands ONLY. A deposit of US $500 is required at the time of booking to secure placement in the programme. If domestic travel is still not open at the time of the course, a full refund will be issued (excluding any bank charges).
For more information about the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Caribbean Marine Ecology Camp, contact CCMI’s education team directly via email.
Young Environmentalist Leadership Course
CCMI’s Young Environmentalist Leadership Course (YELC) provides an opportunity for 10 local students to continue their educational pathway in the marine sciences. Over the course of the spring, summer and fall semesters, YELC participants complete their PADI Open Water, Advanced, and Rescue Diver certifications and they attend a nine-day intensive, hands-on experience with our education and research staff at the Little Cayman Research Centre. Students work on field projects, learn to use instruments and equipment to broaden their horizons and experiences that can be used in the workplace. Students also take part in night dives, lionfish dissections, CV workshops, mock job interviews and assist with CCMI’s ongoing research.
This programme works to build skilled and enthusiastic environmental ambassadors. Students are exposed to the breadth of opportunities in the marine industry and as a result, make important connections for employment and internships. Local businesses that are involved in the programme include Go Pro Diving, DiveTech, Cayman Eco Divers Foundation, The Blue Iguana Recovery Programme, The National Trust of the Cayman Islands, Shark Conservation Cayman, Plastic Free Cayman, Red Sail Sports, Ocean Frontiers, ProYacht, Spinion, Cayman Kayaks and government agencies include the Cayman Islands Department of Environment, John Gray High School, Clifton Hunter High School, the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) and the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre (CIFEC). The YELC programme bridges an important gap for local students that do not have access to post-school education in the Cayman Islands, breaking down financial and educational barriers.
“I would say the programme actually put me on a career path… it really opened my eyes to what I wanted to do in the future.”
Tyler Watler – YELC 2015
“This programme has given me so many networking opportunities for my future in watersports in Cayman. Everyone should apply for this programme and take advantage of the awesome opportunity that CCMI is offering. It allows people like me who grow up on an island to experience the underwater world.”
Uton Whittaker – YELC 2018
“This is a programme that all young Caymanians should apply to because it is a great opportunity for us to receive training in diving up to rescue divers and master divers. It’s a lot of work having to meet every weekend, but it’s worth it.”
Storm McLean – YELC 2018
“Amazing experience which taught me about marine conservation and research.”
Martina Burton – YELC Assistant 2019 (YELC 2018 Participant)
YELC is supported by Foster’s Food Fair IGA, Go Pro Cayman and Cayman National Bank.