Detailed information about the course

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Florida Field Trip (with ESPP)


Juin 2023


Dre Silvia Spezzaferri, UNIFR


Prof. Daniela Basso, University of Milano Prof. Gregor Eberli, University of Miami Dre Chiara Pisapia, Hong Kong University of Technology Prof. Michael Martinez-Colon, Florida A&M University Prof. Peter Swart, University of Miami


Application for 8 students to join the ESPP organised field trip to Florida. A fundamental part of the course activity will be at the Key Marine Laboratory (KML), managed by the Florida Institute of Oceanography and the Keys Marine Laboratory, will be held in Layton, Florida Bay ( The KML will provide accommodation, laboratory facilities and boats for excursions. The aim of the course is to provide the participants with a practical and theoretical overview on some relevant aspects on of one of the richest and more interesting tropical marine ecosystems in the world: the coral reefs. The students will learn the basic methodologies of reef research, benthic habitat will be surveyed by snorkeling and diving to identify and describe all elements characterizing the substrate. The fossil reef environment counterparts will be the focus of one-day excursion guided by Gregor Eberli, representing a unique opportunity to compare the modern environment investigated in the first part of the course to their Quaternary counterparts in outcrops, displaying partly the same biotic composition. Sites to be visited include the Islamorada (Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park; In addition, we will visit other depositional environments of the Florida Bays known to display facies often used as analogues for the ancient carbonate platforms. We also plan to visit the cores collected during the Bahamas Drilling Project consisting mostly of Cenozoic carbonates. The core presentation will be led by Peter Swart, who published fundamental work on this material, in particular on diagenesis and its impact on geochemical proxies. As done in a previous CUSO course we will follow the approach Training Through Research and if the obtained results will be representative, we will potentially submit manuscript for publications and abstracts to national and International Conferences as done for the CUSO Maldives course in 2018. Finally, the CUSO course will also benefit from additional funding from Swiss National Science Foundation, as part of the project RESILIENCE (Ref. 200020_201106), which aims to assess the magnitude and frequency of interglacial periods characterized by abnormally high temperatures that may have caused coral bleaching in the past. Four of the teachers of the proposed CUSO course are partners of the SNSF project, which will cover their travel costs and some additional items like such as rental of a van in the Florida Keys (see budget)


Key Marine Laboratory (KML), Florida Keys, FL, USA



Deadline for registration 28.02.2023
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