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Explore the Red Sea's Coral Reefs in Israel

  • Details and Cost

    About the Program

    Coral reefs of the world are at the brink of collapse and only 10% are expected to survive past mid-century! This program will explore the causes of this global decimation and analyze potential approaches to conserve what remains of this critically important ecosystem. While based at an advanced research facility in Eilat, Israel on the shores of the Gulf of Aqaba, students will study the Gulf’s resilient reefs in the field and in the laboratory. The Gulf's unique reefs are part of one of the few major reef ecosystems expected to survive the coming decades. The course location allows for daily snorkeling to study reefs right off the beach of the research facility and offers opportunities to interact with international faculty and students.

    Location Eilat, Israel
    Program Type Faculty-Led Program, Internship/Experiential Learning
    Program Term Summer
    Program Dates


    Language of Instruction English
    Budget Available upon request
    Living Arrangements Students stay in dormitory-style accommodations on site at the research facility (InterUniversity Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat, Israel).
    Additional Information Faculty-Led study abroad programs may require group travel. Please reach out to your IAP Coordinator prior to making any travel arrangements.
    Program Housing Statement: Stony Brook University is required to comply with the housing policies of the host country, partner institution and/or hotel/hostel. These policies may include requirements such as sex-based housing placement.


    GPA 3.0
    Other Requirements

    Pre-requisites: undergraduate and graduate students who have previously taken an undergraduate course in biology and have an understanding of photosynthesis.This program will include a lot of activity at sea and is not recommended for students who do not swim well. 

    Application Deadline Not accepting applications for Summer 2023
  • Academic Information

    Course Information

    *Participants will earn 3 graduate level credits in MAR 604 (Coral Biology and Conservation) 

    This is an intensive 11-day course taught in the waters of the Gulf of Aqaba. Program will include lectures, field work, research, journal clubs, laboratory learning, and instructor-led tours. Students will learn alongside Israeli and Jordanian university students, generating cross-cultural learning and collaboration. 

    Course focus areas:

    1- Coral biology and how it underpins the ongoing degradation of the world's coral reefs and methods to conserve them. Study of the symbiosis between coral and their resident algae, which lies at the center of coral reef ecosystems, and the responses of the symbiosis under conditions of stress. Special emphasis will be given to environmental changes and their impact on the physiology of the coral under chronic and acute stress conditions.

    2- Existing and emerging strategies for coral conservation and the policy considerations that must be incorporated into regional approaches to reef conservation. Geopolitical and economic challenges that can affect coral research and conservation will be highlighted, as will the modern technologies that are increasingly used for coral reef protection.

    Academic Policies

    • Credits earned on this program will calculate toward a student's GPA at Stony Brook University. Non-SBU students are advised to check their home university policy on grade and credit transfer.
    • Students following the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC) may request for GLO and EXP+ in addition to requirements fulfilled by their coursework.

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