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   The ITME Field Station (2002 - 2009)
 
ITME HQ & Field Station       N 15  21.948'    W 61  23.842'   (+/- 5 m)
 
Location
ITME's field station and teaching center was on the west coast of Dominica, 10 km to the North of the capital Roseau. Perched on the heights of Mahaut, which are also known as Belfast, the school overlooks a picturesque bay opening into the Caribbean Sea. Mahaut is a bustling village full of contrasts. While the school was surrounded by a quiet residential area, the coastal road is lined by a vibrant fishing community. The field station was a perfect base of operations for field work throughout Dominica, conveniently situated near the main cross-insular roads that connect the western and eastern side of the island.
 
Features
The facilities included a lecture rooms (2), lab space, computer room / reference collection, office space, student union/cafeteria, and dorm-style accommodations for 25 persons. Efficiency units (1-2 bedroom apartments) are also available for small research teams.

            

            

               
Balconies and terraces offered quiet space for reflection or studying. Meal plans are provided during the semester and summer programs and on demand for visiting groups and researchers. ITME provided transportation to and from research sites around Dominica. Internet services (wifi and ethernet terminals) were available.
     
 
Life at the Field Station
The station operated like a mini-campus. Faculty and most of the teaching staff lived on site and partake in the day-to-day operations of the station. Academic work is arranged in alternating days of lectures and field labs, from Monday through Saturday. Full immersion into the scholastic challenges, as well as a strong commitment to communal living arrangements were expected from every participant.
   
Students had access to a tennis court, a soccer and cricket field, and a basketball court at the DCP sports facility. The bus stop is only a 5 minutes walk from the station and adjacent to the nearest beach. The capital Roseau can be reached in 20 minutes, most other destinations on the island within one hour by bus.
GREEN CAMPUS: ITME's operations and services were designed and implemented with the intent to support local farmers and fishermen, and to minimize the station's negative environmental impacts and its "carbon footprint".
 
The ITME Fleet

ITME T1
excursion truck
7-10 passengers

ITME T2
tour mini bus
10-14 passengers

ITME T3
expedition truck
17-20 passengers
The ITME Field Station (2000 - 2001) at the Springfield Plantation

  
  
   The Setting for ITME's Academic Programs
 

Dominica's western shore faces the Caribbean Sea and harbor beautiful fishing villages. The eastern shoreline is more rugged, facing the Atlantic Ocean with its direct impact of the Trade Winds.

  
  

The island's volcanic nature is also reflected in its submarine topography. Coral reefs are nestled along the edges of steep slopes, and underwater sulfurous springs can be found a few meters from shore.

  
  
  

ITME faculty and students are currently focusing their attention on the documentation of flora and fauna of Dominica's coral reefs. This work includes, but is not limited to, detailed inventories of benthic invertebrates, the study of reef community structure, and year-round observations on coral diseases and mortality.

  
  
  
   Commonwealth of Dominica ...Caribbean's last wilderness.
 

Dominica is among the youngest volcanic islands of the Lesser Antilles. It first emerged from the sea some 26 million years ago and has been sculpted by the elements to its current beauty. The Caribe Indians, whose ancestors were among the first settlers of the island, call it Waitukubuli, meaning "tall is her body." High peaks are covered by montane and elfin vegetation, while primary rain forest and an abundance of clean and often cascading rivers characterize slopes right down to the sea. This is home for several endemic species like the Sisserou Parrot depicted in Dominica's code of arms.

The spectacular scenery on land is paralleled in the ocean where coral reefs line steep drop-offs, making Dominica a renowned destination for divers and nature lovers around the world. Whales also visit these deep blue waters and can often be seen from shore.



Dominica's volcanos have been silent for the past 1000 years, but sulfur springs above and below the sea, and The Boiling Lake are signs of its connection to volcanic hot spots deep under the ocean floor.

All of this and more was explored by students and staff in the course of the ITME project. The field station, located on the West coast, served as base of operations for field research and excursions carried out throughout the island.

Dominica's 70,000 inhabitants enjoy all the amenities of modern living, yet a calm pace drives daily life. The colorful agro-industry of this tropical "treasure island" strongly influences the pulse of the local community and ranks it among the friendliest in the Caribbean.

Dominica, located between Guadeloupe to its north and Martinique to its south, is easily reached from the USA and Europe. Daily flights via San Juan, Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados or Guadeloupe provide a variety of choices for travel to and from Dominica.

 
   Commonwealth of Dominica ...in the heart of the Eastern Caribbean
 
LOCATION: Eastern Caribbean. (1,400 mi from Miami, FL)
LAND AREA: 750 km2  TOPOGRAPHY: very mountainous
POPULATION:
71,200 in 2001  
MAJOR CITIES & TOWNS:
Roseau (capital), Portsmouth
NATURAL ATTRACTIONS: secludede beaches, coral reefs, dolphins and whales, rain forests, water falls, endemic species,
sulfur springs, boiling lake,
   Dominica Topography Map by Dr. Ian C.F.Stewart at stewgeop@senet.com.au
 
   
ITME Inc.©1999-2017 Institute for Tropical Marine Ecology ITME Inc., P.O. Box 36, Roseau, Commonwealth of Dominica