Students will experience first-hand the cultural and natural beauty of the United States Virgin Islands. They will explore surrounding coral reefs, mangroves and the spectacular 7000 plus acre Virgin Island National Park that encompasses more than half of the islands of St. John. Students will learn more about connectivity and balance between human land use and the rich terrestrial and coastal habitats found on islands. Threats to these habitats and ongoing efforts to mitigate these threats will be discussed. Biology field techniques will be taught and used to conduct diversity surveys for selected habitats on the islands. In addition to gaining an appreciation for the natural beauty of the US Virgin Islands, students will visit historic sites pre-dating the arrival of Columbus to the New World, providing a cultural framework for the modern identity of the US Territory.