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May, Summer Classes Explore Coral Reefs and Border Literature 

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – MARCH 17, 2014 – Students at The University of Texas at Brownsville can enroll in two courses this summer aimed at broadening knowledge through lessons learned from different nations.

Department of Biological Sciences

UTB biology students will travel to the Calabash Caye Field Station in Belize for Coral Reef Ecology during the Maymester.

Students can take Coral Reef Ecology during May semester from Monday, May 12 to Friday, May 30. The course will be a combination of lectures, laboratory work and field studies.

“Emphasis is placed on directed, field-oriented individual research projects as a means of examining the morphology, evolutionary patterns and ecological importance of coral reefs,” said Dr. David Hicks, Ass​ociate Professor and Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences.

More than a week of the course will be spent at the Calabash Caye Field Station managed by the University of Belize’s Environmental Research Institute in Belomopan, Belize. The facility is Belize’s first nationally owned and managed marine research facility.

“Calabash Caye is one of 200 islands (cayes) surrounding the Turneffe Atoll, each covered with mangroves and having lagoons, creeks and expansive flats,” said Hicks. “The Atoll is 30 miles long and 10 miles wide and 20 miles offshore of the Belizean mainland. The Atoll was officially declared a marine reserve on May 1, 2013. There are over 200 cayes within the reef which are all covered with mangroves. Turneffe features spectacular snorkeling and diving.”

This marks the first time the department has held a class in Belize.

Oscar Casares will teach Border Narratives during the first summer session at UTB.

“For several years we went to Isla Lobos off Veracruz, Mexico as part of my Coastal Ecology class, but as we can no longer go there we have been looking for an alternative location,” said Hicks. “A colleague from Lamar University recommended Calabash Caye.”

For more information on the course, contact the Department of Biological Sciences at 956-882-5040 or raquel.vasquez@utb.edu.

Department of English

Students can sign up for Border Narratives taught by Oscar Casares, a Brownsville native and Associate Professor in the Department of English at The University of Texas at Austin. The class will be taught at UTB during the first summer session from Monday, June 2 to Wednesday, July 9.

The course will examine U.S.-Mexico relationships through essays, both written by students and in works such as “The Devil’s Highway: A True Story” by Luis Alberto Urrea and “The Labyrinth of Solitude” by Octavio Paz. Class enrollment is capped at 20 students.

Casares taught a creative writing course during summer 2013 at UTB.

Casares received an associate degree in 1984 from Texas Southmost College. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in advertising in 1987 at The University of Texas at Austin. Casares received a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing in 2001 from the University of Iowa.

His first literary work, “Brownsville,” released in 2003 was named a Notable Book of 2004 by the American Library Association. His first fiction work, “Amigoland,” published in 2009 was named a City of Austin Mayor’s Book Club Selection for 2010.

For more information on the course, contact the Department of English at 956-882-8239 or anavelia.wilson@utb.edu.

Registration

Currently enrolled or future students can visit the Enrollment Center @ The Tower at Main to register for classes, talk to an academic advisor, make payments and do other tasks.

There are important dates for students to take note of for May semester:

  • Registration is from Tuesday, April 1 to Wednesday, April 30.
  • The registration payment deadline is Tuesday, May 6.
  • The first day of class is Monday, May 12 and the last class day is Friday, May 30.
  • Grades will be available on UTB Online on Sunday, June 1.

Students can also sign up for Long Summer 2014:

  • Registration is from Tuesday, April 1 to Wednesday,April 30.
  • The registration payment deadline is Tuesday, May 6.
  • The first class day is Monday, May 12 and the last class day is Monday, Aug. 18.
  • Grades will be available on UTB Online on Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Students can take classes during Summer I:

  • Registration is from Tuesday, April 1 to Wednesday,May 21.
  • The registration payment deadline is Friday, May 23.
  • The first class day is Monday, June 2 and the last class day is Tuesday, July 8.
  • Grades will be available on UTB Online on Friday, July 11.

Students can also take part in Summer Session II:

  • Registration is from Tuesday, April 1 to Sunday,June 29.
  • The registration payment deadline is Wednesday, July 2.
  • The first class day is Thursday, July 10 and the session ends Friday, Aug. 15.
  • Grades will be available on UTB Online on Wednesday, Aug. 20.

The undergraduate summer graduation application deadline is Wednesday, Nov. 1.

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