Take A Summer Expedition To The Magical Island Of Tahiti

Imagine swimming in coral barrier reefs with sharks, exotic fish, and other underwater sea creatures for 12 days in Tahiti. Well, it is extremely possible for one to fulfill that dream this summer by attending the "Natural History of the Marine Biology of Tahiti" with Santa Monica College Biology Professor Ed Tarvyd.
"Tahiti just has that magical name that makes people learn and have a good time," said Tarvyd about the trip to this phenomenal destination.
This class fulfills a two-units requirement from SMC over the course of 12 days from Aug. 12 to Aug. 24. The course is titled Biology 45B, and the number of open spots available for the trip varies from year to year.
"I think one year we took nearly 50 students! This year, so far we are up to about 23, I think," said Tarvyd.
The demand for this excursion is high, but it is an opportunity to truly learn about marine biology on a personal level. Most of the learning that will take place is hands-on as opposed to sitting in a classroom. Professor Tarvyd will typically lecture for one hour every evening and then the class will venture off to a remote location to interact with various forms of salt water inhabitants.
Tarvyd has been teaching marine biology and zoology since the mid- 1970s and shares a passion for spreading knowledge to as many people as possible. This Tahiti trip will include individuals of all ages.
"I believe the oldest person we have had on one of my trips is 88 years old," said Tarvyd about his former student.
Each student is required to maintain a daily journal for the entire trip, where they log events which occurred each day. When the class returns to the mainland they turn in their journals which are graded by Tarvyd.
"I must say that I'm pretty lenient with the grading. I really just want people to enjoy the experience of Tahiti," he said.
Students will have the opportunity to swim with black tip sharks and various poisonous fish, yet Tarvyd assures everyone that everything about the class is extremely safe.
Everyone will fly out of LAX on Aug. 12, and land at Papeete. Students are required to have a passport in order to participate. In addition, attendees will be able to experience other islands such as Bora Bora and participate in a snorkel excursion around the island.
"Many people don't know this but Tahitians like Americans and despise the French! This trip has had such a profound impact on everyone who has been courageous enough to attend," assured Tarvyd.
One of the class's meetings was this past Saturday, but there will be second meeting on June 25 from 9 a.m. to noon. This meeting will cover what students are required to bring and will set the final agenda.
For more information please visit the SMC website or contact the Admissions office at the main campus.

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