South Andros Nature Discovery (SAND) Center, Inc.
To encourage environmental awareness and sustainability we offer our property as a field station to students, scientists & researchers promoting conservation efforts. We’re members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations and the Reef Rescue Network through the Perry Institute for Marine Science. SAND is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and greatly appreciates your support to fund our projects.
South Andros Island is known as the Nature Island of the Bahamas and has approximately 80% of its land designated as a nature preserve including the entire west side. Its rich and unique ecosystem offers an extensive range of biodiversity and an amazing opportunity for study abroad programs as well as scientific study and research. The SAND Center is ideally situated near the world’s 3rd largest barrier coral reef, some of the world’s only tidal freshwater blue holes, pristine mangrove habitats and marine nurseries, all types of Bahamian forest/coppice and the South Andros High School agricultural campus.
In 1995, The Nature Conservancy identified Andros Island as a regionally important conservation priority both for its freshwater resources and the dry broadleaf evergreen forests found in the central and southern part of the island. Protecting these forests will also help protect a number of threatened bird species, as well as the Andros Rock Iguana and the Black Crab, all of which rely on these forests for food and habitat.
Study Abroad Opportunities
Since 2008, we have hosted more than 200 students and researchers from The University of Vermont Rubenstein School, Tufts University, Susquehanna University, Christopher Newport University, Lesley University, Rock Point High School and other organizations. Academic focus areas have included: Socially Engaged Ecological Design, Service Learning in Sustainable Agriculture, Marine Biology, Nature Photography, Underwater Cinematography, Business Ethics, Healing and the Mind, Library Science, Social Entrepreneurship, Bee Keeping & Marine Ecology.
Accompanied by an expert in the field and in cooperation with South Andros Island schools, teachers and residents, students and faculty have enjoyed and benefitted from these unique academic opportunities and cultural exchanges. The most tangible highlight of these efforts has been the development of an ecological agricultural program and campus through a partnership between the University of Vermont (UVM) and South Andros High School. Through these efforts, local students and faculty proudly offer a variety of vegetables, fruits, poultry, honey and more for distribution within the community. Courses offered in the school now incorporate hands-on experience and valuable training for further academic and employment opportunities beyond graduation.
We have coral nurseries at ABC Reef and the Donut Blue Hole in collaboration with the Perry Institute. Join our conservation effort by maintaining the coral nurseries and visiting during out-planting weekends when we transplant new corals onto nearby reefs!
Photos provided by Danny Holman – UVM Study Abroad 2020 program.