Jeep outside The School for Field Studies on South Caicos The School for Field Studies, located in what was once the Admiral's Arms hotel.
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The School for Field Studies

West Street, South Caicos
Lab at The School for Field Studies
The South Caicos Coral Reef Consortium lab at The School for Field Studies.

The School for Field Studies is a globally recognized institution offering immersive academic programs focused on environmental research and conservation. SFS aims to develop future leaders in environmental sustainability, providing students with hands-on field experiences combining scientific research, cultural immersion, and community engagement.

One of SFS's key features is its emphasis on experiential learning. Students conduct fieldwork in diverse ecosystems, from tropical rainforests to marine environments, gaining skills in data collection, analysis, and interpretation. This approach deepens their understanding of environmental issues and fosters critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

SFS programs are interdisciplinary, integrating ecology, conservation biology, anthropology, and environmental policy. This holistic approach enables students to explore environmental challenges from multiple perspectives, preparing them to address real-world issues comprehensively.

Above: The School for Field Studies is located at Cockburn Harbour on South Caicos. Photo by Anna Chahuneau.   Top right:  Top left:  Fragmented corals growing in the South Caicos Coral Reef Consortium lab at the school.   Bottom right:  Top right:  Anchoring coral to a ceramic base. Rescue coral is fragmented into small pieces, adhered to ceramic bases, and then grown in tanks. Once sufficient size is achieved, they are attached to a solid substrate in the wild.  
Event at The School for Field Studies
The center often hosts outreach events for the community and schools. Photo by Anna Chahuneau.

The SFS student experience emphasizes community-based learning. Students work with SFS faculty and collaborate with local communities on research projects and initiatives promoting a participatory approach to conservation. This engagement enriches their academic experience and fosters cross-cultural understanding.

In addition to fieldwork and community engagement, SFS programs include classroom lectures and discussions led by experienced faculty members. These faculty members are experts in their fields and passionate educators who inspire and mentor students throughout their journey.

Overall, the School for Field Studies offers a unique educational experience combining rigorous academic study with real-world application, cultural immersion, and environmental stewardship. Through its programs and commitment to experiential learning, SFS empowers students to become informed, engaged, and effective leaders in global environmental stewardship efforts.

On South Caicos, SFS works closely with stakeholders to address relevant sustainability issues. As part of the South Caicos Coral Reef Consortium, they have initiated both field and laboratory based coral projects to promote restoration and health reef. Visit the center on South Caicos, or read about their projects in the local magazine Times of the Islands, in the green pages. Prior to visiting, please contact to ensure availability.

The Kersteiner House and The Admiral’s Arms

Two cannons at Anna Chahuneau
Cannons in the courtyard overlooking the harbor.

The School for Field Studies is located in what was once one of the first hotels in the Turks and Caicos. The property, located on the southern side of Cockburn Harbour, was originally the home of Emily Ann Stubbs Kersteiner, who owned large tracts of land, salt salinas, and several businesses on the island, and who was also a descendent of the Stubbs family, of Wade's Green Plantation and Cheshire Hall Plantation notoriety.

After the death of Emily Kersteiner in 1956, in the early 1960s the Kersteiner House was leased by Caicos Holdings, a development company, and the property was converted into the Admiral’s Arms hotel. The site was expanded and improved, including the addition of a swimming pool. This was likely the first hotel in the country that was primarily intended for tourism, as historically the limited available lodging in the islands was simple room letting or boarding rooms.

The School for Field Studies offers an impressive view to the south and west. The property is perched on a ridge above Big Cut, which is the channel that separates South Caicos from the scenic Long Cay. Dove Cay is nearby, and on the horizon to the west is Middleton Cay and Six Hills Cays. Fronting Dove Cay is The Lion, a natural rock formation that is reminiscent of a sitting lion when viewed from the right angle.

Above: Management of invasive lionfish. Students have the opportunity to participate in a number of field activities. Photo by Anna Chahuneau.   Top right:  Top left:  The Lion formation on Dove Cay.   Bottom right:  Top right:  The center offers incredible views over the southern Caicos Banks. Photo by Anna Chahuneau.  
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