Tucked away on the eastern shore of Andros Island in Blanket Sound sits Forfar Field Station, International Field Studies most popular field study program. Whether you are seeking education in marine biology, island ecology, geology, or island culture, Forfar Field Station is well-equipped to provide you with an unforgettable educational experience!
Forfar Field Station provides easy access to many amazing sites. Not only does it neighbor the highest concentration of blue holes in the world, but it is also in close proximity to the 3rd largest fringing barrier reef in the world (less than 1 mile from our beach!) Hop aboard one of our boats to explore the shore of Forfar Field Station where you’ll find the world-renowned Tongue of the Ocean, a deep oceanic trench that provides fantastic underwater destinations and exploration. Study of coral reefs, mangroves, sand flats, intertidal biomes, blue holes, island vegetation, and local settlements are all part of the Forfar experience, and provide exceptional field study opportunities.
The classroom at Forfar sits just along the shore where students put their knowledge to the test with experiential learning. Most groups plan evening educational presentations in our classroom. Some leaders choose to lead their own presentations, some combine with what the Forfar staff offers, and others rely on the Forfar staff exclusively. The diverse staff offers several lectures, activities, and labs. All lectures and excursions can be found in our Sites and Sights Guide. Some standard lectures include:
Blue Holes, Geology, Terrestrial Plant Ecosystems, Introduction to Botany, Coral Reef Sustainability, Coral Reef ID, Sustainable Fisheries, Reef Fish ID, Mangroves, Introduction to Birds, Bird ID, Invertebrate Phylum's, Invertebrate ID, and History/ Culture of Andros.
Laboratory lessons are also available. These are good ways to fill rainy days or further examine the sites you visit. Some options are listed below, but don’t hesitate to introduce your own labs. Forfar has lab equipment - call to find out if we have what you need.
Sand and Sediment Analysis, Plankton Tow Lab, Lion Fish Dissection, and Goniolithon Lab (Cryptic Invertebrates)
Forfar Field Station is named after its founder and builder, Archie Forfar. Since its debut, Forfar has served as an educational and field studies resource to thousands of students that range from middle and high school level to graduate students and researchers. Check out our History Page to learn more about Forfar Field Station's past!
Forfar provides rustic cabin-style lodging along the beach. The field station is perfect for hosting student, family, or research groups with its 56 bed capacity divided among 8 cabins. Each cabin has 3-4 sets of bunk beds, electricity, fans, mosquito bug nets, and a private bathroom with shower. The Forfar Lodge houses our Dining Hall, Classroom, Research Lab, and open living area. The Dining Hall is where most meals take place at Forfar. Forfar Field Station also houses an on-site dive shop that provides a full range of diving equipment and an air compressor for refilling tanks.
When groups aren’t out exploring, they can relax with an enjoyable game of beach volleyball, or they can lounge by the beach and watch the waves roll in. The relaxing ocean sounds pair nicely with the field station’s design to make a peaceful learning environment for students.
Pricing varies with each group's trip goals and needs. Be sure to contact the office for an official trip quote and invoice. Trip dates fill up fast so if you have specific dates in mind make sure you contact us promptly to reserve a spot for you and/or your students! Trip reservations are $200 deposits which will be put towards your total trip cost.
$1250 - Group Weekly Rates for Students to visit Forfar Field Station. This includes flights from Nassau to Andros and Andros to Nassau, purchased by IFS. All meals, transportation, lodging, lectures, and lecture-themed excursions listed in our Sites and Sights Guide are included in this price.
$1000 - Chaperones for trips of Group Weekly students to Forfar Field Station. One chaperone is free for every 10 full-priced student participants.
Children visiting the station with student groups follow these pricing rates: ages 0-2 $150, ages 2-11 $400, ages 12+ $1250.
Additional pricing information can be found by contacting the office.
Our Popular North Boat Day Trip:
Rat Cay Blue Hole
Subjects: Fish, Blue Hole's, and Coral
This is our favorite oceanic blue hole with really incredible fish and corals. The hole is surrounded by finger coral that grow up to the low tide line providing shelter for invertebrates like lettuce leaf nudibranchs and lobster.
This site requires a bit of snorkeling skill to keep from damaging the site.
Subjects: Invertebrates, Geology
Saddleback has several different ecosystems including grass beds, mangroves, sand flats, and rocky intertidal areas.
This is a great site to visit during low tide and students will usually go for an invertebrate walk on the west side and snorkeling on the east.
A typical lunch stop for north boat days, but an entire afternoon could be spent here too.
One of many North Island Trip Excursions from Forfar Field Station:
Morgan’s Bluff and Cave
Subjects: History and Culture, Geology
This 65ft bluff is the highest point on Andros. A short walk up to the cliff face takes the group to a beautiful view of the ocean and reef.
The legend goes that notorious pirate Captain Henry Morgan buried his treasure in the cave below Morgan’s Bluff. Take a half hour to look at stalactites stalagmites, and a group of small bats (seasonal). This cave is easily accessible and fun to walk and crawl through (plenty of space for larger groups).
One of many South Island Trip Excursions from Forfar Field Station:
Captain Bill's Blue Hole
Subjects: Geology, Birds, Botany
The largest blue hole on the island, Captain Bill's is 440 ft across. There is an exhilarating 15 ft jump into the water and a pavilion for relaxing.
As part of Blue Hole National Park, Captain Bill's is well kept by the Bahamas National Trust so there are plenty of nature trails and birding.