Forfar Field Station
Forfar Field Station is owned and operated by International Field Studies (IFS), a non-profit founded in 1970 dedicated to providing environmental education, scientific research, and cultural awareness through experiential learning.
Forfar Field Station is a rustic former dive resort nestled in a beachfront coconut grove on the east coast of Andros, the largest of the Bahamian Islands. Forfar Field Station is named after Archie Forfar who originally built the field station as a dive resort in the 1960’s. Since its debut, Forfar has served as an educational and field studies resource to over 50,000 students and group leaders that range from elementary/middle/high school level to college and graduate students to researchers. Forfar has educational staff who live on the island year-round facilitating guided field excursions, academic lectures, and general assistance for specific trip needs. Most field study trips are a week in length and involve educational groups ranging in size from 10-45 participants with a focus on Marine Science, Geology, Botany, Climate Change, or other fields of science, as well as, social science topics.
The typical week-long field study experience includes 3 boat days, 2 north land days, and 1 south land day. Our boat days are spent on the ocean snorkeling or scuba diving the third largest fringing barrier coral reef in the world, the Tongue of the Ocean, and oceanic blue holes. Land days explore the unique landscape filled with seven distinct plant communities, the largest concentration of freshwater blue holes in the world the endemic birds and reptiles, and the local artisans and community members of Andros. While this is a typical trip for most, our program is totally customizable to fit with your goals or educational objectives.
While on the station, guests can enjoy home cooked meals from our local staff, beach volleyball, basketball, ping pong, or swim on the beach. It’s the ideal way to unplug and take a break from the constant buzz of our digital world. Forfar Field Station is well-equipped to provide guests with an unforgettable educational experience!
Individual students not affiliated with a group can participate in our 6-week Forfar Gap Year Program.
Scuba Diving at Forfar
Scuba diving is available to enhance the learning experience. Forfar operates a PADI certified dive shop and offers dive trips in addition to our existing programming. Early morning dives, before the scheduled group activities, are available for certified divers. Review our Diving Guide for more details about diving at Forfar or contact our office to see if any certification classes are available. Looking to earn you PADI Open Water and PADI Advanced Open Water SCUBA certifications? Apply to our Forfar Marine Science Program!
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 group leaders choose to lead their own presentations, most combine their lectures with what the Forfar Educational Staff offers, and others rely on the Forfar Educational Staff exclusively. Our diverse team of educators offers several lectures, activities, and labs. Check out our Sites and Sights Guide to see all lectures and excursions available.
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 hot water and a shower.
The Forfar Lodge houses our Dining Hall, Classroom, Recreation room, and open living area. The classroom accommodates lecture seating for 32 people with AV equipment and preserved specimens for study. Forfar Field Station also houses an on-site dive shop that provides a full range of diving equipment available for rent.
Renovations are currently underway for 6 of the 8 cabins and will be completed by the start of 2020. Stay tuned to see updated photos of the remodels!
Check out our Welcome to Forfar guide to learn more about Forfar Field Station!
2019-2020 Season Pricing
Pricing may vary 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! Please note, trips typically run from Saturday to Saturday, but we may have flexibility during off-season dates (February, August-December). Trip reservations require a $200 deposit which will be put towards your total trip cost.
|Student||$1300||7 night stay at Forfar Field Station. Flights from Nassau to Andros and Andros to Nassau. All meals (except Thursday's Dinner Out, typically $18-25/person), transportation, lodging, lectures, and lecture-themed excursions listed in our Sites and Sights Guide are included in this price.|
|Free Chaperone||1 free chaperone per every 10 students|
|Children Ages 12 and under||Contact the office for more information|
|Researcher||Visit our research page for more information|
Example Boat Day Sites:
Rat Cay Blue Hole
Subjects: Reef Fish, Oceanic Blue Holes, Marine Invertebrates, Coral
One of our most popular snorkel spots for student eager to see marine life.
A beautiful oceanic blue hole with truly 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 Spiny Lobster.
Subjects: Marine 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 snorkel on the east.
A typical lunch stop for north boat days but an entire afternoon could be spent here, too.
Example Land Day Sites:
Morgan’s Bluff and Cave
Subjects: History and Culture, Geology
This 65 ft 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. Students can look at stalactites stalagmites, and a group of small bats (seasonal). The cave is easily accessible and fun to walk and crawl through (plenty of space for larger groups).
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.