Cook Islands Univ 392


Welcome to the class web page for UNIV 392. In summer 2015 we are striking out for the Cook Islands to experience the local culture and environment of the islands of Rarotonga and Aitutaki.

View our class blog at

We’ll have three days on the island of Rarotonga to participate in the Cook Islands Constitution celebrations, including two nights at the Te Maeva Nui cultural singing and dancing competitions. We’ll have the opportunity to meet with local scientists, policy makers and local environmental groups and we will test out our snorkeling skills on a tour of the lagoon.

The rest of our trip will be spent on the almost-atoll of Aitutaki, where we will be dividing into teams to survey land use and vegetation, sandy beaches, lagoon ecosystems and coral reefs. In addition we will be mapping the islands and coastal systems.


IMG_4423 web

Air NZ Baggage Allowance

To Bring List

Cultural Events

Te Maeva Nui 2015 Program

Rarotonga Island Trek

Cook Islands Whale and Wildlife Center

Pacific Islands Conservation Initiative


CSUCI students will be surveying coral reefs, lagoon habitats and sandy beaches on Aitutaki. We will use band transects to study reef and lagoon invertebrates and fishes, and we will use our standard sandy beach protocol to assess beach health and sand grain size. We will also assess macro- and micro-plastics on Aitutaki’s beaches.

Links to:

Coral Reef Monitoring Methods

Cook Islands Marine Protected Area

Reef Fish Identification

Good reef critter photos


Rongo et al. 2013 CI Marine Park Survey

Hoffman 2002 Socioeconomic Reefs

Rongo 2011

8_Stakeholders, Traditional exploitation and management techniques.pptx