This program is focused on a hands-on, field curriculum. We conduct a 1 - 2 hr. lecture or class discussion each day and spend the rest of the day for 6 - 8 hours in the field conducting research on sharks and rays. To make this program as hands-on as possible, our students conduct all research activities under the supervision of one or more staff members or instructors. This means that our students set and retrieve gear, handle any captured animals, collect data from any captured animals, tag sharks and rays, and release all captured animals. No previous research experience or animal handling experience is necessary. This program is excellent for any student interested in the natural sciences, any student wanting to gain research experience, and any student interested in attending graduate school. Most lectures are focused on shark and ray biology, physiology, ecology, identification, and conservation. Other lectures will include biology, physiology, identification, and conservation of sea turtles and manatees; fisheries, aquaculture, and ecotoxicology; the concept of a species; aquarium controversy; and how to develop a research project and communicate the results effectively.
Current research projects:
- Satellite tagging great hammerheads, tiger sharks, lemon sharks, bull sharks, and nurse sharks for migratory patterns, habitat utilization, and geographic distribution
- Tissue sampling of great hammerheads, tiger sharks, and southern stingrays for DNA analysis by Nova Southeastern University
- Monitoring elasmobranch population dynamics including population size, age structure, sex ratio, habitat utilization, and site fidelity
- Continued local elasmobranch species survey
Course credit: Most of our students are able to receive course credit for our summer program as well as other programs we offer. Please discuss this with your advisor, as each school has different requirements for credit.
Program dates: Our summer program runs at 1 week intervals (Sunday - Saturday) from May 1, 2016 - August 27, 2016. Students may attend as many weeks as they would like. Any student who attends 4 weeks or more will be acknowledged in a scientific paper published from the data collected that summer. There are tuition breaks for students who attend 3 or more weeks as well as for groups of 6 or more students.
Deadline for program enrollment: March 31, 2016
For tuition information and program availability please visit the summer program page as well as the tuition page of our website http://www.coastalmera.com/summer-program.html