2018 Citizen Science Trip Details

Updated November 15, 2018 - come back soon as new trips are being coordinated now!

January 15 - 24, 2018 / Pelagic Life & Reef Diversity

January 15 - 24, 2018
Dr. Carlos Sanchez-Ortiz 
Socorro Islands
Pelagic Life & Reef Diversity
$3300 per person, quad occupancy
About the Trip

Join the amazing crew of the Quino El Guardian, Dr. Carlos Sanchez-Ortiz (UABCS) and Dr. Ross Robertson (STRI-Panama) on one of the most inspiring dive adventures of your lifetime!

Dr. Sanchez has extensive knowledge in most all animal species found in the Sea of Cortez and specializes in invertebrates, sea fans, gorgonians, and corals. One-third of the biodiversity of the Sea of Cortez is in corals. It is amazing how little is known about these animals. We need to learn more so that we can care for and conserve them.

Dr. D. Ross Robertson is a world authority on reef fishes. He is a Staff Scientist of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. He specializes in tropical reef fishes: evolution, biogeography, and digital indentification guides.

Enjoy daily research projects and presentations to help answer these questions and more:

- How many fish species are in Revillagigedo Archipelago?
- Where do the species come from?
- How do species become unique at Revillagigedo Archipelago?
- How healthy are the reefs of the Relivillagidedo Archipelago?
- How does climate change or human impacts affecting the biodiversity of the reef?
- Fishes & zooplankton identification workshop

Take part as much or as little as you like!

Additional and supporting information can be found here:

http://www.stri.si.edu/sites/drr/book.html

http://www.stri.si.edu/sites/drr/

http://stri.si.edu/english/scientific_staff/staff_scientist/scientist.php

http://datamares.ucsd.edu/eng/ - excellent source of scientific information presented in layman terms

Facebook: PFA UABCS

CLICK HERE for photos in our Gallery

February 17 - March 1, 2018 / Free Diving Expedition with Fred Buyle & Shark Research

February 17 - March 1, 2018
Free Diving Expedition with Fred Buyle & Dr. James Ketchum
Socorro Islands including Clarion!
Shark Expedition
$3700 per person, quad occupancy
About the Trip

Join the amazing crew of the Quino El Guardian, free diving champion, Fred Buyle and shark specialist, Dr. James Ketchum on one of the most inspiring dive adventures of your lifetime!

This expedition is designed specifically for free divers and the primary goal will be to tag hammerhead sharks at greater than 100’. We will also be going to the island of Clarion.

The primary work will be placing tags on sharks, getting photo identification images and sex/size ratios and collecting and replacing receivers.

Fred will be focusing on freediving and shark tagging. Divers can observe and freedivers can assist Fred with his tagging to include safety, carrying underwater slates to collect data, spare tags, taking pictures and videos, etc.

Dr. Ketchum also involves divers in every aspect of his on-board research.

Daily presentations include subjects such as shark behavior, migration, movement and conservation.

Take part as much or as little as you like!

Itinerary

We are very excited to have a unique itinerary for both free divers and scuba divers. Because of the free diving focus, it is imperative that we are flexible to go where conditions are best. We anticipate between 2-3 dives per day along with the free diving. This is the itinerary:

Day 1 - Board the boat between 5pm-7pm / Dinner is served at 7pm / Boat departs San Jose Del Cabo at approximately 10pm
Day 2 - Day at Sea
Day 3 - San Benedicto / 2-3 dives
Day 4 - Socorro / 2-3 dives
Day 5 - Roca Partida / 2-3 dives
Day 6 - Roca Partida / 2 dives - leave for Clarion after the second dive
Day 7 - Clarion / 2-3 dives
Day 8 - Clarion / 2 dives - leave Clarion after second dive
Day 9 - Roca Partida / 2-3 dives
Day 10 - San Benedicto / 2-3 dives
Day 11 - Open - we will go wherever conditions are best, i.e. Clarion or Socorro / 2-3 dives
Day 12 - Day at Sea
Day 13 - Disembark at approximately 8:30am in San Jose Del Cabo

About Fred Buyle

Fred Buyle is a 3 time world-record free diver, underwater photographer and marine conservationist. Fred is the only free diver to have dived at the Geographic North Pole (2005) and Antarctica. Since 2005 he has worked with scientists around the world to field missions in which free diving is paramount, i.e. telemetry studies that involve tagging sharks or researching cetacean acoustics.

 Download the Flyer HERE: Citizen_Science_Frederic_Buyle_2018_rev080217
Read about the 2016 Expedition HERE:  Dive with a Purpose

CLICK HERE for photos in our Gallery

April 25 - May 4 , 2018 / Shark Research

April 25 - May 4, 2018
Dr. James Ketchum
Socorro Islands
Shark Research 
$3300 per person, quad occupancy
About the Trip

Join the amazing crew of the Quino El Guardian and Dr. James Ketchum on one of the most inspiring dive adventures of your lifetime!

The Revillagigedo Archipelago is filled with over 7 species of sharks, many in unprecedented numbers.

Participate in catching and tagging animals, identification, counts and more.

Enjoy daily presentations on shark ecology, migration, reproduction, and conservation.

Take part as much or as little as you like!

 Download a flyer here:  Citizen_Science_Ketchum_042518_to_050418

CLICK HERE for photos in our Gallery

May 5 - 14, 2018 / Manta Research

May 5 - 14, 2018
Steph Venables
Socorro Islands
Manta Research
$3300 per person, quad occupancy
About the Trip

The islands of Socorro are one of the wildest and most breathtaking locations to encounter the ocean’s largest rays, the giant Manta Ray. Join researcher Steph Venables and the crew of the Quino El Guardian on this exciting citizen science expedition to meet the gentle giants of Socorro!

Not only will guests get the opportunity to dive and interact with these graceful and inquisitive rays, they will also be gaining in depth knowledge about Manta Rays and contributing to research by helping to collect ID photos of the mantas they encounter. Each manta has a unique spot pattern on its underside that can be used to identify an individual, just like a fingerprint. By keeping photographic records of mantas scientists can build a photographic catalogue of the population that can tell us about individuals and the population as a whole.

While on-board, guests will learn how to

• Take identification photos of Manta Rays
• Distinguish between males and females and identify the maturity of an individual
• Recognize different types of manta behavior
• Record environmental conditions
• Process and organize ID photos
• Identify different individuals using their unique spot patterns

Regular evening presentations will give guests a greater insight into Manta Ray biology, ecology and behavior, outline global threats to mantas and describe research and conservation efforts around the world.

Book your spot on this manta-tastic trip for an unforgettable experience in one of the world’s most sought after dive locations!

About Steph Venables

Steph is a marine scientist and Manta Ray researcher with the Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF) and a PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia.

A love of travel and an obsession with the ocean lead her to study marine science at Murdoch University in Western Australia. Steph graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science and a passion for marine conservation. Her postgraduate studies focused on the impact of tourism on Manta Ray behavior in Ningaloo Marine Park, Western Australia and this lead her to joining MMF in 2014. She has since worked on Manta Ray populations in Mozambique and Indonesia.

Steph’s research focuses on Manta Ray population genetics. Her research uses genetic analysis to gather vital information on population size, structure and connectivity that can be used to further understand populations and guide the development of management and conservation strategies. Although her work focuses on both the Mozambique and Raja Ampat Manta alfredi populations, she is primarily based in Raja Ampat, Indonesia where she co-manages MMF’s regional Manta Ray research project.

Related Links:

 

CLICK HERE for photos in our Gallery

July 8 - 15, 2018 / Special Family Trip

 
July 8 - 15, 2018
Dr. Carlos Sanchez
Sea of Cortez / Midriff Islands
$2300 per person, quad occupancy
SPECIAL EVENT! FAMILY CITIZEN SCIENCE EXPEDITION
ABOUT THE TRIP

Join the amazing crew of the Quino El Guardian and Dr. Carlos Sanchez-Ortiz on a unique and inspiring family adventure in the Sea of Cortez. Over 8 days, families will discover the magic of the Midriff Islands by diving, snorkeling, kayaking and hiking in this remote and pristine area of the world.
This trip is specifically designed for families with children 10 years old and above.

ACTIVITIES

The Sea of Cortez and Midriff Islands are ideal for diving, snorkeling, kayaking and hiking. Enjoy 6 action-packed days with 4 dives per day including 2 night dives. Snorkeling is excellent for non-divers and kayaks are available for short excursions. We’ll even go ashore and explore some of the islands. A highlight of the trip is snorkeling with whale sharks!

LEARN AND EXPLORE

Baja is a unique area offering a prolific array of life with whales, dolphins, sea lions, fishes, corals, and invertebrates in unprecedented numbers. Dr. Sanchez has extensive knowledge in these animal species and specializes in invertebrates, sea fans, gorgonians, and corals.

Activities with Dr. Sanchez include
- Describing the individual species
- Census monitoring
- Establish the health of the reef
- Human impact study
- Climate impact study
- Collection of plankton and inspection under a microscope (where the food chain begins)

Enjoy daily research projects and presentations to help answer these questions and more:
- Why did Jacques Cousteau once call the Sea of Cortez the Aquarium of the World?
- Why is the Gulf of California so productive?
- How many and what species are in the Gulf of California?
- How are climate change and human impact affecting the reefs biodiversity?

Everyone can take part as much or as little as they like!

CLICK HERE for even more details!

CLICK HERE for photos in our Gallery

July 15 - 22, 2018 / Photographing the Sea of Cortez

 
July 15 - 22, 2018
Jonathan Lavan
Sea of Cortez / Midriff Islands
Photographing the Sea of Cortez
$2100 per person, quad occupancy
ABOUT THE TRIP
Jonathan Lavan is a wildlife expert, conservationist, award-winning photographer, environmental writer and educator.
 
Join Jonathan and the amazing crew of Quino El Guardian for a dive adventure of a lifetime!
 
Jonathan is on staff to help all budding citizen scientists identify what they are seeing both above and below the waterline. For new photographers, he will be able to help with questions and provide tips for better nature photography.
 
Daily animal ID classes will be held for those interested utilizing the photos that were taken that day.
 
Guests will enjoy his sense of humor and camaraderie as he shares his passion for all creatures great and small.
 
Join Jonathan in his quest for making a difference on this planet through photography and positive messaging.
 
You can view over 1,700 of Jonathan's nature images from all over the world at www.UnderPressurePhotog.com.
 
Click here to enjoy a short article and photos from Jonathan's trip on Quino el Guardian in August 2017!  
 
 

August 5 - 12, 2018 / New Dive Site Exploration Trip

August 5 - 12, 2018
Sea of Cortez / Midriff Islands
New Dive Site Exploration Trip
$2100 per person, quad occupancy
About the Trip

Are you adventurous? 

We've been going to the Sea of Cortez for years and our popular dive sites only scratch the surface of all that this dynamic body of water has to offer.

We've been itching to explore more and we are looking for 16 adventures souls to go with us.

We will only be diving uncharted dive sites.

This trip is best for advanced divers as we will be going places we haven't been before.

Come along, explore and help us find and name new dive sites!

September 9 - 21, 2018 / Marine Life & Reef Fishes of the Gulf of California

September 9 - 21, 2018
Dr. Carlos Sanchez
Explore Baja / San Jose del Cabo to Puerto Penasco
Wonders of the Sea of Cortez Pelagic & Reef Wildlife
$3750 per person, quad occupancy
New Lower Price - only $3495 per person!
About the Trip

Join the amazing crew of the Quino El Guardian, Dr. Carlos Sanchez-Ortiz (UABCS) and cDr. Remy Gatyns (University California, Santa Cruz, top Ph.D. student in ecology and genetics of fishes) on one of the most inspiring dive adventures of your lifetime!

Baja is a unique area offering a prolific array of life with corals, invertebrates, fishes, whales and other mammals in unprecedented numbers.

Dr. Sanchez has extensive knowledge in most all animal species found in the Sea of Cortez and specializes in invertebrates, sea fans, gorgonians, and corals. One-third of the biodiversity of the Sea of Cortez is in corals. It is amazing how little is known about these animals. We need to learn more so that we can care for and conserve them.

Activities include

- Describing the individual species
- Census monitoring
- Establish the health of the reef
- Human impact study
- Climate impact study
- Collection of plankton and inspection under a microscope (where the food chain begins)

Dr. Sanchez provides indepth knowledge of the area mammals such as whales, dolphins and sea lions as well as whale sharks.

Enjoy daily research projects and presentations to help answer these questions and more:

- How many and what species are in the Gulf of California?
- How many of them are new to Science & how do we describe a new species?
- How the climate change or human impacts are affecting the reefs biodiversity?
- How Taxonomy can save Biodiversity?
- How healthy are the reefs of the Gulf of California?

Research goals include but are not limited to:

- Invertebrates (sponge, corals and echinoderm) taxonomy to understand their biodiversity
- Invertebrates inventorying to determine their diversity
- Invertebrates and fish tissue sampling to examine their large-scale connectivity through genetics
- Invertebrates and fish monitoring to evaluate the health status of the reef ecosystem
- Assessing the economic value of the reef ecosystem conservation.

Take part in as much or as little as you like!

Additional and supporting information can be found here:

http://datamares.ucsd.edu/eng/ - excellent source of scientific information presented in layman terms

Facebook: PFA UABCS

CLICK HERE for photos in our Gallery

September 23 - October 5, 2018 / Wonders of the Seas: Echinoderm Diversity of Baja and the Sea of Cortez

September 23 - October 5, 2018
Explore Baja / Puerto Penasco to La Paz
Wonders of the Sea of Cortez Pelagic & Reef Wildlife
Dr. Francisco Solis A Marin
$3750 per person, quad occupancy
New Lower Price - only $3495 per person!
About the Trip

You will never look at Sea Stars and Sea Cucumbers the same again!

Dr. Francisco Alonso Solís Marín is a research Specialist in Echinoderms (Sea stars, Sea cucumbers, Sea Urchins, Sea Lilies and Allies) and Taxonomists. He is Chief Curator of the Echinoderm National Collection, Institute of Marine Sciences and Limnology Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). He has extensive knowledge in echinoderm species found in the Sea of Cortez and specializes in their systematics.

He is currently director of the Research Program for exploring and listing Echinoderm Biodiversity in Mexico, developing studies on:

A) Biodiversity in different ecosystems (Marine and Anchialine Caves) and description of new species

B) Ecology of Echinoderm communities

C) Evaluation of the health status of the principal heavily exploited Echinoderm communities in the Sea of Cortez

This unique trip will help to answer many questions including:

- How did the Echinoderm Taxonomy Studies of the Gulf of California begin?

- Why the Echinoderm diversity and unique species composition in the Sea of Cortez?

- What to do when we discover a new species?

- Why is exploring marine biodiversity still a big task to complete?

As an expert in Echinoderms, Dr. Francisco Solis will take you on a journey of taxonomy and evolutionary discovery, talking on shocking new discoveries about Echinoderms – you will never see Sea Stars and Sea Cucumbers the same again!

He will discuss how the biodiversity of Echinoderms in the Sea of Cortez is still reveling new species. Dr. Solís will share his knowledge on Echinoderm Taxonomy and Biology and how to describe new species.

The principal goal of the expedition will be to explore and document the Echinoderm diversity of the Gulf of California in its different habitats.

Activities include:

- Collect and prepare an echinoderm specimen for its use in a Natural History Collection

- Echinoderm tissue sampling to examine their large-scale connectivity through genetics

- Describing an individual species, inspection under a microscope to reveal the use of Echinoderm’s microstructures to reveal the name of the species

- Echinoderm inventorying to determine their diversity

- Document Sea Star behavior

- Collection of Echinoderm larvae in the plankton

Joining Dr. Solis will be Yuri Hooker from the Peru (Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heridia, Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas y Fisiológicas, Lima, Peru)

CLICK HERE for photos in our Gallery

November 6 - 16, 2018 / Ultrasounding Pregnant Whale Sharks and Manta Rays

November 6 - 15, 2018
Socorro
Dr. Deni Ramirez Macias
Ultrasounding Pregnant Whale Sharks and Manta Rays
$3300 per person, quad occupancy
 About the Trip

Join the amazing crew of the Quino El Guardian, Dr. Deni Ramirez Macias and world renown photographers, Erick Higuera and Hayes Baxley as we attempt to ultrasound pregnant Whale Sharks and Manta Rays in the Archipielago de Revillagigedo!

The Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) and the Giant Manta Ray (Manta birostris) are filter feeder elasmobranchs. In some countries these species constitute a fishing resource while in other countries they are more valuable as an opportunity to attract tourism. Therefore, the sustainable exploitation of these species depends greatly on the knowledge of their populations. This knowledge is extremely limited.

Both species are especially vulnerable due to their biological characteristics as they are slow growing, late to reach sexual maturity and are found in small populations. All of this is why these species are recognized by the IUCN Red List for the Conservation of Nature.

In the Archipielago of Revillagigedo, we can find giant Manta Rays and Whale Sharks which enable Dr. Dení Ramírez Macias and Marine Biologist Erick Higuera an opportunity to study these charismatic giants. Their studies have focused on demonstrating the presence of pregnant females in both species. This in turn demonstrates that this is a critical habitat for these elasmobranchs and require a top priority for its conservation.

Our expedition will be focused on obtaining an ultrasound in females of both species to corroborate that they are pregnant and to evaluate the degree of the embryonic development. This information will be used to help corroborate the theory that these waters are necessary for reproduction and to strengthen the protection of habitat for the conservation of the species.

SPECIAL NOTE:  We did this same trip December 1-10, 2017 and we were able to  ultrasound a pregnant Manta ray.  This is the very first in scientific history to successfully ultrasound a pregnant Manta ray in the open ocean!

Our goal is to use the regular itinerary for diving in Socorro knowing that we will be open to using any opportunity that presents itself to ultrasound Whale Sharks and Mantas.

Additional information on this research can be found at www.WhaleSharkMexico.com.

November 16 - 25, 2018 / Shark Research

November 16 - 25, 2018
Socorro
Shark Research
$3300 per person, quad occupancy
About the Trip

Details coming soon!

 

November 26 - December 5, 2018 / Manta Research

November 26 - December 5, 2018
Dr. Robert Rubin
Socorro
Manta Research
$3300 per person, quad occupancy
About the Trip

Join the amazing crew of Quino El Guardian and Dr. Robert Rubin on one of the most inspiring dive adventures of your lifetime!

The primary work will be placing tags on mantas, getting photo identification images and sex/size ratios and collecting and replacing receivers. Dr. Rubin also involves divers on cleaning station observations and plankton ID and manta feeding at the lava field if the water is calm. Tissue sampling is also possible to obtain DNA for later lab use and to establish kinship relationships.

Daily presentations include the evolution of sharks and rays, past photo ID work to show manta movement, manta feeding, sex and reproduction, conservation, and cleaning symbiosis and interaction with other animals.

Take part as much or as little as you like!

About Dr. Robert Rubin

Bob has a Ph.D. degree in physiological ecology and is presently on the faculty of Santa Rosa College where he teaches courses in marine biology and human anatomy. He has been teaching for several decades, and has conducted field and laboratory research on the ecology and physiology of such diverse groups as fish eating bats, elephants, hooded and harp seals, sea birds, desert dwelling rodents and, for the past twenty-five years, on manta rays in the sub tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans.

He has received numerous awards including “The California College and University Professor of the Year”. His research on manta rays has been the subject of media productions for NOVA, Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, World of Wonder, BBC, Animal Planet, Blue Realm, and most recently as a TEDx invited presentation.

Download the flyer here:   Citizen_Science_Rubin_Nov2018

CLICK HERE for photos in our Gallery

December 7 - 16, 2018 / Shark Research

December 7 - 16, 2018
Socorro
Shark Research
$3300 per person, quad occupancy
About the Trip

Details coming soon!