This December we had our second Marine Biology program and C.M.E.R.A joined us again with their students. This year there are 2 groups of 16 students who will all sit in our lectures and do a ton of diving! Some people still need to get certified and others are taking the advanced course, but the most important courses are the PADI AWARE Shark Specialty and the Manta Specialty which we offer at Rich Coast Diving.
We had 2 lectures on sharks, one was the standard project Aware outline about the dangers sharks are facing and the second one was done by Moriah from C.M.E.R.A about the Sharks anatomy and reproduction system.
The young divers were very excited about encountering the white tips at Tortuga, one of our local dive sites, but they were like little kids when it came to heading to Catalina Islands. Cats Islands is of course where you can see the majestic (and massive) Giant Mantas so we headed out to do our Manta Specialty dives. We were extremely lucky and managed to see not only mantas but the biggest spotted eagle ray we’ve ever seen. Be jealous! Combine this with a big group of white tips at the cleaning station and then we ended the day off with whales and dolphins right next to the boat. We were completely spoiled and it was a FANTASTIC day.
- Fish ID, which was set up by David (one of our dive masters who is also a marine biologist) This lecture focused mainly on the fish we encounter here in Costa Rica.
- Mangroves, this was a change to the other lectures but was extremely interesting for all of us to learn about them
- Turtle, this one was super exciting as we had just had a close encounter with a turtle on the Catalina dive, so now the students could be tested to see if they could identify the Hawksbill 😉
Week 1 ended up being incredibly fun (and informative) and we closed it off with David’s’ snorkel test, a rite of passage for the newly certified dive master! We are all looking forward to Week 2 now which will begin in a few days, here at RCD we can’t wait to see how our group of divers enjoy the program and they really are going to go away with a lot of knowledge from the program
More on C.M.E.R.A:
C.M.E.R.A : A marine education and research group. We target college students interested in the natural sciences and provide in field experience with sampling techniques, field equipment, proper techniques for handling and tagging animals, and species identification. This is an excellent opportunity for college students to get their feet wet before going to graduate school. We are different from other research and internship opportunities because most groups offer very little hands-on or field time and most of your time is spent in a lab. Spend a week (or more) with CMERA and 100% of your time is spent hands-on in the field.
We will start 1 month Marine Biology internships in 2014, Interested? come join us next year!