[MARMAM] Summer field course -- Delphinid and Sirenian Field Studies in Belize

Leszek Karczmarski karczmal at tamug.edu
Tue May 9 12:14:22 PDT 2006

Summer Field Course: Delphinid and Sirenian Field Studies in Belize 


For those interested in delphinid and sirenian field research experience this summer, please see the web-links listed below.  We have still two places available for the first session, June 15-26, 2006.   


Check out the following websites: 


a.  Detailed Course Description: 

http://www.tamug.edu/mmrp/Postdoctoral/Leszek/LK%20PDFs/Belize%20HPF%20marine%20mammal%20course%20.pdf <http://www.tamug.edu/mmrp/Postdoctoral/Leszek/LK%20PDFs/Belize%20HPF%20marine%20mammal%20course%20.pdf>  

b.  1-Page Course Flyer:  


c.  Registration Form: 




For further details contact either L. Karczmarski or C. Self-Sullivan 


Dr. Leszek Karczmarski  

E-mail:  karczmal at tamug.edu   


Caryn Self Sullivan, Ph.D. Candidate

Email:  caryn at sirenian.org  

Tel: (540) 287-8207



To sign up for the course, contact: 

Caryn Self-Sullivan

Email:  caryn at sirenian.org 



Course Summary  


The course will provide an overview of population ecology, behavior, and conservation biology of cetaceans and sirenians, and will focus on field and laboratory research techniques used in studies of these marine mammals.  Classes will include review of recent scientific literature, and open discussion on current issues in behavioral, population, and conservation ecology.  Emphasis will be given to hands-on practical experience in data collection and analyses, especially in behavioral and ecological research, such as photo-ID mark-recapture techniques, population assessment, behavioral sampling, genetic research, etc.  Students will participate in boat-based research surveys investigating population ecology and social dynamics of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and conservation biology of Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus) in the Drowned Cayes area, central Belize.  The course will last 10 days, and - weather permitting - we are going to be on the water at least during five or six of these days.  Students will actively participate in data collection and analyses as part of an ongoing research.  This is a great opportunity to gain practical experience in delphinid and sirenian field research in a unique tropical habitat of central Belize.  


All classes will be in a form of either (a) lectures that will lead to more "informal" discussion, hopefully ending with a constructive brain-storming on a specific topic, or (b) instructions with hands-on practical component, especially when it involves field techniques or analytical lab techniques.  


The course will be hosted by the Hugh Parkey Foundation for Marine Awareness & Education (HPF) as a non-credit course.  The lecture and lab hours are equivalent of a 4-credit academic course, and, when applicable, credits might be issued by the participating student's own university.  In such a case a written assignment will be to follow by e-mail within six weeks of the completion of the course. 





The courses will take place at a unique field location, Spanish Lookout Caye (SLC), a small (184-acre) tropical mangrove island formation off the coast of Belize.  SLC is approximately 10 miles east of Belize City and less than 2 miles west of the Belize Barrier Reef --  the second largest barrier reef in the world.  This is approximately 20 minutes by boat from Belize City.  Spanish Lookout encompasses two of several mangrove islets within the Drowned Cayes range.  The Drowned Cayes represent pristine mangrove habitat, surrounded by seagrass beds and coral patch reefs, within the Belize Barrier Reef Lagoon system.  SLC is privately owned, with approximately 10% of the island developed exclusively for the conservation and research center.  We will be hosted at the facilities of Spanish Bay Conservation and Research Center (SBCRC), home to the Hugh Parkey Foundation for Marine Awareness & Education (HPF)

.  Both SBCRC and HPF are in partnership with (and supported by) Hugh Parkey's Belize Dive Connection, the largest commercial diving operator in Belize.    




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