If you love sailing in Mexico and you’re an experienced diver, Adventure Scientists would like to hear from you. The organization is currently partnering with the Universidad de Guadalajara’s Dr. Paola Rodríguez Troncoso and Dr. Amílcar Cupul Magaña to understand how climate change and human pressure are impacting corals. Teams of volunteer divers will survey up to 40 coral reef sites multiple times a year for several years, and the information collected will be used to help local authorities and NGOs improve current management practices, consider establishing new protected areas, and help make the reefs more resilient to climate change.
Divers would need to be experienced and conservation-minded, have access to boats, and be willing to commit to at least three dives on designated sites within a year, along the Mexican Pacific coast in the Puerto Vallarta region.
The surveys to be conducted include identifying fish, marking size categories, and estimating the ratio of adults to juveniles; determining echinoderm density and abundance by species across different categories (sea urchins, sea stars, and sea cucumbers); assessing habitat (recording a video transect for the researchers to analyze); and measuring the contour of seafloor.
While this all sounds very technical, there’s no requirement to be a scientist, though a good memory will help (you’ll need to memorize up to 55 species of fish and 21 species of echinoderms). Training is conducted online, and in person in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, with the next in-person training being held on November 5-7, 2022.
Volunteers must have a minimum of 25 logged dives if a PADI-certified open-water diver, 15 if a PADI advanced open-water diver, and 10 dives if they are a NAUI-certified advanced open-water diver.
Get the full details, and a link to sign up, at Adventurescientists.org/mexico-reefs.
Did you know?
Mexico’s Pacific coast is home to some of the world’s most biodiverse coral reefs, underwater communities that support sharks, turtles, and other marine life. They also support human lives by buffering the coastline from intense storms and providing livelihoods from fishing and tourism. Yet these reefs are imperiled by ocean acidification, more frequent and powerful storms due to climate change, and damage from human overuse.
Even if you can’t participate, we invite you to share this page so others might have the opportunity.