Find out what it takes to create a real-world conservation program from start to finish. Work with locals and contribute to actual conservation efforts in Cozumel! Learn research diving techniques and collect data to help find solutions to threats facing our ocean ecosystems.Enroll Now Live Chat Schedule a Call Call Now
|June 29 - July 16, 2024||$6,980||Available||Enroll Now|
*Currently accepting applications from alumni families only. Open enrollment begins September 15, 2023. To join the waitlist prior to open enrollment, click “enroll now”; your payment method will not be charged until the open enrollment period begins.
Two natural science credits available through Lesley University.
Course description: This course is designed to provide tangible, real-world exposure to the conservation program planning process. Students will learn about existing conservation efforts in Cozumel from the locals who are actively creating them and carrying them out. Students will pick a conservation topic and learn more about the program planning, management, monitoring & evaluation, stakeholder engagement, and funding process necessary to make their program a success!
8 hours of service learning, including citizen science data collection for local conservation organizations and beach cleanups, marine debris sorting and categorization, and plastic debris recycling workshops.
Let the adventure begin! You and the rest of the group will be greeted by your instructors in the airport arrivals hall. Get to know your new crew and settle into a villa in Cozumel, your home for the next several days. After a refresher dive, you’ll be all set to collect data, including fish and coral surveys, as you learn the basics of planning a conservation project. Assist local organizations with conservation efforts related to sea turtles, plant mangroves and collect ocean plastic.
Time to take a break from diving for some amazing adventures! You’ll head out from your home base in Cozumel for a couple of days. First stop: snorkel with massive whale sharks, the largest fish in the sea, a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. Next, head inland for a visit to the sacred ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza. Make a stop afterward for a cenote, or blue hole, visit. These natural limestone sinkholes are found throughout the Yucatan region.
Head back to Cozumel and take in a local market with some town time to explore and shop. Enjoy a visit to a Mayan Bee Sanctuary, where you’ll learn about the relationship between the Mayan people and Melipona bees. In the evenings, continue with academics, including a night walk where you’ll try to spy nesting sea turtles and a night dive.
After two weeks of exploring Cozumel from under the water, it’s time to hike into Cozumel’s lush jungle. Spend the night glamping in a nature reserve, listening to the sounds of the trees. Discover the terrestrial environments of the island and how the different ecosystems are interconnected.
As you head back to the villa, it’s hard to believe that you’re in the last few days of your program! Enjoy your last dives of the trip, taking in the underwater beauty that Cozumel is renowned for. Reflect on how much you’ve learned and complete your final projects and presentations with the rest of your group. Cap things off with a visit to a pearl farm originally started as a research project to help the Pinctada radiata, or Atlantic pearl-oyster, species. Now it’s time to head home filled with lifelong memories and friendships.