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  • Marine Biology
  • Europe
  • HS

Mediterranean Sea Turtle & Dolphin Studies

Explorer

16 Reviews
Overview

From sea turtles nesting on the beaches of Lakonikos Bay to dolphins surfing the wake off Policoro, the picturesque coasts of Italy & Greece are teeming with marine life. In other words, the ultimate labs for sea turtle and dolphin field studies.

Put your passion for marine science to use during this hands-on exploration of sea turtle biology and dolphin behavior. As part of a team of student researchers, you'll partner with local rescue centers and organizations dedicated to their study and conservation. Stroll beautiful Mediterranean beaches counting eggs, looking for hatchlings, protecting nests and collecting data on turtles for further study. Observe nesting behavior and assist biologists with excavation during nesting season. Work with turtles in natural habitats, measuring carapace and collecting data on local turtle populations. On the water, search for the playful and intelligent dolphins in the Mediterranean's stunning bays and other dolphin hot spots. Italy and Greece have a long history of promoting conservation and your participation in this expedition will provide valuable contributions to their efforts. Outside of turtle and dolphin encounters, there are many more adventures to be had.

Hike along the stunning Amalfi Coast, sprinkled with colorful villages and sweeping vistas. Explore the ancient caves of Diros and Mylopotamos waterfall. Venture to the Island of Aphrodite and snorkel the sparkling, crystal waters of Kythira. Get a taste of the warm and welcoming Italian and Greek cultures. After three life-changing weeks, you'll leave the Mediterranean with valuable field research experience, a deeper connection to marine life and real-world exposure to the important conservation initiatives that surround these magnificent creatures.

Dates Grades Length Tuition Availability
June 17 - July 7 HS 21 days $6,480 Open
June 25 - July 15 HS 21 days $6,480 Available
July 10 - July 30 HS 21 days $6,480 Limited
July 18 - August 7 HS 21 days $6,480 Available
Earn & Learn
Mediterranean Sea Turtle & Dolphin Studies Earn & Learn

Earn & Learn

Broadreach combines your thirst for fun and adventure with tangible skill development, real-world educational opportunities and a genuine commitment to service. While on program, you’ll earn documented community service hours and even college credits. It’s what we call “Earn & Learn,” and it’s what you’ll take home as evidence of your many accomplishments.

Mediterranean Sea Turtle & Dolphin Studies offers 3 marine science college credits through Lesley University. Additionally, students earn 50 hours of documented community service.

ACADEMICS & COLLEGE CREDIT

Course Description
This course is a survey of natural history, biology, behavior, conservation, and monitoring and research techniques of sea turtles and dolphins in the Mediterranean. Coursework will consist of both academic discussions and field work designed to introduce you to the methods and equipment that marine biologists commonly use. Work and study at field research stations and collect data that will contribute to ongoing projects in conservation for multiple organizations. Leave with a record of your achievements and the feeling that you have made a positive and lasting impact on the long-term viability of Italy & Greece’s sea turtle and dolphin populations.

In addition to the sea turtle and dolphin studies, explore the rich biodiversity, environmental sustainability and use of the natural environment in the region.

Course Objectives

  • Gain in-depth knowledge of the Mediterranean’s current and historic Loggerhead sea turtle populations
  • Learn to identify the Mediterranean’s distinct dolphin populations and compare & contrast the differences and similarities of the various species
  • Explore common research and data collection techniques marine researchers use and how to interpret the natural behavior of animals found in the wild
  • Survey and contribute to the Mediterranean’s ongoing sea turtle conservation efforts and look for ways to improve outcomes
  • Discuss current issues, law and international policy surrounding conservation of Loggerhead sea turtles and dolphins
  • Examine marine animal conservation efforts in the Mediterranean and how modern eco-tourism may impact those efforts going forward

COMMUNITY SERVICE

Through service, gain a more meaningful connection to the cultures and communities you explore while taking an active role to address important global issues at the local level. In Italy & Greece, partner with community organizations on a variety of projects focused on sustainability and conservation, which may include opportunities to:

  • Assist in collecting data to support the research of multiple local conservation organizations
  • Use a variety of nautical instruments and photo identification to track and record local dolphin location and population
  • Educate locals and tourists about the importance of protecting the Loggerhead turtles through a public awareness campaign
  • Contribute to a comprehensive monitoring program to determine location and population of turtles along the Ionian Coast

50 Service Hours

3 College Credits

Mediterranean Sea Turtle & Dolphin Studies Itinerary

Itinerary

1

Before settling in to a sea turtle rescue center for hands-on research and conservation work, spend the first few days orienting yourself to the astounding beauty of Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Upon arrival in Naples, the group has time to get acquainted, then it’s off to a villa-style hotel in the scenic and artsy village of Ravello. Take in the stunning views of the Tyrrhenian Sea then set out to hike the Valle delle Ferriere, a nature reserve teeming with rocky pathways, clear streams, waterfalls and ruins. The trekking continues on the ‘Sentiero degli Dei’ or ‘Walk of the Gods.’ Discover wild gorges and make stops along the way to peer out at the colorful Italian towns and beaches down below. Then, find yourself in the midst of lemon groves where you’ll learn all about lemon production and the art of cooking with the citrus.

2

Arrive in the rustic, coastal town of Policoro, home to a wildlife refuge and the setting for our focused work with sea turtles and dolphins. After an open water snorkel, spend mornings delving into the history of turtles in this region while also performing daily nest walks. Learn turtle monitoring techniques from experts and put them into practice as we survey loggerhead turtles. Summer is nesting season for this fascinating species, providing numerous opportunities to engage in hands-on caring, including rescue, rehabilitation, assisted tagging and turtle feeding. A mind-blowing day trip to the nearby canyon town of Matera will enlighten you as we descend into cave dwellings that were home to Italy’s earliest settlers. Once we’ve gotten our hands wet working with turtles, it’s time to venture out and begin our dolphin research. Climb aboard a catamaran and head into the Gulf of Taranto and Northern Ionian Sea. Here, you’ll learn to use nautical instruments that help track dolphin in open waters. Practice species identification, record sightings, plus analyze dolphin behavior.

3

Next stop: Greece. The group sets up camp in Lakonikos Bay, a beachside turtle conservation site near the port city of Gytheio. According to Greek mythology, Gytheio is where the god Apollo fought with Hercules and thus its modern-day name, ‘Land of the Gods.’ Spend days conducting sea turtle surveys, relocating threatened nests, building turtle pathways to the sea and constructing protective barriers. You and your team of fellow turtle researchers will also take part in a public awareness campaign to help educate locals on the significance and importance of sea turtle conservation. During downtime, take a small wooden boat through Diros Cave, navigating caverns dripping with awe-inspiring stalactite and stalagmite formations. We even find time to learn about olive oil production at a nearby olive grove.

4

The last part of our journey is no less thrilling as we spend two days and nights on the unspoiled and undiscovered island Kithira, also known as the island of Aphrodite. Stay in a quaint and authentic Greek village and spend days snorkeling, hiking to majestic waterfalls and relaxing as only Greeks know how. Before flying home, ready to build upon our knowledge of marine science, we close the adventure with a delicious Greek meal and a trip to the Acropolis, the ancient citadel that towers proudly over Athens.

marine biology programs for high school students
  • Trip Highlights

  • Participate in a sea turtle night patrol
  • Collect research and data on dolphin behavior
  • Join marine biologists in rehabilitating, feeding and tagging sea turtles
  • Promote conservation by sharing your knowledge with locals and tourists
  • Hike the 'Walk of the Gods' along the famous and stunning Amalfi Coast
  • Try your hand at traditional Italian cooking and visit a lemon farm
Mediterranean Sea Turtle & Dolphin Studies Reviews & Testimonials

Reviews & Testimonials

Linda Haghi

My daughter loved the Sea Turtles Studies trip. She bonded with the kids and counselors so much that she called them her second family. She loved the activities and loved studying the sea turtles. She returned even more mature and confident and determined to pursue her love of field biology and continue traveling internationally. Broadreach was outstanding in their communication and organization. They are obviously great at hiring, too, because the trip leaders were really great. I was never worried about her safety. This trip was perfect for my daughter because she has been so ready to travel and pursue field biology. It gave her the experience and confidence she’ll need to pursue her dreams. As soon as she came home, she started looking for a job so that she can go on another Broadreach trip in the future.

Maya Geer

To see the world, experience life and draw closer helps you find purpose and reason. This trip reminded me to slow down and find beauty in my world – which, with the rush and competitiveness of my life at home, is something I often do not do, and I am slowly falling back in love with life. We often forget how good our bodies and minds are supposed to feel and how much we can and should think. Although I do not know where I am headed, I have learned what to remember to do on my journey there.

Emma Cannon

It was the most amazing experience of my life. In the beginning I was afraid because I didn’t know anyone, but everyone in the group acted like they knew each other for years within five minutes of meeting everyone.

Barbara Wynn from East Grand Rapids, MI

Micah came back more focused, with increased self confidence, willingness to be a team player, and a new appreciation for the world of others as well as his own.

Hanna Fuster from San Diego, CA

This trip was truly a life changing experience! The immersion into a whole new culture and world while learning so extensively about the sea turtle species gave me new perspectives that I will continue to use throughout all paths of my life. I made amazing friends out of the strangers I met at the beginning of this journey, and I will continue to keep in touch and appreciate these bonds long after we say our goodbyes.

Mark De Vito

My son said this was one of the most amazing experience of his life and he has been fortunate enought to experience many things. He felt that it was very well organized, safe and continuiously eye opening from assisting children to experiencing animal life. Before he left for the trip, I was a little concerned about the safety; however, we were updated every step of the way and I would suggest this program to anyone. He made life friends, was able to experience different cultures and actually hear first hand how people live day to day. The staff were amazing from the first phone call to set up the trip, travel, daily updates and and pictures.

Katie Kaplan

Catching eggs was a memorable experience for me. I learned how endangered they were and how low chances of survival are so each egg felt like a very small important life.

Leila Haghi

Everyone on this trip was amazing and all the experiences we had were life changing. This has been the best trip of my life.

Margo Ward from Lake Forest, IL

This trip was an epic quest of nature conservation and friends who share the same interests as you.

Sarah Dewitt Feldman from Burnsville, NC

I really liked being led on this trip by Laura and Nathalie. They were really aware of our needs as individuals and as a group. When I had a rough day, they took really good care of me.

Greg Harned

My daughter had a great time on this trip. It was an excellent growth experience for her! I am very satisfied with the program and the way it is managed.

Mediterranean Sea Turtle & Dolphin Studies FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Question:
What is included in the tuition cost and what additional expenses should I expect?
Answer:
Tuition is all inclusive for instruction, food, accommodations, and activities from the time you arrive in country. However, you are responsible for your airfare, spending money (we suggest about $150-200 depending on the program), any required textbooks, and student expenses such as medical fees. Some trips require scuba gear which can be rented, purchased or in some cases borrowed from Broadreach. Finally, for our high school trips that offer college credit, you can elect to receive an official Lesley University credit transcript for approximately $180 per credit hour.
Question
Are flights included in the program tuition cost?
Answer
Airfare is not included in the program tuition cost, mostly because students join our programs from all over the U.S. and other countries around the world. Some programs also have internal flights which are not included in the program tuition, and we'll provide details on exactly how to book those once you are enrolled.
Question
How does travel work?
Answer
For most programs, we have a few recommended flights and an arrival time range, and we usually give you the option to book flights on your own or through our travel agency partner. A few programs have required group flights, which we set up in advance. Students travel independently, but often meet up along the way, and we collect student itinerary details. Broadreach instructors will be waiting in the arrivals hall of the destination airport to greet each student, and they’ll be wearing special shirts and holding a Broadreach sign. We also mail students Broadreach shirts to wear while traveling which makes it easy for them to identify each other. Typically, making travel arrangements and the actual travel days go very smoothly.
Question
How does Broadreach address safety?
Answer
Safety is our top priority, and it is something we evaluate from every angle throughout the year. We’re very proud of our safety record over the past 26 years of running international programs for students. There are so many ways to address how we handle safety, including the extensive experience and training of our instructors, the specific locations we choose to visit, the relationships we have established with our local partners, and the 24/7 support we provide our groups. We have extensive program-specific risk management plans and safety standards that we adhere to. We'd be happy to talk about safety in more detail for the program you're considering if you'd like to give our office a call.
Question
When is the application deadline?
Answer
We accept applications on a rolling basis until each session is full. So, the sooner you enroll, the greater chance you'll have to get into your first choice program and session! Some of our most popular program sessions fill as early as the fall.
Question
How many students are in a group? What is the male/female ratio?
Answer
The majority of programs will have a maximum of 12 students in a group. We aim for a balance of males and females, but in our experience, the gender ratio plays a small role in the success of each program.
Question
Do most participants come alone or with friends?
Answer
Most participants come alone, so there is no need to be concerned if you don't know anyone else on your program. It's normal to be a little nervous about not knowing other students in advance, but within a day of starting your program you'll be laughing and sharing exciting adventures with new friends.
Question
Will students be able to call home or access the internet?
Answer
Students will call home within a few hours of landing in the destination airport to let parents know they have arrived safely and have met up with the group. For most programs, students will have the option to call home once a week, typically on Sundays. Timing for calling home depends on the schedule of the trip and location. Usually, students call home with the in-country instructor cell phones or via Skype if good internet service is available. If you'd like to learn more about our full communication policy, please call our office.
Question
Do I need to purchase travel insurance?
Answer
We require that students have at least $100,000 of emergency evacuation coverage and some kind of international medical coverage, as well as coverage for scuba diving for programs that include diving. We offer two different policy options, or if you already have a policy that meets this criteria, we would just collect those policy details after enrollment.
Question
What does tuition protection cover?
Answer
Our Tuition Protection policy covers cancellations for medical reasons up to 100% and for any other reason up to 75% (except for residents of NY state). It’s also a great comprehensive travel insurance policy, including medical coverage, emergency evacuation, travel delay, baggage (loss or delay), etc. The cost of the policy ranges from $319-379 based on the program duration. For more specific coverage details, please call our office.
Question
Who will my instructors be?
Answer
Broadreach instructors are highly experienced, passionate, energetic and supportive. The average age of our instructors is 28 years old, and depending on the program, they meet specific qualifications (a Master’s degree in the subject area, PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor certification, foreign language fluency, Wilderness First Responder certification, etc).
Question
Do your programs accommodate food preferences or food allergies?
Answer
We do our best to accommodate allergies and food preferences but we consider the situation, country and the program to determine whether it will be a good fit for the specific dietary restriction. It’s important that you let Broadreach know well in advance of any food preferences or allergies so we can determine whether your restrictions will work on your program.
Question
Can I contact Broadreach alumni families for more information?
Answer
Absolutely! Just call our office and we can put you in touch with past participants who have joined the programs that interest you. Our alumni families are happy to share their first-person experiences.
Question
How does payment work? Is the deposit or tuition refundable?
Answer
We require a non-refundable deposit of $1000 to lock in your spot, and then the final balance can be spread out and paid in a few different ways. The final payment is requested by about 3 months before departure. Our optional tuition protection plan covers cancellations for medical reasons up to 100% and cancellations for any other reason up to 75% (except for residents of NY state).
Question
What should I pack?
Answer
We provide an extensive packing list for each program that we revise every year based on student and instructor feedback, and most of the items you probably have already. If you’d like to look at a packing list for a certain program, just let us know and we can email the most current version to you.
Question
Where will we be staying?
Answer
Accommodations vary by program, from private villas to jungle cabins to beach cabanas to research stations. We love staying in smaller local accommodations with authentic character rather than big chains, and we rarely camp.
Question
What do the academics involve? What if I don’t take the program for credit?
Answer
Academics will vary by program but usually include journals, discussions, lectures, research projects, and a midterm and final exam. We expect all of our students to participate fully in the academic course work on our programs, regardless of whether they have chosen to take it for official college credit.
Question
What is the difference between discovery/explorer/expedition level?
Answer
Our levels are loose guidelines to help families determine which programs might be the best fit. Discovery level programs do not require any prior experience and are great first-Broadreach options. Explorer level programs build on existing skills and knowledge, and often delve deeper into the program focus. Expedition level programs are usually in more remote or challenging locations, require prior experience, and often include more student ownership of the experience.
Question
How do college credits work? Where are those credits accepted?
Answer
We partner with Lesley University in Cambridge, MA to offer college credit for our academic high school and college programs. Those credits are widely accepted at colleges and universities all over North America, and we can often let you know if an alumni student has transferred those credits to a specific school in the past.
Question
Do you offer any discounts?
Answer
In the fall, we have a few different early enrollment discounts– please call our office for more information. We also offer a 5% discount on the second enrollment from the same immediate family in a summer. This offer is available to an individual student or siblings. The 5% discount will be applied to the program of lesser cost, and cannot be combined with any other discounts.
Question
Do you offer scholarships?
Answer
We do offer some scholarships through the Broadreach Foundation. Please visit www.broadreachfoundation.org for more information and to apply online for scholarships.
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