2 weeks: 2 week marine only – 19 June – 2 July 2023
2 weeks: 2 week marine only – 24 July – 6 August 2023
6 weeks: 6 weeks marine only (suitable for thesis/dissertation only) – 19 June – 30 July 2023
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The marine site is in Akumal, part of the Mexican Caribbean Biosphere Reserve. If you are not already dive trained, you can spend your first week at this centre completing a PADI Open Water dive training course, before moving onto the Caribbean reef ecology course in your next week. This course consists of lectures, morning and afternoon in-water practicals, and trains you in some of the survey techniques used in the marine environment to assess the status of reefs and their associated fish communities. If you are already dive trained or just wanting to snorkel your first week is on the Caribbean reef ecology course and the second would be spent working with different researchers on site. Projects you will join include monitoring of sea turtle abundance, sea turtle grazing of seagrasses and seagrass biomass in Akumal Bay.
At the marine site, the research is focussed on assessing the efficacy of the newly formed Akumal marine protected area on the abundance and health of seagrasses and the impact of snorkel tours on the abundance, health and behaviour of sea turtles. Research also aims to monitor the combined impacts of water quality and turtle grazing on the abundance and health of the seagrass ecosystem. In addition, students will have the chance to work alongside our team at Akumal Dive Center to complete their PADI open water dive training and complete a Caribbean reef ecology course in which they will learn about the major conservation issues with Caribbean reefs and will participate in variety of techniques for coral reef monitoring.
Most of our volunteers fundraise for their expedition costs. Find out more.
In Mexico it is hot and humid. Temperatures rarely drop below mid 20s even at night. It is unlikely to rain much, but you do get occasional heavy showers during the season.
Fitness level required
Low on the marine site. On the marine site lower levels of fitness are required (although you will likely be very tired at the end of the day after the in-water sessions).
On the marine site the facilities are a little less rustic – you sleep in bunk beds in dormitories about 10 minutes drive from the beach. There is good phone signal and the site is well supplied with shops.