CITIZEN SCIENCE EXPEDITIONS
Aboard Quino el Guardian
Quino El Guardian offers a truly unique experience with our Citizen Science Program. These trips include a marine biologist specializing in subjects such as manta rays, sharks, humpback whales, marine mammals, marine ecology, pelagics, reef ecology, invertebrate ecology, diving science and medicine and more. Activities include animal identification, tagging, fish/animal counts, census monitoring, human and climate impact studies, etc.
Much of the information that is collected is included in papers and presentations to governments and NGO's to help with the conservation of these areas and animals. In addition, this information is provided to websites to educate lay persons helping to further conservation awareness.
Divers can be involved as much or as little as they like including hands-on research and will enjoy interactive evening presentations by the scientists.
Join us on one of these amazing expeditions and you will never look at the ocean the same again.
We host the scientist on these trips. $200 is added to the price and given to the scientist to help them pay for supplies and expenses.
CITIZEN SCIENCE EXPEDITIONS ABOARD QUINO EL GUARDIAN
January 17-26, 2023
Dolphin Expedition – Studying the Dolphins of Revillagigedo
Dr. Fabio Favoretto
$3500 per person, quad occupancy
In this trip, we want to increase your engagement and awareness about vulnerable species of cetaceans and explain what you can do to help in their conservation. You will learn to spot cetaceans, how to interact with them, and field techniques used in marine mammals’ studies like photo ID. Come and have fun with us and help in the conservation of these incredible animals!
The way of life of most cetaceans is still largely unknown in the Revillagigedo Islands. Through scientific expeditions and citizen science (divers and tourist sightings), we are building a database about dolphins, false killer whales, cuvier beaked whales, humpback whales, and other species that live in this area, with the aim to understand their biology as a necessary element for the generation of management and conservation strategies.
Fabio will do presentations throughout the trip. These presentations will include but not be limited to:
1. Revillagigedo megafauna: an introduction to a semi pristine environment
2. Taxonomy, biology, and ecology of Revillagigedo marine mammals
3. Photo-ID: a no invasive technique to study cetaceans
4. Cetaceans behavior: are you smarter than a dolphin?
5. Future studies and conservation challenges
ABOUT DR. FABIO FAVORETTO
Dr. Fabio Favoretto is a marine biologist working and living in Mexico for many years. He is a professor at the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur (UABCS) in La Paz and is a founder of the FIN-Project. Fabio is a marine ecologist dedicated to providing a strong scientific basis to improve marine conservation measures in our oceans.
The FIN Identification Network is a project born from the idea that each of us can make a difference in wildlife conservation.
October 8 - 15, 2023
Sea of Cortez/Southern Safari
Everything You Wanted to Know About Marine Protected Areas But Were Afraid to Ask!
Dr. Alfredo Giron
$2600 per person, quad occupancy
The Sea of Cortez, also known as the Gulf of California, is a strip of water separated from the Pacific Ocean by the Baja Peninsula. This isolation, on land and underwater, provides a unique series of contrasting ecosystems, from the vast solitude of the desert to the rich underwater realms and black coral gardens.
Our Southern Safari is a unique opportunity aboard Quino el Guardian where we will be in the right place to see blue whales, bull sharks, and flying mobula rays. Go on day and night dives at remote islands and encounter the abundant sea life of the southern Sea of Cortez.
Join Dr. Alfredo Giron on his quest to monitor the Gulf of California's fish populations and understand how human activities, such as fisheries, have impacted them and continue to do so. He will guide you to appreciate the delicate interactions between the sea life and learn how marine protected areas have helped to preserve the beauty of these dive sites.
We will also explore popular dive sites such as Los Islotes, where you will encounter friendly sea lions, and El Bajo, known for its schools of hammerhead sharks. We will dive wrecks Fang Ming and Salvaterra at Isla Espiritu Santo and La Reina at Cerralvo Island. We'll also do a night dive with mobula rays. This is a voyage you don't want to miss!
Presentations to include but not be limited to:
1. Welcome to the Aquarium of the World - why is it a magical place?
2. Monitoring fish populations: How do scientists do it, and how can we do it on this trip?
3. Understanding the impacts of human activities. What has changed in the last 50 years?
4. Protecting the Aquarium of the world. How can all of us help?
Divers can help with this research by monitoring commercially important fish populations. Alfredo will teach divers how to identify the most relevant species and estimate their size and abundance. This information will be coordinated with Scripps Institution of Oceanography to incorporate the data into their long-term monitoring program.
ABOUT DR. ALFREDO GIRON
Alfredo received his Ph.D. from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. Prior to that he studied physical oceanography at the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California.
Alfredo’s work focuses on the use of technology to support sustainable fisheries management and the reduction of illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing at a global scale. He has experience in projects for fisheries management in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Palau, Solomon Islands, the European Union and a series of studies at a global scale. He has designed and executed research programs to study manta rays in Mexico. As the VP of Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOP) at the Marine Technology Society, he strives to open opportunities for ECOP looking to transition from academia into industry or government positions.
Alfredo received the Roger Revelle Commemorative Lecture Award for the outstanding achievement of an individual whose career has contributed to the advancement of the use of scient to inform public policy.
November 21 - 30, 2023
Ultrasound Pregnant Whale Sharks and Manta Rays
Dr. Deni Ramirez "The Whale Shark Queen"
$3700 per person, quad occupancy
The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) and the giant manta ray (Mobula birostris) are filter feeder elasmobranchs. In some countries, these species constitute a fishing resource, while in other countries, they are more valuable as an opportunity to attract tourism. Therefore, the sustainable exploitation of these species depends significantly on the knowledge of their populations. This knowledge is minimal.
Both species are especially vulnerable due to their biological characteristics as they are slow-growing, late to reach sexual maturity, and found in small populations. All of this is why the IUCN Red List recognizes these species for the Conservation of Nature.
In the Archipielago de Revillagigedo, we can find giant manta rays and whale sharks that enable Dr. Dení Ramírez Macías and her team to study these charismatic giants. Their studies have focused on demonstrating the presence of pregnant females in both species showing that this is a critical habitat for these elasmobranchs and requires a top priority for its conservation.
Our expedition will focus on obtaining an ultrasound in females of both species to corroborate that they are pregnant and to evaluate the degree of the embryonic development. This information will help to substantiate the theory that these waters are necessary for reproduction and to strengthen the protection of habitat for the conservation of the species. A second goal will be to place a satellite tag to see her movements.
Our goal is to use the regular itinerary for diving in Socorro, knowing that we will be open to using any opportunity that presents itself to ultrasound whale sharks and manta rays.
Deni will also be doing presentations throughout the trip. These presentations will include but not be limited to:
1. Following the Giants: Whale Sharks
2. Conservation Biology of the Whale Shark
3. The Giant Manta Rays from Revillagigedo
4. Ultrasound on Mobula Rays
5. I3S software for whale shark and giant manta ray photo identification
ABOUT DR. DENI RAMIREZ
Dr. Dení Ramírez-Macías is the director of Whale Shark Mexico, a passionate conservationist, powerful advocate for the ocean, and pioneer in her field. As a scientist, her innovations both above and below the sea have led to the founding of multiple NGO’s, numerous scientific publications, advanced the careers of her students, and has inspired future generations to take an active role in ocean conservation. As a scuba diver, she is applying scientific research methods to her work underwater, most recently by ultra-sounding pregnant whale sharks and manta rays in an effort to learn more about their reproduction. Her work is being used to create three protected areas in Mexico. Deni's research has taken her around the world and her research has been part of several international films including the National Geographic Discovery Chanel. Deni was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2020.