CITIZEN SCIENCE EXPEDITIONS

Aboard Quino el Guardian

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.


Click here for schedule

CITIZEN SCIENCE EXPEDITIONS ABOARD QUINO EL GUARDIAN

Manta Ray Expedition with Dr. Alfredo Giron

May 17-26, 2022
Socorro
Manta Expedition – Who is the Manta Ray and Why is It Here? / Learn How to do Photo ID
Dr. Alfredo Giron
$3400 per person, quad occupancy

Join Dr. Alfredo Giron from the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions and learn how to do underwater photo ID of manta rays in the Revillagigedo Islands and learn more about their ecology and value to the ecosystem. Alfredo is a marine biologist and oceanographer who got his B.Sc. from Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, in Ensenada, Mexico. He later pursued a Ph.D. at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where, among other projects, he helped to establish a research program to study manta ray populations in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Alfredo is a passionate speaker, and an avid storyteller, who can help you to transform those photos and memories into stories to bring back home.

You will enjoy fun and interactive sessions with Alfredo including but not limited to:

Session 1
- Topic: REVILLAGIGEDO
- Description: A brief history of Revillagigedo and its role in protecting populations of large pelagic species, including mantas, sharks, dolphins & whales.

Session 2:
- Topic: HOW TO TAKE A GOOD PHOTO FOR PHOTO ID
- Description: Explanation of the importance of photo ID, the creation of catalogues, and their value for science, conservation, and tourism.
- Activity: Throughout the whole trip, try to take good photos of the mantas’ bellies. Let’s see how many different individuals, estimate the sex ratio, see which ones have been injured, and compare our photos to the existing catalogue for Revillagigedo. Let’s also submit our best photos to the catalogue and contribute to their scientific study.

Session 3:
- Topic: WHY ARE THE MANTAS HERE
- Description: Explanation of cleaning stations and deep-sea feeding grounds. What we see at the surface is their daylight activity after they have fed at depth.
- Activity: Throughout the whole trip, try to take photos that show a story about the cleaning stations. Let’s chat about which fish are cleaning them and use our fish identification guides to learn about them.

Session 4:
- Topic: WHERE DO THE MANTAS COME FROM
- Description: Explanation of migrations from other parts of the world, how satellite tags help us to monitor their movements, and how the oceanographic conditions explain food distribution. Why is Revillagigedo such an important spot for them?

Session 5:
- Topic: HOW CAN EVERYONE HELP TO PROTECT THE MANTAS
- Description: Explanation of the importance of tourism to support manta ray conservation. What is the economic value of mantas for the Mexican economy and why is a manta worth more in the water than being fished? How can everyone stay involved after this trip?

Dr. Alfredo Giron

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.

Fieldwork in the Gulf of California with Fabio Favoretto, one of your other naturalists! Alfredo delivering a speech at the United Nations Ocean Decade launching event on the importance of empowering early career scientists to steer the global agenda for ocean conservation.

 

Ultrasound Pregnant Whale Sharks and Manta Rays with Dr. Deni Ramirez

May 27 - June 6, 2022
Socorro
Ultrasound Pregnant Whale Sharks and Manta Rays
Dr. Deni Ramirez "The Whale Shark Queen"
$3600 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:

Presentations:
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

Dr. Deni Ramirez

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.

Dr. Deni Ramirez Dr. Deni Ramirez Dr. Deni Ramirez Dr. Deni Ramirez Dr. Deni Ramirez Dr. Deni Ramirez Dr. Deni Ramirez

 

 

Global Marine Conservation and How You Can Make a Difference

August 7-14, 2022
Sea of Cortez/Midriff Islands
Global Marine Conservation and How You Can Make a Difference
Edgardo Ochoa
$2300 per person, quad occupancy

Dive and learn from world-renown researcher Edgardo Ochoa. Edgardo has been diving the Sea of Cortez for over two decades as well as traveled and dived all over our planet. Enjoy presentations that include the importance of Marine Protected Areas, Projects on Marine Conservation, Abandoned Fishing Gear also known as ghost nets, and natural history. He has a profound knowledge on the Gulf of California, and you will learn more about the animals and their habitat as well as how human actions have an impact on marine processes. More than that, you will learn what you can do to make a difference in marine conservation. In addition to the presentations, Edgardo will use any opportunity to teach divers about the magnificent marine life of the Sea of Cortez and Baja California.

Edguardo Ochoa

ABOUT EDGARDO OCHOA

Growing up in Mexico, Edgardo Ochoa’s introduction to diving came at an early age: A family friend took him on a snorkel trip, and the experience changed his life forever, directing his calling toward the ocean. Edgardo has traveled extensively, completing several thousand dives around the globe. Nowadays, he serves as Diving Safety Officer (DSO) for Conservation International. His mission is to encourage people to increase their knowledge so they will protect and preserve the oceans. Career highlights include:
• Started the first scientific diving program at CICIMAR-IPN in La Paz, Mexico
• Unit Diving Officer at Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, in Panama
• Acting Scientific Diving Officer (SDO) at Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA
• Global Marine and Diving Safety Officer (SDO) at Conservation International in Arlington, Virginia, USA
• Published several papers on scientific diving, marine biology, dive safety and dive training

Edgardo Ochoa Edgardo Ochoa Edgardo Ochoa Edgardo Ochoa Edgardo Ochoa

 

 

PADI Ambasador - Edgardo Ochoa - There's still hope for the Gulf of California

Ultrasound Pregnant Whale Sharks and Manta Rays with Dr. Deni Ramirez

October 31 - November 9, 2022
Socorro
Ultrasound Pregnant Whale Sharks and Manta Rays
Dr. Deni Ramirez "The Whale Shark Queen"
$3600 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:

Presentations:
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

Dr. Deni Ramirez

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.

Dr. Deni Ramirez Dr. Deni Ramirez Dr. Deni Ramirez Dr. Deni Ramirez Dr. Deni Ramirez Dr. Deni Ramirez Dr. Deni Ramirez

 

 

Dolphin Expedition with Dr. Fabio Favoretto

November 20-29, 2022
Socorro
Dolphin Expedition – Studying the Dolphins of Revillagigedo
Dr. Fabio Favoretto
$3600 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 FIN-Project

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

Dr. Fabio Favoretto

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.

 

FIN-Project
The FIN Identification Network is a project born from the idea that each of us can make a difference in wildlife conservation.
www.finprojectdolphins.org

 

Ultrasound Pregnant Whale Sharks and Manta Rays with Dr. Deni Ramirez

November 11 - 20, 2023
Socorro
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:

Presentations:
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

Dr. Deni Ramirez

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.

Dr. Deni Ramirez Dr. Deni Ramirez Dr. Deni Ramirez Dr. Deni Ramirez Dr. Deni Ramirez Dr. Deni Ramirez Dr. Deni Ramirez