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

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

May 27 - June 5, 2022
Socorro
Study and 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. 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.

With the intention of estimating the abundance, fidelity, and connectivity of the manta population of the Revillagigedo National Park, a photo identification catalog began in 2006. This catalog has been maintained on three of the islands of the Revillagigedo National Park; Socorro, San Benedicto, and Roca Partida. There have been 1721 photo-identified mantas; 992 on San Benedicto Island, 566 on Socorro Island, and 212 on Roca Partida. 169 mantas showed movements between islands, highlighting the importance of the total protection of the marine area between the islands. The data indicates that the population of giant mantas of the Revillagigedo National Park is one of the largest reported in the East Pacific. Its protection is vital. The park is a feeding area for the species and a critical habitat. Where there are cleaning stations, pregnant females and mating females have been registered in the area, which shows that the area is potentially used for mating, making it a site of vital importance for the conservation of the species.

Their studies have focused on population dynamics and 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.

The expedition will focus on obtaining photo-ID pictures of the mantas in Revillagigedo, where the divers can help and collect photographs. In addition, depending on the time and opportunity, we will attempt to ultrasound females of both species to corroborate that they are pregnant and evaluate the degree of 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 species conservation. 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 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

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 NGOs, 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 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

January 17-26, 2023
Socorro
Dolphin Expedition – Studying the Dolphins of Revillagigedo
Dr. Fabio Favoretto
$3700 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