Announcing a new Winter Scholarship Competition! Win a scholarship to join our sharks and rays research course this coming January!
We are excited to announce a new opportunity to win a full scholarship to attend our sharks and rays field research course this January!
Entrants complete a short essay in addition to our course application, telling us about their passion for sharks and what they would hope to gain from participation in a field course. Winners will be given a full (grand prize) or partial (runner-up) scholarship to attend our hands-on elasmobranch research course.
During their week living and working aboard RV Garvin, students will be instructed in shark and ray biology, ecology, and conservation, and will get practical experience with a variety of field research techniques, including the use of BRUVs (Baited Remote Underwater Video), drum lines, gillnets, and long lines. Students will also receive training in how to work on a research vessel and safely restrain shark species for data collection.
The deadline for submission is October 1, 2018. Winners will be announced by October 15. The course runs from January 3-9, 2019. All food (with the exception of one inexpensive "dinner out"), housing, research activities, and transportation are included in tuition for the course once students arrive at R/V Garvin.
Get started on your submission here! We hope to see you in the field this winter!!
During this week, students were lucky enough to get a chance to see a smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata). Sawfish are rarely seen around Miami, and are listed under the US Endangered Species Act. Per our permitting, this sawfish was disentangled from our line as quickly as possible and immediately released. However, we were delighted to be able to provide information about our sighting to the FWC, data which contributes to their efforts to protect and manage this amazing and imperiled species. (Looking at his rostrum, it’s easy to see why entanglement in nets and lines has historically been one of the biggest threats to sawfish).
If you ever encounter a sawfish on your own gear, it’s important to release it as quickly as possible with minimal harm to yourself and the animal. You can also help them if you see or encounter a sawfish in the wild!
From www.myfwc.com: “Very little is known about this spectacular fish, so scientists at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) initiated a research program to learn more. They are asking for help from the public via the Sawfish Survey. This statewide survey provides a means for anglers, boaters, and beach-goers to help biologists learn more about the areas in which sawfish are sighted. If you catch a sawfish while fishing for other species or happen to see one while you are near the water, please contact us.
To report a sawfish sighting:
-Telephone: 941-255-7403 or 844-472-9347 (1-844-4SAWFISH)
To file a report of a sawfish sighting or encounter, please include the date and time of the encounter, the location, the estimated length of each sawfish, the water depth, and any other relevant details.”
Have we mentioned summer is our favorite time of year? We had a great second session of our Elasmobranch Research Skills Course, with the chance to see and collect data on amazing animals and meet some incredible students.
For more photos from the last three weeks, check out the full albums on Facebook (@getintothefield) or follow us on Instagram (@Field_School).
We had an absolutely fantastic week with our Elasmo I class! It was our first time offering combined advanced and introductory courses--four students from last year returned to do the advanced course, which included training in additional field skills like drawing blood, advanced animal restraint, surgical techniques, and animal condition evaluation. We couldn't feel luckier to have such fantastic students in both classes, who together helped create a supportive, hard-working, and incredibly fun environment for the week.
Partner with us! We are always looking for new schools, scientists, and non-profit organizations to partner with. Please contact us here to start a conversation.
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