A FIELD COURSE IN MEASURING & MONITORING BIODIVERSITY AT NUEVO DURANGO MAYA COMMUNITY & MARINE ECOSYSTEMS - QUINTANA ROO, MEXICO
The first two ... and last two nights of the program we will be staying in The Hacienda Morelos Hotel, located in Puerto Morelos (a small fishing village 20 miles south of Cancun). The hotel is located on the beach with a beautiful view of the UNESCO Marine Biology Sanctuary located 200 meters offshore. This will be our staging area for our fist weekend snorkel on the UNESCO reef and offshore snorkel with the migratory whale sharks our last two days of the program. The hotel offers AC and Wifi and has a pool. We are within easy (2 minutes) walking distance to the main plaza of Puerto Morelos that offers wonderful small restaurants, coffee shops, and shopping for area / traditional Maya crafts.
Day 3, we move to the Nuevo Durango Maya Community which is located 100 km southwest of Cancun in the central Yucatan. The enormous biological diversity is recognized by both the Center of Ecological Studies (Mexico) and the World Wildlife Fund as a global natural resource.
Participants will be staying in traditional Maya cabins (see photo at the top of this page) in a Maya community near the famous Coba archaeological site (we visit this site to explore on route back to Puerto Morelos at the end of the week). Each cabin has its' own bathroom and shower facility. Sheets and bed with "bug nets" are provided. Typically there are 3 - 4 people per cabin.
This area is only open to field researchers and is home to nearly 400 bird species and more tree species per hectare than all of the USA. During the course, participants will study tropical botany while learning field method protocols in conducting biological diversity research. Invertebrate and vertebrate sampling methods will introduce participants to sampling methods and data analysis. A scientific purpose of this program is to establish baseline biodiversity data at this Maya site. Overall, this is an unusual opportunity for teachers to conduct authentic field work while learning field methods that they may use with their students back home.
As mentioned, the 1st weekend we will snorkel and explore the marine ecology of the world's second largest barrier reef and the 2nd weekend, visit Coba archaeological site, snorkel in a "cenote" as well as go offshore to snorkel with migratory whale sharks.
Dan Bisaccio has been leading research trips to the Yucatan since 1995. Over 400 teachers and students have participated thus far.
If interested .... contact Dan at: Daniel_Bisaccio@Brown.edu