Humpback Whale Field Intensive Programs-

Dominican Republic


The Samaná Bay Marine Mammal Research Project will begin in February 2018. Samaná Bay is well known for the wintering humpback whales that arrive in the bay each winter during breeding and calving season. Samaná Bay is an understudied area for cetaceans, and the low density population of manatees. This area is adjacent to the Silver Bank and Navidad Bank aggregations of humpback whales that are the primary gathering location in the North Atlantic this time of year.

     You will be an integral part of the research team as we collect data on sperm whales, beaked whales, manatee, several species of dolphins, pilot whales, and humpback whales.  Each day the team will split into two groups. Half the day will be spent on the boat collecting data, and you will switch to the land platform to collect data for half day. This assures you will gain instruction and experience in several methods of data collection.

You will learn ethograms, relevant software, fluke and fin matching, line transect survey methods, and acoustic data collection during this week-long intensive project under the guidance of experienced marine biologists from the MCERC faculty and the local research group. In the evenings we will have discussions focusing on cetacean behavioral ecology, marine ecology, and marine management. 

Each session begins with the 4 interns arriving on Saturday and getting settled during and orientation. Research effort is Sunday through Friday (weather permitting!). Each session will have one day off for free time and an opportunity for you to explore the area on your own. 

The program is a skill builder for people wanting experience in marine biology field techniques. There is no experience necessary and no application.

Proof of health Insurance and travel insurance are mandatory in order to participate. You can typically purchase both through program similar to Diver Dan (see the Education hub Home Page for links). Release forms are also mandatory and are available to preview on the Home Page of the Education Hub.


A packing list will be posted prior to the start of the first session.

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Dates: One week sessions beginning 03 February through 24 March 2018

Program fee: $975.00/week-long session. Fees include room and meals, and the structured curriculum (including boat fees). All costs associated with excursions for research are included. Program fees do not include travel to and from the field site, and required insurance.

Registration: Click on the course title to enter course and register through Pay Pal. You do not need a Pay Pal account to register. You do need to be signed in to the Education Hub to register for courses. You must be at least 18 years old to register for this program.

Important! Do not purchase air travel until you are notified the course has met minimum enrollment.


Keywords: humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae, internship, research assistant, cetacean behavioral ecology , wildlife ecology, acoustics, song, ethogram, theodolite, line transects, abundance, occurrence patterns, association patterns, bathymetry, dolphins, pilot whales, sharks, turtles, manatee, field studies, hydrophones, DSLR photography, photo identification, marine biology, marine mammals, snorkeling, Caribbean, Hispanola, West indies, Samana Bay

Session 1 Dates: 03 February - 10 February 2018

Maximum number of students in this session = 4


Important! Do not purchase air travel until you are notified the course has met minimum enrollment.

Session 2 Dates: 10 February - 17 February 2018


Maximum number of students in this session = 4


Important! Do not purchase air travel until you are notified the course has met minimum enrollment.


Session 3 Dates: 17 February - 24 February 2018


Maximum number of students in this session = 4


Important! Do not purchase air travel until you are notified the course has met minimum enrollment.

Session 4 Dates:24 February - 03 March 2018

Maximum number of students in this session = 4


Important! Do not purchase air travel until you are notified the course has met minimum enrollment.

Session 5 Dates: 03 March - 10 March 2018

Maximum number of students in this session = 4


Important! Do not purchase air travel until you are notified the course has met minimum enrollment.

Session 6 Dates: 10 March - 17 March 2018

Maximum number of students in this session = 4


Important! Do not purchase air travel until you are notified the course has met minimum enrollment.

Session 7 Dates: 17 March - 24 March 2018

Maximum number of students in this session = 4


Important! Do not purchase air travel until you are notified the course has met minimum enrollment.