The Marine and Coastal Ecology Research Center (MCERC) is inviting interested adults to participate in the fifth season for 7 day field intensive programs focused on cetacean behavioral ecology in Puerto Rico. No experience is necessary to participate!

All sessions for the 2015 season will include the 8 hour MCERC personal marketing course, “Is Your Resume Working for you?” free for Humpback Whale Field Intensive program participants.

Join our research team studying humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) wintering off Puerto Rico. Space is limited to 4 students in each 7 day session for boat and land based research platforms during the field season January 18, 2015- April 25, 2015. We are offering this week long format (by request!) to fill the need for fitting into work and class schedules. Gap year students are welcome to inquire about programs lasting multiple weeks, including in-depth analysis of data.

This field intensive training program is well suited for people with a university degree seeking field experience and students (undergraduate and graduate) of all skill levels interested in cetacean behavioral ecology and conservation. The program culminates in a certificate acknowledging training including theodolite tracking of whales and boats from land, boat based behavior and acoustic data collection, analysis of acoustic files and software, and photo identification of flukes and fins for cetaceans. Nightly roundtable meetings are open discussions of relevant peer reviewed publications selected to cover humpback whale life history and behavioral ecology.
Participants are directly involved in data collection and analysis for PhD dissertation related research for Seasonal Occurrence Patterns and Social Behaviors of Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) Wintering off Puerto Rico, USA as well as an examination of reaction to human activity near shore.

Each week long field intensive session is $1500.00USD. Program fees include a week at the fieldhouse in Puerto Rico, USA, travel between field stations, training program in scientific methods, room and meals at the project field station in San German, reference materials related to the project, field methods for data collection and analysis, and a certificate of completion. NOTE: Fees do not include travel to and from Ponce, Puerto Rico, USA and compulsory health and travel insurance (usually purchased with air travel). Students must bring a working or collar-type PFD during all boat operations. Options for acquiring a PFD for the program session are sent with application packets. All spaces in the program sessions will be on a first-come-first-served basis. Online registration is integrated with PayPal, and confirmation is instantaneous!

MCERC has provided documentation of study for students working with their advisers at universities resulting in up to 4 undergraduate and graduate university credit hours. Please meet with your adviser in advance and send us an e-mail with your application if you are considering this option and we will be happy to send you information helpful to your adviser.

Download the Simple Application Form, instructions, and information packet from our website

Questions? Visit the Contact page on our website. We are happy to answer any of your questions or concerns.

2015 Humpback Whale Field Intensive Project Sessions

Thank you for supporting humpback whale research and education. See you in the tropics!

-Mithriel & the MCERC team