The ConnectOcean Explorer combines expeditions and investigations in the four key marine ecosystems in the coastal zone

Intertidal Zone

Mangroves

Reefs

Open Ocean


intertidal explorer

 

Intertidal Explorers will find out how diverse and teaming with life the rock pools and tidal beaches of the coastline are! We start on land, exploring pools and rocky areas of the beach, looking for marine life that thrives in these areas where the land meets the sea, collecting samples of what we find in trays.

We then use microscopes and magnifying glasses to take a closer look at these amazing critters and identify them using ID sheets. 

Once we've seen the amazing life living in the ocean tides, we head out to snorkel the inshore reefs and observe the different types of marine life and plants that we can see so close to the shore. While we are snorkeling, we are observing the different types of habitats and creatures that live there, but also looking for impacts, such as fishing lines, trash and damage from boats and people.

While we are exploring the coast and inshore reefs, we also conduct a litter drive, collecting any trash we find to prevent it reaching the ocean environments.

The Intertidal Explorer learns about how important these transitional ecosystems are, and how people can help conserve the oceans through looking after the shoreline.


mangrove explorer

 

Mangrove Explorers learn all about mangrove ecosystems, how diverse they are, and how important they are to humans and the environment through the ecosystem services they provide.

Explorers are taken by boat into the mangrove systems on the Guanacaste coastline where they learn about mangrove productivity, how they reproduce and grow, the types of fish that are found in mangroves, and how mangroves provide people with a sustainable food source and protection from storms.

Explorers will inspect mangrove trees, learning about the different species, collect samples of sediment and water to examine how complex the system is and what is living there, and collect information on the health and condition of the mangrove forests.


REef explorer

 

Reef Explorers learn how incredibly important reef systems are to all life on earth. They also learn that not all reefs are made from coral! But actually, there are several different types of reefs, such as rocky reefs and shellfish reefs, that are equally as important and diverse as coral reefs.

Explorers learn about reef structure, diversity, habitat, and the plants and animals that make the reefs around Isla Las Catalinas home. Explorers also learn about the threats to reefs from human impacts, and how conservation and monitoring is really important to help us better understand the ecosystems and how best to protect and conserve them.

Explorers will even be part of an ongoing ConnectOcean research project! Using measuring devices, underwater slates, and cameras, Explorers will help ConnectOcean's team of scientists measure, monitoring and record the marine life around Guanacaste, while learning life-long skills in marine ecology and monitoring.

The Reef Explorer program includes the PADI Open Water or Junior Open Water course requirements and training, and successful Explorers will gain their SCUBA diving certification on conclusion of the course.

You can find out more about ConnectOcean's research programs here.


open ocean explorer

 

Open Ocean Explorers learn about the various depths and layers of the ocean and ecosystems that are found in the open ocean.

We survey large and small ocean animals and fish, sea birds, and learn about phytoplankton and their importance in the food web.

Ocean Explorers will look for and record sightings of various species of rays, including manta rays that frequent the waters around Guanacaste, dolphins, sharks, and large fish species that are integral to the diets of both other marine mammals and humans. In addition to recording underwater species, Explorers will also help onboard ConnectOcean scientists monitoring and document boat and user traffic, so we can better understand how people use the ocean, and what might be threatening ocean ecosystems.

Explorers will even be part of an ongoing ConnectOcean research project! Using measuring devices, underwater slates, and cameras, Explorers will help ConnectOcean's team of scientists measure, monitoring and record the marine life around Guanacaste, while learning life-long skills in marine ecology and monitoring.

The Ocean Explorer program includes the PADI Open Water or Junior Open Water course requirements and training, and successful Explorers will gain their SCUBA diving certification on conclusion of the course.

You can find out more about ConnectOcean's research programs here.


To find out more about our Explorer programs, including packages, prices and requirements, click on the button below.