We have a multitude of projects that all fit together like a jigsaw puzzle! Our projects engage participants with hands-on place-based learning through data collection aimed towards conservation.

  1. Marine life census data is collected through roving fish surveys, Baited Remote Underwater Video Stations (BRUVS), and laser photogrammetry units.

  2. We are also collecting data on vessels and user groups of the waters surrounding the Las Catalinas Islands.

  3. Costa Rican manta ray ID photos are sought out and compiled into a database to track individuals

  4. We have 5 place-based learning excursions to engage participants of all ages.

  1. Source to Sea

  2. Intertidal Explorer

  3. Mangrove Explorer

  4. Reef Explorer

  5. Open Ocean Explorer

Citizen Scientists are welcome to join us for data collection excursions on any of our projects!


Photo ID database of Oceanic Manta Rays

We are Costa Rica's regional liaison for MantaTrust, who focuses on conservation through research, education, and collaboration. Oceanic Mantas have unique markings on their abdomen that allow us identify and track individuals! We collect Manta photos and videos from dive centers up and down Costa Rica's Pacific Coast to populate the database we house and update. These images are all compiled and organized so we can identify new mantas as well as re-sightings! These sightings are currently being compared to databases in Ecuador and Peru.

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Marine Life Census

We are tracking the life around the Las Catalinas Islands because species found and absent can gives us valuable insight into the overall health of the ecosystem. A balanced ecosystem has many levels of predators, prey, and primary producers. This data will allow us to evaluate health, track changes, and design protection strategies.


Laser Photogrammetry Measurements

Our Laser Photogrammetry Units are designed by our partners at Ocean First Institute. The mounted Go-Pro records footage while the two laser dots provide an accurate frame of reference for post-production measurement. This method of measurement is easy-to-use, produces accurate results, and is non-invasive! We currently use this tool to measure sharks, turtles, and rays.


Baited Remote Underwater Video Stations

Baited Remote Underwater Video Stations (BRUVS) are used to see which predators are present in an area. The camera is focused on the bait and records any fish that are drawn in to investigate. Back in the lab, we review the footage and tally up the fish by species in the video.

Source to Sea

We start our Source to Sea Program in the Monte Verde Cloud Forest looking at macro invertebrate indicator species in the rivers. We follow the waterways all the way down to the Guanacaste Coast where the course links into our Mangrove and Intertidal Explorer Programs.

Intertidal Exporer

In this program, we discuss causes of tides, the 5 tidal zones, challenges and benefits of living in each, and interesting species adaptations that allows plants and animals to survive in the harsh and ever-changing conditions. We then do a survey data collection on species found in a square meter of each zone.

Mangrove Explorer

We take a small river boat up the estuary in Las Baulas National Park to experience the mangrove firsthand while learning about its importance in buffering storms, slowing erosion, and creating a nursery habitat for marine species to grow.

Reef Explorer

The reefs in this area are not your typical coral reefs, but are made up of volcanic rock and house a few species of coral as well as coralline algae. In this program, we learn about the species that live on the reef and how they interact to create an ecosystem. The data we collect tracks certain indicator species.

Open Ocean Explorer

Even though the ocean covers 71% of the Earth’s surface and it makes up 99% of the earth’s living space, only about 10% has been explored by humans. In this course, we discuss ocean life, migratory species, interesting adaptations they use to survive! We dive into the depths to see and track the species for a first-hand, place-based learning experience!