Now here’s something totally different to do in Miami, and “of the place” – a day of shark tagging Miami, working as a “Citizen Scientist” side by side a world renowned shark research team from the Rosenstiel School of Marine Science at the University of Miami (UMP).
Citizen Science is an opportunity for non-professional scientists to be involved in scientific inquiry through proactive participation with scientists working on real time problems relating to their research goals. Participation involves scientifically sound practices and measurable outcomes.
As a Citizen Scientist with UM’s Shark Research team, you’ll assist in deploying equipment and more exciting yet, you’ll help pull in a line that might have a shark on it. Surprising to me, there are nine varieties of shark species in our waters including blacktip, blacknose, bull, lemon, great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, nurse, sandbar, and tiger sharks. Sometimes no shark is caught, but typically several are found and tagged. (The record on one of these trips is 19, but the average is 3-4 sharks and a friend who went recently tagged 6).
You will help with the collection of samples, including taking a fin clip, tagging the shark, taking shark length measurements, and performing reflex tests on the sharks. Want to see what you’ll be doing? Check the research team’s photo and video library.
The one day outing departs from Key Biscayne or West Palm Beach and lasts from about 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 pm. Participants must be ten years of age or older. The Citizen Science experience is also offered to corporate groups and private parties (maximum 20 people)..
There’s a one-time donation of $300 (USD) that secures a spot on a future tagging trip (The lab conducts 60 field expeditions a year around Miami. When space is available the invitation is extended to the public). They work with you to find a date when you’re available and they’re tagging sharks.
The donation per Citizen Scientist goes to help cover the boat costs and fund research in the marine environment. It’s tax deductible as permitted by law. In addition, donations help subsidize the cost of this experience for underserved and underprivileged students . And if you can’t go on the outing, you can help fund the operations by buying from their online store where you can find a variety of artist inspired shark apparel. Click HERE to learn more.