The Great Barrier Reef


By Amanda Wood, RJD Intern The Great Barrier Reef is undoubtedly one of the most famous coral reef systems in the world. The Marine Protected Area is an important source of revenue for Australia, especially in the Queensland region. In the year 2012 alone, the reef attracted over 1.5 million visitors from across the globe with its captivating beauty and astonishing diversity. Despite its high visitation numbers, the reef has seen better days. Located just off the northeastern coast of Queensland, the reef is in close proximity to the main agricultural region of Australia. As rivers in the catchment area … Continue reading

Minke Whale Genetics show Adaptations for Diving


By Jessica Wingar, RJD Intern Minke whales, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, may not be the largest baleen whale, but they are the most abundant. These whales are about thirty five feet long, 6500kg, and are black with a white stomach (Knox, G.A., 2007). This species of whale is said to be a cosmopolitan species, since they are found in many different climates of the world. Although these whales are abundant, one of their main threats is overexploitation in fisheries. In places, such as the North Pacific, their populations have been fished so much that the International Whaling Commission, the IWC, has them … Continue reading

Climate Change and Corals: Is it too late?


By Jacob Jerome, RJD Graduate Student and Intern There have been numerous studies that focus on the alterations that climate change can have on the marine environment and how those alterations affect corals. In the marine science field coral bleaching and the disappearance of coral reefs is widely discussed. One of the primary debates centers around whether or not it is too late to save coral reefs. But is this doom and gloom viewpoint how we should be looking at this situation? Many scientists argue that there is still hope for coral reefs. It is important to first understand the … Continue reading

Hawaiian Humpback Whale Conservation

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Hannah Armstrong, RJD Intern The world’s diverse oceans are essentially interconnected, and, in turn, what effects one ecosystem can ripple around the globe.  With countless threats impacting the oceans and its inhabitants, conservation has been a critical topic of debate among both scientists and citizens.  Research efforts are growing to find the best and most effective way to manage and maintain healthy ecosystems.  Marine Protected Areas, for example, are a means of conservation; they can restore ecosystems and allow them to thrive to their utmost potential.  In addition, by utilizing geographic information systems (GIS) and similar tools, scientists can collect … Continue reading

Shark Tagging with AMI Kids


By: Hannah Calich, RJD Graduate Student and Intern Friday’s trip with AMI Kids was an intimate one with only six individuals from AMI, five RJD interns, and our awesome captain, Ramon. Once everyone got to the boat we did a round of introductions, went over gear deployment, and we were on our way! We decided to set our gear at one of Ramon’s favorite sites, Solider Key. After the students helped us deploy the gear we recorded the environmental conditions and took a break for lunch. After lunch our trip leader, Pat went over RJD’s shark workup procedure and we … Continue reading

Shark Tagging with Citizen Scientists


By Kyra Hartog, RJD Intern On Sunday, March 30th, RJD embarked on a shark-tagging trip with a group of Citizen Scientists from around Miami. Despite the less than desirable weather, the group was eager and excited to participate in a day of shark conservation research. We headed out from Crandon Park Marina to the waters near the Fowey Rocks Lighthouse. Though the waves were a bit rough, the group did a great job helping us deploy the first ten lines, which later yielded two nurse sharks and a lemon shark! Our usual workup was conducted with each shark as participants … Continue reading