Citizen Science & Public Expeditions

Ocean enthusiasts of all ages are welcome to join RJD for any of its exciting citizen science research trips in South Florida or Bahamas.

What is Citizen Science?

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.
Experience the ocean like never before — up close and personal with the most feared and least understood creatures of our ocean: sharks. Participate in shark research trip with the University of Miami!

Shark Research in Biscayne Bay/West Palm Beach

Work side-by-side with world renowned shark biologist Dr. Neil Hammerschlag and his stellar team at the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program in tropical, turquoise waters to gather vital data for his ongoing shark research. Take a finclip from a 10+ foot tiger shark to test for toxins. Conduct physiological tests to determine a great hammerhead shark’s stress level. Insert an ID tag into an adorable, little Atlantic Sharpnose shark to learn more about its life movements and growth rate. This is your chance to literally get your feet wet — research, education, conservation, innovation.
  • The Details:
    • Departure from West Palm Beach or Key Biscayne
    • One-Day Research Trip
    • Participation in official UMiami shark research
    • Shark Expert Q&A
    • AGE LIMIT: All participants must be at least 10 years of age
    Before you depart, explore our Checklist Info Page for more on what to expect and bring (including waivers). Before leaving, please click HERE for your trip checklist.
  • Adopt a Shark:When you adopt a shark with RJD, you are funding the purchase of a custom-designed satellite tag to be placed on either a Tiger, Hammerhead or Bull shark. As the new ‘parent’ of an adopted shark, you are given the opportunity to name and follow this shark in near real-time on the RJD website on a Google Earth map. Please watch the video below and explore our Adopt a Shark page for more information.
  • Join a trip:To learn more about this experience and book your trip, email Christian Pankow at CJPankow@coastal.edu.

Coral Restoration in Miami

Join a research trip out onto the beautiful coral reefs of South Florida with the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program. Learn and work alongside leading coral reef scientists as they create a sustainable source of staghorn coral colonies for use in reef restoration activities. Visit the coral nursery to gather fragments and then help plant these new corals onto nearby wild reefs. This is your chance to dive into coral restoration at the University of Miami!
  • The Details:
    • Departure from Key Biscayne
    • One-Day Research Trip
    • Participation in official UMiami coral restoration research
    • Two shallow water Scuba dives led by Divemasters and Researchers
    • Coral Reef Expert Q&A
    • Lunch & Beverages Included
    • AGE LIMIT: All participants must be at least 12 years of age
    • SCUBA REQUIREMENT: All participants must have a dive certification (Open Water or higher through PADI, NAUI or SSI), have at least 12 lifetime dives and at least one dive within the previous 12 months
    Before your trip, please print and sign these waivers.
  • Rescue a Reef:When you Rescue a Reef with RJD, you are funding the ongoing effort to propagate staghorn corals and restore local reefs here in South Florida with those new coral fragments. Any donation amount is helpful and much appreciated. If you would like to make a larger donation, such as $1000 or more, you will also have the opportunity to name your rescued reef and receive field reports on the status of your reef. Please explore our Rescue a Reef page for more information.
  • Join a trip:To learn more about this experience and book your trip, email Christian Pankow at CJPankow@coastal.edu.

JOIN A TRIP

“”Still in awe and grinning from this unbelievable experience. Thank you for making my dream come true of seeing and touching a tiger shark! Your team of amazing researchers marry passion and excitement into the conservation of the world’s most misunderstood and necessary of creatures!! ” — Kai-Wei Chung Zoetis

Visit our FACEBOOK page for more Citizen Science PHOTOS!

Learn about our RESEARCH on CORAL RESTORATION

Corporate Expedition Highlights

As part of our expanding Citizen Science initiative, RJD offers corporate expeditions as well. Companies are welcome to tailor the experience to fit their needs – whether that be half-day trips, week-long Bahamian expeditions, or an action-filled package of Exploration Science activities with a whole team of University of Miami researchers. Contact Christian Pankow for more information, and to plan your next corporate adventure – CJPankow@coastal.edu.

Corporate Sponsorship: Berry Islands Shark Tagging with One World One Ocean, Summit Series, the Nature Conservancy, Bamboo Sushi, and the Waitt Institute

Corporate Trip Highlights: Oracle in Hawaii