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Belize: Preserving the Coral Reef

Program Number: 3566RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/16/2013 - 2/25/2013;
Duration: 9 nights
Location: Belize
Price starting at: $2,561.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Service Learning
Meals: 25; 8 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Working hands-on with a marine biologist, you and other volunteer researchers collect data on key coral reef health indicators off Belize, one of the richest and most diverse marine habitats on earth. Easy-to-learn sampling techniques, including shallow water fish counts and coral reef transects, have minimal impact on local habitats. This monitoring project in association with the Oceanic Society will help provide an early warning of changes in reef health, which can be indicative of the effects of global climate change, overfishing, or other impacts that may warrant concern for local marine conservation managers.




Highlights

• Special research permits allow you to obtain unique coral reef data.
• Working side-by-side with researchers, gather information to help coral reef preservation.
• Snorkel the rim of the famous Blue Hole, visit a seabird sanctuary at Half Moon Caye, enjoy beach snorkeling and a barbeque at Lighthouse Reef Atoll.



Activity Particulars

No prior experience or training required. Participants must be able to swim, snorkel and bring their own snorkeling gear.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Belize City, Blackbird Caye, 9 nights; departure Belize City.



Flight from the U.S.A.
Arrival Belize City
Boat to Blackbird Caye
9 nights
Boat to Belize City for departure.

The habitat of this private island within the pristine Turneffe Atoll serves as a feeding and resting area for dolphins, manatees and other marine and bird life. Under expert guidance, conduct shallow water coral reef surveys, count species of fish and assess coral reef community structure. Small teams join forces on various sampling methods. Evenings include lectures and discussions on the biology and ecology of coral reefs, fish identification and behavior, threats to reef health and coral reef conservation efforts worldwide. Guided snorkeling trips introduce reef marine life and other excursions introduce the area’s natural history. Full day excursion to snorkel at the rim of the Blue Hole made famous by Jacques Cousteau, and Half Moon Caye seabird sanctuary. Excellent beach snorkeling opportunities at the Caye. Learn about the nation’s multi-cultural heritage as you sample traditional Belizean cuisine, which combines Mayan, Mexican, Spanish and Caribbean elements.




Belize

Before it was colonized as “British Honouras,” Belize flourished as a stronghold of the Maya civilization. Today, the country celebrates this unique heritage while sharing in Central American and Caribbean identities. Its tropical climate supports the country’s rich biodiversity, while its coastline along the Caribbean Sea offers access to the second-longest coral reef system in the world.



Accommodations
Beachfront cabanas in a private island setting.
Meals and Lodgings
   Blackbird-Oceanic Society Field Station
  Blackbird Caye, Turneffe Atoll, Belize 7 nights
   Blackbird-Oceanic Society Field Station
  Blackbird Caye, Turneffe Atoll, Belize 1 night
 Blackbird-Oceanic Society Field Station
Type: Field Station
  Description: Beachfront cabanas each with a porch facing the Caribbean Sea.
  Ship Information: 23' research/excursion vessels with canopy top and vertical swim ladder.
  Contact info: Blackbird Caye, Turneffe Atoll, Belize
Belize City,   Belize
phone: +8003267491
web: www.oceanic-society.org
  Room amenities: Small storage closet, fan, 110 AC electrical plugs (powered by generator)
  Facility amenities: Double occupancy cabanas (2 singles available), private baths, comfortable with basic amenities, lovely dining palapa
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Variable. Optional extensions available for snorkeling, scuba diving, or to see Mayan ruins, mainland of Belize.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Variable. Optional extensions available for snorkeling, scuba diving, or to see Mayan ruins, mainland of Belize.
  Check out time: 9:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:00pm Check-In Time at Marina for boat trip to the island field station at 3:30pm. Arrive at Blackbird Caye Field Station at 5:00pm, registration. You will be staying at Blackbird-Oceanic Society Field Station that night.
  End of Program:
Room checkout is 8:30 am, return to Belize City marina at 10:00am. You will be staying at Blackbird-Oceanic Society Field Station the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Not applicable
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Blackbird Caye, Turneffe Atoll
  Nearest city or town:  Belize City
  Nearest highway: not applicable
  Nearest airport:  Belize City (BZE)
  Transportation to site: Boat transfer (90 minutes). Program only participants should contact Oceanic to ensure they will arrive in time for the boat transfer.
  From End of Program
  Location: Blackbird Caye, Turneffe Atoll
  Transportation from site: Boat transfer (90 minutes). Program only participants should contact Oceanic to ensure their departure flight is in synch with the boat transfer.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Equipment Requirements: Snorkeling (mask, snorkel, fins)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1:
(Saturday, February 16)
   
 Arrive To: 90-minute boat transfer to Blackbird-Oceanic Society Field Station, Turneffe Atoll.
 Dinner: Buffet-style Belizean dinner served in dining "palapa" upon arrival.
   
Accommodations: Blackbird-Oceanic Society Field Station
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2:
(Sunday, February 17)
   
 Breakfast: Three buffet-style Belizean meals are served daily in a dining "palapa."
 Morning: Training in field methods including fish identification. Morning and afternoon boat excursions to research sites. Data collection. During week, one or two morning or afternoon recreational snorkeling excursions.
 Lunch: Join your fellow participants in the dining room for breakfast, lunch & dinner
 Afternoon: Morning and afternoon boat excursions to research sites. Data collection.
 Dinner: Join your fellow participants in the dining room for breakfast, lunch & dinner
 Evening: Evening lectures, presentations, discussion sessions
   
Accommodations: Blackbird-Oceanic Society Field Station
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3:
(Monday, February 18)
   
 Breakfast: Three buffet-style Belizean meals are served daily in a dining "palapa."
 Morning: Continued training in field methods is provided. Morning and afternoon boat excursions to research sites. Data collection.
 Lunch: Three buffet-style Belizean meals are served daily in a dining "palapa."
 Afternoon: Morning and afternoon boat excursions to research sites. Data collection.
 Dinner: Three buffet-style Belizean meals are served daily in a dining "palapa."
 Evening: Evening lectures, presentations, discussion sessions.
   
Accommodations: Blackbird-Oceanic Society Field Station
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4:
(Tuesday, February 19)
   
 Breakfast: Three buffet-style Belizean meals are served daily in a dining "palapa."
 Morning: Continue training in field methods is provided. Morning and afternoon boat excursions to research sites. Data collection.
 Lunch: Three buffet-style Belizean meals are served daily in a dining "palapa."
 Afternoon: Morning and afternoon boat excursions to research sites. Data collection.
 Dinner: Three buffet-style Belizean meals are served daily in a dining "palapa."
 Evening: Evening lectures, presentations, discussion sessions
   
Accommodations: Blackbird-Oceanic Society Field Station
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5:
(Wednesday, February 20)
   
 Breakfast: Three buffet-style Belizean meals are served daily in a dining "palapa."
 Morning: Morning and afternoon boat excursions to research sites. Data collection.
 Lunch: Three buffet-style Belizean meals are served daily in a dining "palapa."
 Afternoon: Morning and afternoon boat excursions to research sites. Data collection.
 Dinner: Three buffet-style Belizean meals are served daily in a dining "palapa."
 Evening: Evening lectures, presentations, discussion sessions
   
Accommodations: Blackbird-Oceanic Society Field Station
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6:
(Thursday, February 21)
   
 Breakfast: Three buffet-style Belizean meals are served daily in a dining "palapa."
 Morning: Morning and afternoon boat excursions to research sites. Data collection.
 Lunch: Three buffet-style Belizean meals are served daily in a dining "palapa."
 Afternoon: Morning and afternoon boat excursions to research sites. Data collection
 Dinner: Three buffet-style Belizean meals are served daily in a dining "palapa."
 Evening: Evening lectures, presentations, discussion sessions
   
Accommodations: Blackbird-Oceanic Society Field Station
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7:
(Friday, February 22)
   
 Breakfast: Three buffet-style Belizean meals are served daily in a dining "palapa."
 Morning: Morning and afternoon boat excursions to research sites. Data collection.
 Lunch: Three buffet-style Belizean meals are served daily in a dining "palapa."
 Afternoon: Morning and afternoon boat excursions to research sites. Data collection.
 Dinner: Three buffet-style Belizean meals are served daily in a dining "palapa."
 Evening: Evening lectures, presentations, discussion sessions
   
Accommodations: Blackbird-Oceanic Society Field Station
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8:
(Saturday, February 23)
   
 Breakfast: Three buffet-style Belizean meals are served daily in a dining "palapa."
 Morning: Morning boat excursions to research sites. Data collection
 Lunch: Three buffet-style Belizean meals are served daily in a dining "palapa."
 Afternoon: Afternoon boat excursions to research sites. Data collection
 Dinner: Three buffet-style Belizean meals are served daily in a dining "palapa."
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Full day excursion to the Blue Hole made famous by Jacques Cousteau, and Half Moon Caye seabird sanctuary.
(Sunday, February 24)

Note: Snorkeling and Bird Watching. Seafood barbecue on the beach.



   
 Depart From: Blackbird Caye by boat for an hour and a half trip to Lighthouse Reef Atoll.
 Morning: Snorkel the rim of the famous Blue Hole.
 Lunch: Enjoy a barbecue on the beach of seafood and other Belizean specialties.
 Afternoon: leisurely walk to the Half Moon Caye Booby and Frigate bird sanctuary to see nesting seabirds. Also enjoy fabulous beach snorkeling. Late afternoon departure back to Blackbird Caye and the Field Station.
 Dinner: Enjoy your dinner at the Field Station Palapa.
   
Accommodations: Blackbird-Oceanic Society Field Station
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: 90-minute boat transfer from Blackbird-Oceanic Society Field Station, Turneffe Atoll to Belize City.
(Monday, February 25)
   
 Depart From: 90-minute boat transfer from Blackbird-Oceanic Society Field Station, Turneffe Atoll back to Belize City.
 Breakfast: Enjoy a morning breakfast in your Palapa.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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