July 27 – August 3, 2019

About Bonaire: Home to eight of the most species-rich sites in REEF’s Tropical Western Atlantic database, the reefs of Bonaire are legendary among underwater naturalists and REEF surveyors. In fact, this destination is so popular with our surveyors that we are offering two trips here in 2019! Participants may join both back-to-back weeks of the trip, or choose to sign up for either the boat diving or shore diving focused week. This week will be boat diving focused, and includes 10 group boat dives as well as unlimited shore diving throughout Bonaire’s marine park. Experience Bonaire’s dive sites via boat access, while expanding your knowledge of Caribbean fish species alongside other marine life enthusiasts. Bonaire is also an excellent destination for families and non-diving companions, with many shallow snorkeling reefs teeming with fish and invertebrate life.

About REEF trips: The REEF Volunteer Fish Survey Project is our cornerstone citizen science program. Started in 1993, this project engages volunteer SCUBA divers and snorkelers to collect and report information on marine fish populations as well as sea turtles and select invertebrate and algae species. One of the most effective and powerful ocean citizen science programs, it has generated the world’s largest database of marine fishes. This data is being used to better understand and protect ocean ecosystems worldwide.

Typical REEF Field Survey Trips study the diversity and abundance of species found within a selected project region. Each diving day, participants will head out with slate and underwater paper in-hand and start counting species. If you aren’t familiar with all your fish families and species prior to coming on the trip, there will be plenty of opportunities to learn the region’s fish during daily educational Fish ID seminars led by the project leader. Once the trip is complete, participants may upload their valuable survey data into REEF’s online program.

Past trips have gathered total species counts ranging in the hundreds and even uncovered some region’s more elusive and unexpected species as well. Fishery protections around the world depend on high quality data. With REEF data, submitted by citizen scientists, researchers are making exciting discoveries about marine ecosystems and policymakers have more information to refine conservation efforts.

About this Trip:

Home Base: Buddy Dive Resort, Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean

Costs: (CEDAM Scholarship recipient will be fully funded for housing, meals and diving.) $1,295 per diver based on double occupancy in a studio. $1,376 per diver based on double occupancy in a 1-bedroom apartment. Single occupancy pricing also available: $1,972 diver based on single occupancy in a studio. $2,134 per diver based on single occupancy in a 1-bedroom apartment.

Accommodations: (CEDAM Scholarship recipient will be assigned housing which could be double occupancy if available.) Studios have either 1 king or 2 twin beds, full kitchen with fridge, cooktop, microwave and utensils, patio, TV, and safe deposit box. One-bedroom apartments have a private bedroom with either 1 king or 2 twin beds, living area, full kitchen, patio, TV and safe deposit box.

Diving: Buddy Dive offers single tank boat dives. Ten boat dives are included in the package and will be pre-scheduled throughout the week. Unlimited air and Nitrox fills are available at the drive thru tank pickup and the dive dock. Rinse tanks are located at the drive thru and dive docks. Average water temperature in Bonaire is 82 degrees Fahrenheit. A 3mm wetsuit is recommended.

Trip Leader: Janna Nichols works extensively with the Volunteer Fish Survey Project as REEF’s Citizen Science Program Manager. She coordinates REEF’s social media presence and also established REEF’s online Fishinar program. Janna is passionate about underwater photography and marine life identification, and many of her photos appear in west coast marine life ID guides, publications, and online resources. Having completing more than 1,000 REEF surveys, she is a member of REEF’s Golden Hamlet Club and is an expert level surveyor in the Pacific Coast, Hawaii and Tropical Western Atlantic regions.

How to Get There: (CEDAM Scholarship recipient will be fully funded for air transportation from the US to/from Bonaire.) Participants should make arrangements to fly into Flamingo International Airport in Kralendjk (airport code BON), arriving on Saturday, July 27, and departing on the following Saturday, Aug. 3. Participants are responsible for booking their own air travel. REEF is not able to book airfare.

Transfers: Airport transfers via shuttle are included in the package and will be arranged in advance. A manual transmission rental vehicle (1 vehicle per room) is included in the package and will be provided upon checking in, so that participants can visit the many shore diving sites throughout the island.

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