Marine Biology Course in Italy

Global Nomadic  »  Marine Biology Course in Italy

Marine Biology Course in Italy

from £870
Duration: 1 week
Countries: Italy
Work and study aboard a sailboat cruising the Mediterranean, searching for endangered marine life, conducting research and attend onboard seminars to learn from seasoned scientists!
Summary

Marine Biology Course in Italy

INTRODUCTION

For those wishing to jumpstart or further a career in marine biology, or for more casual conservationists keen to enjoy Italy’s ‘dolce vita’ while contributing to important ecological research, this one week Marine Biology Course on the Italian island of Ischia is for you. You will specifically investigate declining dolphin populations in the Italian Mediterranean with a local NGO, living aboard a historical cutter ship of 18 m and contributing to ongoing academic research and conservation initiatives.

DAILY LIFE

On board there will be lectures on cetology: the research of cetaceans in the Italian seas, the key areas for the study of whales and dolphins in the Mediterranean, conservation and preservation, evolution, adaptation to the marine environment, classification, insight into the cetaceans of the Mediterranean and in particular of the studied species in particular, bioacoustics, social behaviour and interaction with fisheries.

You will leave every day to sail, according to the project and weather conditions. Your duties onboard consist of helping researchers monitoring dolphins. Dolphin behaviour is recorded together with geographic position, group size, group composition, group formation, surface activity patterns and duration of surfacing intervals. Behavioural sampling is coupled with acoustic recording of dolphin vocalisations, in order to relate the sounds produced by the animals to different behavioural activities. Navigation data are collected in order to estimate dolphins relative sighting frequencies. You will also help record the presence of sea turtles, tuna, swordfish, fish schools, mantas, moonfish and marine birds.

Get on board with this unique project and gain invaluable research, monitoring, and evaluation skills, while enjoying Italian wine (included in the project fee) and the clear waters of the Med.


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Details

Further Details

More information about this gap year opportunity...

Price details:

from £870

Travel & Accommodation

You will be given easy to follow instructions to get from Rome (Fiumicino) international airport to the island, where you will be met by project staff and taken to the ship.

You will live on board the cutter ship. You will be in a shared cabin with basic bathroom and kitchen facilities. Interested volunteers can learn the main riggings to sail such as steering, hoisting and striking the sails, and take confidence with sheets, halyard, compass and courses. You can also collaborate with the crew during the mooring.

Why Take Part

Literature, photographic documentation, and osteological collections indicate that the common dolphin used to be common – thence its name – throughout the Mediterranean Sea, however the species has experienced a dramatic decline in numbers during the last few decades, and has almost completely disappeared from large portions of its former range including the northern Adriatic Sea and the Ligurian Sea. In 2003, the Mediterranean common dolphin ‘subpopulation’ was listed as endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. A number of interacting factors may have played a role in the decline of common dolphins in the Mediterranean, ranging from natural fluctuations to the impact of human activities. Some of the human-induced threats – based on the available evidence – are most likely to be implicated in the species’ decline. These include factors as diverse as prey depletion, contamination by xenobiotics, direct killing, fishery bycatch and global climate change. Other potential threats to Mediterranean common dolphins include disturbance by recreational vessel traffic, noise from shipping, mineral prospecting (seismic) and military sonar, and oil pollution.

The research is conducted in collaboration with: ASMS Ocean Care (Swiss coalition for marine mammals), Humane Society, OceanoMare, RSPCA (Royal Society for the prevention of Cruelty to Animals, University of Naples (Geology Department), Zoological Station A. Dohrn.

Photos

Photo Gallery

Bottlenose dolphin

Bottlenose dolphin

Filming marine life

Filming marine life

Sailing work

Sailing work

Sperm whale

Sperm whale

Watching for dolphins

Watching for dolphins

Cetaceans lecture

Cetaceans lecture

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