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URI FLP - Mexico: Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres, Mexico (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Summer
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Program Description:
Program Description:
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Field Methods in Shark Research

This is a 3-credit, field-oriented, two-week summer course on field methods for conducting research on elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) in the wild.  The course consists of one week conducting fishing surveys in Rhode Island waters (based out of URI) and a second week in Isla Mujeres, Mexico investigating field methods used for whale shark research. 

During week one students will conduct shark fishing surveys off the RI coast from the URI Shark Research and Education Program boat R/V Big T.  The boat will depart from a local dock early in the morning and return late afternoon.  Students will set and retrieve shark long lines and identify and process captured sharks on board, or along side the boat for larger sharks.  
During week two students will travel by boat to a whale shark aggregation, where they will swim with whale sharks and apply field research methodology to the aggregation of sharks. This is an intense field course with long days on boats, sometimes under less than ideal conditions of rough seas and exposure to the elements, replicating conditions experienced during field research on marine fishes.   



Students will earn 3 URI credits for BIO 492.

Course work will be supplemented with various different activities including: setting long lines baited with fish, retrieving the long lines, small boat research methods, shark handling, and data collection in Rhode Island. While in Mexico, students will travel on a small boat to a whale shark aggregation, swimming (wet suit, mask, snorkel), observe sharks and record data.



Students will stay in double-occupancy rooms while in Mexico. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.


Program Fee: $3,575

Program fee includes: 
  • Round-trip airfare
  • Housing
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • In-country transportation
  • Excursions and cultural activities
  • Health insurance
NOTE: All fees subject to change.



Bradley Wetherbee, Ph.D.
(401) 874-2335  -
Dr. Bradley Wetherbee is a Teaching Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Rhode Island where he teaches introductory biology, marine biology, ecology, physiology and shark biology courses.  His research interests span from biochemistry and physiology to movement ecology and management of marine resources, specifically sharks.  Dr. Wetherbee regularly involves undergraduate students in his research through internships and directed research.

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