HSA Columbus High Awarded Expedition Grant

Congratulations to Horizon Science Academy Columbus High on being awarded $20,00 by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation to take 6 students to Costa Rica for 9 days for an expedition called “Marine Mammals and Predators in Costa Rice” by Earthwatch Institue.

HSA Columbus High School students and educators will be part of the research team in Costa Rica, conducting research on marine mammals and predators. Their findings may help develop a permanent marine protected area.

Some fun main tasks they will be doing are:

  1. Monitor whales and dolphins by boat. Students will follow these groups of dolphins and whales. When they spot a cetacean, they’ll document GPS locations, size, and behaviors (ex. Feeding, traveling, etc).
  2. Students will also record a trophic web, they will document and describe the species in multi-predator assemblages by overserving aggregations of schooling fish and their predators. 
  3. The students will photo-identify individuals. On land, they will help sort all the pictures of each dolphin species so that the scientists can identify individuals using the unique scars, notches, and other dorsal fin markings. 

This project is now entering a new stage and will be expanding to understand how the entire Golfo Dulce ecosystem functions by gathering data on the presence of other top predators. Through this research, and with your volunteer involvement, this project will help to develop conservation plans to protect the marine biodiversity in the gulf in the future. Learn more