On a Ridge to Reef conservation expedition, You can choose to be a part of TIDE’s marine or terrestrial programs, or you can even join in both. You Work closely with TIDE’s team of local scientists, rangers and guides, you will learn about the conservation programs TIDE manages in southern Belize, and be a part of those programs by assisting the team with activities and research in the field. Each season, the teams will focus on different activities, in line with TIDE’s current conservation priorities. Read more about TIDE’s ongoing conservation and research programs here.
On a conservation expedition, a typical week looks like this:
Monday – Friday: Conservation and research activities. For field-based activities you will stay in Payne’s Creek National Park or at our facility in Big Falls village. For other activities, such as community outreach or lab research, you will stay with a local homestay family or in Big Falls village.
Saturday: Be immersed in the best adventure and culture that Belize has to offer through one of our tours – which will be included in your package price! On weekends you and the team will stay in our peaceful Big Falls facility, or in a homestay in Punta Gorda town.
Sunday: Relax ready for a busy week ahead!
Week by week schedule MARINE:
Week 1 – Learn to SCUBA dive with a PADI Open Water dive course
Week 2 – Learn about marine ecosystems and practice your new dive skills by visiting sites in the marine reserve
Week 3 – Gain more underwater confidence and skills with the PADI Advanced SCUBA course, and learn about the season’s research focus, including methodology
Week 4 – Practice research methodology in-situ whilst diving, then start collecting data!
Weeks 5 + – Continue data collection on the season’s research topics. Opportunities to conduct lab work as appropriate and begin individual project analysis and write up.
Week by week schedule TERRESTRIAL:
Week 1 – Learn about TIDE’s terrestrial protected areas, and visit different ecosystems with ranger team, learning about ecology and management challenges.
Week 2 – Start to learn about the season’s research focus, including species identification and research methodology.
Week 3 – Pilot research methodology in the field. Review and revise as necessary.
Weeks 4 + – Continue data collection on the season’s research topics. Opportunities to conduct lab work as appropriate and begin individual project analysis and write up.
There are no prerequisites for our conservation expeditions, all training is provided including PADI SCUBA training for marine based programs. Once trained, your time will be spent contributing to TIDE’s ongoing project goals. Whilst all our expeditions are lead by the TIDE team, there are opportunities for your to undertake your own research project for an undergraduate or Master’s thesis during your program, under the supervision of the TIDE Science Director. This is an exciting opportunity to undertake cutting edge research with an award winning NGO!
We ask for a minimum 4 week commitment for our conservation expeditions, which allows you to undergo all necessary training and still make your contribution to TIDE’s programs. For some marine projects, we ask for a minimum 6 to 8 week commitment.
Our 2018 expedition seasons are being planned as we speak! Please contact us to let us know your interests and we will keep you updated.
You can also speak with our former team volunteers via our Facebook group.