Seagrass Ecology & Monitoring

Seagrass meadows are crucial components of coastal ecosystems. They prevent erosion, regulate nutrient flow to coral reefs, provide habitat and nurseries for marine life, and serve as vital carbon sinks. They are also essential food sources, supporting herbivorous and detritivorous food chains, with species like dugongs and green sea turtles relying heavily on them. However, these meadows are rapidly declining, with a 30% loss since the 1980s. This course aims to raise awareness of the human-induced threats they face and generate research to advance understanding and conservation efforts for these vital ecosystems.

Take this course

Familiarize yourself with the anatomy and morphology of various seagrass types, focusing on diagnostic features for identification.

Differentiate between terrestrial plants and seagrass.

Grasp the taxonomic system for classifying marine plants and microorganisms, including family and genus recognition, and learn techniques for monitoring and recording seagrass data.

Understand the significance of seagrass and the current threats it faces.

Program Eligibility and Requirements

To join the Seagrass Ecology & Monitoring Program, participants need to meet the following criteria:

  1. Age Requirement: Applicants must be 12 years of age or older.
  2. Diver Certification: Applicants should hold certification as an Advanced diver from a recognized diving organization such as PADI, SSI, RAID, or similar. Alternatively, Open Water divers can be eligible if they have successfully completed a buoyancy appraisal under the guidance of a professional diver.
  3. Diving Proficiency: Applicants need to showcase advanced diving skills, including excellent buoyancy control and self-awareness.
  4. Certifications: Interested individuals must have completed the following certifications offered by our program:

 

Upon Enrollment in the Course, participants will be required to:

  • Attend the practical session to understand the monitoring techniques used to survey seagrass
  • Practice identifying seagrass on land using photo analysis and/or specimens
  • Perform 2 survey dives to analyse seagrass coverage and density using different methodologies
  • Be able to accurately identify at least 5 of the most common seagrass genera to the region
  • Complete e-Learning

Published papers and reports derived through the teaching of this course

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