Nudibranch & Sea Slug Ecology

Nudibranchs, and other sea slugs, are a diverse and fascinating group of marine gastropods that have developed very colorful and ornate forms. Apart from being a favorite sighting by divers and photographers, their biodiversity is an indicator of total reef diversity, and also can be used when assessing changes in the physical or biological composition of marine areas in the face of disturbances. In our course you will learn about the ecology and taxonomy of sea slugs, and about how to conduct scientific surveys to monitor their abundance and diversity.

Develop skills to differentiate sea slug families based on anatomy.

Understand the global ecological and economic roles of sea slugs.

Master diverse survey methods for marine invertebrates in muck.

Familiarize yourself with hierarchical taxonomy and identification techniques.

Program Eligibility and Requirements

To join the Nudibranch & Sea Slug Ecology 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.

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

  • Attend the nudibranch and sea slug lecture
  • Complete the Sea Slug Quiz with a passing grade of at least 80%
  • Attend at least 1 briefing involving procedures for diving in soft-sediment habitats (aka. muck habitat)
  • Conduct at least 1 survey to observe and record sea slugs
  • Complete identification of 2 different species (underwater or using photos) using online and library resources

Published papers and reports derived through the teaching of this course

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