The Department of Marine Sciences (DMS) offers an extension program to promote marine education among the youth of Puerto Rico. Activities include lectures on marine ecosystems of Puerto Rico, focused on La Parguera, and hands-on laboratories. Conservation issues are emphasized in an attempt to instill respect and appreciation for the marine realm.
The program is limited to the participation of schools (children age10 and older), formal educational groups, and universities that are oriented towards providing additional marine education. The educational activities are coordinated by a DMS administrative assistant. In return for services provided, the DMS requests a donation to cover honoraria for graduate students who receive the visitors, in addition, to presenting lectures and conducting field laboratories. The donation is not obligatory.
The DMS is very concerned with safety both at the Marine Laboratories at Isla Magueyes as well as when on the water. All of our students/lecturers take a navigation course offered by the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. Our boats are inspected regularly by our personnel and corresponding agencies to assure proper function and that all the required safety equipment is in place. Field laboratory activities are conducted in small (17 ft) outboard boats. A maximum of 6 students is allowed per boat in addition, to the graduate student directing the activity.
On an annual basis this education program impacts nearly 40 schools and an average of 1000-1200 children whose school teachers include us as a resource to enhance their classes and the learning experiences provided.
Visiting Academic Groups
The DMS welcomes high school, university and college groups to visit the Magueyes Island Laboratory facilities. Visiting groups for academic purposes are welcome to take advantage of the natural diversity of the area and the resources offered by our laboratories and marine section. The DMS can accommodate one-day or overnight or multi-night visits for a maximum of 22 occupants. Visits may include use of our small boats and guided field trips to the wide variety of tropical marine habitats that surround Magueyes Island. The facilities are nearly available year round. We also provide student lecturers for school groups on request.
Always schedule your visit well in advance (one month or more). Please contact Mrs Lilivette Valle for information on available dates.