<< Visit Website
Categories: Animal, Educational, Environment, Medical, [ View All ]
Utila Centre For Marine Ecology Charity Profile
Utila Centre for Marine Ecology was founded in 2006 to bridge the gap between applied scientific research and community based conservation and became a recognised Honduran non-governmental organisation in 2007.
UCME's goal is to develop as a focal point for the investigation of tropical marine biodiversity and since its inception has grown rapidly to build links and collaborative partnerships with many national and international universities, other non-governmental organisations and regional institutions. The heart of UCME's philosophy is that for conservation to succeed, results from research need to be directly applied to education and management initiatives.
To improve the welfare and economic growth of Utila and Honduras by supporting the management and sustainable use of marine biodiversity
Aims and Objectives
The aim of UCME is to conduct and support applied marine research using a combination of academic scientists and volunteer data collection and then to use this information in the creation of innovative community education programmes and to support effective conservation strategies.
To achieve this Utila Centre for Marine Ecology has three interlinked objectives:
To conduct and support relevant research that increases the understanding of complex marine ecosystems in the Bay Islands
To use collated information to assist in the effective management and sustainable use of the island's natural resources.
2) Education & Capacity Building
To provide a point of contact and source of information on tropical island biodiversity
To give specially designed educational courses on marine and island ecology
To develop national capacity in marine resource assessment and research techniques
To be a leading voice for the conservation of tropical island ecosystems
To create and support innovative conservation strategies based on results from local and regional studies
To provide experts on the island's biological resources for national and regional forums
Utila Centre For Marine Ecology Volunteer Information
As a volunteer at UCME you will participate in a variety of diving, boat based, and terrestrial research activities currently being conducted at the centre. If not able to dive already you will be trained how to dive to internationally recognised standards and then given science training especially designed to teach you the skills you’ll require to collect important data sets. You’ll complete surveys on whale sharks and dolphin populations, take part in coral reef health appraisals, fisheries assessments, and mangrove studies, assisting biologists above and below the waves. The UCME volunteer programme enables participants to learn more about the marine environment, assist researchers as they study the island’s biodiversity and by so doing directly contribute to UCME’s ongoing research and conservation aims.
At UCME we have 4 main research areas; Megafauna; Reef Fisheries; Coral Reef Ecology; and Island Ecology. Each is headed up by a programme leader, a biologist who oversees all aspects of the research programme. Within each research area there are sub programmes that vary depending on season (e.g. spawning aggregations of grouper) or other factors such as weather (e.g. finding whale sharks in heavy rain) so the work is often varied but always stimulating.