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Old 24-10-2012, 10:56   #1
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Host a Scientific Expedition!

Hi Sailing World!

Are you searching for something new and exciting? A huge learning experience? A chance to have an impact on science and education? Perhaps some cruising with a non-sailing goal in mind? Host a scientific expedition on your ship!

Sorry for the long post (and cross posting), but I want to get as much information out there as I can!

I am a biologist working on a study of the Arachnids of the Caribbean. This is a very large international project that is taking place over a period of at least 5 years. So far we have made trips or plans for trips to all of the Greater Antilles Islands: Puerto Rico, Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica (coming 2013). However, one of the really big limitations for us is visiting all of the hundreds of smaller islands in the Caribbean. We are searching for boats of any sort who are cruising in the Caribbean and are interested in hosting a small group of scientists aboard their ship.

Here are our needs:
1) Any size and any type vessel cruising anywhere in the Caribbean (excluding the large islands in the North).

2) Space aboard for 2 (possibly more?) people.

2) A small area inside or out where we can sit at a table (while anchored) and look at stuff in microscopes.

3) Space for minimal equipment (2 large duffel bags).

4) A willingness to anchor for at least 2 days on each island visited.


Here is what we are willing to offer:
1) A wealth of natural history knowledge of the Caribbean. Just think of us as your personal nature guide.

2) We are really good cooks!

3) We are even harder workers and willing to help crew the boat (limited experience but we are fast learners).

4) We are a fun time! (Not all scientists are boring)

5) If you have kids we are happy to do some education exchange.

6) Our budget for the project is pretty tight (nobody wants to fund scientific research anymore), but we are willing to pay for reasonable costs while we are aboard. (ie Anchorage fees, Cruising fees, Food and Beverage, fuel (other costs? ie satellite)).


Here is just a little bit about us and our goals (also visit www{dot}islandbiogeography{dot}org and be sure to check out our blog on the site, you can also follow us on Twitter @ CaribbeanBio, and on Facebook @ CaribbeanIslandBiogeography):

The Caribbean is a hotspot of biodiversity
The Caribbean archipelago consists of no less than 7000+ islands stretching over 4000 km. Many, perhaps most, of these islands harbor some species that live nowhere else in the world. Because islands are isolated (surrounded by water) species that manage to colonize them may become immediately isolated from other populations of that species. Whether through changes related to adapting to their new environment, or merely changes that occur at random (for example genetic drift), such isolated populations become, through time, genetically and morphologically distinct from the 'source' population on the mainland. Thus, eventually, new species are formed on islands through an interplay of colonization and isolation. Archipelagos with thousands of islands have many opportunities for speciation and as a result the Caribbean is one of Conservation International hotspots of biodiversity.
Our project aims to understand how species are formed through the interplay of geology, such as the formation, size, age, and isolation of islands, and dispersal ability, that is the ability of different organisms to travel between isolated landmasses.
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Old 24-10-2012, 11:05   #2
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Re: Host a Scientific Expedition!

Wondering if the Bahamas are included in the study.
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Old 24-10-2012, 11:10   #3
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Re: Host a Scientific Expedition!

The Bahamas are absolutely a part of the study!!
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Old 24-10-2012, 11:41   #4
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Re: Host a Scientific Expedition!

Very cool proposal, and I wish I was ready to assist. I've been involved with wildlife conservation and policy decisions for 2 decades, and this would very much be up my alley (I've worked with a lot of bio staff!)

Good luck. If this is a multi-year project, perhaps next year.
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Old 24-10-2012, 11:46   #5
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Re: Host a Scientific Expedition!

Thanks, I hope more people are interested. Our timeline is totally open, anytime in the next 2-3 years so stay in touch!
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Old 24-10-2012, 11:53   #6
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Re: Host a Scientific Expedition!

Sounds like a cool idea!

(and well done on offering to put hand into own pocket - these sort of ideas that pop out of the internet now and again usually seem to miss out that small detail ).
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Old 24-10-2012, 12:11   #7
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Re: Host a Scientific Expedition!

Mmmm are those Arachnids disguised as SPIDERS SCORPIONS etc?

Call me if there's a MAHI MAHI study on....

Cheers good luck.
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Old 24-10-2012, 12:15   #8
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Would love to be involved in some way. We have two small children ages 5 and 3, and one spare berth, with boat currently in trinidad. Would really love to have kids involved in this. Wont be cruising until next year but will stay intouch.
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Old 24-10-2012, 12:24   #9
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Re: Host a Scientific Expedition!

Hi Foolishsailor!

We love kids! We have developed some amazing activities that we've used in schools in the Dominican Republic and are hoping to expand to more schools and islands once we've found a boat (or boats) to host us. Our team is a range of people from 20 year old undergraduates to full university professors. We may be headed down to Trinidad this year via air if we don't find a boat so it would be great to meet up if you are still there. Please stay in touch.
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Old 25-10-2012, 14:56   #10
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Re: Host a Scientific Expedition!

Might be able to meet your needs here. And it sounds very interesting. I have a catamaran in the islands and would like to discuss this with you further.

PM me if interested. m1i2k3e45 at msn dot com

Regards,

Mike
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Old 25-10-2012, 15:19   #11
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Re: Host a Scientific Expedition!

Hi CaribbeanBio (again), great idea, and fascinating research project. Unfortunately I'm Great Lakes bound for the next 1 1/2 years, but after that we're headed to the Caribbean. Keep me in mind for then. And if you've got any colleagues looking for a similar floating platform up here on the upper lakes, let me know!
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Old 25-10-2012, 16:00   #12
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This sounds like a wonderful experience and I hope someday we can help someone who isn't studying arachnids. Himself is creeped out even more than herself.
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Old 26-10-2012, 20:13   #13
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What an excellent idea! Would love to help you out, but stuck inland for the for seeable future.
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Old 30-10-2012, 08:02   #14
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Re: Host a Scientific Expedition!

I have a 51 foot sail boat based in the Bahamas but will probably going down the Caribbean next year. Have a lot of down time, so would be very interested in helping. Very experienced sailor. No fear of bugs. Well traveled. Writer. Plenty of room on the boat. Generator. AC. Fridge/freezer. Comfortable floating home. Table to work on etc.
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Old 30-10-2012, 08:10   #15
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Re: Host a Scientific Expedition!

Hi! Hope you find what you are looking for. We just spent 5 months in St. Maarten and suggest you contact Mike at Shrimpy's Laundry. Mike runs a cruisers forum every morning except Sunday and he could probably help by letting folks there know what you are looking for.

You can leave a message for Mike at Shrimpys Laundry and Yachting Center

Good luck!

Capt J
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