On all the trips (3) that I have taken with All-Star I can think of nothing that "you" can improve.
The Citizen Scientist program gives recreational divers a hands-on opportunity to help with various reef enhancement projects. It’s an easy way to learn about and get involved in nurturing the future of the reefs of the Bahamas. You can become a Citizen Scientist and help Marine Biologist Nikita Shiel-Rolle with surveying coral reefs, translocating of diadema sea urchins and developing and expanding our coral nursery and coral transplant program.
- Sep 1-7, 2018
- Sep 8-14, 2018
- $1,695.00 per person
- plus $135.00 port fees
- Up to 19 dives
- 6 night accommodations
- 3 meals daily, snacks and beverages
- Participation in research projects
- Shore excursions and use of stand up paddleboards and kayaks
Nikita’s work is helping to restore diadema populations to struggling reefs by translocating them, as well as beginning a coral out planting nursery. The nursery is in the very early stages as it is still being constructed and only a few corals have been placed there. In another 8-12 months, we expect it to expand quite a bit.
The sea urchin (diadema) aspect of the project will be ongoing and monitoring the reef sites is the key to success. Progress is slow due to the nature of the project so we expect changes will not be visible for a little while longer.
Eight sites have been selected (4 in the Exumas and 4 in Eleuthera) for relocation of sea urchins and so far results are promising as we have seen the relocated urchins months later.
All of these efforts are to help improve coral reef populations through the urchin relocation, coral out planting, reef monitoring, and education to make a positive impact on the struggling reefs. The data will hopefully be used in the future by Bahamian government affiliates to better protect these ecosystems.
Nikita Shiel-Rolle has a Masters of Science in Biodiversity, Wildlife and Ecosystem Health from the University of Edinburgh. During her undergraduate career at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science Nikita founded Young Marine Explorers a non-profit organization committed to conservation and youth development.
Between 2012 and 2015 Nikita was a Zoological Society of London EDGE Fellow, and developed the framework for a youth driven citizen science coral monitoring program in The Bahamas. Her innovative approach drew international attention and was featured in a documentary at a major coral reef exhibit at the Natural History Museum of London in 2015. Her deep passion for the ocean, exploration and education coupled with her love for The Bahamas has shaped her goals as a conservation biologist.
In 2013, Nikita was recognized during the 40th anniversary of The Bahamas as one of 40 under 40 that will most likely shape the future of the country and was award the 2015 Bahamas Icon Award for Youth Development. A PADI dive instructor and NACD Cave Diver Nikita participated in the National Geographic Expedition on Bahamian Blue Holes as a research assistant working on cave microbiology. Nikita co-produced WAVES, a documentary about conservation and social change in The Bahamas. Additionally, Nikita is co-author of “Islands of the Sun: A Tribute To The Northern Exuma Cays”, which features her photography.
The recipient of a number of scholarships and awards including those from the Lyford Cay Foundation, Rotary and the Organization of American States, Nikita is currently the senior research assistant at Perry Institute for Marine Science.