Marine Ecology Courses
One week, Reefcheck certification
During this course, you learn how to identify indicator organisms in the coral reef. You will learn about corals, fish, invertebrates and coral impacts,
Two to eight weeks
This program will reward you with a lot of dive experience in combination with learning methods used by marine scientists. You will work in a team with local students and exchange knowledge and cultural experience.
In this course, you will learn about basic oceanography, common marine organisms and about biological interactions in tropical ecosystems. You spend part time in the classroom and part time at and in the sea.
About the Ecodiver course
The 1-week Ecodiver course is suitable also for those who can only join us for a limited period of time. Being certified by Reefcheck allows you to participate in coral reef surveys throughout the Indo-Pacific region. No prior marine biology skills are required, besides dive skills just a general enthusiasm to learn more about the marine environment. Visit reefcheck.org for more information about the reefcheck concept.
During the Ecodiver course at the Banda Islands, you will get to experience scuba diving in a very pristine underwater world, learn about marine life (corals, fish, invertebrates etc.), survey the reefs for the purpose of marine management and conservation and experience the unique Bandanese culture, history and the amazing environment of this biodiversity hotspot.
The course is split into three theory and four practice sessions and is completed with a test in which your fish, coral and invertebrate identification skills are assessed. Don't worry: we will focus only on key species and families that are relevant for the reef or are indicators of human impact. You don't have to learn all 300 coral species and 500 fish species that we can find at Banda. After completing the test you will be certified as a Ecodiver by the organisation Reefcheck and your Ecodiver card will be posted to your home address. After the course, we will put into practice what you have learned and will conduct 2 days of coral reef surveys at different sites around Banda.
During the course you will stay in our base Nurasia at the southern waterfront of Banda Naira.
Please contact us for more information and for info on starting dates.
Duration: 7 nights, 6 days
Price: IDR 7,450,000 with own dive equipment IDR 8,250,000 including rental equipment
About the Conservation volunteer program
In our marine conservation program, you will first acquire the skills needed to assist in conservation projects that are ongoing at the Banda Islands and will then assist yourself.
You can expect to dive and snorkel a lot while getting to see different sites around the Banda Islands. We will cater for accommodation, most meals and all activities (see what is included below). Activities are 6 days per week (Fridays are off). Below are examples of past and present projects. Besides these project, we support local students from Banda Naira University in conducting field work for their Bachelor thesis. These are different projects that all have to do with marine biology and diving. They are varying every year.
You should also spend one day per week supporting our plastic waste education program. This can be by teaching kids in the plastic-free schools or by helping to collect and sort plastic from the sea and beaches.
1) In the Bioluminescence project we observe and count flashlight fishes (Photoblepharon palpebratum & Anomalops katopteron) at night and create a map of their habitats around the Banda Islands. Flashlight fishes are small planktivorous fish with glowing patches underneath their eyes. These contain bio-luminescent bacteria whose light is used to attract prey and conspecifics. At night you will see them as moving light balls from the surface or as swimming dots of light while snorkeling or diving. Seeing these rare animals in the wild is an experience that will burn itself into your memory. The project is run by the University Banda Naira.
2) Coral Spawning has been well studied in several parts of the world, especially the great Barrier reef. In Other areas, such as the Banda Islands, there is still a lot to discover. Understanding patterns of distribution of coral larvae is a crucial aspect for effectively recommending on coral reef management. With the Lava Flow at Gunung Api, Banda, there is an extraordinary hard coral reef that probably substantially contributes to the provision of coral larvae to other sites. Observing corals spawning at night is something you will never forget.
3) Effects of noise in the sea on marine organisms is a field that is becoming more popular in recent years. Negative effects of boat noise, pile driving or ship sonars are known especially for marine mammals and some also for fish. Marine invertebrates, such as seasquirts, mussels and clams, crutaceans and echinoderms can also perceive noise. It is not known for most species, though, whether they suffer from noise. We investigate this together with students from Banda Naira University.
4) We also initiated a citizen science project to collect information on potentially invasive marine species. Read here for more information.
Please contact us for more information or reservation.
Duration: 2 - 8 weeks
Price per week: IDR 3,400,000 with own dive equipment/ IDR 3,900,000 including rental equipment
Tropical Marine Ecology Course
About the tropical marine ecology course
This course teaches you all aspects needed to understand the functions of and interactions in tropical marine ecosystems. The focus is put on coral reefs. Most days will begin with theory sessions led by one of our marine ecologists and will have a practical session (mostly diving) in the afternoon during which you get to see and apply what you have learned. The course is suitable for biology, marine science and fisheries students, but also for those coming from completely different fields - as long as there is a strong interest in marine biology. Subjects covered during the course are: basic oceanography, plankton, nekton, tropical marine ecosystems, interactions in coral reefs, threats to coral reefs, ocean litter. Discount is offered to students inquiring in groups.
Please contact us for more information and for info on starting dates.
Duration: 14 nights, 12 days program
Price: IDR 15,600,000 with own dive equipment/ IDR 17,200,000 including rental equipment
Where you will stay
During all courses on Banda, you will stay in the seaside guesthouse Nurasia located at the waterfront on Banda Naira. It is run by a very friendly family who will cater well for you and is happy to provide you with all local information needed to make your stay pleasant. All rooms are equipped with ceiling fans and ensuite bathroom. Banda Naira offers all the benefits of civilization, like electricity, speedy internet, a variety of meal options and places to explore on foot. We do not include dinners in our package while you stay on Banda Naira to allow you explore local cuisine or go for European options. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes and Warungs that you can choose from and most options will cost around €2-3 per meal.
If we get the chance to visit Hatta Island during the course, you will live right on the beach. This is a remote place with limited electricity and no internet access. Here, all meals (included in the price above) will be cooked for you by a local family. It’s a unique place where you can snorkel with turtles, see blacktip reefsharks from the shore and spend all your free time on the beautiful coral reef right at your doorstep.