Course I


Open Ocean Monitoring Courses

Module I: Discovering the open sea - The challenges of studying a 3-dimensional environment

Contents of the course

This course gives an insight into various aspects of marine biology, the challenge of studying highly mobile species in the open seas, the means available and the application of science to conservation frameworks.

Related topics such as oceanography, marine spatial management and ecology will be studied in the context of the Mediterranean Sea.


Main topics

  • Basics of oceanography, and open ocean ecosystems.
  • Understanding the movements of top pelagic species, mainly cetaceans and sea turtles.
  • Combining in-situ data sampling with telemetry data.
  • Special aspects of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Environmental problems and conservation.



  • Visual survey (detection and identification) of cetaceans, seabirds and marine turtles.
  • Boat-based oceanographic measurements and sampling.
  • Capturing turtles and taking biopsy samples.
  • Tracking and mark-recapture techniques to provide data for conservation of endangered species.
  • Planning surveys and experimental design.
  • Bearing and rangefinding practice (“lookout calibration”).
  • Documentation and ethology (drawings, photos and video).
  • Discussions based on video and photo documentations.



After completion of the course a graded certificate will be issued, given the participants have fulfilled following requirements:

  • Regular attendance of all course hours
  • Giving a short presentation during the course
  • A written final report on the course

Recommended credit points: 2 +1 (optional)


Included services

8 overnight stays in shared dormitory-style accommodation (Sailing vessel) with food included on board. Nine days of biology class, including visual and acoustic survey in the context of a LIFE+ Nature project.