MarAlliance Belize: Student Underwater Field Work

As part of a National Geographic Student Expeditions (NGSE) trip to Belize, staff from the marine non-profit MarAlliance taught students how to conduct underwater transects. The students learned many of the fish species, how to estimate size, and how to ID, record, and (attempt to) swim in a straight line for 1km, all at the same time. The students found that being a marine biologist "was harder than I thought," but they also said it was "more fun" than they imagined and were confident they "still want to do it." Here, students swim a transect, fly a drone with National Geographic Explorer Shah Selbe, and finish the day with shark and ray photo ID. This hands-on field experience is invaluable for these high school students and I was psyched to see how enthusiastic they were, even after a long day on the water. Shot while teaching photography for NGSE in Belize in 2017.