Marine Biology Weeks 2021

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Three Marine Biology Workshops 2021

Fish 'n Fins Palau offers 3 marine biology workshops with marine biologist Stephan Moldzio in November 2021.

During these workshops we will take a closer look at the fascinating underwater world and various habitats of Palau from different perspectives:

Marine Biology Workshops

In the first week we will start with the 3-days "basic" workshop, followed by a 2-days "advanced" workshop and finally run a 2-days "Coral ID workshop" in the second week. In the days between, we may enjoy diving, or take part in land tours or other activities around Palau.

We start with the fish part and study the family characteristics and ecology of local reef fish. Later, in the "advanced" workshop, we work with scientific databases and create a species list. In that course, fish identification skills will be further developed. A fish presentation and a fish ID quiz are also on the program.

In the following workshop we will deal in detail with the ecology of coral reefs - from the food web and predator-prey relationships, parasitism and symbioses, to functional groups such as algae grazers, we look at the process of reef formation and erosion, zonation and the different reef types, and conclude with today's threats to coral reefs and environmental protection.

We take samples of microorganisms in the reef, in the sand, and from the plankton - with subsequent examination under stereomicroscopes. A zoological drawing is made with a look at the morphology of the various groups of organisms, as well as a sampling protocol. Besides coral reefs, we will explore the adjacent habitats of the seagrass meadow and the mangroves and will recognize their immense importance for the reefs and the manifold connections.

The corals are the main builders of the reefs and therefore create this fascinating ecosystem. In the coral ID workshop, the focus is solely on the corals and their biology. Using the "Indopacific Coral Finder", as a tool for systematic coral ID, we will be able to determine any stony coral down to genus level, which is a rather uncommon skill for(the very)most divers. Another highlight is the fluorescence night dive, where we make the reef glow with blue light lamps!

At the beginning of the workshops, each participant will receive an interesting workshop booklet and at the end a confirmation of participation about the course contents. By use of vivid marine biology methods and in teamwork we work out the interrelations in the reef so that each participant contributes to the common result. On four evenings there will be lectures on various topics related to coral reefs.

The workshops are suitable for snorkelers and divers, all age groups (min 10 years), from beginners to experienced dive professionals, because everybody starts working with the provided methods from his/her knowledge level, while Stephan takes care about each guest in this small group personally. Many former participants emphasized that the course substantially changed their underwater perception. Especially UW photographers and experienced divers will draw big advantage from the workshops, improving and deepening their former knowledge and species ID skills.

Testimonials

"The workshop exceeded my expectations. I'm interested anyway, what I see down there and I got to see and explain more than ever before. On demand, all my questions have been answered. Especially Stephans enthusiasm for "UW" I find wonderful and inspiring. The workshop is a very good introduction for beginners as well as for advanced people. The workshop materials are absolutely great. I can definitely recommend the workshop and hopefully, I'll be back to it again."

"Stephan was very well prepared, but still being flexible for special interests/specializations.
Our decision was more than right. The workshops were superb. We started without any major expectations and were thrilled. Right now, after one month back home, I realize how much we have learned. Certainly, I recommend the courses. And if there is the opportunity, I will take part in the next course."

"Anyone who may think that a workshop during a well-deserved holiday can be difficult to combine should be convinced of the opposite by Stephan. After a very short time during the Marine Biology Workshop, Stephan's enthusiasm for the animal and coral world was absolutely contagious. In a very relaxed atmosphere, I was able to learn so much in such a short time and now I dive with a completely different eye! I think every passionate diver should join a workshop in his "diving career" to better understand the incredible complexity and versatility of the marvelous coral reefs. Thank you, Stephan, and see you next workshop!"

Marine Biology with Stephan Moldzio

Stephan Moldzio is an independent, self-employed marine biologist from Germany and studied biological oceanography at IFM-GEOMAR.

He has been an aquarist for over 35 years, and together with his wife Sandra established a marine aquarium business GREEN CORALS eleven years ago, focussing on coral propagation and offering various services for aquarium keepers. As a biologist, diving instructor and UW photographer, Stephan wants to draw the people under the spell of the underwater world.

Since 2009 he has been conducting marine biology workshops, reef check courses and microscopy courses for children under the label MARINE BIOLOGY WORKSHOPS. 10 years ago, he initiated a long term reef monitoring program in Egypt, along with regular Reef Check courses and surveys.

Other areas of interest include climate protection and global material cycles. Since his childhood, he has been involved in environmental protection, in various fields – as a biologist giving lectures and also on the street.

Today and in the future marine ecosystems are exposed to a wide range of pressures. To save our fascinating and gorgeous ecosystems on earth, Stephan is convinced that we need to switch to 100% renewable energies as fast as possible and to a sustainable circular economy in harmony with nature. With his workshops, Stephan wants to inspire people with the magnificence of nature and specifically of the oceans, raise awareness concerning human impacts on marine ecosystems, and encourage everyone to take action for their protection.

With his "ocean events" and microscopy workshops he turns especially to the young generation, to help raise the nature lovers and environmentalists of tomorrow.

More information on Stephan’s homepage www.greencorals.de and Facebook pages GREEN CORALS and MARINE BIOLOGY WORKSHOPS


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