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  • A shark swims near a Shedd research expedition in the Caribbean.
  • Shark expert Steve Kessel wipes a swab along a shark's skin from the back of Shedd's research vessel, the Coral Reef II, in the Caribbean.
  • The bright branches of an orange coral look like grasping fingers.
  • The R/V Coral Reef II, Shedd's research vessel, viewed from above in the calm warm waters of the Bahamas.
  • The beautiful blue waters of the Bahamas, when viewed above, reveal a multitude of sandy shoals dropping into deep darker areas.


  • Participate in hands-on work alongside researcher Steve Kessel, Ph.D., and contribute to meaningful assessments used to investigate the relationship between ecosystem health and shark abundance.
  • Tour the world-famous Bimini Biological Research Field Station (aka Shark Lab) and learn about the research and techniques you will be using on this expedition.
  • Rotate activities each day, assisting with various research methods, including baited remote underwater video surveys (BRUVS), shallow and deep longline and drumline surveys, mark-recapture tagging, acoustic telemetry and tissue sampling.
  • Sail around the beautiful Berry and Bimini Islands in the Bahamas, taking some time to enjoy leisure activities unique to our location. These may include snorkeling a blue hole, the wreck of the SS Sapona and Triangle Rocks, as well as walking on beautiful remote beaches.
  • Live on Shedd’s research vessel, the R/V Coral Reef II, and experience life conducting conservation research in the field.
Steve Kessel, Shedd's Director of Marine Research, aboard a small research boat in the Bahamas.

Your expert trip leader

Steven Kessel, Ph.D., has worked extensively with a wide variety of marine species and has a well-established reputation as a conservation scientist. At Shedd, he oversees a suite of research projects aimed at protecting commercially important species in the Bahamas. His own original research is aimed at better understanding Caribbean shark species to protect them from further decline.

The R/V Coral Reef II, Shedd's research vessel, is a floating research laboratory station in the Bahamas.


Shedd Aquarium’s research vessel, the R/V Coral Reef II, will be our primary base of operations and our home during the entire trip. It is equipped with the creature comforts necessary to make such a trip enjoyable. Cabins and heads (marine toilets) are shared, with two single-bed bunks in each stateroom. In addition, the boat is air-conditioned and has its own freshwater system, with hot water for showering. Regular 110-volt service is always available. Please note that Wi-Fi connectivity is not available, although there will be a satellite phone in case of emergencies, and cell roaming is possible when close to the islands. Meals aboard the boat are planned and prepared by our chef.


  • Eight nights’ room and board on the R/V Coral Reef II
  • Welcome dinner the first night in Miami
  • All meals and nonalcoholic drinks
  • Bimini Shark Lab tour

Not Included

  • Personal expenses incurred outside of the time you arrive on and depart from the boat.
  • Flights to/from Miami, Florida
  • Transportation to/from Miami airport to Merrill-Stevens shipyard

Getting there and home

A valid passport for international travel is required. Once accepted to the program you will need to make your own travel arrangements to and from Bimini. We recommend arriving in Miami on April 22 sometime in the afternoon. Please book your return flight for Thursday, April 30. Because many airfares are nonrefundable, please confirm with us before finalizing your plans.

Group Size



$4,500 per person, all shared cabins

Nature Requires Flexibility

Activities are weather-dependent and may be subject to change if our guide determines it is necessary.

Physical Requirements

Participants must possess the enthusiasm and stamina that it takes to make such an adventure enjoyable & rewarding. Scuba experience is not required (we will not be diving during this expedition). Participants must be able to get in and out of boats.


Contact [email protected] for further detailed information

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