Citizen Science & Public Expeditions

Ocean enthusiasts of all ages are welcome to join SRC for any of its exciting citizen science research trips in South Florida or Bahamas.


Become a Citizen Scientist.
Join an Upcoming Shark Tagging Trip.

    Trip Details:

  • Participation in official UMiami shark research

  • Work side-by-side with world renowned shark biologist Dr. Neil Hammerschlag and his stellar team

  • One-day research trip, from ~8:30 am to ~4:30 pm

  • Departure from Key Biscayne or West Palm Beach, FL

  • Assist in the collection of samples, including: taking a fin clip, tagging the shark, taking shark length measurements, and performing reflex tests. Want to see what you’ll be doing? Check our our photo and video library, and like our Facebook albums and Instagram!

  • Help deploy and retrieve fishing gear, and help pull in a line that might have a shark on it

  • Interact with a variety of shark species we may catch: blacktip, blacknose, bull, lemon, great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, nurse, sandbar, and tiger sharks

  • Shark Expert Q&A

  • AGE LIMIT: All participants must be at least 10 years of age

  • We offer trips for individuals, corporate groups, and private charters

  • Before you depart, explore our Checklist Info Page for more on what to expect and bring (including waivers)

To reserve your spot on a shark tagging expedition, please fill out our contact form.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Citizen Science?
    Citizen Science is an opportunity for non-professional scientists to be involved in scientific inquiry through proactive participation with scientists working on real time problems relating to their research goals. Participation involves scientifically sound practices and measurable outcomes.

  2. How do I join a shark tagging trip?
    The lab conducts around 60 field expeditions a year in the waters near Miami. When space is available, we extend the invite to members of the public (ages 10 and up) to join us for a day of shark tagging. Your one-time donation of $300 (USD) secures your spot on a future tagging trip. We’ll work with you to find a date when you’re available and we’re tagging sharks. Fill out the contact form to get started.

  3. Does it cost anything?
    We ask for a minimum donation of $300 per citizen scientist. Conducting research in the marine environment is expensive. Our non-profit laboratory funds its research exclusively through the generous support of its donors. In addition, donations help us to subsidize the cost of this experience for regional students who couldn’t otherwise afford to participate.

  4. Is my gift tax deductible?
    Yes. The University of Miami is a Florida not-for-profit corporation and all donations are tax deductible as appropriate by law. You will be sent appropriate documentation.

  5. What’s your cancellation policy?
    In the event of a severe weather cancellation, like very strong winds or lightning, we’ll work to get you on another trip. If for any reason you need to cancel on us we ask for advanced notice so we may offer your spot to another citizen scientist. Unfortunately donations are non-refundable.

  6. Do you guarantee that I’ll see a shark?
    The simple fact is that we sometimes don’t find any sharks – but this is rare. We typically catch several sharks per trip, and consider ourselves lucky when we do! While one of our research goals is to better understand the movements of shark species, we can’t always predict where they will be. Moreover, as you are probably aware by now, many shark species worldwide have experienced declines in their populations. In short, we’re studying animals with declining populations that move over great distances in a vast ocean. We hope you’re there with us when we collect important data from the sharks we do get to encounter!

  7. Do I have to be scuba certified? Will I get to swim with sharks?
    No. We conduct all of our research from the deck of a coast guard certified vessel.

  8. What do I need to bring?
    Please consult the pre-trip checklist.

  9. How else can I support shark research?
    Please check out our Adopt A Shark program. You can support our research by purchasing equipment (satellite and acoustic tags and receivers) necessary to conduct the research that we do. Want to learn more about how we use this technology to advance shark research? Visit our research page. Finally, proceeds from our online store, where you can find a variety of artist inspired shark apparel, help fund our operations. Thank you in advance for supporting us.