Message From The Directors

Do you conduct classes with a field component in the Caribbean?  Would you like to?  We make it easy for the novice or seasoned field professor.  Consider our Program.  You will not find a more pristine coral reef ecosystem in the Caribbean than that of the Belize Barrier Reef.

Belize Marine TREC offers competitive rates and a professional staff.  Our location in Northern Belize has one third the number of rainy days you would find in the south.

Easy access to the town of San Pedro with Medical Doctors and a recompression chamber make this one of the safest of Field Stations.  Our 50 foot research vessel is equipped with classroom, galley, head, etc.

We will do as much or as little as you desire.  Available to you are lectures (see list), lab assistance, team field assistance (2-3 additional in water guides), help in planning trip, travel arrangements, travel discounts, custom itinerary and if you can think of anything we missed – just ask.

Dr. Kenneth C. Mattes & Maureen Gannon


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Colorado Mountain College student journal excerpts September 10, 2009 at 3:30 pm

“…Dave and I had a little scare with one of the smaller sharks. After Dave dove to touch the sting ray, this shark followed him up to the surface. He headed straight for us. Once the shark figured out Dave didn’t have any food it moved over to me. I could see it didn’t mean any harm but I still was intimidated by that mouth that was staring me right in the face. He had it wide open and I got a great look at the circular row of teeth. Once he saw I didn’t have any food either, he slowly turned and took off. Dave and I both looked at each other and took a deep breath. It was an amazing experience and I know I’ll never forget it. They keep telling us every day is a little better than the last. If that is true I can’t wait to see what we do tomorrow.” (From a student’s field journal)

“…The highlight of this dive was definitely the monstrous green moray eel that was half way out of his hole. We also saw quite a few big groupers. …The coral here was spectacular and there were big schools of fish. We saw one with about 20-30 angel fish. It kept hanging around this one area so we were taking turns diving down chasing/swimming with them. K. found some staghorn corel that had been almost completely killed by this damsel fish. By biting at the coral polyp the damsel fish created the perfect breeding ground for algae. She was “farming”. It was pretty wild to see…”

…This definately was an exciting experience, as we swam in swarms of Southern Stingray and nurse sharks (in only 10 ft of water, amazing). ..When I first entered the water, and saw so many sharks I was startled. I soon learned that there was nothing to worry about. …At a patch reef about 100 yards away, we held red-eared sardines as hundreds of fish (mostly angels) ate from our hands. Amazing day!..(C.M)

…The overhanging mangrove was very eerie. I saw a very large “man-of-war”, angel fish, and needle fish. Others saw a large ray, barracuda, and sea horses. There were thousands of silver sides in large swarms…(C.M.)

…The diversity of fish was overwhelming and my favorite was a black one about the size of a silver dollar with fluorescent blue spots…I.H.

….Now was one of those times when one must decide whether to trust my mind, which calmly explained that these were only gentle nurse sharks and wouldn’t eat me, or my instincts which yelled out that those were still sharks and just because it was rare for one to attack, didn’t mean it couldn’t . Abandoning all common sense I jumped in….

…Swimming with sharks was like watching an underwater ballet. They would glide back and forth, seeking food and then returning to the safety of the boat’s shadow. Once I had grown accustomed to the circling shadows of carnivorous perfection below, Norm, the boat’s captain jumped in and began to feed them. He would take pieces of fish and feed them to the sharks and rays and then he used the food to guide them around. I turned around to see who was tapping my shoulder, only to discover that it was actually the dorsal fin of a nurse shark….Ian

…The River was a tropical dream and the safari-feeling it inspired made me feel like I was the first person ever to see this corner of the world or perhaps a national Geographic reporter sent to cover some obscure people….

Fanya Paouris November 17, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Hi Ken and Maureen

I was so excited to discover this site. We will never forget our wonderful trip to Belize Marine Trec the summer of 2001 with the 15 students from Greenville High, South Carolina. I hope all is well. You have a wonderful program.


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