"CMERA provides an extraordinary, high-impact educational experience that cannot be found anywhere else for the price. My students were out on the water every day setting the gear, catching and handling sharks and rays, and learning about marine ecosystems first hand.  We had opportunities to see dolphins and sea turtles, swim with manatees, and dive artificial reefs. I think it fair to say my students learned more during our week at CMERA then they might have from a semester in the classroom.  The students come back changed.  They will remember their experience and what they learned for years to come.”

​Professor Todd Wellnitz,  University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

Thank you so much for the opportunity to be a student at C.M.E.R.A. this summer. The four weeks I spent with you and the C.M.E.R.A. staff exceeded every expectation and I am so grateful to have had such a wonderful staff to guide me. I can confidently say that I wouldn’t have grown and learned as much as I did, without the support and mentorship of you and the staff. I’m so grateful for the feedback you gave me about halfway through my time as a student and know that you have solidified my career goals to pursue elasmobranch research. The happiness and passion I experienced at C.M.E.R.A. is something I’ve never felt before and I look forward to applying to graduate school to continue that passion. I’m so thankful you give so many students, including me, the opportunity to do hands-on work that I couldn’t get in a classroom. Your time and patience is appreciated more than you could ever know.

Amber -  University of Maryland

I attended CMERA for two weeks last summer and I absolutely loved it! But I also wanted to contact you to let you both know that I received an internship this summer at the Georgia Aquarium as the shark and ray intern! I will be able to work with the animals every day as well as work on their whale shark research, and even possibly get to dive with them. I also received every internship that I applied for dealing with marine wildlife. I just wanted to thank you so much because during my interview, I was told that my experience at CMERA and the experience I had with handling sharks and rays set me apart from other candidates and was one of the main reasons they selected me at the Georgia Aquarium.  It was an amazing experience and I wish I could have spent my entire summer there. You run an excellent program that provides a lot of hands on experience, which not many programs offer for undergraduate students. Thanks for the lectures and many opportunities to learn about marine wildlife and conservation. I am a wildlife science major and would have been able to receive credit for my experience through Virginia Tech.

- Esra, Virginia Tech University

I have had the opportunity to work with the great team of conscientious marine scientists of CMERA for several years. Their work is helping us to better understand the relationships between elasmobranchs and the world in which they live. The students working with the CMERA teams are able to get meaningful field experience while participating in this important research.

I truly believe this experience will raise these students above their peers when beginning careers in marine science. 

-Dan Larremore, Environmental Specialist, Florida Division of Recreation and Parks

Just wanted to say that I got a teaching job for the school! I will be teaching 6th grade life sciences, 10th grade biology and anatomy and physiology. I am sure a big reason that I was offered the job was because of my experiences with CMERA in Florida and Costa Rica as my principal brings it up every time I see him. So I just wanted to say thank you to you and Alan for all you have done and allowing us to be a part of your world. I have all summer open next year so I would love to come down and intern with you guys if possible. Also planning on coming back to Costa Rica the following year.

- Billy, Western Michigan University

Just wanted to let you know I got that internship at the Blue Ocean Society!! I'm so excited and thankful for the reference. The interviewer told me that my previous work on a boat while working with other people as a team really set me apart from the other candidates. Thanks to CMERA for that!  Thanks so much for everything you've done to help me learn and grow as a marine scientist. You guys are so amazing and I know I'll be seeing you again someday :)

- Lindsay, SEMO (Southeast Missouri State University)

I had the pleasure of observing C.M.E.R.A’s teaching technique and they are providing a truly one-of-a-kind opportunity for collegiate students looking to complete an internship or gain valuable field experience before graduate school or starting a career. I believe their hands on learning experience would be beneficial for any aspiring marine or environmental scientist

- Brooke Hoerner, Park Services Specialist, Florida Division of Recreation and Parks

I spent four weeks at CMERA and left with a lifetime's worth of friends, fun memories, and skills that will benefit me throughout my career. They do an excellent job of making every day an educational and exciting experience. Whether you want to become a marine biologist or are just looking for a fun summer program, CMERA is the way to go. The fieldwork experience helped me get a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates grant the following summer, which allowed me to do an independent research project. 

Going to CMERA was, hands down, the best decision of my college career

-Hannah, University of Arkansas

Just wanted you to know that our granddaughter, Megan was a participant in your program this past June/July.  She absolutely LOVED the CMERA program.  She was able to post pictures of her excitement tagging sharks and sting rays. Needless to say her family was thrilled!  She made new friends, along with learning and exploring her passion.  She is looking forward to returning next summer.  Thanks so much for taking care of her and enhancing her interests!

 -Tom and Pat (Grandparents)

I cannot express how grateful I am to have participated in your CMERA program. This past month has truly been one of the most amazing months I have ever experienced. I have never felt so at home, so far away from home. I want to thank you for all that I was taught and that I have truly found out where I belong thanks to your program. I will never forget the experiences and the knowledge I gained from them while participating in the CMERA program. Thanks for the month of a lifetime!

- Selina, Bowling Green State University

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you a million times over for giving me the experience of a lifetime in Costa Rica this December. I cannot begin to explain to you how much I learned and grew on this short trip. Not only were all my expectations exceeded from a marine biology and diving perspective, but my expectations for you as trip coordinators were blown out of the water. You both are so completely wonderful. In the first few days, I almost couldn't believe that you were our program coordinators! You are so chill about everything, and you encourage us to learn, as well as have fun in the process. I miss you immensely, and am absolutely planning on coming down a week during the summer! 

- Shelly, Georgia Institute of Technology

 I wanted to send you guys this email thanking you for an amazing trip.I really learned so much and was able to put the knowledge that I gained in the classroom into the activity we did that related to it. Before this trip I was rethinking about my major and if marine science was something I actually wanted to continue on with. I had some issues adjusting to college and in my classes and was beginning to doubt myself, especially when most of my classes were gen ed’s and not really related to marine science. After this trip I realized that marine life was still something I was truly passionate about and it helped me to get back on track and push myself to do better in my classes and stay on top of things so that I can get to all the fun stuff I really enjoy. The CMERA experience was something that far exceeded my expectations. All of the kids that went were really supportive and excited to be there, everyone helped each other out and wanted to see you succeed which was an awesome feeling. Especially when I was trying something I was nervous about to begin with. It really felt more like a family then a bunch of strangers. You were very caring and went out of your way to make sure everyone was enjoying themselves, learning new things, and always comfortable even when you didn’t have to. The trip was perfect and I can’t wait for another opportunity this summer (I just applied!). Thank you again for everything you did and for making the experience fun and educational at the same time. Have a great winter/spring and hopefully I’ll see you in the summer!

- Lindsay, University of Maine 

I learned a great deal about the animals and about myself when it comes to a future occupation. These are memories I will never forget. I cannot express how much I appreciate the experience!

- Julia, Dunedin High School

You were the first person who came to mind for a recommendation for NOAA because it truly was your program that made me realize what I wanted to do as a career path. I always idolized you and your drive (like me) to work with marine animals and make a difference in the world saving our ocean ecosystem. You encouraged me to become a confident lady around all marine animals and to utilize my go-getter attitude and proficiently and efficiently work on the animals safely when we tagged them. I will never forget the day last summer when we caught 12 cownose rays in one net and we all had to act in an organized and proficient manner in order to safely tag all rays and make sure none got hurt.

- Alyssa, Virginia Tech University 

Thank you for sharing your knowledge, I learned many important things like how to handle sharks! I loved the lecture schedule and the discussions. I wanted to express my gratitude for all the wonderful experiences I had here.

- Cheul Woo (Charlie) Kwak, Wheaton College

Our son Emmett is blown away by his experiences the first 2 days..  He told me that yesterday was a Life Changing Experience for him...  This was what Emmett was destined to do...He is filled with so many stories and pictures..  he is just so happy.  Thank you for what you have done for Emmett and have given to all of these great kids..  You have helped to  create memories for them to last a life time, and have given them thoughts and guidance for their futures..  Just AMAZING!!!  
Thank you..  If there is ever anything we can do for you..  please let us know. 
-Deb (Parent)

Thanks so much for this experience, it was truly one of a lifetime, you were amazing teachers and I learned so much!

- Morgan, UCLA (University of California-Los Angeles)

Studying at CMERA with you was the experience of a lifetime and I want to have an opportunity to continue field research and further my education in grad school!

-Candice, University of South Carolina

I'm happy to say that I got accepted into Nova Southeastern University's Marine Biology graduate program! Thank you for all of your help! CMERA really provided me with a direction for my post-graduate plans. 

-Matt, Beloit College

I spent four weeks in the summer program and attended the Costa Rica/ Nicaragua trip over winter break. At first I only wanted to complete my research hours but instead I have found myself falling in love with the animals. With the recent sharks attacks happening I have found myself defending them on Facebook and to my family and friends. I have realized not everyone is educated on how important they really are. My background may not be on Marine Biology but I have learned so much from you and the program and I can not thank you enough for that and feel the importance to educate those around me who do not feel the need to defend them (sharks).

-Edisson, Salem State University

I really enjoyed my experience with CMERA this July. I had no experience with marine biology coming into the program, but fell in love with marine life with the very first sharks and rays I got to work with. Thanks to CMERA, I left Florida with a much greater appreciation for our oceans, one that I will keep with me as I search for graduate school and job opportunities this coming year. Thank you for providing such an inspiring experience. 

-Megan, University of Alabama (ROLL TIDE!)

Thank you for such an amazing experience, this has definitely been two weeks I will never forget! I learned so much in such a short time!

- Mike, Central Michigan University

I was there almost two weeks ago, but I just wanted to say thank you one more time. I really appreciate what CMERA does. I had a lot of a fun and I am still kicking myself in the head for only going for a week. I decided to go down longer next year. Once again thank you so much for the experience in the field and the time you put into this program. 

​-Brendan, Northern Michigan University

This experience has been more than I hoped for.I had a fantastic month, this was a great opportunity for me!

-Michelle, Western Michigan University


Below are just a small sampling of reviews we have received regarding our programs.