(Marine Veterinary Medicine) Mexico offers veterinary students and
veterinarians a ten-day lecture and hands-on workshop, with primary
focus on the biology, pathology, clinical care and conservation medicine
of dolphins, manatees, pinnipeds and sea turtles, with an introduction
to marine ecosystems. Lectures and fieldwork instruction will be
conducted by leading veterinarians and biologists working with these
species in marine parks and in natural environments. Instructors will
come from both the U.S. and Mexico.
Dolphin Discovery Puerto Aventuras park will serve as a base for
lectures and hands-on opportunities with bottlenose dolphins, California
sea lions and West Indian manatees to experience veterinary care
(including dolphin ultrasound and endoscopy demonstrations). The Dolphin
Discovery facility on Cozumel will be visited to allow participants to
perform physical examinations on bottlenose dolphins.
The class will also visit Xcaret, an ecological park for indigenous
wildlife, with hands-on clinical activities involving green sea turtles,
manatees, sharks and fish. Students will also become acquainted with a
macaw breeding facility and will participate in the release program
during the workshop.
Other activities will introduce participants to natural ecosystems.
An open ocean visit will be made to whale shark feeding grounds off the
northeastern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula where participants will
enter the water for supervised swims to experience this unique ocean
environment. Students will also participate in a hands-on introduction
to coral reef, sea grass beds and mangrove environments in the Sian
Ka'an Biosphere Reserve -a 1.3 million acre United Nations World
On the last day of the workshop, student teams will give Powerpoint
presentations on an assigned topic in marine Conservation Medicine,
followed by a MARVET-sponsored dinner. Workshop lodging will be at Hotel
Cielo in Playa del Carmen, situated in the midst of bustling shops and
one block from the beach.
The Yucatán Peninsula is extremely rich in archaeological artifacts
of the ancient Mayan civilization, as well as incredible arrays of
subterranean, water-filled limestone caverns and cenotes. For those
interested, MARVET will be a good opportunity to extend your visit in
this region before or after the workshop to explore what it has to
offer, both culturally and geologically.
Director of Sea Turtle & Manatee Medicine
Raymond J. Tarpley, DVM, PhD, MPH
Senior Associate Professor
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University
Robert B. Moeller, Jr., DVM, DACVP, DABT
California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory, University of California
Roberto Sanchez, DVM
Director of Veterinary Medicine
Stephanie A. Norman, DVM, MS, PhD
Marine-Med: Marine Research, Epidemiology, and Veterinary Medicine
Wes Tunnell, PhD
Harte Research Institute
Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi
lectures and hands-on and observational activities in working marine
veterinary medicine facilities (Dolphin Discovery, Xcaret, Sian Ka'an
Biosphere). Students are provided with pre-reading materials to review
before attending the workshop.
required for all lectures and course training activities. Professional
behavior and casual professional dress is expected. Students will
prepare and give (in groups of 4-5) powerpoint presentations on an
assigned topic in conservation medicine.
has two on-site workshop logistical coordinators, with many years of
experience conducting MARVET in Playa del Carmen, who organize and
supervise all course activities, including lodging and transportation to
and from course functions. Resident veterinarians at each of the
workshop host facilities supervise specific activities in their
respective facilities. Coral reef and marine ecology work is supervised
by a marine biologist who has previously hosted student field work in
Mexico for many years. Student contact time consists of approximately
8hrs per day over 10 days, with access to veterinary instructors
individually and as a group.