The Global Classroom has been working alongside GEA (Grupo Ecologista Antares) a non-profit environmental organization focusing on marine conservation in Loreto, Baja California Sur. Founded and run by our long time friend Fernando Arcas, GEA opened both doors and minds to the concept of conservation in the seas around Loreto, focusing on blue whale monitoring, marine conservation, environmental education and community outreach.
During your internship at GEA you may be involved in a wide variety of tasks on land and at sea. This will depend partly on what time of the year you wish to join us. The Global Classroom has projects running from mid December to the end of March. The most exciting time to be in Loreto is February and March as this is the height of whale season. Baja is the only place on the planet where you can get in a small boat and in a matter of minutes be up close and personal with the largest animal to ever live on the planet. It is the time of the blue whales. Weather permitting you will be out on the water with us in search of these gentle giants, as well as other species that visit the sea each winter to feed in the plankton rich waters of Baja. You have not lived until a 200 ton blue whale gently glides up alongside your small boat on a dead calm day. It is both breathtaking and awe inspiring.
Tasks you may wish to be involved in include photographing and filming orcas, blue, finback, humpback, brydes, and sperm whales to positively identify individuals using pigmentation, fluke tears, and scars. Other tasks include collecting sound recordings using hydrophones, helping update museum catalogs, collecting and photographing plankton samples, assembling skeletons and other display pieces for a small museum run by GEA, and on occasion, assisting with animal rehabilitation. On the water, every day is a new day, with many surprises in store. It is not uncommon to find yourself surrounded by hundreds of leaping dolphins, witnessing a humpback whale breaching several times off your bow, and curious sea lions coming in for a closer look while snorkeling or diving.