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Research methodologies on terrestrial and marine programmes vary according to country, location, season and the work programme requirements of our in-country collaboration. To give you an idea of the types of field techniques you are likely to experience here is a brief outline.


Reef Status Protocol Surveys

As the name suggests, these surveys are very quick and easy to perform, using a minimum amount of equipment and man power. However, the results generated allow us an insight into what to expect in any given area. They provide vital information in planning and coordinating the latter steps of the research and monitoring program.

Baseline Survey Protocol Surveys

This survey provides data on the basic benthic coverage (Line Intercept Transect method), Underwater Visual Census (UVC) fish data, frequency of indicator invertebrates present, and a detailed account of the physical and environmental conditions of the site.

Algal Quadrat Surveys

Algal and coral cover is quantified within the BSP survey technique. However, in order to assess algal cover in direct relation to coral cover, a quadrat survey methodology was devised.

Coral Bleaching Surveys

Coral bleaching is considered to be one of the major threats to reef ecosystems, and is becoming increasingly common across the globe. The main trigger or stressor is elevated water temperatures, but additional factors can include extreme salinities, increased light exposure and nutrient imbalances in the water. The methodology used by Frontier was devised so as to determine which coral genera were most at risk or vulnerable to elevated temperatures and which corals appeared to recover well.

Sea Turtle Monitoring and Hatchery Management

During the Costa Rican sea turtle nesting season, July to December, nightly patrols of beaches are conducted alongside a local NGO. The patrols not only help gathering valuable population data but also serve to discourage individuals trying to mark nests and collect eggs and adults.

Gastropod Surveys

These studies aim to collect data on the distribution and abundance of gastropod species in and around the areas where we are currently working. Data is used to assess the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas.

Coral Damage Surveys

These surveys are conducted through a variety of methods including Reef Fish Surveys and Line Intercept Transects.


Faunal surveys

Vegetation surveys

Socio-economic work