It is hard to do marine science without getting in the water at some point and this generally means diving or snorkeling in the habitats near the Keys Marine Laboratory (KML) or in KML’s Living laboratory. Here we provide most all of the information you will need to dive, snorkel or collect specimens during your stay at one of several KML housing facilities.
Divers please read our information on Diving and Snorkeling carefully and be sure to complete all of our forms and requirements in full before you arrive at the lab. Contact our Dive Safety Officer (DSO) before planning your trip, and remember all forms must be received at least 14 business days prior to your expedition for approval.
Collecting live specimens is an important and often difficult aspect of many research projects carried out in a laboratory setting. Keys Marine Laboratory staff can collect marine specimens for researchers, hold the collected organisms for pick-up and transfer to an investigator’s home institution, or ship them via Federal Express throughout the United States.
The Keys Marine Laboratory is unique in the Keys as its location allows easy access to all of the major habitat types in the area. The Habitats Near KML map gives the locations of habitats near the lab that we often visit with researchers and educators. In addition you will find information on the major habitat types in the area: coral reefs, artificial reefs, shipwrecks, Sanctuary Preservation areas (SPA)’s and Research Opportunity Awards (ROA)’s, hardbottom, seagrass beds, mangroves banks & flats.
Dr. Michael Childress, a long-time researcher at KML, has developed the concept of the KML Living Laboratory to coordinate the data collection activities of student groups that come to the Keys Marine Lab in order to build a long-term dataset on the health of the near-shore marine communities of Florida Bay. He has partnered with KML staff to offer this unique education program for visiting classes at the Lab. Sampling protocols for the Living Laboratory have already been established, are relatively simple, and are easy for students to learn.
We wish you a wonderful time under the water in the Florida Keys!