SEASFiRE MX2 in Cozumel, Mexico

Beached boat in San Miguel de Cozumel, Mexico
Beached boat in San Miguel de Cozumel, Mexico

Inver Hills Biology Instructor James Schneider leading March 2018 trip

James Schneider, a biology instructor at Inver Hills Community College, is leading a citizen science trip, SEASFiRE MX2, to the island of Cozumel, Mexico, in March 2018. The program costs $2,250 and runs over spring break from Saturday, March 3, till Sunday, March 11, 2018, and includes all diving and certifications as set out in the program’s draft schedule.

Over the eight-night/nine-day program, participants will take part in media and conservation activities while enjoying the luxury of Iberostar Cozumel, an all-inclusive, five-star resort on the island. Diving logistics will be provided by the onsite dive center. Review the official SEASFiRE MX2 brochure to learn more.

“The SEASFiRE MX2 program is academically based,” James Schneider reported. “Students complete learning modules and can earn two college credits through an independent study project. During the trip, students will also become SCUBA open-water certified or they can improve on their diving skills with specialty dives if already certified.”

James also noted that the SEASFiRE company was co-founded by an Inver Hills alumnus, Christian Ogle, who went on to graduate with a Master of Science (M.S.) in Education with a focus on biology and evolution from the Teachers College of Columbia University. Christian is a science teacher at The Shanghai American School in Shanghai, China.

Where is Cozumel?

According to Wikipedia, the Isla de Cozumel, or the Island of Peace, is located in “the Caribbean Sea off the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, opposite Playa del Carmen, and close to the Yucatán Channel.” Tourism is the chief industry and area reefs are a paradise for snorkeling and scuba diving.

San Miguel is the largest city on the island with more than 77,000 residents. Cozumel was first settled by the Mayan people around 2,000 years ago. The Maya believed Cozumel was natural shrine.


More about the SEASFiRE MX2 program…

  • PADI dive training, including all equipment and certifications: we will use best endeavors to have all students complete dive certifications
  • Conservation training: students will learn about coral reefs and their importance; all SEASFiRE dives incorporate some aspect of conservation
  • Marine science: students will learn about marine biodiversity and will participate in documenting coral health, submitting data to an international body
  • Underwater photography: we will provide detailed underwater photography instruction and buoyancy training
  • New media: you will blog, photograph and video the action on the surface and underwater, publishing your output on the SEASFiRE website
  • Teamwork: students work in buddy teams throughout the program, during dive training, classroom sessions, and production activities
If you are interested in going on the March 2018 citizen science trip to the island of Cozumel in the Caribbean Sea, you can email, or you can follow the link below to complete a brief online form:

SEASFiRE Online Form

Registration DEADLINE: November 30, 2017.

More about James Schneider…
James Schneider
James Schneider

James Schneider started teaching biology at Inver Hills in 2003. James has also taught biology at Normandale Community College, Saint Paul College and Anoka-Ramsey Community College. He earned certification as a PADI Divemaster, a significant accomplishment in the professional diving community.

James has a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Education from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Zoology/Animal Biology from St. Cloud State University. During his time at St. Cloud, he studied abroad in Alnwick, England.

James also completed graduate work at Bemidji State University, including graduate biology coursework and grant-funded research through the Clean Lakes Program (EPA). He designed and completed a field study on natural stands of wild rice and invertebrate communities on the White Earth Reservation of the Chippewa Tribe. The research provided information to the tribe to help with diminishing rice production.

To learn more about SEASFiRE MX2, contact:

James Schneider
Biology Faculty

You can also register for the trip by signing the SEASFiRE MX2 CONFIRMATION FORM and returning the completed form to James Schneider in Heritage Hall 302f.

Registration DEADLINE: November 30, 2017.

To learn more about Biology at Inver Hills, contact:

Heather Brient-Johnson
Biology Faculty

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