Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences

Established in 1989, the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences focuses on the preservation of natural recourses in Roatan through research and education. This facility has established itself as a teaching institution over the past twenty-five years and many students from universities and high schools from other countries come here to study bottlenose dolphins and tropical marine ecosystems.

Located on the northwest coast of Roatan, RIMS is surrounded by mangroves, barrier reefs, and seagrass beds, making it an ideal place for marine study. There are many students who come to the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences to explore coral reefs and the beautiful underwater world. RIMS field course allows students to meet new people, travel abroad, and experience a new culture.

Programs and Lectures

Besides hands-on educations, RIMS also offers slideshow presentations and lectures for a better underwater experience. The lectures we are talking about here provide an important introduction to the marine communities of Roatan. RIMS is also known to house studies of tropical and cultural interests including island ethnology, botany, ornithology, and geology. Here is a list of programs and lectures available at the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences.

  • Reef Fish Identification
  • Coral Reef Ecology
  • Coral Identification
  • Marine Invertebrate Identification
  • Bay Islands: Past, Present & Future
  • Marine Algae
  • Sea Turtles
  • Mangroves
  • Coral Reef Monitoring Techniques
  • Coral Reef Threats: Roatan’s Changing Reef
  • Dolphin Lecture Series


Coral Reef Monitoring

A long-term reef monitoring project was started by RIMS in 1996 and was conducted in the areas close to the Sandy Bay Marine Reserve. The main goal of this project was to monitor the fish and coral population, as well as to check the environmental parameters. Thanks to the coral reef monitoring project, RIMS has gathered a substantial database on the reefs in Roatan.

Dolphin Research

Interaction with bottlenose dolphins is definitely the most popular educational experience at the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences. The Honduran government authorized this project and allowed RIMS to work with dolphins for research and education. These animals are situated in two spacious lagoon enclosures and participate in ongoing behavioural studies at the RIMS. Here is a list of the dolphin research programs and project:

  • Dolphin Communication Project
  • Dolphin Reading Test
  • Open Water Program
  • Bubble Experiment
  • Respiratory Systems Study

Coral Reef Research Internship

Open to recent gradient and undergraduate students who have an interest in marine conservation and coral reefs, Coral Reef Research Internship is limited to 12 interns at a time. Students will have a chance to work and live at the RIMS facilities and get valuable experience on one of the best reefs in the Caribbean.

Dolphin Training & Research Internship

Dolphin Training & Research Internship is open to recent graduate and undergraduate students who have a passion for marine mammal science. The internship can accommodate 8 interns at a time. Students who get chosen will gain valuable experience from working with bottlenose dolphins.

Want to visit the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences, start planning your vacation to Roatan Now!

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