What We Do

The DISCOVERY Yacht Program is comprised of scientist-led expeditions, citizen science, and educational outreach events. SeaKeepers collaborates with numerous organizations, academic institutions, and government agencies in order to accomplish its DISCOVERY Yacht missions. SeaKeepers staff work closely with yacht owners and crew to coordinate research and outreach activities that reflect each yacht owner’s ocean-related interests.

As yachts travel around the world SeaKeepers seeks to create additional value to the mobilization of these vessels by engaging them in ocean conservation, research, and educational opportunities while they move between destinations. The degree of participation can vary from a 10-minute instrument deployment while en route to your next port to an afternoon outreach trip with children to week-long expeditions with a team of expert researchers. Vessel owners who generously donate time on their yachts to the SeaKeepers DISCOVERY Yacht Program may qualify for tax benefits to the extent allowed by law and are offered the opportunity to be honored at SeaKeepers events, featured on the SeaKeepers website, and recognized for their research and conservation efforts in the SeaKeepers newsletter.

While sea faring began with sails harnessing the power of the wind, and sail boats still to this day remain a way in which some can cross great distances of the globe, it would be impossible to accomplish the very important work of these scientists without motor-powered vessels which are currently the best and sometimes only option for scientific expeditions and data collection. As hybrid and electric propulsion technology have been making leaps in efficiency and range, we look forward to the day when all boats are either solar powered or have a battery capacity that will allow them to be a viable alternative to fossil fuels. As these technologies emerge, we are encouraging yacht owners to practice responsible measures in protecting our oceans and provide, “The Green Guide to Boating” as part of our Carbon Impact Program.

Scientist-led Expeditions

Scientist-led Expeditions provide yacht owners, guests, and crew the opportunity to participate in ongoing research while engaging with influential, well-established marine scientists.

SeaKeepers works with experts in the marine science and oceanography fields to promote and facilitate groundbreaking research.

Citizen Science

Citizen science expeditions offer an opportunity for vessel owners to get involved in smaller-scale marine research initiatives.

These expeditions do not require scientists to be aboard, but they permit vessel owners and crew to participate in ongoing research projects which depend on the participation of non-scientists within the community.

Educational Outreach

SeaKeepers work with marine educators and other non-profits to provide classrooms and small groups with local marine biology field trips, and also have online resources available for classes that are unable to travel.

The goal of our resources is to provide fun, interesting ways to engage the next generation in environmental conservation.

Community Engagement

SeaKeepers shares its mission of ocean research and conservation with local communities throughout the year. Headquarters is actively involved in multiple Floridian communities, taking part in scientific seminars, educational events, beach cleanups, and yachting industry functions.

Similarly the SeaKeepers Asia Chapter organizes community engagement opportunities throughout the year and activities can be found on their page.

Scientific Publications


Groppe, C., 2022. Assessing the Effects of Thermal Stress, Hypoxia, and Hydrogen Sulfide Exposure on the Survival of the Gulf Toadfish (Opsanus beta) Univ Miami Thesis Collection.

Hammerschlag, N., McDonnell, L.H., Rider, M.J., Garrett, M.S., Gallagher, A.J., Hazen, E.L., Natanson, L.J., McCandless, C.T., Boudreau, M.R., Malin, L.P., Kirtman, B. 2021. Ocean Warming Alters the Distributional Range, Migratory Timing, and Spatial Protections of an Apex Predator, the Tiger Shark. Wiley Online Library (8) 16045.


Circularity Informatics Lab, August 2021. Circularity Assessment: Miami, Florida. University of Georgia.

Jacoby, D.M.P., Fairbairn, B.S., Frazier, B.S., Gallagher, A.J., Heithaus, M.R., Cooke, S.J., Hammerschlag, N., 2021. Social Network Analysis Reveals the Subtle Impacts of Tourist Provisioning on the Social Behavior of a Generalist Marine Apex Predator. Frontiers in Marine Science (8) 665726.

Gutowsky, L.F.G., Rider, M.J., Roemer, R.P., Gallagher, A.J., Heithaus, M.R., Cooke, J., Hammerschlag, N., 2021. Large sharks exhibit varying behavioral responses to major hurricanes. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science (256) 107373.

Anderson, B.N., Bowlby, H.D., Natanson, L.J., Coelho, R., Cortés, E., Domingo, A., Sulikowski, J.A., 2021. Preliminary estimate of post-release survival of immature porbeagles caught with rod-and-reel in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Marine Ecology Progress Series (660) 153-159.

Clementi, G.M., Babcock, E.A., Valentin-Albanese, J., Bond, M.E., Flowers, K.I., Heithaus, M.R., Whitman, E.R., Bergmann, M.P.M.V.Z., Guttridge, T.L., Shea, O.R.O., Shipley, O.N., Brooks, E.J., Kessel, S.T., Chapman, D.D., 2021. Anthropogenic pressures on reef-associated sharks in jurisdictions with and without directed shark fishing. Marine Ecology Progress Series (661) 175-186.

de Sousa Rangel, B., Hammerschlag, N., Sulikowski, J.A., Moreira, R.G., 2021. Dietary and reproductive biomarkers in a generalist apex predator reveal differences in nutritional ecology across life stages. Marine Ecology Progress Series(664) 149-163.

Shipley, O.N., Lee, C.S., Fisher, N.S., Sternlicht, J.K., Kattan, S., Staaterman, E.R., Hammerschlag, N., Gallagher, A.J., 2021. Metal concentrations in coastal sharks from The Bahamas with a focus on the Caribbean reef shark. Scientific Reports (11) 1-11.

de Sousa Rangel, B., Guimarães, R., Vieira, Y., Sulikowski, J.A., Hammerschlag, N., 2021. Metabolic and nutritional condition of juvenile tiger sharks exposed to regional differences in coastal urbanization. Science of the Total Environment (780) 146548.


Kuffner, I.B., Toth, L.T., Hudson, J.H., Goodwin, W.B., Stathakopoulos, A., Bartlett, L.A., Whitcher, E.M., 2019. Improving estimates of coral reef construction and erosion with in situ measurements. Limnology & Oceanography (64) 2283-2294.

Phenix, L.M., Brandl, S.J., Tricarico, D., Quintero, E., Bond, M.E., Gallagher, A.J., 2019. Evaluating the effects of large marine predators on mobile prey behavior across subtropical reef ecosystems. Ecology & Evolution (9) 13740-13751.

Phillips, B.T., Shipley, O.N., Halvorsen, J., Sternlicht, J.K., Gallagher, A.J., 2019. First in situ observations of the sharpnose sevengill shark (Heptranchias perlo), from the Tongue of the Ocean, Bahamas. Journal of Ocean Sciences Foundation (32) 17-22.


Carlson, D.F., Özgökmen, T., Novelli, G., Guigand, C., Chang, H., Fox-Kemper, B., Mensa, J., Sanchit, M., Fredj, E., Huntley, H., Kirwan Jr, A.D., Berta, M., Rebozo, M., Curcic, M., Ryan, E., Lund, B., Haus, B., Molemaker, J., Hunt, C., Chen, S., Bracken, L., Horstmann, J., 2018. Surface ocean dispersion observations from the ship-tethered aerostat remote sensing system. Frontiers in Marine Science (5) 1-22.

Hammerschlag, N., Sulikowski, J., Gallagher, A.J., 2018. A comparison of reproductive and energetic states in a marine apex predator (the tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier). Physiological and Biochemical Zoology (91) 933-942.


Hammerschlag, N., Gutowsky, L.F.G., Gallagher, A.J., Matich, P., Cooke, S.J., 2017. Diel habitat use patterns of a marine apex predator tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier) at a high use area exposed to dive tourism. J Exp Mar Bio Ecol 495, 24-34.

Whelan, N. V, Kocot, K.M., Moroz, T.P., Mukherjee, K., Williams, P., Paulay, G., Moroz, L.L., Halanych, K.M., 2017. Ctenophore relationships and their placement as the sister group to all other animals. Nat Ecol Evol 1, 1737-1746.


The Int. SeaKeepers Society., 2016. SeaKeepers, Leading the Way Through International Waters. Seen & Heard.


Brittany, L., 2013. An Exploratory Study: The Use of Privately Owned Vessels as Mobile Research Platforms. Univ Miami Thesis Collection.

Xaymara, M., 2013. Horizontal vs Vertical Connectivity in Caribbean Reef Corals: Identifying Potential Sources of Recruitment Following Disturbance. Univ Miami Thesis Collection.

DISCOVERY Vessel Portal

SeaKeepers is proud of an extensive fleet that has provided support around the globe. The program’s existence is through the generous support of private vessels which are made available for scientist-led expeditions, citizen science, educational outreach events and community engagement activities. SeaKeepers is extremely grateful for the many different types of vessels which participate in our DISCOVERY Yacht Program and comprise the Fleet.

However to match the demand for oceanographic research, we are still in need of more support to satisfy the demand. Begin your search for an ideal vessel to host an expedition or submit your project for vessel support.

DISCOVERY Yacht Program Partners

  • MetOcean
  • Dive Butler
  • Fleet Miami
  • University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
  • Argo
  • Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
  • Beneath the Waves
  • Bill Fish
  • Biscayne Bay Water Watch
  • Boswell’s Marine Ecology & Acoustics Lab
  • Changing Seas
  • Duke University
  • EPIC Marina
  • EYOS Expeditions
  • FIU College of Arts, Sciences & Education
  • Florida Biodiversity Institute
  • Global Drifter
  • Global FinPrint
  • Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance
  • Global Marine Travel
  • Global Oceans
  • Global Oceans Design
  • Golden Gate Cetacean Research
  • Grand Isle Resort
  • Island Garden
  • Liquid Yacht Wear
  • Massasoit Community College
  • Miami WaterKeeper
  • NOAA
  • Nova Southern University
  • OGS
  • PBS
  • Propel Yachts
  • Sailfish Marina
  • Schoolyard Films
  • Sea Grant Florida
  • Semester at Sea
  • Shark Research Conservation
  • Stanford University
  • The University of California
  • University of Florida
  • University of Miami
  • University of New England Lab
  • University of Rhode Island
  • university of washington
  • Whitney Lab for Marine BioScience
  • WPBT
  • Youth Making Ripples