MMRT is a student-run organization that will allow you to connect with students with whom you share a common interest. MMRT seeks to promote conservation, rescue, rehabilitation, and general welfare of marine mammals through volunteer and education efforts. As a member, you can join us in pursuing this goal through a unique, hands-on outlet through stranding trainings and educational, interactive club trips. You will be trained in basic and advanced marine mammal stranding procedure, why animals strand, what changes to your daily routine benefit marine conservation, as well as marine mammal anatomy, ecology, and other important factors that you can then pass on to more people and raise public awareness. Plus, we're a super friendly group of people who share a passion for a fun club!
How do I join?
Come to scheduled meetings, email us, or talk to an Eboard member. Membership is available to all full-time students at the University of Miami who pay dues. Dues are $25 for the full academic year or $15 per semester. You can either pay at a meeting or leave your money in an envelope labeled with your full name in the MMRT mailbox on the second floor of Ungar. After paying dues, members are provided with a t-shirt, club trips, stranding training, and all other club-related events and activities. If you are interested in getting involved with MMRT, please email email@example.com to be added to our mailing list! Join us on OrgSync, like our Facebook page, and follow us on Instagram to stay up-to-date on meetings, events, immediate stranding situations and other important information.
Do I need to have a Marine Science major?
No! Although we are associated with RSMAS and many of our members are Marine Science majors, our club is open to all UM students, faculty, and staff from any academic background.
Why do I need points and how do I earn more?
Our club works on a point system. Points determine which active members are selected for space-limited trips and stranding trainings. Attendance at biweekly meetings and other announced events is worth 1 point. Presenting a news article related to marine mammals and/or ocean conservation at a meeting is worth 1 point. Attendance at guest speaker talks is worth 2 points. Members who are unable to attend a meeting can send a brief email to firstname.lastname@example.org for 1/2 point. Don't be discouraged if you aren't able to be very active during a particular semester because points reset at the beginning of each semester with plenty of new opportunities to be involved!
I want to respond to animal strandings. How can I get involved?
Unfortunately, no one can predict when and where an animal or group will strand. For this reason MMRT tries to train as many of its members as possible to be able to respond to a sudden distress call. MMRT will be notified by our rescue affiliates when and if an animal strands and extra hands are needed. With that information, our stranding coordinator will contact trained club members to respond, usually on very short notice. From there we will arrange a place and time to meet, assuming everyone has the necessary items in their stranding bags. The first step to becoming part of our emergency response team is to become a regular active member of MMRT. We will set you up with our affiliated rescue organizations to be properly trained in marine mammal stranding procedure. If and when an animal is in need, you will be one of the first we contact!
Strandings don't happen all the time. What does MMRT do in the meantime?
We hold biweekly meetings, hold stranding trainings, go on at least two trips per semester to interact with and learn more about marine mammals, host volunteer events like beach cleanups, educate the public through events like Ocean Kids, and have short day trips to bond as a club.
How do I get to go on the awesome trips planned for this semester?
As much as we would like everyone to participate in every amazing thing we do, unfortunately all of our trips and trainings have limited space availability. Some trips are filled based on a lottery of all our due-paying members. Other trips are points-based, so start racking them up early in the semester! We will always announce trips during meetings and will often send out emails with Google Docs to gauge member interest before contacting the final roster with all the necessary details.
Is the club active in the summer?
While MMRT does not host any meetings, events, trainings, or trips during the summer recess, it is still possible for a stranding to occur on short notice. If you are staying in the Miami area and would be available to assist in a stranding situation over the summer, please let us know so we can add you to our summer contact list in the event that your help is needed.