Marine Lab in El Cardonal - NEW!!

What has progressd beautifully is my dream of a marine lab in El Cardonal. More on this in my blog dated 6/15/13. Basically: the land for the lab is being donated by the Telesecundaria here in El Cardonal and the organization ISIFE is fronting the money for the design, permits and plans. Now I am actively requesting donations for the construction. Here is the original proposal I made to the school.

 Marine Laboratory & Secondary School extension Proposal
 El Cardonal, BCS, Mexico
 Submitted by: Urmas Kaldveer, PhD

To: Professor Emiliano Rodrigues Montoya, Dir. of Secondary
    Professor Ruben Almaraz Valdivia, Dept. Head Telesecundaria                  

The secondary school of El Cardonal, BCS and The Universidad Autonoma de Baja California Sur (UABCS).

Purpose: to provide a research and higher education facility for the study of the marine life of the east cape of Baja California Sur and to introduce and inspire students at the secondary school in El Cardonal to consider the marine sciences as a reachable goal in their lives.

Students at the university in La Paz would use this facility for graduate and post graduate research as well as teaching seminars at the facility for the students in the secondary school.

National and international researchers will also be invited to use the facility for extended periods thereby contributing to the laboratory maintenance and development.

A program of marine science classes will be developed by the secondary school and the university for the education of students at the secondary school in El Cardonal. Dr. Kaldveer will act as an on site advisor/teacher when appropriate. He is a retired professor of the natural sciences (32 years teaching at Mendocino College in California) and has been a collaborador with Dr. Jorge Urban Ramirez at UABCS for the past nine years.

Steps to completion:

1.             Obtain a suitable piece of land on which to build the laboratory. The building and out buildings would require an area of approximately 1200 square feet. There is a strong possibility at present that a piece of land adjacent to the secondary school could be used and would be donated by the school for the project.

2.             Solicit funding from a variety of sources including personal donations. UABCS would receive all donations and administer the distribution of those funds at a 10% charge. The money would be placed in a special university account and would be ear marked for this project alone.

3.             The design of the laboratory would be determined by cooperation between the university and the secondary school. Once designed an architect would be engaged to draw up the plans.

4.             When sufficient funds have been received to begin construction a local contractor will be put in charge of the job and all workers will come from the local community (the villages of El Cardonal, Los Algodones, La Linea, San Isidro, Boca del Alamo and Las Tinas)

5.             After the completion of construction a program to attract interest in the laboratory will begin as well as the start of the secondary school program of science education.

Distribution of funds:

1.             Facility design & plans -  $1,000-$3,000       dollars US
2.             Fees & Permits-                $2,000-$3000        dollars US                                   
3.             Construction* -                 $80,000- $100,000 dollars US
4.             Equipment** -                    $10,000-$15,000   dollars US
5.             Two year maintenance –   $4,000-$6,000      dollars US
6.             Personnel - ??

Total………………………….$150,000-$200,000 dollars US                        


1.             Local individuals will be hired to run and maintain the laboratory.
2.             Dr. Kaldveer would act as a facilitator for research and educational activities

 Timeline: As soon as the donation of the property has been completed and all documentation done money will be raised for design, plans, permits. During the design and plans process a major fund raising campaign will begin. In the best case situation I believe construction can begin this year and the lab be completed  and operational in another year (2015).

Urmas Kaldveer, PhD

*Includes septic tank, cistern, water pump etc.
**desks, lab benches, shelves, aquaria, microscopes, chalk boards etc.

And here is my online request for funding:


During the past 10 years I have been involved as a “Collaborador” with Dr. Jorge Urban Ramirez of UABCS (Universidad Autonoma de Baja California Sur) in La Paz. My work has specifically related to the monitoring, through photo identification, of our local Humpback Whales during their breeding and calving season here in the east cape. This part of Mexico’s marine waters is the second largest breeding/calving ground in The North Pacific Ocean and home to a rich marine environment.

Some 5 years ago I began developing an idea for a marine laboratory to be situated here in our area for the continued monitoring of the humpbacks (as well as reef and plankton studies) but most importantly to provide a training ground for local students and an inspiration for them to become involved in the marine sciences.

This year, after several meetings and presentations, the Telesecundaria school in El Cardonal has offered a piece of land adjacent to the school to house the laboratory. On the 28th of May I met with the officials of The Department of Secondary Education in La Paz and presented my idea. I just heard a few days ago that they had unanimously approved of the donation and have given me the go ahead to begin planning the construction. The lab itself will be part of the overall school facility but will be separated from it physically. It will be owned, maintained and operated by the school and I will act as a program developer and consultant. The University in La Paz will also be involved in a similar capacity.

Though there may be some money coming for this project from Mexican agencies the bulk of the funds will be provided through fund raising by myself initially and with the help of anyone interested as time goes by. Donations are tax deductible through MioSah a 501(c)(3) corporation. Contact me for additional information :

I have a power point presentation that I can give anytime if a group of people would like to get a better idea of the project. I have also recently published a book of my experiences with the whales during the past 40 years that is available in El Cardonal and at The Land & Homes office and Information Center in Los Barriles. The title is: THE OTHERS “The Whale People”, A Personal Journey of Discovery, Transformation and Healing.

Urmas Kaldveer, PhD
El Cardonal:
Director: MioSah – Mendocino Institute of Science & History
My website is dated but my blog is current and includes my most recent website information:


  1. Bravo Bravo Such good work for our Sea Folk and for us-----learning more and more about our ocean...Thank You for doing this

  2. Bravo Bravo Such good work for our Sea Folk and for us-----learning more and more about our ocean...Thank You for doing this