This month, we say a fond farewell to David Ehlert, who served as REEF Campus Coordinator for the past four years. Originally from Kentucky, he first came to REEF as a Marine Conservation Intern during the summer of 2018. After graduating from the University of Kentucky with a B.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Science, David returned to REEF for the summer of 2019 as the Education and Outreach Program Lead Intern. We were thrilled to have him officially join the staff in November 2019.

As Campus Coordinator, David has been instrumental to the day-to-day operations and happenings at the REEF Campus in Key Largo. He welcomed Campus visitors with warmth and enthusiasm while ensuring that REEF members, partners, and surveyors received the tools and information they needed to actively engage with REEF’s marine conservation programs.

The REEF Campus is the central hub for our global conservation work, and David played an important role in many activities and projects, including organizing Florida Keys volunteer efforts, coordinating facility maintenance and upkeep, managing the REEF store, and assisting with donor relations and participant communications for the Field Survey Trips Program. He also served as a mentor for the REEF Marine Conservation Interns and helped develop the REEF Intern Alumni Network as a way to build and maintain connections with the 150+ individuals who have participated in the REEF Marine Conservation Internship since 1993.

We will greatly miss David’s outgoing personality, sociable nature, and love for marine life - especially Rusty, Dwarf, and Blue-gold Gobies! We’re so thankful for all that he brought to our team over the past four years, and we wish him “best fishes” as he begins his next chapter!