Caroly's Notes: Ocean Connections

Welcome to our April e-News! This issue largely celebrates our staff, and deservedly so. We are thrilled that Christy Pattengill-Semmens, our Director of Science, and her husband Brice Semmens are Scuba Diving magazine’s April Sea Heroes. It is an honor and a reflection of their hard work and dedication in preserving the Nassau Grouper in the Cayman Islands. And while we are sad to see Ellie Splain leave our team, we are all delighted in the career-expanding opportunity that she has as the National External Affairs Coordinator for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. Ellie created the college programs that we offer, and describe later in this issue. Brittany Parker is now our Education and Operations Program Manager, after having worked with REEF for one year and as an educator for multiple nonprofits for nearly eight years. We also say a fond goodbye to Sophie Costa, our Education Leadership Intern (ELI), who started a new job with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Our new ELI is Moose Mussey, who will be working on lionfish with our Invasive Species Program Manager Alli Candelmo. In addition, former Marine Conservation Intern David Ehlert will also joining us as an ELI in May. Finally, Brittany and I recently attended the Our World Underwater Scholarship Society’s (OWUSS) symposium and gala in New York City, where our former OWUSS intern, Ronnie Noonan, presented an overview of her work with REEF last summer. We were also able to meet our incoming OWUSS intern, Ben Farmer, and we had a chance to meet REEF members in a Meet and Greet generously hosted by Janice Erlbaum and Bill Scurry. If you are ever interested in hosting a Meet and Greet in your region, contact Bonnie Barnes, our Development Manager. Thanks for reading this issue, and we will see you next month!