In November 2019, REEF and the Cayman Islands Department of the Environment (DOE) presented Grouper Education Program teacher workshops on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac in the Cayman Islands. The workshops, led by Grouper Moon educator, Todd Bohannon, and Bradley Johnson from DOE, provided educators with a marine science curriculum based on the Grouper Moon Project for intermediate/elementary and high school students. Workshop participants received the materials and resources necessary to bring the Grouper Moon Project in to their classrooms, including lesson plans, interactive activities, and access to live-feed video sessions that the classrooms can use to connect with Grouper Moon scientists in the field.
Twelve Caymanian educators participated in the workshops, along with REEF’s Education and Outreach Program Manager, Madalyn Mussey, and Ocean Studies Charter School’s Marine Science teacher, Martha Loizeaux. Located in Tavernier, Florida, Ocean Studies Charter School is a free public school that offers traditional and alternative forms of education, with a specialty in marine science. Ms. Loizeaux will be incorporating the Grouper Education Program into her curriculum in the upcoming year. This year was the third time the Grouper Education Program workshop has taken place in the Cayman Islands.
The Grouper Education Program curriculum allows students and educators to obtain a well-rounded understanding of the critically endangered Nassau Grouper, the focal species of the Grouper Moon Project, which studies the grouper’s mass spawning aggregations each winter. A valuable keystone predator, Nassau Grouper play a fundamental and historical role in the health of local reefs, fisheries, and tourism throughout the Caribbean, Florida, and Cayman Islands. The Grouper Education Program was supported by several grants from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. To find out more about the Grouper Moon Project, visit www.REEF.org/groupermoonproject.