REEF is proud to partner with educational institutions, dive operators and club, and conservation-focused groups all around the globe to engage individuals in ocean conservation, education and citizen science. REEF Ocean Explorers Education Program staff work with groups to implement the Volunteer Fish Survey Project into their existing curriculums and courses. This month, we are pleased to highlight two partners who recently incorporated REEF lessons and materials into their programming.

Ecology Project International (EPI) is an immersive, experiential science education camp for students and educators with locations around the world. Last spring, REEF virtually trained EPI instructors in Baja, Mexico, in REEF survey methods. After the training, EPI instructors taught the high school aged campers and their teachers. EPI Program Coordinator Adriana Martinez said, "We were able to have training for our staff, and show students how to take data in the field. Students and teachers loved to participate in snorkeling, ID species, and taking each these data! We're very grateful for the help that REEF has given us! We hope to have more people joining the fish ID protocol soon!”

Students in the biological marine science course at John Abbott College spent a week in Roatan, Honduras, conducting fieldwork under the leadership of Drs. Chris Levesque, JP Parkhill, and Patricia Foam. Dr. Levesque shared, “These projects allow students to contribute meaningful work. Each student is asked to conduct at least two surveys during the week. They are expected to learn to recognize 150 species of fish prior to beginning the field work, so they take the surveys very seriously. Some students do the surveys while diving, others while snorkeling. We find that the REEF protocol is easy to adopt for the students. The protocol is simple, so they are not distracted by the technicalities. They just engage in a quest to find as many species as possible. There is no doubt that they love doing the surveys. We can hear them underwater when they get excited about seeing a species for the first time. Back on the boat, they compare notes and go over photos that they took, trying to confirm the ID. As a teacher, when you see this level of engagement and excitement in accomplishing a task, you know you’re doing something right.”

Reflecting on their experience, student Zoë Stephan said, "Snorkeling in the world's second largest barrier reef was a life changing experience. Being involved in REEF fish surveys allowed me to understand what I was seeing and what kind of ecosystem I was swimming in. I feel proud to have contributed to a REEF survey which plays a pivotal role in understanding and conserving marine ecosystems, particularly coral reefs. I am glad to have helped provide wdata for the biodiversity of the Caribbean's coral reefs, hence I feel as though I owe my debts to the threatened coral reefs." If you are interested in partnering with REEF to promote marine conservation and education, visit to learn more.