This month, REEF and the Cayman Islands Department of the Environment (DoE) presented professional development workshops for educators 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 teachers with a marine science curriculum based on the Grouper Moon Project for intermediate/elementary and high school students. Participants received the materials and resources to incorporate the Grouper Moon Project into their classrooms and curricula, through lesson plans and interactive live-feed video sessions that connect classrooms with Grouper Moon scientists in the field.

Educators from eight schools joined in this year's workshops. While Caymanian educators have been using Grouper Moon lessons in their classrooms for years, Todd has recently been working with the Cayman Islands' Ministry of Education to implement Grouper Education Program lessons that align with Year 4 Cayman Islands National Curriculum. This means that every Cayman Islands Year 4 (equivalent to 3rd grade in the USA) student will fulfill standards-based lessons by learning about Nassau Grouper and the Grouper Moon Project!

The Grouper Education Program curriculum allows students and educators to gain an understanding of the critically endangered Nassau Grouper, the focal species of the Grouper Moon Project, a collaborative research project to study the Nassau Grouper spawning aggregations each winter. The Nassau Grouper plays a key cultural and ecological role in the health of reefs, fisheries, and tourism throughout the Caribbean, Florida, and Cayman Islands. Key concepts include the historical role of the species as an artisanal fishery throughout the Caribbean region, the grouper’s value as a keystone predator and its impact on local reef health, its role in today’s tourism-based economy in the Cayman Islands and throughout the Caribbean, and the conservation challenges facing Nassau Grouper. The Grouper Education Program was supported by the LP Family. To find out more about the Grouper Moon Project, visit Visit this page to see more Grouper Moon resources for educators.