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"Heads Up"...Again in December 2020 with the Coral Chronicles

Updated: Sep 7, 2021


2020 has been a particularly challenging year for educators. We've see remarkable adaptation and innovation arise from our team, who have truly shown their dedication to community outreach. Take a look back at some of our most memorable moments in education!

January, February, and March

Remember when virtual classrooms were only found in Sci-Fi movies, and the teacher was a hologram? We do! Back in early 2020 our in-person education programs were one of our favorite ways to connect with local schools and organizations.

In January we visited Coral Reef Elementary School and set up a hands on activity table. About 600 students visited our booth to learn about coral health! We also met tons of rising scientists at the Key Largo School STEM fair and crowded our interns into a decompression chamber during their training!

April, May, and June

The new world of education had a steep learning curve, but we've embraced the benefits of being able to teach people about coral reefs thousands of miles from the ocean! Coralpalooza™ Digital 2020 was one of our great successes. In addition to digital booths, exclusive video content, presentations, and never-before-seen interviews, we included a CRF™ Kid's Zone hosted by Captain Coral himself! Kids and adults alike learned how to make coral slime and participated in a digital treasure hunt to win CRF™ some swag!

July, August, and September

CRF™ explores the final frontier! During these months our team conducted our final paper and pencil monitoring trips and fully converted to the next generation of monitoring, photomosaics! We also had the opportunity to speak with NASA employees at the Kennedy Space Center, participating in their TOSC Environmental Speaker series.

October, November, and December

We started reaching out to our own former teachers! While the geographical distance is still significant, there was something special about reconnecting with our childhood teachers to share our experience and hopefully inspire future scientists! We are thankful and proud of each and every teacher, student, and mentor who has made education fun, exciting, and compelling this year!



We’ve got great news here at the CRF™ education department! We will have 10 (ten!) new interns joining us in January. They’re coming to the Keys from all over the United States and we can’t wait to meet them! Six of our new recruits are coming to us from Florida, but the remaining four hail from the far-flung states of California, Missouri, Colorado, and Michigan.

Our Fall 2020 Intern cohort presented their semester projects at our Exploration Center in Key Largo ©Ellen Hudson/Coral Restoration Foundation™

These future CRF “polyps” are the best of the best, and we are ecstatic about them joining our team. The newest class of interns contains highly qualified rescue divers, divemasters, and instructors! Everyone from our lead interns to our education program manager are eager to working with them soon.

"Our interns are amazing ambassadors for our organization. By bringing passionate and dedicated individuals into the internship program we will advance our in-water efforts to restore Florida's Coral Reef and increase our ability to share our mission with others. We are beyond excited to further develop the internship program and cannot wait to meet our new team members in January!" - JD Reinbott, Volunteer Coordinator

This year is the perfect time for us to welcome our biggest group of new interns ever! The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation recently awarded a grant of $5 million to The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation to support reef restoration. CRF™ and Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium will be working to return more than 60,000 corals to the reef over the next few years. This is a huge undertaking and we couldn’t accomplish it without an enthusiastic team of interns.


Many of our interns have gone on to do amazing work in the field of marine science. You can see what some of our CRF™ Alumni are up to here.



This year, for our national student challenge, we are tackling a new problem – biofouling!

Read the full press release and register here!



Applications are accepted until the position is filled. Apply today!



Madalen Howard is CRF's Marketing Associate. Madalen comes to CRF™ via a winding road from the Tennessee hills, to the South Carolina low country, ending here in Florida’s Coral Reef. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Marine Biology and a Minor in Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston in 2016. Her experience ranges from field research to education, and communications.

Madalen spent the last 4 years as a Field Instructor and Social Media Strategist for MarineLab Environmental Education Center. Here she was able to study and teach marine ecology, while snorkeling through mangroves, seagrasses, and coral reefs every day. While at MarineLab she combined her education and research background, entered the world of communications, and developed MarineLab’s social media department from the ground up.

Throughout her life Madalen has had a skill connecting people with nature. With CRF™, she is excited to bring people into the world of coral restoration, creating inclusive pathways to scientific discovery.

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