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"Heads Up" in Septmeber 2020 with the Coral Chronicles


Here at CRF™, we have 3 internship sessions - summer, fall, and spring. At the end of each internship session, first-round interns have the opportunity to apply to stay with the organization as a lead intern in the next session. Staying on as a lead intern is a great way for our first-round interns to expand upon their skillset and continue in the field of coral restoration.

CRF's Dive Safety Administrator Roxane Boonstra at a coral outplanting site . © Coral Restoration Foundation

Five first-round interns are taking the opportunity to continue their journey at CRF™ this fall! And a couple of weeks back, they participated in lead intern training. The responsibilities of a lead intern vary, but the most important one is mentoring the incoming first-round interns. Our first-round interns from this past summer have learned so much since they arrived in May and are excited to share their passion with the incoming round of interns.

“Overall, I’m very excited to be a lead intern and continue to learn and progress with CRF™ in this field! It's been one of the greatest educational experiences I've embarked on," said CRF™ Intern Bailey Thomasson.

Day one of lead intern training began on the water. The soon-to-be lead interns worked alongside our Dive Safety Administrator, Roxane Boonstra, in CRF’s Carysfort Nursery and at our reef outplanting sites to hone in our their restoration skills and learn to effectively guide others in the water.

In our Coral Nursery, they perfected their navigation skills around Coral Trees to ensure they know their way around. Additionally our Volunteer Coordinator, JD, played the role of a new intern and dive program participant, making simple mistakes that the lead interns learned to catch and correct. JD also pretended to clean Coral Trees incorrectly, wander away from the team, and display poor buoyancy that could disrupt his surroundings. All of the future lead interns did a great job identifying these issues and helping JD make the necessary adjustments, as they would for a beginner.

The CRF™ Team in one of our Coral Nurseries. © Alex Neufeld/Coral Restoration Foundation™

Proceeding their Coral Nursery training, they went to a coral outplanting site at Carysfort Reef to practice their restoration techniques, and once again, JD acted like a new intern and dive program participant, so the interns could help correct common mistakes we see. They also learned how to navigate from the boat to specific photomosaic outplanting sites, which can sometimes be a little difficult. But again, they all did a fantastic job!

Wrapping up their training, the soon-to-be lead interns chatted with JD and our Education Program Manager, Derek, about how to guide their polyps (first-round interns) on land. They reviewed their responsibilities as leads and learned new leadership techniques that will help them guide the first-round interns throughout the semester. We know they're all going to make incredible lead interns!



Our Summer 2020 Internship Session wrapped up on August 28th, and we said a bittersweet farewell to a group of incredible interns! At the end of each intern sessions, all of our interns - first-round, lead, and program - present on their individual project they worked on that session. Intern projects are chosen to suit each interns' particular interests during their time with us while also furthering CRF's mission.

CRF™ staff and interns join the last intern meeting of the semester to watch project presentations. © Coral Restoration Foundation™

We wish all of the interns who moved on last week the best of luck in their future endeavors! We know they're going to accomplish incredible things. If you want to learn more about CRF™ internships, visit our website here.



The school year is quickly approaching, and with our six Activity Packs, your learners can get hands-on while they dive deeply into the world of science!

All of our educational resources follow Florida State Standards and enrich the curriculum for all students from grades K through 12. Our Activity Packs are completely adaptable depending on the needs of your student.

Page 1 of CRF™ Activity Pack, Maritime Slime. © Coral Restoration Foundation™

Our 6 Activity Packs include:

  • Appetizing Acropora

  • Sibilating Scleractinia

  • Gamete and Greet

  • Creating Caco3

  • Maritime Slime

  • Anthropogenic Aftermath

View and download all 6 Activity Packs for free here.

Not sure which one to get started with? A favorite of most students we work with is Maritime Slime! Follow along with CRF™ Intern, Jim, as he teaches our Coral Slime Workshop in this video:

CRF™ Summer Intern, Jim Brittsan, leads our Coral Slime Workshop. © Coral Restoration Foundation™

Subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter, the Coral Chronicles, to stay up-to-date on all things CRF™. We'll continue to highlight our educational workshops in the Coral Chronicles, so your learner can dive deeper into the world of marine science at home!


"Heads Up" Editorial Intern

Alec is from Long Island, New York, and is a recent graduate of Roger Williams University. There, he received his B.S. in Marine Biology and specialization in Spanish. From his earliest memory, he was completely fascinated with sharks, and developed a growing interest in science throughout his years while kayaking and volunteering on the South Bay of Long Island. He took to the water naturally with snorkeling, free diving and 11 years of swim team. Throughout his young journey, he has had the fortunate opportunity to be able to immerse himself within the tropical waters of the Cayman Islands, Florida and Bermuda. In 2017, Alec became an Open Water certified scuba diver, and from there, his interest in marine biology and scuba diving grew exponentially. He became NAUI Advanced Open Water certified in 2019, and upon entering his senior year of college, he studied abroad in Bermuda for four months at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS). Having completed his studies abroad in Bermuda, he wishes to continue his passion for learning new skills within the marine biology field, and looks forward to expanding his scientific knowledge and experience throughout his internship with Coral Restoration Foundation™!

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