"Talking Science" in January 2020 with the Coral Chronicles


WELCOME, SABINE!


The CRF™ science program is happy to welcome Sabine Bailey as our newest program intern! Sabine has interned with us for over one year now, and we’re excited to bring her on board for the next phase of her CRF™ journey.


Sabine Bailey at CRF™.


Sabine graduated from McGill University with a major in Biology and minor in Environmental Studies. She joined CRF™ as a first round intern in spring 2019, then stayed on for two additional terms as a lead intern and program intern with our communications team.


As a former communications intern, she’s eager to utilize her graphic design and writing skills within the science department. She’ll be tackling data visualization and interpretation projects as we continue to analyze our monitoring reports, and will take the lead in making our results clear and engaging for the public.



Photos of Sabine during her first two intern rounds.


“I’m really excited to bring all the skills I’ve gained at CRF™ into this new internship with the science program,” said Sabine. “I’ve learned a lot about many different areas of marine conservation, from the administrative and communications side to the field work itself. I can’t wait to put it all together this term.”

Sabine will also be assisting in our field operations, which includes taking photomosaics, testing new outplanting methods, and monitoring the health of outplanted corals.


DIVING INTO 2020 WITH PHOTOMOSAICS


The holidays are over at CRF™, and we’re kicking off another year of reef restoration with new photomosaics of our 2020 work sites. The mosaics, which we’ve mapped at Carysfort and Pickles Reef, capture baseline images of the areas we’ll restore this year, and will help us quantify how these reefs respond to our work.


Reef photomosaic. © Alexander Neufeld/Coral Restoration Foundation™


These new mosaics will finally close the curtain on monitoring coral outplants with dive surveys done by hand underwater. The corals that our restoration team have outplanted are now all within photomosaic areas, but the corals outplanted during dive programs are still monitored by hand. We’ve been relying on maps and underwater measurements to assess coral health, which are much more inefficient than monitoring with photos.


However, in the next year we’ll be concentrating our dive programs within photomosaic areas, which will eliminate the need for routine in-water surveying. Keeping our dive programs in these targeted areas will result in a more impactful experience for our dive participants and a more practical way to acquire data for our team.


Diver capturing images for photomosaic. © Alexander Neufeld/Coral Restoration Foundation™


This change is another big step towards our vision of reef restoration: to work at a scale of acreage restored rather than individual corals planted. We’re expanding our view and looking beyond the specifics of each coral we plant to consider our work sites as interconnected ecosystems. Our new mosaics are a great example of this shift in strategy, and we’re looking forward to seeing these images filled with healthy coral over the next year.


THE STORY OF SCIENCE


CRF™ Science Program Manager, Amelia Moura, participated in the Story Collider Workshop in Miami this past month. This small, two day workshop in Coral Gables featured invited scientists, educators, academics, and artists from around the country to share stories of their work in the field of ocean conservation.


The Story Collider Workshop focuses on how to tell stories about science to a wide audience with the slogan “true, personal stories about science.” This particular session featured Ocean Science stories.



These stories are recorded and published as a podcast, every week. Amelia told the story of 2018 coral spawning, a split spawn year, which eventually resulted in over 3,000 Acer recruits, 1,500 of which returned to the CRF™ Nursery and 1,000 of which were outplanted last fall. Follow this podcast online to listen to the stories from Amelia’s session! Her podcast will be available later this month.


SIPS & SCIENCE


Sips & Science is a free monthly talk series hosted by Coral Restoration Foundation™. Over the next two months, we’re featuring the historic, large-scale restoration efforts happening in the Florida Keys!


This month, we’re diving deep into coral restoration with the woman who spearheaded the largest restoration effort in the world. Coral Restoration Foundation™ Reef Restoration Program Manager Jessica Levy takes us where no coral conservation organization has gone before. She’ll discuss how CRF™ is rapidly scaling up coral restoration efforts in 2020 by kick starting a collaboration with NOAA and other partners right here in the Keys.


Mark your calendars for February 26, 2020 when NOAA Research Coordinator, Dr. Andy Bruckner, joins us to discuss Mission: Iconic Reefs, our collaboration with NOAA and other partners, in detail. This large-scale effort calls for restoring nearly three million square feet of the Florida Reef Tract, about the size of 52 football fields, one of the largest strategies ever proposed in the field of coral restoration.


Over the next year and beyond, NOAA will support this effort and work with outside partners to secure additional public and private funds. Dr. Bruckner will discuss each phase of Mission: Iconic Reefs as well as funding for the project with a Q&A to follow.

As part of our commitment to reducing single-use plastics, we will fill any reusable cups with a complimentary glass of wine or water! If you are unable to attend, we will also be live-streaming the event from our Facebook page.


"Talking Science" Editorial Intern

Nik is a recent graduate of the University of Chicago, where he studied English and environmental science. He grew up in Virginia, and first learned to dive on a family trip to the US Virgin Islands in 2011. During college, he travelled to Bocas Del Toro, Panama to study ocean acidification with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Nik is very happy to be contributing to the Coral Restoration Foundation™’s important work, and hopes to make a positive impact on the Keys’ marine communities both on land and in the water.

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