In March, Katie Kozma came on board as Reef Check California's Southern California Training Coordinator. Katie's responsibilities with Reef Check include organizing and conducting research surveys throughout the Southern California region and training volunteer divers in the California rocky reef monitoring protocol. She is also responsible for our new SOS (Student Ocean Scientist) Youth Education Program. Katie develops the youth program curriculum and provides exciting educational experiences for all participants, combining meaningful classroom activities with hands-on demonstrations in the field.
Before joining Reef Check, Katie worked as a research associate for a coastal engineering consulting firm where she carried out field research and conducted environmental impact assessments on major reef restoration projects along the California coast. Her past experience also includes employment at a Southern California aquarium where she provided marine science education to the public, assisted with animal husbandry, and carried out tank diving as a member of the Dive Team. Katie earned her Dive Master certification in June of 2015.
Katie received her Bachelor of Science in Biology, with an emphasis in Marine Biology, from San Diego State University. While completing her undergraduate studies, she earned her AAUS scientific diver certification, conducted independent research on fish foraging strategies in eelgrass habitats, and performed eelgrass habitat assessment surveys. Following graduation, Katie spent three years teaching marine biology in San Diego to K-12 students from across the United States and visiting students from around the world.