To become a certified Reef Check California volunteer you must:

  • Show proficient diving safety, navigation, and buoyancy skills
  • Pass knowledge review test with a score of 85% or higher (take home)
  • Pass timed species ID tests (Seaweed, Invertebrate, and Fishes) with scores of 85% or higher
  • Pass field evaluations with a small margin of error for each type of transect*

*Note: It is possible to become certified for some types of transects while other types will need to be practiced throughout the sampling season until proficiency is reached. Transect types: Seaweed, Invertebrate, Fish, and Substrate Description (UPC)

Sample Reef Check California Training Schedule

Classroom Portion:
Saturday and Sunday classroom and pool sessions from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm each day

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Introduction to Reef Check, Threats to Marine Ecosystems, California MPAs, Ecology, Sampling Methodology, Intro to Scientific Diving, Invertebrates Transect, Fish Transect, Fish and Invertebrate Identification.

9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Meet at the pool with dive gear for exercises in sampling gear deployment and mock organism counts.

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Kelp Transect and Identification, Substrate Characterization (UPC), and Overview of Reef Check Sampling, Species ID testing

Field Portion – the following Saturday and Sunday aboard dive charters

3 dives to PRACTICE Kelp, Invertebrate, and UPC transects

3 dives to be EVALUATED on Kelp, Invertebrate, and UPC transects. Practice Fish ID and sizing