By Dr. Jan Freiwald, Reef Check California Program Director
In October, Megan Wehrenberg stepped down from her position as Central Coast Regional Manager for Reef Check California after working in this capacity for the last eight years. During her time with Reef Check, Megan was responsible for significantly expanding the program in Central and Northern California as well as strengthening ties with partner programs. Megan’s dedication and warm attitude will be missed by staff and volunteers alike. Megan and her husband Jonah (a Reef Check volunteer and contract instructor) are moving onto their sailboat where they plan on sailing the Pacific, and among other things, teaching diving and volunteering with Reef Check tropical programs along their way. We wish them the best of luck on their travels!
Long-time Reef Checker Dan Abbott has stepped in as the new Central Coast Regional Manager. Dan’s involvement with Reef Check California goes back to the beginning of the program. In 2005 Dan contributed to the development of RCCA monitoring protocols and took part in the first official Reef Check survey in California. Since then he has helped train many of the Reef Check California volunteers and taken part in surveys from Point Arena to Baja California. There’s no doubt that he will fit right into the team and make great contributions to the growth of the program.
Dan is a graduate of UC Berkeley where in addition to undergoing scientific diver training, he received a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Economics and Policy, an interdisciplinary program focused on marine resource management from both scientific and economic aspects. Most recently, Dan worked as a biologist for Tenera Environmental where he oversaw a large number of monitoring projects in San Francisco Bay, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and along the California Coast. Additionally Dan spearheaded Tenera’s successful application into AAUS and oversaw their dive program as their Diving Safety Officer. Dan is an active NAUI Instructor, a trained Outdoor Emergency Care Technician, and is a first aid and CPR instructor.