March 21, 2008

Reef Check California March 2008 Update

By Reef Check California Director Dr. Craig Shuman

Spring is right around the corner which means it is time to dust off our dive gear and prepare for another year of sampling. We have an incredibly busy year planned with eight trainings and four recertification courses to prepare our teams to resurvey the 48 sites we have established along California’s coast from Mendocino County to San Diego.

I am pleased to announce that we have some exciting new staffing changes on tap. After almost three years at the helm, I will be stepping down as the Director of the Reef Check California Program. This has allowed us to restructure the staffing of the program to create two new positions.  Our own Cyndi Dawson, former Central/North Coast Regional Manager, will become the new Director of Science focused on training, data collection and data analysis.  We have hired a new California Program Manager, Dr. Fiona Nagle, to help manage the day to day operations of the program and focus on expanding our education and outreach efforts.  Fiona recently completed her Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota in conservation biology/conflict management and brings a wealth of talent to help round out the skills of the RCCA team. I am highly confident that with the help of our expert staff and dedicated volunteers, Cyndi and Fiona will successfully guide RCCA to the next level.

It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve as the Director of the Reef Check California Program and I will remain on the Reef Check Board of Directors. Your commitment and dedication have been the key to our success, and I look forward to joining all of you at upcoming events and surveys as a fellow Reef Check supporter in the coming year.