March 14, 2012

Reef Check California March 2012 Update

By Reef Check California Director Dr. Jan Freiwald

In February RCCA had its annual retreat on Catalina Island. Staff and contract instructors came together to plan for the upcoming training and survey season and to get into the water to re-calibrate their survey skills. This year we had a large group of instructors from our partner institutions including Monterey Bay State University, one of our new partners in the Monterey Bay area. After the retreat we started two new volunteer trainings at Monterey Bay State University and at UC Santa Cruz. At both universities we are training their scientific divers in the RCCA survey methods. We are excited about partnering with both schools and welcome these new RCCA divers!

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce our new Southern California Volunteer Coordinator, Brianne Billups. Brianne started working with us this month and will help organize trainings and surveys in southern California. She is finishing up her degree in Marine Biology at UC Santa Barbara and has an extensive diving background, especially diving in National Parks around the country as part of the Our World Underwater National Park Service Scholarship she received before joining Reef Check. Please join me in welcoming Brianne to the team!

RCCA trainings and recertifications will start up next month with the first recerts on April 14 and 15th in Los Angeles and Monterey. If you are a RCCA citizen scientist and would like to survey with us this year please go to our website and sign up for a recertification date in your region or if you would like to become a new RCCA diver choose one of the trainings in the region closest to you.