C.R.E.W. Teacher in French Polynesia


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Living Oceans Foundation gives Teacher a Classroom at Sea

LANDOVER, MD,– On January 13th, Megan Berkle, a high school biology teacher from Huntington Park, California, will join the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation to survey coral reefs round the Gambier Islands, French Polynesia … a classroom at sea. The research is part of the Foundation’s Global Reef Expedition, a six‐year journey to map and evaluate coral reef habitats around the world.

Megan is the third educator to join the Living Oceans Foundation as a classroom at sea. For over 2 weeks she will be aboard the research vessel Golden Shadow as part of the foundation’s CREW (Coral Reef Educator on the Water) program. The program gives teachers hands on experience into marine research and conservation, and inspires them to convey their knowledge and passion to their students.

“I incorporate the real world into my curriculum” Megan says, “I make it a priority to integrate the latest advances in research. My goal is to design an entire reef ecology guide that can be used by educators in the U.S. and beyond.” Previously Megan taught scuba diving in the Philippines, studied coral reef diseases in the Caribbean, and explored Mexico’s famed underwater caves.

The Foundation will collect data on corals, fish, and other animal and plant life to gauge the health and resiliency of the reef habitats. The research is carried out in conjunction with scientists from the National Coral Reef Institute, France’s Institut de Recherche Pour Le
Developpement, and staff from the University of French Polynesia.
The Foundation will remain in French Polynesia through April before moving west to the Cook Islands. The Expedition will continue westward until reaching the Red Sea in 2016.

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