[Coral-List] Seminar for Level III Certification in Coral Propagation & Planting

Todd Barber reefball at reefball.com
Tue Nov 17 13:47:13 EST 2009

The Reef Ball Foundation is planning a week long intensive seminar in the
Cancun/Cozumel area and will offer instruction and hands on training for
Level III certification in the track "Coral Propagation & Planting."  The
seminar will be offered after the first of the year, likely in February,
with the exact dates to be determined based on numbers
of participants and accommodation availability.   The seminar will include a
package with accommodations/food/group transportation and all the
coral propagation supplies for the training.

The hands on training will follow Reef Ball Foundation's Step by Step Guide
to Reef Rehabilitation [including the 2 chapters on coral propagation that
are omitted in the online version and available only to Reef Ball Coral Team
members].  Activities will include setting up an in situ coral propagation
table, training and mastering of each of the required table stations "dry
hand coral handler", "wet hand coral handler", "table boss" and "fragger"
Weather permitting, we will also train transportation stations ("collectors"
and "runners")  and coral planting stations ("mixers" and "planters").  Live
coral plugs prepared by the participants during the training will be planted
on Reef Balls  deployed for the purpose of the training.  Each participant
will be able to plant out their own individual reef module (provided) so
they can track their coral development over time.  We will be training on a
variety of Caribbean corals including Acropora.  Level III certification is
not guaranteed by participation in the seminar since each station must be
mastered to earn the certification but the vast majority of motivated
seminar participates do pass.  These special intensive seminars are the only
way to obtain Level III certification without having to participate in
multiple Reef Ball Foundation projects.

This training is specifically designed for individuals that are interested
in coral propagation and planting of *small* fragments and is NOT the same
track as our Coral Rescue & Transplanting certification which will be
offered at a later date.  This track is suitable for those planting
fragments on newly deployed artificial reef or rock substrates that have
adapter plugs pre-cast or pre-drilled into them.  This track is NOT suitable
for planting directly to hard bottom (unless recently exposed
and hydraulically drilled for preparation) or to any substrates that have
been in the water for more than 30 days (predator considerations normally
required larger fragments when planting on substrates that already have a
fouling community).  The purpose of this particular method of coral
rehabilitation is to be able to plant large numbers of fragments in a short
time (typically up to 200-500 corals per hour for a team of 5) with minimal

Tuition for the seminar for English speakers is expensive because it
includes hotel, food, transportation, at least one Level V certified
trainer for each 12 students, a coral propagation table for each 12
students, a designed reef module for each student (Reef Ball), a
local English speaking guide for each group and more.  We cannot give an
exact price until accommodation are finalized but we expect the tuition to
be around $5,0000

For Spanish speakers, we are offering a highly discounted option version
that will be taught by a local Level IV trainer and will not
include accommodation, food, guides or an unique module for each student but
will be affordable so that locals can benefit from this world class training
seminar. Local tuition will likely be around $375.

On a space available basis, we may also be able to offer a student package
in English at a discount but we won't be accepting those applications until
after they normal seminar registration is closed.  We are also soliciting
our donors to create possible scholarship opportunities for this seminar.

Enrollment is by invitation only and requirements include current scuba
certification, current DAN insurance, a valid passport,  some
prior experience with coral husbandry or other qualifying educational,
project related, or occupationally related need.  This is not meant for
"volunteers" and is a more formal track than participation on a project to
gain certifications.  If you are on the CORAL-List, and an active
participant with at least 2 postings over the last 5 years with the above
qualifications you will automatically be offered an invitation if requested.
 If you know of someone that would like an invitation that meets these
requirements please send to me directly their contact information.
 Invitations will be sent out once the dates and prices are finalize and
after we have determined the number of likely students.

If anyone has questions please contact me directly off list.  Note also that
I will be personally leading this seminar.  Additionally, we are talking
with the Barbados Marine Trust about the possibility of offering this
seminar at a later date in Barbados so if anyone has particular interest in
that venue let us know so we can gauge feasibility.

About Certification: The Reef Ball Foundation requires certifications for
participation in our projects to the level and in the track of the services
performed.  Increasingly, permitting agencies, regulators, and project
managers are requiring proof of coral handling skills when   issuing
contracts and permits.  This is especially becoming important in mitigation
and non-research projects.  Reef Ball Foundation offers 5 tracks and 5
levels of certification within each track.  Tracks encompass different
skills such as artificial reef construction, artificial reef deployment, red
mangrove planting, coral propagation and planting, coral rescue and
transplantation, and monitoring.  With increasing regulations regarding
coral handling, we encourage everyone in this field to learn as much as you
can and document those skills to ensure you'll be able to participate and
apply your knowledge to problems facing our reef ecosystems worldwide.

Note to potential seminar students, you will be required to download and
read the Step by Step guide prior to the seminar. Plan for at least 6 hours
of seminar preparation study (more if you are relatively new to the field).


Todd R Barber
Chairman, Reef Ball Foundation
3305 Edwards Court
Greenville, NC 27858
252-353-9094 (Direct)
941-720-7549 (Cell & Goggle Voice)
toddbarber Skype

www,reefball.org (Reef Ball Foundation)
www.artificialreefs.com (Designed Artificial Reefs)
www.reefbeach.com (Reefs for Beach Erosion)
www.eternalreefs.com (Memorial Reefs)
www.reefball.com (Reef Ball Foundation)

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