Become A Coral Restoration Foundation 

 Citizen Scientist 


The Coral Restoration Foundation Citizen Scientist Program enlists local and country-wide visiting volunteers in the collection of survivorship data for outplanted staghorn and elkhorn corals. When you sign up to join our Citizen Scientist Monitoring Program, you become part of the restoration solution by helping us gain valuable data to improve the success of Coral Restoration Foundation’s reef restoration efforts.

Coral Restoration Foundation Citizen Scientists can be snorkelers or divers. Citizen Scientists perform monitoring of outplanted staghorn and elkhorn coral clusters on local reefs and submit their data to us. This data will help us begin to answer questions like “which reef habitat has greater coral survivorship?” or “are there differences in genotype performances?” and many other questions.


Thank you for your curiosity in becoming a Coral Restoration Foundation Citizen Scientist and donating your time to help document success and improve our restoration efforts! We have provided answers to frequently asked questions below. If you have more questions, feel free to email or call (305) 453-7030.

Who can become a Citizen Scientist?

Anyone! You do not need a science degree to be a Citizen Scientist. After reviewing the learning materials you need to become a Coral Restoration Foundation Citizen Scientist and taking the quiz, we will equip you with the tools you need to succeed and submit accurate data.

You also do not need to live in the Keys to become a Citizen Scientist. If you are planning to visit the Florida Keys and are looking for something to do, this is the perfect opportunity to make a difference.

How do I become a Citizen Scientist?

Review the learning materials and when you are ready, click the “Take the Quiz Now” link below. If you pass with 75% or greater, you are a Coral Restoration Foundation Citizen Scientist! After, we will send you the materials you need and you can begin monitoring.

How much do I need to know to be a Citizen Scientist?

Honestly, not that much! When going through the learning materials, you will learn to identify two types of corals (staghorn and elkhorn). These two corals will be what you will be monitoring while at reef restoration sites. You will also learn how to read our tags to identify the cluster and genotype, tell if corals are alive or dead, and if a coral is fused or not. Oh, and you should be able to swim!

Does it cost money?

No, it does not cost any money to become a Citizen Scientist! Once you pass your quiz, you will receive an emailed and monitoring materials such as clip board with water proof data sheets will be sent to you (if within the United States) or picked up at our Education Center (you have the option of either while taking the quiz). However, it is up to you to get to the reef with your own transportation. The Citizen Scientist Program is designed for individuals who like to snorkel or dive and want to contribute to our efforts on their own time.

How many times can I take the quiz?

As many as it takes to pass!

What kind of data do I collect?

Coral Restoration Foundation Citizen Scientists collect data on reef restoration sites, also known as reef sites where we have previously outplanted coral. You will be provided a list of reef sites, coordinates, and the clusters that are on these sites. Once you have this and go to the reef site, you will be able to find the coral clusters, track this on your sheet with numbers of corals, how many are dead or alive, and how many are fused to the reef.

What do I do with data once I collect it?

After you collect data, you will go to our website at and type in the password you receive with your initial email confirming you are a Citizen Scientist. From here, you are able to type in the data which goes directly to our Science Team to be analyzed.

What is the data used for?

The data collected is used to measure survivorship rates to ensure our methods are successful and answer many questions that will further impact how and why we perform certain practices.

When do I need to monitor?

Monitoring efforts are a year round effort. You can monitor corals once a year or thirty times a year. Please submit your data online by clicking the “Login for Data Entry” link at the top of this page and entering the password you receive with your original Citizen Scientist confirmation email.

Where can I monitor?

Coral Restoration Foundation’s Reef Restoration Team has outplanted thousands of corals across the Florida Reef Tract. We’ve created a map of reef restoration sites below to give you a better idea of where monitoring can take place. More in-depth coordinates, site lists, and associated coral clusters to each site will be sent along with your materials once you pass the quiz with a 75% or greater.

Molasses Reef


Pickles Reef

Snapper Ledge

Davis Reef

Alligator Reef

Little Conch Reef

Crocker Reef

North Dry Rocks

Carysfort Reef

Nine Foot Stake

Marker 32

White Bank Reef

French Reef

West Turtle Shoals

East Turtle Shoals

M2 Patch Reef

M7 Patch Reef

M4 Patch Reef

M4 Patch Reef

M10 Patch Reef

Western Sambo

Grecian Rocks

Ready to become a Coral Restoration Foundation Citizen Scientist?