Photo: "A Healthy Coral Reef" by NOAA/CCMA Biogeography Team
The Coral Reef Regeneration (CR2) Project is a scientific immersion opportunity that encompasses both marine biology field research and cultural/historical exploration of the Dominican Republic. Students and parents taught and participated in classes over the 2012-13 school year that covered topics such as reef ecology, Spanish, and Caribbean history, and these culminated in two exciting opportunities: a series of weekly workshops at the Shedd Aquarium in which students studied marine life through dissection labs and experienced behind-the-scenes Shedd's scientific research and conservation efforts, and a research dive in the waters of Parque Nacional Submarino La Caleta, outside Santa Domingo, as part of a research team working with Dr. Ruben Torres. Dr. Torres is the director of the DR’s Reef Check, a non-governmental organization that monitors and protects coral reefs and educates native fishermen on how to preserve the reefs. Future possible plans for international participants include exploration of the Caribbean’s cultural and historical aspects in Santa Domingo, a cultural exchange with a local school, and/or work on a turtle research project that is under way in Bayahibe, two hours west of Santa Domingo.