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Our mission at Reefs & Oceans is to train and equip the next generation of marine biologists to solve the current ecological crises facing coral reefs and other aquatic ecosystems. We accomplish this by providing in situ training and experience for marine biology students from around the country.​


In Situ

In Situ, from the Latin meaning “on-site,” can refer to both conservation and education techniques. At the Imagination Reef in South Florida, corals are cultivated through in situ conservationmeaning that corals are grown and preserved in their natural habitat. In conjunction with this, Reefs & Oceans provides in situ educational experience for marine biology students by allowing them to learn by directly studying and exploring the reef itself.

Think of it as an underwater classroom. While marine biologists and students might be able to study organisms in a lab or aquarium setting, at the Imagination Reef, the largest manmade reef in the world, they are able to get holistic, hands-on experience by being submersed in this aquatic laboratory.

Around the world, in situ observation of and experimentation on corals (in regions as varied as the Red Sea and Hawaii) have yielded highly valuable data about the rate of coral bleaching from increased water temperatures, as well as how acidification can dissolve existing reef structures.

Our in situ training will provide opportunities for marine biologists and marine biology students alike to learn about organic trends, as well as implement and study assisted evolution techniques that will produce heartier, more durable corals, in order to protect our reefs for generations to come.

Bringing Our Students to the Imagination Reef

Reefs For Oceans is committed to bringing marine biology students from around the country to the Imagination Reef for an immersive, in situ learning experience.

While travel to the Imagination Reef must be arranged by participants, Reefs For Oceans will cover housing, training and diving expenses for students to embark on a four-day, in-water, once-in-a-lifetime in situ intensive program.

Stretching over 450,000 square feet, the Imagination Reef serves as the ideal laboratory for students to observe and interact with a large, healthy aquatic ecosystem. Situated just off the coast of Key Biscayne (near Miami), the Reef is easily reached by air or car travel, making this in situ classroom an accessible resource for up-and-coming marine biologists.