Being a Reef Check California certified diver is a fun adventure and helps fulfill our desire to give back to the nearshore reefs we enjoy and use so much. The first step is to go through a Reef Check California EcoDiver Training Course. After you sign up for a course you receive your comprehensive training materials which include a training manual, a portfolio to organize your class notes, and species identification flashcards.
Reef Check California Trainings consist of a one day interactive classroom lecture, a ½ day in the pool practicing surveying techniques, and a ½ day of classroom testing on species identification and the RCCA survey protocols. The classroom portion of the training provides a forum for discussion about the protocol, tips for species identification, and a chance to get your very own survey gear including a dive slate, calipers to measure urchins and abalone, and a transect tape.
The Reef Check California (RCCA) Ecodiver Training culminates with a 2 day chartered boat trip. This trip is included in the cost of the course. The first day we practice all the things you learned in the classroom and pool. Divers work in small groups with certified instructors and get immediate feed back both in and out of the water on species identification and survey techniques.
The second day of field training includes testing and often the last dive is used to start collecting data for a new Reef Check California survey. After the successful completion of the full course divers receive a NAUI specialty certification card which designates you as a highly trained RCCA Ecodiver who can collect data that will be included in the RCCA database which we provide to resource mangers to help improve the management of California's living marine resources.
Reef Check California brings together a diverse group of individuals who share the goal of supporting science-based management decisions. Reef Check surveyors play a direct role in providing the data to help inform these decisions. RCCA certified divers embody the type of involved and informed citizenry Reef Check California hopes to continue to build.
" Reef Check makes me feel hopeful. Your organization is a great program in that it allows the networking of science professionals and people like myself who want to do something to help. Reef Check volunteers not only are an integral part of Reef Check, but because of their involvement, become educated advocates for our oceans. Thank you for your training. Rob & I both own businesses and are well aware of the complex threading of talent require to make an idea like Reef Check get its legs and grow. You are doing a profound job. We are honored to offer our support in any way we can. " Bill Field and Rob Matteri - North coast
"This was a great trip of learning for both the students and the instructors, who are dedicated to turning enthusiastic volunteers into accurate data-gathering divers with scientific knowledge and rigor. I'm still smiling because of this great experience and I get another way to give back." Claudette Dorsey RN – Southern CA
"Just wanted to say thanks for such a great weekend, I can't believe how much you managed to teach me! I'm looking forward to hearing from you soon about survey opportunities…" Donna Nincic – Central coast
"It was so fun!!! I really loved the training especially learning the fish." Suzanne Baird – Central coast
"I wanted to thank you for everything this weekend. I really enjoyed what I learned and look forward to the field training next weekend. I think this is going to be a nice experience and education. It will give me a chance to see what is really going on at the local reefs." Dave Basseler – Central coast
"Just wanted to drop you a quick line to say thank you very much for a great weekend - we went home tired but very happy. I think we both found the training comprehensive, at times testing, but above all great fun." Andrew Smith – Central coast
"I really enjoyed your training. I look forward to making a contribution." Ian Rosaaen – Central coast