Reef Check FAQ
Does my Reef Check California EcoDiver Certification expire?
Yes. As part of our Quality Control/Quality Assurance procedures, your eligibility to submit data to our database expires within one year of your most recent training or recalibration training.
Recalibration trainings generally consist of a one day boat charter where certified divers review the RCCA protocol, species identification, and complete in water recalibration with RCCA instructors. The in water activities are similar to those completed during the testing day of the Ecodiver Training. Divers complete "double" counts of fixed transect lines and compare their counts with RCCA instructors. If counts are determined to be within the expected range of error of RCCA instructors the RCCA diver is recalibrated for another year.
Recalibrated divers will not receive a new certification card. When a diver completes a training or recalibration, their specific information (fish, invert, algae, UPC) is entered into our database. When data are submitted, the database will automatically flag any data that is collect by a diver that does not have current training or recalibration status. The RCCA database manager can then re-check the diver's status and determine if the diver is eligible to collect data or will inform the survey captain that the survey conducted by that diver must be repeated by divers eligible to collect data.
This strict policy ensures the quality of data and standardizes the requirements of surveyors whether you have been surveying for 1 month or 10 years. The Recalibration Charters are usually held in March and early April in preparation of the survey season. However, there are additional opportunities to recalibrate your survey skills if you can not make the several survey charters scheduled at the beginning of the year. The best way to ensure you are ready to go for the survey season is to keep an eye out on the Forum and your email which will let you know when the Recalibration Charters are scheduled. Then all you need to do is sign up on-line for the Recalibration Charters when they are scheduled early in the spring to secure your spot. If you can't make one of the several scheduled dates contact the RCCA staff in your area to discuss other opportunities to get your survey skills tuned up and getting back out there collecting the data that is going to help improve marine management in California.