2023 Featured Stories


Coral nurseries are helping to restore coral reefs in Saipan, CNMI

A scuba diver swims through clear water where white tree-like structures are anchored to the seafloor.

While Saipan, in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, seems remote, the coral reefs are threatened by bleaching and crown-of-thorn starfish outbreaks. To help corals recover from past events, corals are being grown in nurseries in Saipans lagoon and then outplanted on degraded reefs.



Coral Management Fellow Contributes to Hawai'i Division of Aquatic Resources' Makai Restoration Plan

An aerial view of a coral reef covered in brown polluted water in the foreground and a mountainous coastline in the background. Offshore, the water is clear aquamarine and there are storm clouds in the distance.

Bert Weeks, National Coral Reef Management Fellowship class of 2020-2021, was born and raised in Hawai'i on the Island of O'ahu and returned home after completing his master's degree at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego. During his two-year fellowship, he worked at the State of Hawai'i Department of LandT and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR). One of his focus areas was to improve coral restoration in Hawai'i through the creation of a state-wide coral restoration action plan.



Data Management on the High Seas

View of a large ship docked with the sunset in the background and a person walking in front of it.

As a Data and Information Manageme,nt Specialist for the Coral Reef Information System (CoRIS), I am used to looking at the results of a research project — after all files have been assembled into neatly organized "data packages". Everything can be done online, so we data managers rarely get a chance to leave the office for fieldwork like other scientists. Still, when I started at NOAA in August of 2021, I was thrilled to work in coral reef science, a subject more aligned with my interests and graduate school research than the oil spill-heavy material from my past in my home state of Texas. As excited as I was, I started this position during the pandemic, so my experience has been squeezed into a small laptop screen at home.