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Coral Ecosystems


Dr. C. Mark Eakin
Dr. C. Mark Eakin Dr. Eakin serves as an Oceanographer in the NESDIS Center for Satellite Applications and Research. A coral reef specialist, with a Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the University of Miami, Dr. Eakin is Coordinator of NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch program, an effort focused on the monitoring of coral reef ecosystems through satellite, in situ, and paleoenvironmental observations.

Dr. Eakin has worked for NOAA since 1991. From 2000-2005, Dr. Eakin directed NOAA Paleoclimatology (part of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center), and was Director of the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology in Boulder, CO. Prior to that, he was a program manager for the NOAA Office of Global Programs in Silver Spring, MD, funding and coordinating research to improve our understanding of climate variability in the past, how to predict it in the future and the influence of climate variability and change on our environment.

Dr. Eakin received his Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from the University of Miami in 1991 specializing in coral reef ecology, especially the impact of El Niño on eastern Pacific coral reefs. Dr. Eakin’s research is in coral reef ecology and carbonate budgets, and has performed research on various topics including the effects of disturbance such as climate change, El Niño and oil spills on coral reefs, and the behavior of marine organisms. He was heavily involved in developing the International and U.S. Coral Reef Initiatives and the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN). He recently chaired the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee of the GCRMN. In 2004, Dr. Eakin co-chaired a 7 part series of symposia on “Coral Reefs and Global Change” at the 10th International Coral Reef Symposium in Okinawa and is currently coordinating collection of data from the 2005 Caribbean coral bleaching event.

Kelly Drinnen
Kelly Drinnen Ms. Drinnen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from James Madison University. She is a certified SCUBA diver and K-4 teacher with two years of classroom experience and over 13 years of informal education experience at Sea World of Florida and Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas. She is currently an Education Specialist for the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in Texas. Kelly's professional career has focused primarily on marine education. Her current responsibilities include coordinating professional development workshops for educators; developing, revising and maintaining many of the communication tools used to share sanctuary information with the public; and making presentations to local community organizations. Kelly is also the primary liaison between the sanctuary and informal organizations, such as aquariums and zoos, that wish to incorporate sanctuary issues and messages into their exhibits and programs.

Kelly comes from a family full of educators and likes to say she has "teaching in her genes." This, coupled with her love of the ocean, and wildlife in general, led her to a career in informal education where she gets to share her interests, in two languages, and meet people from around the world.

Patty Miller
Patty Miller Patty Miller is the education coordinator for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. She develops education and outreach programs for the Sanctuary and runs the education/visitor center on Maui. The Maui site is located right on the water and offers a great opportunity for marine monitoring experiences. Middle and high schools participate in snorkeling transects, invasive seaweed eradication projects, creating and monitoring artificial reef modules, and monitoring reef habitats. Boogie board size remote controlled boats with underwater cameras and water quality monitoring tools are also used for monitoring reefs.

Patty previously worked for the Hawaii Department of Education as a State Resource Teleschool Teacher. She produced and taught science classes on television. KidScience programs were broadcast throughout Hawaii and into PBS and school district stations across the country. Some programs focused on hands-on experiences and teacher training and others took students to different ecosystems around the Pacific. They participated in live underwater broadcasts, a live connection with the Space Shuttle and talked to the scientists on the South Pole as they participated in the annual alignment of the South Pole. It was a great way to get students involved and interested in science.

Bruce Moravchik
Bruce Moravchik Bruce Moravchik is an education specialist in NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS). He leads the development of NOS's Discovery Center, a series of innovative online materials for students and educators that convey the research, technology, and activities of the National Ocean Service. Bruce has worked with scientists and educators across NOAA to develop original written and multimedia content for the Ocean Explorer, Coral Reef Information System, National Marine Sanctuaries, and Marine Protected Areas, Web sites. Prior to coming to NOAA he established and ran a marine and environmental studies program at a private high school in Rhode Island, working with teachers and students on coastal ecology, aquaculture, and habitat restoration. He has also taught oceanography onboard the 125 foot tall ship Westward for the Sea Education Association; studied the behavioral ecology of lobster and crab populations in Rhode Island and Maine; and conducted research in coral reef ecology in the Red Sea.

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Underwritten in part by: National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration