Teacher Professional Development Courses

Educating you to help educate others.
CoralWatch organises many teacher workshops to make you familiar with CoralWatch teaching materials.

Upcoming Teacher PD

Act and Protect - Taking the reef to the classroom
28 September 2019 - Cairns, QLD, Australia.
One-day practical professional development in Cairns, focusing on coral biology, reef health and threats, coral bleaching, citizen science and the importance of reef conservation. Learn how to collect and interpret CoralWatch data and identify trends using the CoralWatch global database, and identify coral genus. This workshop will be organised as an extra day after the Marine Science Teachers Association Conference. CoralWatch will be there during the conference as well on the reeftrip collecting data. To view program, open the registration form.

Registration form

Past Teacher PD

Act and Protect - Taking a closer look at corals
25-26 May 2019 - North Keppel Island Environmental Education Centre, QLD, Australia.
A two-day practical professional development at North Keppel Island Environmental Education Centre (NKIEEC) focusing on coral biology, reef health and threats, coral bleaching, citizen science and the importance of reef conservation. Learn how to collect and interpret CoralWatch data and identify trends using the CoralWatch global database and identify coral genus. Apart from lectures and in-class curriculum linked activities, we will explore and learn about the reef during snorkel trips and a low tide reefwalk.


Taking a closer look at corals
7-10 March 2019 - Lady Elliot Island, QLD, Australia.
A four-day practical professional development on Lady Elliot, focusing on coral biology, reef health and threats, coral bleaching, citizen science and the importance of reef conservation. Participants learned how to collect and interpret CoralWatch data and identify trends using the CoralWatch global database, investigate zooxanthellae and identify coral genus. Apart from lectures and in-class curriculum linked activities, we explored and learned about the reef during snorkel trips and low tide reefwalks.



Taking a closer look at corals
7-10 March 2019 - Lady Elliot Island, QLD, Australia.
In this interactive CoralWatch data workshop, participants discovered the wide range of education materials CoralWatch has on offer and learned how they can use the publically accessible global coral bleaching database for science. This real-life data platform holds information on >220.000 corals from >1880 reefs in 79 countries and is an excellent resource. Even without collecting data yourself, data can be extracted from the database and analysed to compare coral health observations between e.g. reefs, countries or over time. In addition, CoralWatch provided some background on coral reefs, coral bleaching and the CoralWatch program. The reef is a perfect teaching subject and can be used cross-curriculum. For those that have access to the reef, we highlighted how students can use the simple Coral Health Chart to collect scientific validated coral health data and contribute to a worldwide citizen science project.

Future expression of interest
‘Passing on CoralWatch skills’
The program has helped increase my knowledge of marine environments and enhanced practical skills and research techniques. At our teacher PD on Heron Island we had lectures about coral bleaching, how to use CoralWatch survey slates, coral classification and setting up permanent transects and tagging coral colonies for regular surveys on the Heron Island reef flat. I’ve passed on these skills to the students so we could apply CoralWatch surveys and techniques to the local area, around Great Keppel Island, and use CoralWatch techniques in Year 11 Biology ecology assessment and Year 10 Marine Operations. The CoralWatch program has also provided an opportunity to collaborate with current research scientists and leading professors in coral reef biology.
Phill Bessel
Rockhampton Grammar School