This manual is designed to give experienced divers a deeper understanding of coral reefs and the threats they face from the many different diseases they've been observed to suffer from. This manual introduces the theory and practical considerations of surveying coral reef sites for disease. This course builds off the knowledge gained during the Conservation Diver Ecological Monitoring Program (EMP) certification will provide divers with the techniques needed to track reef health in more sophisticated detail than previously explored.
After completing this course, students will know how to perform the reef research methods of the Coral Disease Survey and will be able to collect data to a standard that will allow them to contribute to local and global databases. Students will learn how to identify additional threats to reef health, and explain why they happen and what they represent. They will learn specifically about symptoms affecting the corals of the Indo-Pacific, enabling their identification and monitoring. Additionally, experience working with survey equipment underwater will be acquired, as well as further training in navigation skills and buoyancy. Students who complete the training can then volunteer to assist with the regular disease surveys and utilize their knowledge in other parts of the Indo-Pacific, Caribbean, or wherever else they dive.