About Us

The Reef Resilience Network connects marine resource managers with information, experts, resources, and skill-building opportunities to accelerate and leverage solutions for improved conservation and restoration of coral reefs and reef fisheries around the world. The Network is a partnership led by The Nature Conservancy that is comprised of more than 1,500 members, and supported by dozens of partners and TNC staff, as well as over 100 global experts in coral reefs, fisheries, climate change, communication, and more who serve as trainers, advisors, and content reviewers.

How We Work

The Network strengthens members’ ability to effectively manage coral reefs threatened by warming seas, bleaching, coastal development, pollution, overfishing, and changes in ocean chemistry. To achieve this, we:

  • Synthesize and share the latest science and management strategies to keep busy managers inspired and in-the-know. Our website is updated by global experts and features the latest information on key topics, easily searchable summaries of journal articles featuring resilience science, and case studies highlighting successful management strategies and new application of science.
  • Connect managers and experts to share resources and lessons learned that inform and improve management decisions and inspire greater collaborations. Connections are made both in person and online through Network-hosted learning exchanges, trainings, and interactive webinars on “hot topics” in marine resource management. We also host the Network Forum, an online member-only discussion forum where managers and practitioners can share ideas and resources, and ask questions.
  • Provide training and seed funding to launch education, monitoring, and threat-reduction projects. Training and support to help managers incorporate resilience concepts into their management strategies and regulatory policies, and encourage increased knowledge-sharing within and across regions.

Latest News

Sign up for our newsletter to receive information on the latest science and strategies, new case studies and journal summaries, upcoming webinars, and highlights of coral news around the world. To explore previously featured Network news, visit our News page.

Our Impact

For 15 years, the Network has played a critical role in transforming scientific and theoretical information about reefs into operational knowledge, tools, and guidance for resource managers: the government, NGO, and community leaders tasked with managing reefs and the services they provide.

4,120

Managers and practitioners who have received training online and/or in-person

50

Managers’ projects launched with funding support ref

180,000+

People access our online toolkit annually ref

Meet the Managers

While there are many stories to tell, here is what support from the Network looks like and how it translates into real action for improved coral health.

Manager Spotlight
Manager Spotlight
Manager Spotlight
Manager Spotlight

Meet Our Staff

Petra MacGowan

Petra MacGowan

Reef Resilience Program Manager, Global Oceans

Petra is responsible for leading the global capacity building efforts of the Network and managing implementation of the NOAA-Coral Reef Conservation Program/TNC partnership to support the efforts of coral reef managers and conservation partners in Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hawai‘i, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam to protect and sustainably manage their coral reefs. Previously, Petra worked for the State of Hawai‘i Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) where she managed the State’s coral reef conservation strategies including the planning and implementation of marine managed areas in the Main Hawaiian Islands and the development of community-based management initiatives to enhance enforcement efforts statewide. She holds a Master’s of Marine Affairs from the University of Washington where she conducted her thesis work in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa.

Kristen Maize

Kristen Maize

Strategic Communication Manager, Hawai‘i Program

Kristen guides Network communications, helps organize and lead trainings, and works with managers to build skills in strategic communication and other topics. For TNC Hawai‘i Program, she develops and implements communication strategies to support marine conservation practice and policy. Kristen’s interdisciplinary environmental background is a blend of communication, policy, management, and research. Career highlights include: supporting coral reef social marketing campaigns in Hawai‘i and the Northern Mariana Islands; managing environmental programs for Friends of Virgin Islands National Park; and conducting field and lab research on projects related to coral reef health, endangered species of fish, and incorporating human perception into fisheries management. Kristen has a coastal environmental management master’s degree from Duke University. She is also a professional oil painter.

Dr. Elizabeth Shaver

Dr. Elizabeth Shaver

Reef Resilience Coral Restoration Lead

Liz coordinates the Network’s content and partnerships focused on reef restoration practices. As a former Network employee, Liz assisted in the development of previous versions of the Toolkit and was the lead author on the Network’s Restoration Module. Liz works closely with partners from the Coral Restoration Consortium and Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program to synthesize and share new science and best practices, a webinar series, and the development of a new online course (coming soon!). Liz holds a PhD in Marine Science and Conservation from Duke University, where she conducted field experiments, large-scale reef surveys, and manager questionnaires to identify how ecological interactions affect coral reef management strategies. Her research has included coral predation, climate change and bleaching, multiple stressors, species facilitations, and the restoration of coral reefs and other marine habitats.

Cherie Wagner

Cherie Wagner

Reef Resilience Program Coordinator, Global Oceans

Cherie coordinates the Network developing the Toolkit, webinars, and trainings to support the efforts of coral reef managers and conservation partners in Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hawai‘i, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam. Before joining the Global Ocean Team, she worked on a plan for evaluating the environmental sustainability of the organization’s small-scale aquaculture projects at the WorldFish Center in Malaysia. She also worked on assessing the risk of fisheries on coastal species in Vancouver, Canada for the Natural Capital Project. She has a Master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington where she focused on marine resource use and community-based marine protected area management in the Philippines. 

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