Coral Reef Restoration Mentored Online Course

Photo © Paul Selvaggio

Course Description

Enrollment for this mentored course is now closed. A self-paced version of this course is available here.

Coral reef managers are increasingly turning to restoration as a strategy to combat reef degradation and promote reef recovery. As a result, different techniques are being used across the globe, making it difficult to choose the right approach for your location’s specific needs and capabilities. The opens in a new windowCoral Reef Restoration Online Course is designed to provide coral reef managers and practitioners with best practice guidance for common coral reef restoration techniques. Course topics include strategic restoration planning, field-based and land-based interventions, and monitoring. As of early 2022, lessons have been updated with new science and resources to keep pace with this rapidly advancing field.

This mentored course features seven self-paced lessons, three webinars, online discussions, and direct access to leading coral reef restoration experts from around the world. Lessons are provided in both English and Spanish. opens in a new windowClick here to enroll, or click the green button to the right.

Course Outline

Week 1: May 2 – 6, 2022

    • Webinar 1: Course Start & Orientation (May 4, 2022, 9:00am EDT) – kicks off the course by introducing you to expert mentors, providing instruction on how to access course lessons and discussion forums, and reviewing the course syllabus. We will also share highlights from key coral reef restoration resources. The webinar will end with a question-and-answer session. (1 hour)

Week 2: May 9 – 13, 2022

    • Lesson 1: Introduction to Coral Reef Restoration & Project Planning – introduces the general theory and practice of ecological restoration and its use in coral reef ecosystems. It summarizes a guided process for planning and designing a coral reef restoration program, from setting objectives through determining on-the-ground restoration interventions. (1 hour)
    • Lesson 2: Coral Propagation and Field-based Coral Nurseries – describes common field-based coral propagation and restoration approaches. Information includes collection of coral fragments from reefs, types of field-based coral nurseries, techniques for propagating and rearing corals in nurseries, and outplanting corals back onto reefs. (1 hour)
    • Discussion forum with expert mentors

Week 3: May 16 – 20, 2022

    • Lesson 3: Land-based Coral Nurseries – describes key concepts associated with propagating and rearing coral colonies in land-based coral nursery facilities. It covers considerations and steps involved in setting up and running land-based nursery systems and provides a showcase of examples of different types of land-based nurseries from around the world. (1 hour)
    • Lesson 4: Larval-based Coral Propagation – details the steps involved in enhancing coral populations using the techniques and approaches known as larval propagation. This lesson includes information on the natural sexual reproduction process of corals, and describes methods for collecting and fertilizing coral gametes, rearing new coral larvae and promoting settlement onto the reef or artificial structures, and outplanting corals back onto reefs. (1 hour)
    • Discussion forum with expert mentors

Week 4: May 23 – 27, 2022

    • Webinar 2: Coral Propagation Techniques (May 25, 20226:00 pm EDT/May 26, 2022, 8:00 am AEST) – focus on field-based, land-based, and larval-based coral propagation techniques learned in the previous online course lessons. Experts from around the world will share their experiences and lessons learned on these topics. The webinar will conclude with a question-and-answer session. (1 hour 15 min)
    • Lesson 5: Restoring Physical Reef Structure – explores restoring the physical structure of coral reef ecosystems, an important intervention for habitats that have been damaged, degraded, or become unsuitable for coral larval settlement. It describes different techniques for stabilizing reef substrate and key considerations for the use of artificial structures. (1 hour)
    • Lesson 6: Rapid Response and Emergency Coral Reef Restoration – provides guidance on how to prepare for, respond to, and repair coral reefs after disturbance events. Recommendations in this lesson focus on responding to three major causes of damage: tropical storms, vessel groundings, and disease epidemics. (1 hour)
    • Discussion forum with expert mentors

Week 5: May 30 – June 3, 2022

    • Lesson 7: Monitoring for Coral Reef Restoration – describes monitoring approaches to evaluate the success and development of a coral reef restoration project. It discusses current practices for monitoring, including methods and metrics that assess individual coral colonies and the broader ecological effects of restoration on reef sites. (1 hour)
    • Discussion forum with expert mentors

Week 6: June 6 – June 10, 2022

    • Webinar 3: Physical Reef Restoration & Course Closing (June 8, 2022at 6:00 pm EDT/Thursday, June 9, 2022, at 8:00 am AEST) – focus on Lessons 5-6 of the online course and will focus physical reef restoration techniques. Experts from around the world will share their experiences and lessons learned on these topics. The webinar will conclude with a question-and-answer session. (1 hour 15 min)

Available Languages

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Course Audience

Coral Reef Managers and Restoration Practitioners


10 hours
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