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City Day students observe coral reefs in the Keys

A group of City Day students and teachers set sail for the Florida Keys this summer as part of the school's annual Coral Reef Conservation Expedition, which allows students to conduct research and share data with working scientists in a beautiful natural environment.

Six current City Day students and one alumnus spent a week aboard the R/V Coral Reef II, a Shedd Aquarium research vessel, in July. While enjoying the tropical sunshine (and the occasional afternoon thunderstorm), the participants learned about various ocean habitats and their residents, while also developing skills in marine research.

The team studied a coral reef near the Keys. Students collected and submitted data on fish variety and abundance to REEF, an international marine conservation organization based in Florida. Our young scientists also completed a Reef Check survey, which consists of monitoring fish and invertebrate indicator species along a 100-meter section of the reef. 

This summer was the research expedition's 19th year. In the past, our students have traveled to the Bimini region of the Bahamas to do this work, but logistical issues have required our team to perform the research in the Keys since 2021. In both cases, students conduct rigorous research and work with scientists in a beautiful real-world setting. The program is regularly cited by participants as a highlight of their City Day experience. 

See photos from the 2022 expedition below.

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