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From 1996-2016, Down Under, Out Yonder (DUOY) was an educator workshop and scuba field experience that introduced educators to the sanctuary, coral reefs, reef fish identification and ocean conservation.

The field experience was a dive trip to the Flower Garden and Stetson banks on a live-aboard dive charter. During the dive trip, workshop participants explored the sanctuary and conducted fish surveys to add to a database of knowledge about which species are present in what quantities.

Heading of the REEF fish survey form that includes outline images of several reef fish.
Workshop participants completed 47 fish surveys and
identified 105 different species during their field experience.

This workshop created a memorable, hands-on experience that educators took back to their classrooms as well as museums, aquariums, and other informal education sites.

Group of people posing for a photo on the top deck of a dive boat as it returns to shore.
DUOY 2015 included participants from Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, California, Iowa, Illinois, North Dakota, Oklahoma (Indonesia), and Washington.

Workshop funding and coordination was provided by the Gulf of Mexico Foundation. Workshop instruction and activities were provided by sanctuary staff and guest speakers.

For a full range of activities and lesson plans, please visit our
For Teachers page.

Images from the 2015 workshop can be viewed below. Additional workshop images are also available:

Click on a picture below to see a larger, hi-resolution image
Photo credits: FGBNMS

DUOY 2015, Day 1 - Corals and Coral Reefs

Teachers modeling a coral colony with gloved hands and closed eyes as an instructor dangles gummy worms overhead for them to try and catch
As part of the Coral Up Close activity teachers learned to feed like corals using their tentacles (fingers) to catch dangling gummy worms. (Image: FGBNMS/DuPuy)

Two teachers building coral colonies out of Lego building bricks
Lego building bricks were used for the Coral Constructors activity that had teachers building coral colony shapes. (Image: FGBNMS/DuPuy)

Teachers gathered around a small plastic tub in which they are simulating coral recruitment
Teachers learned about how coral polyps settled successfully on the salt domes and not in the sand by doing the Coral Construction activity. (Image: FGBNMS/DuPuy)
Teachers looking at a time series of reef photos to see if they can detect changes on the reef over time
The Reef Monitoring lesson helped teachers learn about monitoring techniques and how to analyze a series of reef photos to note changes over time. (Image: FGBNMS/DuPuy)
Two teachers and the instructor looking at graphs showing sea surface temperature on various coral reefs
Teachers learned about how NOAA Coral Reef programs predict coral bleaching events using sea surface temperature data.
(Image: FGBNMS/DuPuy)
DUOY 2015, Day 2 - R/V MANTA Tour
and Reef Fish Identification
Stern of R/V MANTA with the ROV on deck under a tarp
Day 2 started with a tour of R/V MANTA at the Texas A&M Galveston Dock before it deployed on another research trip using the ROV.
(Image: FGBNMS/Drinnen)
Teacher at the helm of R/V MANTA pretending to drive the boat
Captain Mike let teachers take turns sitting in the Captain's chair as he was explaining the the various displays and controls.
(Image: FGBNMS/Drinnen)
Looking over the shoulder of a teacher using a fish ID book in front of an aquarium window.
After spending the morning in the classroom learning to identify various reef fish, teachers practiced identifying live fish in the Aquarium at Moody Gardens. (Image: FGBNMS/Drinnen)
Teachers sitting on a bench with others standing behind them as they look at a large aquarium full of fish.
Fish identification at the aquarium was a group effort, with teachers helping each other improve their skills. (Image: FGBNMS/Drinnen)

DUOY 2015, Days 3-5 - Diving in the Sanctuary

The deck of the dive boat was a very busy place as teachers got ready for each dive. (Image: FGBNMS/Drinnen)
Diver making a giant stride jump six feet down to the water. Other divers already in the water are clustered along a line floating at the surface of the water beyond the jumping diver.
A 6-foot giant stride entry was the starting point of each dive. Conditions were beautiful! (Image: FGBNMS/Drinnen)
Scuba tanks lined up along the edge of a boat with a gas platform visible just beyond the boat.
One of the dives was made on a gas production platform inside sanctuary boundaries. (Image: FGBNMS/Drinnen)
A flying fish laying across someone's hands
One morning, a dead flying fish was found on the deck of the boat where it must have landed in an attempt to escape predators the night before. (Image: FGBNMS/Drinnen)

weather report observations cool stuff get wet

Juvenile blue tang (fish).  Bright yellow body with irridescent blue marking around eye and at top edge of dorsal fin.
National Marine Sanctuary logo - a stylized whale tail above waves