Please visit our 


for over 3-hours of additional recorded webinars on these topics, links, and more!  

Also, please visit FOFR's YouTube Channel for a myriad of A/V education resources.

Watch the recording of our informative Ocean Day Webinar held live on Dec. 13, 2021:

DR. DEREK BURKHOLDER - NSU/MEEC, Guy Harvey Research Inst.


Born and raised in Michigan, Derek started his work with sharks as a research scientist at Mote Marine Lab in the Florida Keys and quickly expanded his research to include everything from sharks to sea turtles and even seagrass communities during his Ph.D. program at Florida International University, where he focused on the top-down control on seagrass communities. At Nova Southeastern University, Derek is fortunate to work as the principal investigator for the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program, and a Research Scientist with the Guy Harvey Research Institute and Save Our Seas Shark Center. More about Dr. Burkholder.

MEGAN KELLEY - New River Gardens


​​​A Florida native, Megan Kelley is a Regenerative Gardener and Whole Systems Educator specialized in permaculture design, residential edible landscapes, community food forest gardens, and reunion with the living world. Megan is certified in Permaculture Design with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Loyola University of New Orleans. She has worked and taught on permaculture sites from the tropical jungles of Hawaii to the swamps and bayous of Mississippi, and recently began offering a bi-annual 12-week permaculture design certificate course in her home town & county, where she also helps to create and manage communal food forests, including a new large edible outdoor exhibit at the world-renowned Museum of Discovery and Science in Ft. Lauderdale. More about Megan & NRG.

DALTON HESLEY - University of Miami/RSMAS, Rescue a Reef


Dalton Hesley is a Senior Research Associate in Dr. Diego Lirman's Coral Restoration Lab at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), where he studies the relationship between coral reefs and coastal communities. He received his Master of Professional Science degree in 2015 and Master of Science in Education degree in 2021 from the University of Miami with focuses on citizen science and community psychology. In addition to working as a research associate, Dalton manages Rescue a Reef, the lab’s citizen science program designed to advance coral reef conservation through education, outreach, and public participation. His talk will discuss the applications of coral restoration for reef recovery and social action. More about Dalton.

MELISSA SATHE, M.S.- FOFR President & Senior Marine Biologist


Melissa Sathe is a South Florida native and grew up in Ocean Ridge. She received her B.S. from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Master of Science in Marine Biology from Nova Southeastern University where she was a graduate researcher for the Coral Reef Restoration, Assessment and Monitoring Lab. After completing her degree, Melissa worked at Miami-Dade County’s Department of Environmental Resources Management where she managed coral reef monitoring field work and then onto the Florida DEP Coral Reef Conservation Program as the Reef Injury Prevention and Response Technician. Melissa currently works for Coastal Eco-Group, a private environmental consulting business, as a Senior Marine Biologist. Melissa has been serving as President of Friends of Our Florida Reefs since April 2020 and a Board Member/Officer since 2017.



​​Born and raised in Philadelphia PA, Scott was introduced to the wonders of the world's oceans and reefs via family vacations to South Florida and a teen job at a large aquarium store that specialized in salt water species. Scott is a nonprofit development professional, nature lover, and creative person based in South Florida since 2010, after living over 20 years in California, where he worked on front-line ocean issues since the mid-1990's. With the introduction of the Friends Group/CSO concept to the SE Florida Coral Reef Initiative in late 2013, Scott and the founding board of directors were able to officially launch Friends of Our Florida Reefs (FOFR) in April 2015. Scott served as FOFR's first President until early 2020 and continues to help lead the growing  organization as a founder and officer.  More about Scott & FOFR.