Coral Taxonomy and Identification

The Coral Taxonomy and Identification course is the first level of advancement from the  of the Ecological Monitoring Program (EMP). It is designed to give students an introduction to the assessment of coral colony form and skeletal morphology in the process of identification. The course teaches students how to taxonomize hard coral findings during the EMP and how to view the reef more scientifically by assessing health and mortality of coral at a genus/species level.



  • Be certified as an advanced diver under a leading diving organization (PADI, SSI, RAID, etc)
  • Demonstrate proper diving ability at an Advanced Level and be proficient in buoyancy and self-awareness.
  • Complete the substrate survey of the Ecological Monitoring Program


  • Be familiar with coral anatomy and skeletal morphology, in particular, the diagnostic features used in identification
  • Understand the taxonomic system and organization for classifying hard corals
  • Learn the names of coral families and genera, and tricks to remember the Latin names


  • Attend 1 Coral Taxonomy and Identification lecture
  • Practice identifying corals on land with the EMP book, photographic flip-charts and using skeletal specimens
  • Perform 2 survey dives specifically taking data on coral genera (can either be the EMP substrate dive, coral disease survey, or a special dive to ID corals)
  • Be able to accurately identify at least 10 of the most common coral genera to the region
  • Complete the final quiz

Expected course time about 8 hours

Minimum 2 dives

Price: $145.00

Contact us here about booking this course