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Kaitlin Cleek

Community Outreach and Events Coordinator, Upper Florida Keys

Sponsored Programs Office

Today's Research for Tomorrow's Oceans



Katie Cleek joined Mote in May 2023 as the Community Engagement and Events Coordinator for the Upper Florida Keys. She moved to the Florida Keys after graduating from the University of Georgia in 2018 to become a PADI Scuba Instructor. After teaching diving and leading snorkel tours through John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, she began to shift her career path into the Marine Conservation non-profit world.

She has held many roles in the Upper Keys community. In addition to her years of scuba instruction at a local dive shop and local state park, she is the secretary on the board for the Florida Keys chapter of The Surfrider Foundation. She also managed a local eco-friendly cafe, where she collaborated with other local non-profits in donation based bingo events. In her free time, you can find Katie practicing at Key Largo Yoga, paddle boarding through the mangroves, or spending time with her dog, Sandy.

Katie has gained a passion for the Florida Keys community and truly feels at home in the Keys and out on the Florida Reef Tract. Her goals are to inspire others to protect and care for our oceans and get the community excited about Mote’s reef restoration.


B.S. in Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia