Fernando is a conservation scientist who focuses on the enhancement and protection of tropical coastal and marine habitats and the study and conservation of marine migratory species. In 2008 he brought his project, CariMar, to The Ocean Foundation’s fiscal sponsorship program. CariMar, a component of the Blue Resilience Initiative, engages the countries of the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico to work collaboratively in protecting shared marine resources. He officially joined TOF in July 2019, becoming part of its portfolio in Latin American and the Caribbean.
During 12 years at Frost Science Museum, he created Museum Volunteers for the Environment, which since 2007 engaged over 15,000 Miami residents in restoring over 25 acres of mangrove, dune, coral reef and coastal hammock. At TOF he is leading a multinational effort to create a marine protected area network in the Gulf of Mexico called RedGolfo. He also oversees efforts to protect critical Caribbean habitats and endangered marine species such as elkhorn coral, sea turtles and sawfish and to engage fishing communities in creating sustainable fisheries policies. He holds a Master’s degree from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Bachelor’s degree in biology from Oberlin College. Fernando is a Kinship Conservation Fellow and a National Geographic Society Explorer.