Kai Lopez joined the FKNMS team in August 2022 as a Mission: Iconic Reefs Marine Stewardship and Monitoring Specialist. Growing up in South Florida, Lopez found a passion for ocean conservation at a young age and has been a professional diver for over 10 years. In 2018, Lopez graduated from Florida International University (FIU) with an undergraduate degree in Marine Biology. Prior to FKNMS, professional work included time as a Biological Science Technician for Biscayne National Park, a Research Technician in the Seagrass Ecosystem Research Lab at FIU, an environmental consultant, a dive instructor, and as crew on dive boats, yachts, and a National Park Service supply vessel. Lopez is extremely passionate about food resiliency and, when not in the water, can be found growing and preserving food, making wine, curing homegrown meats, and fermenting pickles.