Program Director & Lecturer
My name is Maddie Kaufman, and I am the Program Director for the Miami-based nonprofit Debris Free Oceans (DFO) and a lecturer at the University of Miami (UM). At DFO, I empower local communities to achieve zero-waste goals through education, advocacy, sustainability consulting, and coalition-building. At UM, I designed and teach a Tropical Coastal Restoration course engaging graduate students in lectures and fieldwork covering wetland, dune, mangrove, oyster, seagrass, sponge, and coral restoration. I currently sit on the Florida Sea Grant Miami-Dade County Extension Advisory Committee, and am authorized monitoring personnel under Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission marine turtle permit. I received my Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Marine Biology from UM’s Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science in 2016 and 2020, respectively. During my master’s program, I researched techniques to enhance coral reef restoration in the wake of ongoing anthropogenic stressors and have contributed to 7 publications on the topic. I am a certified Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Divemaster and an American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) scientific diver, and have logged over 550 scuba dives and received 3 honors in recognition of my diving career.