News from the Atoll


Welcome to our Special Education Issue!

The Education Program on Tetiaroa is in full swing, and the atoll is hosting classes of kids.  They are busy 'learning-by-doing' and finding out about the universe that is Teitaroa Atoll.  And we are learning too, right alongside the kids: we are finding out what they think about protecting the environment, how they relate to their culture, and what interests them most about the biodiversity of the atoll.
So, please, read on - and do let us know what you think also.

Frank Murphy
Executive Director of the Tetiaroa Society

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TS Education

Making connections  >  Culture, Nature, & Science 

2017 : The Beginning...

Tetiaroa Society created an Education Program to teach school children about the nature and culture of Tetiaroa and sustainable development. In 2017, TS worked with teachers and administrators to create online modules in English and French for teachers to use in their classrooms and developed programs to use in the field.

2018 : Solid progress...

Starting in March of 2018 TS began hosting one group or classroom per month on the island. These field trips are generally 4 to 5 days in length and the groups can be up to 30 in total. Most of the groups are young children from 8-17 with their teachers, but we also welcome university students, and groups of teachers that come to develop curricula on sustainable development. Students are accompanied by teachers and assistants and TS provides a coordinator/teacher and a cultural expert.
Following generous donations in 2018, TS was able to purchase large tents that gave us the capacity to house groups outside of the ecostation. Excellent cooperation from the owners and management of The Brando allowed us to transport, feed, and teach these groups safely and comfortably on the island. Over the course of 2018 TS hosted 11 groups as part of the Education Program. These groups included grade school to high school classes from Tahiti and Moorea, groups of local teachers and educators working on curriculum, and one field course from Flathead Valley Community College in Montana, USA. In all TS hosted 165 students and 61 teachers/adults for 862 user days.

2019 : Looking forward...

The atoll has already hosted 2 groups this year, and the rest of the year is already booked. We look forward to meeting our participants.

Atoll science is big news!

Science journalist Carl Smith visited Tetiaroa recently to report on some of the research and conservation projects,  and to keep his listeners apprised of scientific progress being made on the atoll.  His podcasts and articles are on BBC Discovery, ABC News Australia, and more.

Follow the link to  the ABC Radio National program
 The Science Show 
to listen to the podcast now.

Mantis Shrimp or Varo

Photo credit: Laurent Ballesta

Varo have raptorial appendages that look a lot like the forward appendages of a praying mantis. These forelegs rapidly unfold to “spear” or “smash” prey. The spearers legs fold back like a jackknife, and are lined with spiny sharp barbs that snag or stab fish, shrimp, or soft-bodied animals. Spearers are the most common species on Tetiaroa, particularly the Lysiosquillina maculata or “striped mantis shrimp”, which is the largest of all species and ranges from 5 to 25 centimeters. They live in burrows in shallow sand flats. They usually hide in their holes and ambush prey as they pass by. In the time it takes you to blink an eye, the mantis shrimp could have punched 50 times.

Learn more about mantis shrimp

Say 'hello' to our new (and very happy) TS guides!

Herehia and Tapuarii have joined TS, and are already lending their enthusiasm to the team.



"Iaorana, My name is Herehia, I am from Tahiti and I grew up in the islands of Tahiti, Taha'a and Moorea. After living in New Zealand for a year and a half, I returned to fenua with great respect for Mother Nature and a great desire to learn more about our culture. I am happy to join the Tetiaroa Society Team to enrich my cultural and scientific knowledge and to share my newfound knowledge with others.





"Speaking as a Tahitian child, I can say that it is a great honor to learn about and to share, day after day, the incredible aspects of my culture and the natural world of my islands. As a human, my responsibility is to ensure that our paradise is left as beautiful as it is now for the next generation.

Following generous donations this year, TS was able to purchase large tents that gave us the capacity to house groups outside of the ecostation.

Tetiaroa Society receives generous support from The Brando for our core operations, but our ability to carry out innovative programs depends on your help -- any amount is appreciated!


Tetiaroa Society is a US registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (Tax ID #45-1080688). We host scientific research, develop and implement conservation and education programs, and curate the island's knowledge base. We partner with The Brando to establish Tetiaroa as a model for sustainability, where businesses, non-profits, scientists, educators and the local community work together for common goals. Our program objectives are summarized in our Conservation and Sustainable Use Plan, which is available on our website.

© 2019 Tetiaroa Society