Volunteer Marine Conservation Program | Gap Year

Thailand gap year marine conservation diving internships on Koh Tao

Marine Conservation Program - Koh Tao, Thailand | 2 Weeks | 55,000 baht

Our 2 week marine conservation program includes:

  • PADI diving courses from beginner to PADI Rescue Diver
  • Reef Check Foundation Eco Diver training
  • All required PADI Materials and Reef Check Materials
  • Transfer from Bangkok to Ko Tao
  • Rental of all required scuba diving equipment
  • Certifications for all courses

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Koh Tao Thailand Marine Conservation Program: Overview

Marine conservation program in Koh TaoTropical coral reefs are a wonder of nature, and yield an incredible diversity of aquatic species.  If you’ve ever tried diving or snorkeling over a tropical reef, I’m sure you were amazed by the vivid colors and masses of marine life from tiny macroscopic species to colorful reef fish, moray eels, sting rays and turtles.

Yet, as the world becomes increasingly developed, these fragile eco-systems are at ever-increasing risk. Now more than ever it’s critical that we are aware of what’s happening and take the necessary steps to protect our natural resources.

This is especially true for the tropical reefs surrounding the island of Koh Tao, Thailand.

Over the past 20 years, diving tourism has put Koh Tao on the tourist map, generating a lot of revenue for the local area. Each year, the island receives more and more visitors, eager to experience the tropical island paradise.

But the expansions of resorts, increasing numbers of tourists, and high volume of divers puts a lot of stress on our corals reefs. Combined with the continual industrialization of the Gulf of Thailand, a number of factors now threaten the healthiness of the reefs and marine life around the island.

It’s of paramount importance that we monitor the condition of the reefs around Koh Tao, and act accordingly based on our findings.

Founded in 1996, the Reef Check Foundation has developed an internationally recognized standard format for collecting data, with findings reported back to a centralized database which allows scientists to appreciate the big picture.

Based in L.A. the Reef Check Foundation now integrates data collected by volunteers in more than 90 countries, with the collective findings leading to beneficial solutions for coral reefs across the globe. Reef Check studies are used by both the United Nations and European Union amongst others.

This program combines PADI diving courses and Reef Check training, allowing you to become an active participant in preserving our tropical coral reefs.

Structure of the Koh Tao Volunteer Marine Conservation Training

Gap year marine conservation internshipsPhase 1: PADI Scuba Diving Training:

First we'll work through PADI diving courses in sequence, teaching you to dive and building up your scuba skills and experience. Here are the steps:

PADI Open Water Course

Includes theory, shallow water skills and 4 open water dives, teaching you to dive to a maximum depth of 18 meters.

Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty

2 dive buoyancy workshop, which allows you to perfect your buoyancy control – a critical skill when it comes to coral reef surveys and not damaging fragile aquatic life.

PADI Advanced Open Water Course

Extend your diving skills and experience, by enjoying 5 more training dives. These will allow you to access new and exciting areas of diving such as deep diving [to 30 meters], underwater navigation, night dives and more, further perfecting your buoyancy.

Emergency First Responder and PADI Rescue Diver

Now it’s time to think about everyone else. You’ll learn approaches to anticipate problems and prevent them before they happen. Plus you’ll deal with problems which occur at the surface, underwater problems, self rescue techniques and overall emergency management. Makes you into a much better diver.

PHASE TWO: Marine Conservation Training

Thailand gap year internshipsThis program trains you participate in a Reef Check surveys and gives you the opportunity to practice those skills on the tropical coral reefs around Koh Tao.

Each day, we’ll run through theory work in the morning, teaching you proper procedures and improving your ability to identify different coral and marine life species.  We’ll focus on fish, invertebrates and substrates, with classroom sessions including interactive presentations and short quizzes to check your understanding.

Then each afternoon, we’ll be out diving, applying what you’ve learnt and collecting real data from the Koh Tao dive sites.

The final day of the marine conservation course covers how to report your findings, with data entry into the Reef Check database. You’ll receive certifications from PADI’s Project Aware [in conjunction with the University of Queensland, Australia] and the Reef Check Eco diver certification.

Course Materials and Certifications

Included in the cost of the program is absolutely all the course materials you’ll need. Specifically you’ll get:

• PADI Open Water manual
• PADI Adventures in Diving manual
• Emergency First Response Manual
• PADI Rescue Diver Manual
• PADI Aware “Our World, Our Water” Specialty manual
• Log binder
• Reef Check CD Rom

Plus you’ll get certifications for each of the courses – PADI Open Water, PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty, PADI Advanced Open Water diver, Emergency First Responder, PADI Rescue Diver, Project Aware and Reef Check Eco diver.

Accommodation on Koh Tao, Thailand

Beach clean upDuring your two week volunteer marine conservation program we’ll provide you with clean, comfortable accommodation, close to the dive shop.

This will be you own place with 24 hour electricity, fan, double bed and en-suite bathroom with western toilet.
Everything you need is close by – banks and ATMs, shops, bars and restaurants, the dive shops and the beach.

Transfer from Bangkok to Koh Tao

To make your life easy, we’ll arrange your transportation by air conditioned coach and ferry from Bangkok, direct to Koh Tao.

One of our managers will meet you at the pier to give you a welcome to Koh Tao.


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