Volunteer Marine Conservation | Gap Year Thailand

Gap year Thailand marine conservation program

Volunteer Marine Conservation Program on Koh Tao, Thailand | 6 Weeks | 120,000 baht

The volunteer marine conservation program includes:

  • PADI Dive courses from beginner to PADI Rescue Diver
  • Very detailed coral reef conservation and management training
  • Involvement in local marine conservation projects
  • All course materials and certifications
  • PADI Open Water manual and dive table
  • Bangkok to Koh Tao Transfer
  • Mobile phone with Thai sim card
  • Mountain bike rental
  • Rental of all dive equipment

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Volunteer Marine Conservation - Thailand: Overview

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Want to be part of the solution?

As scientific evidence mounts, the importance of the world’s oceans is coming into ever-clearer focus. In an attempt to bring to light how intricately our human activities are so enmeshed with the environment and ecology, we have developed a number of Asia’s most extensive eco dive internships.

Volunteer marine conservation in Koh Tao ThailandIn the course of the internships, our students will learn ways of identifying the health of and threats to the marine environment, get hands-on experience in techniques for monitoring and quantifying the condition of the reefs in accordance with Reef Check methodology and discuss ways that each individual can contribute on a personal level to the over-all health of our aquatic world.

Having been at the center of Asia’s dive industry for the better part of the last 2 decades, Koh Tao is in a unique position to shed some light on the environmental impacts of diving and tourism on the underwater environment.

Human-based land activity, such as development and waste disposal have long been known to adversely affect the undersea world, but to what extent? And what, if any, are the ecological benefits of tourism to the marine realm? Find the answers to these questions and many more by completing a guided eco dive internship at the island’s foremost training facility for the environmentally aware.

Our volunteer marine conservation program will allow you to explore the myriad relationships of the underwater world and how our increasing encroachment affects the aquatic environment. It will also focus on ways in which we can use our presence in that environment to institute long-term solutions and help us to manage our activities in accordance with the health and sustainability of our most precious resource…

Structure of the Koh Tao Thailand Marine Conservation Program

Gap Tao gap year diving internship in marine conservationOur marine conservation internship combines both comprehensive scuba diving training and in depth marine conservation studies and field work. No previous diving experience is necessary.

First we’ll give you the skills and knowledge necessary to function as a safe, competent and environmentally responsible diver.

Then we’ll get stuck into the marine conservation program, looking at fish identification, marine resource management, reef mapping and Reef Check surveys, plus work on local marine conservation projects.

This volunteer marine conservation program brings together the world’s leading diver training agency – PADI, with internationally recognized conservation groups – the Reef Check Foundation, Project Aware, Bio-Rock [artificial reef program] plus other reef restoration methods.

By joining this program you’ll be sure to have an incredible 6 weeks! Let’s look at exactly what’s involved:

What's Included: Marine Conservation Scuba Diving Internship

Step 1: PADI Scuba Diving Courses:

[i] PADI Open Water Course - Learn to scuba dive

Includes scuba diving theory, confined water skills and 4 open water dives down to a maximum depth of 18 meters. You’ll become familiar using scuba gear, learn safe diving practices and get used to controlling your buoyancy underwater.

[ii] PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty

Perfect buoyancy control is critical if you’re to avoid damaging delicate corals as you survey the reef. This 2 dive workshop helps you hone you buoyancy control to perfection.

[iii] PADI Advanced Open Water Course

Extend your diving skills and experience into new and exciting areas with the Advanced Course. Get certified right down to 30 meters during the deep dive, try night diving and master underwater navigation and more…

[iv] Emergency First Responder and PADI Rescue Diver

Become more self sufficient, and learn to anticipate and prevent problems before they happen with the PADI Rescue course. You’ll also learn techniques to deal with surface and underwater problems, and cover the important steps in managing an emergency. Essential preparation for performing marine conservation work.

Step 2: Marine Conservation Training and Projects

Now you’ll get stuck into a very detailed marine conservation program, giving you an insight into marine resource management, coral reef monitoring and giving you the chance to work on specific coral reef restoration and management projects. Here are the components of the program:

Project Aware - Fish Identification

Marine conservation gap yearWe kick off with an introduction to the local marine life of Koh Tao, learning to identify aquatic species, and understanding more about the local environment.

PADI Marine Resource Management Course

Next, we take a detailed look at marine resource management from the perspective of the diving industry, involving a mix of theoretical work and practical application.

Reef Check Eco diver Course

With tropical coral reefs under ever-increasing pressures, we need a consistent, reliable means of monitoring the condition of the reef, giving us the chance to take action when something is going wrong.

Setup in 1996, the L.A. based Reef Check Foundation has developed internationally recognized techniques to survey and report the condition of tropical coral reefs.

Survey findings are fed back to a centralized database which corroborates data from marine conservation volunteers in over 90 countries worldwide.  This gives scientists the opportunity to see the bigger picture, leading to solutions to help coral reefs across the globe.

We’ll teach you how to perform reef checks and report your data by entry into the Reef Check Foundation database. We’ll undertake a mix of interactive presentations where you learn to identify fish, invertebrates and substrates, followed by practical application out on the coral reefs around Koh Tao. This will involve real field work, plus a short test to verify your understanding.

Reef Mapping Project

Detailed reef mapping requires extensive planning, time and expertise. We’ll examine different approaches to mapping coral reefs, considering both large area methods, and creating detailed smaller area maps.

You’ll apply what you’ve learned to devise an approach to mapping an area of Koh Tao’s underwater reefs. Then we’ll get our dive gear on and head out to the water to execute your plan, producing a detailed and useful record of the reef.

Work on local marine conservation and coral reef restoration projects

As part of your scuba diving internship you’ll get involved in specific programs designed to improve Koh Tao’s coral reef bio diversity and health.

This will involve examining the use of Bio-Rock artificial reef technology plus other reef restoration projects, including coral propagation research and coral nurseries.

You'll also work on wider diving community projects, such as coordinating beach and underwater clean-up days, getting  all the dive shops and local businesses involved.

Diving Internship Materials and Certifications

This volunteer marine conservation program includes absolutely everything you need – there are no hidden extras.

Marine conservation  reef check course materialsYou’ll get all the required course materials:

• PADI Open Water manual
• PADI Adventures in Diving Manual
• Emergency First Responder Manual
• PADI Rescue Diver Manual
• Project Aware “Our World, Our Water” Specialty Manual
• Log Binder
• Reef Check Crew Pack and CD Rom

And certifications for each of the courses:

• PADI Open Water diver
• PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty
• PADI Advanced Open Water
• Emergency First Responder and PADI Rescue Diver
• PADI Marine Resource Management
• PADI Underwater Naturalist Specialty
• Reef Check Eco diver
• Certificate in Reef Mapping

Scuba Diving Equipment

Rental of all required scuba diving equipment is included in the cost of this scuba diving internship.

If you wish to purchase your own set of scuba gear, we can sort out a package at exceptionally attractive rates – contact us for more information.

Accommodation on Koh Tao, Thailand

To make sure you’re comfortable for the duration of the internship, we’ll provide you with clean, comfortable Koh Tao accommodation close to the dive shop. This will be your own room with double bed, 24 electricity, fan and en-suite bathroom with western toilet and shower.

The accommodation has a great location with everything you need within very close walking distance – shops, bars and restaurants, banks and ATM machines, the dive school and the beach.

Bike & Mobile Phone

Even though your accommodation is situated close to everything you need, it’s nice to have the freedom to explore the rest of this amazing island. We’ll provide you with a mountain bike, to help you get around.

And to make sure you stay connected, we’ll give you a mobile phone with Thai Sim card. This will be pre-programmed with the numbers of the managers of Thailand Gap Internships, and the course supervisors conducting your training. So if you ever need any help or advice, we’re just a call away.

Bangkok to Koh Tao Transfer

Finally, to make your life easy we’ll arrange your transfer from Bangkok to Koh Tao. This will be by comfortable air conditioned coach [with western movies] and high speed catamaran, direct to Koh Tao where one of our managers will meet you at the pier, giving you a warm welcome to Koh Tao!


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