Thailand Marine Conservation
Lying in the crystal clear, tropical waters of the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Tao’s abundant and diverse coral reefs provide a vast selection of model organisms to conduct essential research on reef ecosystems.
This course is designed to give an overall understanding of reef ecosystems, their ecological components, threats faced by our world’s oceans, and ways in which these can be monitored and managed. Extend your underwater skill development through RAID dive training, and pass your passion back into the preservation of Koh Tao waters and global conservation initiatives.
- Become an experienced and qualified diver
- Develop your ecological understanding of marine life
- Contribute to sustainable marine conservation and research initiatives
- Access to over 25 dive sites surrounding this tropical Island
- Enjoy island life on one of Thailand’s most popular backpacker hang-outs
Week 1: Dive Training: Open Water and Advanced
On arrival to Koh Samui you will be met by your local staff and transferred to Koh Tao Island for an official welcome from the team. Your course begins with the entry level RAID Open Water and Advanced Open Water certification course. Increase your confidence and build your scuba skills in areas such as underwater navigation and buoyancy control so you will be ready to start research work.
Week 2: Introduction to Coral Ecology and Invertebrate Ecology
Underwater research begins this week. Get ready to dive deep into coral and marine invertebrate taxonomy, anatomy, reproduction & monitoring. You will then take your studies outside of the classroom as you learn how to assist on data collection.
Week 3: Introduction to Fish Ecology and Advanced Survey Methods
Expand upon your underwater survey techniques this week to identify and monitor reef biodiversity and factors associated with overall reef health. Learn about fish taxonomy, anatomy and biology in the waters surrounding Koh Tao. And take your studies back into the water, using observational features for identification and observation of threats specific to fish.
Week 4: Reef Monitoring and Coral Restoration Course
This course will help you to appreciate the complexity of reef habitats. Get ready to put your conservation skills learned over the previous 4 weeks to the test as you aid in the recovery and restoration efforts of a coral nursery project. Practice conducting underwater surveys through long-term reef monitoring strategies.
Week 5: Ecological Studies Intro Course
This course covers the foundation of marine life ecology. By the end of the week, you will understand modelling habitat preferences of marine organisms around Koh Tao. Learn how humans are interdependent on the natural world, as well as the consequences of human activity on the underwater environment. Sea Cucumber studies are also introduced this week, as well as continued monitoring of coral nursery’s.
Week 6: Behavioural Ecology Course
Take an evolutionary context to studying behavioural interactions between marine life. Look how competition and cooperation between species has effects on evolution. And, discover how we can mitigate critical environmental threats to marine life. You will take your classroom studies to the water for an observation week.
Weeks 7-8: Deep Dive into Data Collection
Combine everything you have learned over the previous 6 weeks and get ready to put it into two weeks of active marine conservation research work. You will continue in your vital data collection on the health of marine habitats surrounding Koh Tao to provide valuable information necessary for channeling effective conservation. These final weeks provide a broad lens view to your ecological framework of reef ecology in order to better identify potential threats, and ways in which these can be monitored and managed.
What is included
Pre-departure support • group airport pick up • Local project staff • All accommodation • Breakfast & dinner (Monday – Friday) • Dive and conservation training listed in the itinerary • Career Night • Some dive equipment usage (as outlined in brochure) • Return airport transfer
Full set of dive equipment provided for all dives. All equipment is up to date and maintained by an in-house dive technician.
What is not Included
Flights to/from destination • Travel Insurance • Visa & Vaccinations • Spending Money • Lunches & weekend meals • Some dive equipment usage (as outlined in brochure)
As we provide free fun-diving to participants enrolled on the 8 week program, a set of personal safety equipment is required. This is mandatory for all participants wishing to fun dive together on days where activities are not scheduled.
All items can be purchased directly at the Dive Shop with substantial discounts, or you can bring your own.
How much spending money do I need?
You will need money for extra meals, drinks & snacks, as well as for any activities not on the itinerary. We advise you to budget for £100 / €120 / $150 per week
Where will I be staying?
You will be staying at a local guesthouse with other members of your group. This is less than a 10 min walk to the Dive Shop, where classes will be conducted daily, and a 2 minute walk to the restaurant where breakfast and dinner are provided Monday – Friday.
Accommodations are dorm-style with free Wi-Fi, AC, en-suite bathrooms & private lockers.
What is the food like?
You will be provided with breakfast and dinner Monday to Friday at a local restaurant. Breakfast options include fruit, muesli and yoghurt, breakfast pancakes, 2 eggs and toast. For dinner you can choose anything off the menu. Lunches and weekend meals are not included so you are free to sample the many cafes and restaurants found on the island. Vegetarian and Vegan diets can be catered for.
What type of transport will I be using?
There is a group transfer available on arrival in Koh Samui and this involves a bus and then ferry over to Koh Tao. On Koh Tao, your accomdoaiton, dive centre and restautant are all within a 10 minute walk of each other.
Who takes part in this program?
This course is for anyone passionate about studying the earth’s oceans and how to protect them for years to come. By participating in these unique courses, participants combine their knowledge and understanding of reef ecology with top of the line dive training to conduct underwater surveys and research dives.
There is no prior experience required although the minimum age is 18 and you must also have your doctor sign our medical form confirming you are medically fit to participate. You will also be required to complete a RAID Dive medical form before you arrive.
Who will be supervising me?
All classroom and underwater sessions are conducted by highly qualified and experienced staff who specialize in marine biology/ecology and have extensive knowledge of Koh Tao’s reefs. You will also have support through a local coordinator from the Dive Centre who will make sure you have the best possible experience throughout your program
Will I have any free time?
This program runs Monday-Friday. Weekends are yours to go out and explore! There is something for everyone- kite surfing, trapeze, climbing and bouldering, paddle-boarding, Koh Tao Cinema, 18 hole crazy course golfing, cooking classes- and the list goes on and on!
After submitting this form, we will try and get back to you within 24 hours
- Duration: 4 to 8 weeks
- Departures: January, April, July, October