Marine Conservation Programs

Want to take your scuba diving into the world of Marine conservation or Biology? We are pleased to announce that we are the only center in central America to offer training and certification in a number of unique marine conservation programs. From Summer 2019 we are also offering coral rehabilitation programs in partnership with the non-profit Marine Conservation Costa Rica. Come join us in exploring the underwater world!

Marine Conservation and Research Certification

Our flagship marine conservation program. This certification can be completed as a stand alone certification or as part of your ECO divemaster internship.

The purpose of the PADI Marine Conservation Research Diver Specialty Course is to teach certified divers about conservation biology and conserving the underwater world. In addition to that, it covers how to undertake scientific surveys and studies and produce a report from your findings.

marine conservation and research in Costa Rica

What does the course cover ?

  • What is conservation biology ?
  • Fish biology and fish ID
  • Coral reef ecology and ID
  • Marine Invertebrate ecology and ID
  • Survey techniques
  • Report writing
  • 4 training dives that cover research and survey techniques

By the end of the program, participants will be able to conduct and set up their own surveys and studies, recording and analyzing their results.  A great way to get started or to complement your venture into the scientific and conservation field and the underwater world.

Coral Rehabilitation

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Our Oceans are in peril and we are all trying to do our bit. In collaboration with the non-profit Marine Conservation Costa Rica we have been been working on this with a new coral rehabilitation program. A new coral nursery has been established in Manuel Antonio National Park and you can help us with it. First you would be certified in Coral Rescue techniques and then assist in data collection and cleaning of the corals throughout the nursery. We measure their growth, and once a suitable habitat is selected, we replant them back onto the reef.

With a minimum of an advanced open water certification you can join us on this special project.

Humpback Whale Conservation

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Nudibranch Awareness

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Humpback whales migrate through our waters 8 months of the year. They are endangered and it is extremely important that we understand their behaviors and do what we can to help protect them. This program has been developed to give you and understanding of their behavior and physiology. It looks at the conservation status as well as what we can do to help conserve them. The program concludes with a survey trip where we head out and look for them, using the data we collect in a collaborative study with a local university.

Nudibranchs are some of the smallest most interesting inhabitants of the reef. During this program you will learn all about the nudibranchs and their importance to the reef. You will learn about their different behaviors and identification of some local species. To finish you will head out onto the reef and complete 2 dives where you will be looking for local nudibranch species.

Sponge Ecology

sponge ecology certification

Juvenile Fish Ecology

juvenile fish ecology

Marine sponges are very often mistaken for plants. In reality they are actually animals. They have a very important role on the reef and during this program you will learn all about that. From the ecology, life cycle and identification it is a fun program highlighting an important integral member of the coral reef. Dives will conclude the program when you will hit the reef and locate and ID different local sponge species.

Learn about different Juvenile fish on the reef. Their life cycles and behavior as well as the important role that they play.Go out and examine the juvenile fish on the local reef here in Manuel Antonio and survey and identify them.

Marine Conservation Internships

If you are looking for something different and don’t want to pursue a professional scuba diving career, then we offer marine conservation internships that can be customized to you. 
You can complete either a 2 week or 4 week program where first, you will complete the marine conservation and research certification. After that, you can will complete a number of surveys on the reef, either Fish surveys, coral surveys or a program of you choice You will also complete some of our distinctive specialties depending on where your interests are.

We offer this as either a 2 week or 4 week program with a prerequisite of the PADI open water certification or equivalent. Both include certification in Marine Conservation and Research as well as 1 –  3 of our distinctive certifications depending on your time here.. We are the only facility on the world to offer these certifications.

With the partnership with non-profit Marine conservation Costa Rica we are also assisting on their coral rehabilitation program. This can be integrated into the 2 or 4 week program. To take part in that you would need at least an advanced certification as a pre-requisite.

There is also the opportunity to take part in some of our non-diving activities including school and community programs depending on what time of year you are here. Also our whale survey program if you are here during the season.

2 week program

This shorter program consists of the Marine conservation & research certification, followed by 8 days, working with the non-profit marine conservation costa rica, focusing on your subject of choice. It also includes one of our distinctive specialties, either sponge ecology, nudibranch awareness, humpback conservation or juvenile fish ecology. You will dive during that time and take part in surveys and research. This is a total of at least 16 dives around the Manuel Antonio National Park here in Costa Rica. It is great opportunity for you to spend some time gaining valuable experience in the diving and marine conservation field.

$1459

$1659 with Coral rehabilitation

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4 week program

The 4 week program starts with your Marine research and conservation program, followed by 5- 6 days a week working with our non-profit. During that time you will be diving as well as recording data and assisting with other projects. You can perform fish surveys and reports, coral watch surveys or invertebrate studies. You will then participate in three of our distinctive specialties over your time there. With so much area to explore you can really have a good opportunity to focus on something that interests you the most.

You will be diving approximately 4-5 times a week, a 2 tank dive on each trip.

This can be combined with the coral rehabilitation program.

$2399

$2699 with Coral Rehabilitation

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We also offer all of these programs at instructor level too. If you are looking to teach marine conservation programs as part of your instructor course offerings then let us know and we can put something together for you.