Marine Conservation Training and Volunteer Program

Overall rating: 9.7 based on 12 reviews

Program Description

The Marine Conservation Program at the NHRCP is designed to train new and seasoned divers alike in the practical applications of marine conservation techniques, taught by experienced professionals who have decades of collective field experience. The course covers the ecology of coral reef ecosystems, and then moves participants through a range of knowledge and skill development including research and monitoring techniques, coral reef restoration methods, shark population monitoring, artificial reef design and construction, mooring buoy installations, sea turtle rearing, giant clam nurseries, and much more.

While undergoing the training program, students are simultaneously assisting in the underwater projects, performing tasks while SCUBA diving. A normal day begins at about 9 am with a lecture and powerpoint on the days topic, followed by a short break for skill development and lunch. At about 12 o'clock the team heads to the dive boat. After the days dive, students help to enter data collected and perform other tasks like feeding the sea turtles in the nursery. We usually finish around 5 pm, leaving time for the students to explore the island or get involved in other activities such as snorkeling, hiking, rock climbing, yoga, Muay Thai, and more.

Highlights

Joining a fun team of dedicated marine conservationists to protect and enrich the coral reefs of a beautiful tropical island. Diving everyday, enjoying the diverse marine life, and receiving training and work experience on real word research, restoration, and protection programs.

Qualifications

Divers joining the marine conservation program must be Advanced level or higher. For non-divers or Open Water divers wishing to join the program, the necessary dive training can be completed at our SSI and PADI dive School upon arrival.

What`s Included

The Marine Conservation Program course fees covers your training and dive costs for the duration of your placement in our program. The fee also includes all necessary course manuals, materials, equipment rentals, boat fees, etc. Additionally, participants receive certification cards for the courses they complete over the time they are here. As a Social Enterprise Organization, profits generated from the sales of training courses are reinvested into our marine conservation fund, used for all of our on-going monitoring, protection, and restoration activities around the island.

Program Locations

Koh Tao, Thailand

Overall rating 
9.7
Experience
10
Program Administration
9.7
Living Conditions
9.7
Cultural Immersion
8.7
Social Life
10
Health and Safety
9.8
Review This Program

Program Details

Provider:
New Heaven Reef Conservation Program
Location
  • Thailand: Koh Tao
Language:
English
Duration:
2-4 weeks
Program Type:
Eco-Tourism
Participants:
Worldwide
Cost:
Between 11,000 and 39,000 THB

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  • Dear applicants, we encourage you to leave a personal review if you have ever taken part in this program. Leaving a review will help fellow travelers to decide where to go and which program to go with as they plan their trip abroad.
    Review this program
    I stayed there 3 months as an intern and it changed my perception of the marine world and what is possible to achieve with a professional and united team.
    It's also a great way to improve his/her diving skill while doing something meaningful.
    I can just recommend to anyone to take part in this experience.
    Avatar Tatiana Boube

    Life changing and Very well structured program

    Review by: Tatiana Boube , On: 21 May 2016, Changed On: 21 May 2016 | Yes, I would recommend this program
    I stayed there 3 months as an intern and it changed my perception of the marine world and what is possible to achieve with a professional and united team.
    It's also a great way to improve his/her diving skill while doing something meaningful.
    I can just recommend to anyone to take part in this experience.
    Overall rating 
    9
    Experience
    10
    Program Administration
    8
    Living Conditions
    8
    Cultural Immersion
    8
    Social Life
    10
    Health and Safety
    10
    I was fortunate enough to be able to spent two internships for my studies with the New Heaven Reef Conservation Program. In total I spend about 12 months with them. It were the best couple of months I've ever spent somewhere. From the instructors, fellow interns to the volunteers, everyone was so open and hospitable. Leaving home and recieving a family abroad was one of the most amazing things I've experienced!

    Above that, the conservation activities are amazing to take part in. You will learn tons about environmental issues, conservation techniques, biology, ecology and diving techniques. Lectures will be given in order to inform all the participants of the acitivities that day, both from an ecological and practical point of view. You don't need experience or a degree to partake in the program, as the lectures will inform you of everything.

    For students looking for an internship for their studies I can highly recommend the NHRCP, as doing a research project here is amazing to undertake. You can come forward with ideas for you own project and if the project would fit within the capabilities of the program you will have an awesome time!

    The best part for me was being given a passion for the rest of my life!, which I truly have to thank the New Heaven Reef Conservation Program for!
    Avatar Pim Bontenbal

    Best time I've ever had

    Review by: Pim Bontenbal , On: 19 May 2016, Changed On: 19 May 2016 | Yes, I would recommend this program
    I was fortunate enough to be able to spent two internships for my studies with the New Heaven Reef Conservation Program. In total I spend about 12 months with them. It were the best couple of months I've ever spent somewhere. From the instructors, fellow interns to the volunteers, everyone was so open and hospitable. Leaving home and recieving a family abroad was one of the most amazing things I've experienced!

    Above that, the conservation activities are amazing to take part in. You will learn tons about environmental issues, conservation techniques, biology, ecology and diving techniques. Lectures will be given in order to inform all the participants of the acitivities that day, both from an ecological and practical point of view. You don't need experience or a degree to partake in the program, as the lectures will inform you of everything.

    For students looking for an internship for their studies I can highly recommend the NHRCP, as doing a research project here is amazing to undertake. You can come forward with ideas for you own project and if the project would fit within the capabilities of the program you will have an awesome time!

    The best part for me was being given a passion for the rest of my life!, which I truly have to thank the New Heaven Reef Conservation Program for!
    Overall rating 
    9.7
    Experience
    10
    Program Administration
    10
    Living Conditions
    10
    Cultural Immersion
    8
    Social Life
    10
    Health and Safety
    10
    I stayed for a 3 months internship at NHRCP. As part of my engineering cursus I went there to study exotic marine biology and immerse myself in the Thai culture. I found what I was looking for but also way more ! As an intern I felt really involved in the program life, could have a great overall understanding of Ko Tao's marine ecosystem. The team helps you to feel involved in your daily work and after a few weeks you'll turn into a real eco-diver ! Moreover the people I met there considerably improved my experience on Tao. Amazing program and amazing people, looking forward my next stay !!
    Avatar Matthias DESMOLLES

    Go there and you'll never leave !

    Review by: Matthias DESMOLLES , On: 13 May 2016, Changed On: 13 May 2016 | Yes, I would recommend this program
    I stayed for a 3 months internship at NHRCP. As part of my engineering cursus I went there to study exotic marine biology and immerse myself in the Thai culture. I found what I was looking for but also way more ! As an intern I felt really involved in the program life, could have a great overall understanding of Ko Tao's marine ecosystem. The team helps you to feel involved in your daily work and after a few weeks you'll turn into a real eco-diver ! Moreover the people I met there considerably improved my experience on Tao. Amazing program and amazing people, looking forward my next stay !!
    Overall rating 
    9
    Experience
    10
    Program Administration
    8
    Living Conditions
    8
    Cultural Immersion
    8
    Social Life
    10
    Health and Safety
    10
    Amazing program with amazing people! One of the greatest experience in my life. I highly recommend this program to people who want to act to protect our oceans and meet people with same interests. The more you stay the more you'll like it, so just try!
    Avatar Melody Lim

    Amazing :)

    Review by: Melody Lim , On: 02 May 2016, Changed On: 02 May 2016 | Yes, I would recommend this program
    Amazing program with amazing people! One of the greatest experience in my life. I highly recommend this program to people who want to act to protect our oceans and meet people with same interests. The more you stay the more you'll like it, so just try!
    Overall rating 
    10
    Experience
    10
    Program Administration
    10
    Living Conditions
    10
    Cultural Immersion
    10
    Social Life
    10
    Health and Safety
    10
    I spent a month on the dive schools marine conservation program. I had an awesome time, learnt a lot, and saw some amazing things. the team there is great and I will definatley be going back.
    Avatar Angus Howlett

    Incredible experience

    Review by: Angus Howlett , On: 02 May 2016, Changed On: 02 May 2016 | Yes, I would recommend this program
    I spent a month on the dive schools marine conservation program. I had an awesome time, learnt a lot, and saw some amazing things. the team there is great and I will definatley be going back.
    Overall rating 
    10
    Experience
    10
    Program Administration
    10
    Living Conditions
    10
    Cultural Immersion
    10
    Social Life
    10
    Health and Safety
    10
    NHRCP is the best. I've returned 3 times now and fell in love with the place even more each time. You've got a stellar conservation programme run by amazing individuals, with Chad Scott at the helm and you also have motivated and passionate groups of individuals from all walks of life coming to this place. You work together. You play together. I mean, what more could you ask for? It's my second home.
    Avatar Shahidah

    I'd return over and over and over again!

    Review by: Shahidah , On: 28 Mar 2015, Changed On: 28 Mar 2015 | Yes, I would recommend this program
    NHRCP is the best. I've returned 3 times now and fell in love with the place even more each time. You've got a stellar conservation programme run by amazing individuals, with Chad Scott at the helm and you also have motivated and passionate groups of individuals from all walks of life coming to this place. You work together. You play together. I mean, what more could you ask for? It's my second home.
    Overall rating 
    10
    Experience
    10
    Program Administration
    10
    Living Conditions
    10
    Cultural Immersion
    10
    Social Life
    10
    Health and Safety
    10
    This program has been amazing so far, I joined as a conservation intern in January and I dont have anything bad to say whatsoever. Chad, the conservation program leader, has been working in this field for many years and it shows through his passion for the environment and for his students. If you dont understand one of the many concepts covered in the short two week program, or any of the other concepts covered over the longer programs any of the staff and interns are happy to clarify and practice with you. The diving in the area is amazing, most of the time the water is calm and the vis is great, but the most amazing aspect is the increasing amount of artificial dive sites. The program is based in Chalok which boasts the programs strongest artificial reef, often unrecognizable as being bottle nurseries due to the strong coral growth. If you have a passion for the environment, conservation, or scuba diving this program will be perfect for you.
    Avatar Joseph C Svingala

    The best conservation program around

    Review by: Joseph C Svingala , On: 23 Mar 2015, Changed On: 23 Mar 2015 | Yes, I would recommend this program
    This program has been amazing so far, I joined as a conservation intern in January and I dont have anything bad to say whatsoever. Chad, the conservation program leader, has been working in this field for many years and it shows through his passion for the environment and for his students. If you dont understand one of the many concepts covered in the short two week program, or any of the other concepts covered over the longer programs any of the staff and interns are happy to clarify and practice with you. The diving in the area is amazing, most of the time the water is calm and the vis is great, but the most amazing aspect is the increasing amount of artificial dive sites. The program is based in Chalok which boasts the programs strongest artificial reef, often unrecognizable as being bottle nurseries due to the strong coral growth. If you have a passion for the environment, conservation, or scuba diving this program will be perfect for you.
    Overall rating 
    9.3
    Experience
    10
    Program Administration
    10
    Living Conditions
    10
    Cultural Immersion
    6
    Social Life
    10
    Health and Safety
    10
    after graduating and knowing I needed experience I turned to NHRCP and it was by far the best decision I ever made. I have learnt more in the few months I have been here than most of my degree. Everything from the lectures to the hands on experience has helped me learn and expand my knowledge. Working alongside incredible staff, fellow interns and volunteers has enabled me to learn not only through the progran but through each person I have met.
    It has so far been an incredible experience and I cant wait to spend the rest of my time here learning so much more from my NHRCP family.
    I would encourage anyone to come and try this program no matter if its only a few days, you will learn so much and be amazed by the passion that drives this conservation program and will be swept away with helping in anyway you can.
    Keep up the good work guys
    Avatar kirsty

    best decision I have ever made

    Review by: kirsty , On: 22 Mar 2015, Changed On: 22 Mar 2015 | Yes, I would recommend this program
    after graduating and knowing I needed experience I turned to NHRCP and it was by far the best decision I ever made. I have learnt more in the few months I have been here than most of my degree. Everything from the lectures to the hands on experience has helped me learn and expand my knowledge. Working alongside incredible staff, fellow interns and volunteers has enabled me to learn not only through the progran but through each person I have met.
    It has so far been an incredible experience and I cant wait to spend the rest of my time here learning so much more from my NHRCP family.
    I would encourage anyone to come and try this program no matter if its only a few days, you will learn so much and be amazed by the passion that drives this conservation program and will be swept away with helping in anyway you can.
    Keep up the good work guys
    Overall rating 
    10
    Experience
    10
    Program Administration
    10
    Living Conditions
    10
    Cultural Immersion
    10
    Social Life
    10
    Health and Safety
    10
    The New Heaven Reef Conservation Program has been one of the best experiences I've ever had volunteering abroad, of which I have done plenty. I spent the month on Koh Tao and ended up staying for another 4 after that, only after a bout of Dengue forced me off the island kicking and screaming. The Dengue was definitely worth it. This program finds a great balance between conservation and science, blending the two together in a way I had never seen done before. Being part of a team of conservationists and diving keeps everyday new and exciting. I spent my time in a variety of ways while I was there, some of which were feeding sea turtles from their head-starting program, observing a coral spawning event, building an underwater artificial reef, and conducting scientific data collection while diving. The island itself is a tropical paradise and the reefs are breathtaking here. The island attracts tourists from all over so it has become quite well developed, offering a variety of nice restaurants and bars that make the island seem a lot bigger than it is. And all of this tourism and development makes the work being done through the program all the more relevant and necessary. I'd highly recommend this program to anyone and suggest you book your ticket to Thailand one way so you save on money when you inevitably end up cancelling your flight back home.
    Avatar Spencer Arnold

    This program has opened my eyes to a world that is nothing short of breathtaking.

    Review by: Spencer Arnold , On: 22 Mar 2015, Changed On: 04 Aug 2015 | Yes, I would recommend this program
    The New Heaven Reef Conservation Program has been one of the best experiences I've ever had volunteering abroad, of which I have done plenty. I spent the month on Koh Tao and ended up staying for another 4 after that, only after a bout of Dengue forced me off the island kicking and screaming. The Dengue was definitely worth it. This program finds a great balance between conservation and science, blending the two together in a way I had never seen done before. Being part of a team of conservationists and diving keeps everyday new and exciting. I spent my time in a variety of ways while I was there, some of which were feeding sea turtles from their head-starting program, observing a coral spawning event, building an underwater artificial reef, and conducting scientific data collection while diving. The island itself is a tropical paradise and the reefs are breathtaking here. The island attracts tourists from all over so it has become quite well developed, offering a variety of nice restaurants and bars that make the island seem a lot bigger than it is. And all of this tourism and development makes the work being done through the program all the more relevant and necessary. I'd highly recommend this program to anyone and suggest you book your ticket to Thailand one way so you save on money when you inevitably end up cancelling your flight back home.
    Overall rating 
    10
    Experience
    10
    Program Administration
    10
    Living Conditions
    10
    Cultural Immersion
    10
    Social Life
    10
    Health and Safety
    10
    Best experience ever, learned much more during a month in there than a year in uni. You feel so useful, everything we did had sense, I felt I was doing a change. Also, diving everyday with the same people, it really makes you feel you are part of a team, where everyone have the same goals any interests.
    And the location couldn't be better, Koh Tao is a paradise island, with great diving, beautiful beaches and nice forest to go hiking.
    Avatar pau

    A life changing experience

    Review by: pau , On: 22 Mar 2015, Changed On: 22 Mar 2015 | Yes, I would recommend this program
    Best experience ever, learned much more during a month in there than a year in uni. You feel so useful, everything we did had sense, I felt I was doing a change. Also, diving everyday with the same people, it really makes you feel you are part of a team, where everyone have the same goals any interests.
    And the location couldn't be better, Koh Tao is a paradise island, with great diving, beautiful beaches and nice forest to go hiking.
    Overall rating 
    9
    Experience
    10
    Program Administration
    10
    Living Conditions
    10
    Cultural Immersion
    6
    Social Life
    10
    Health and Safety
    8
    Having finished a degree in Marine Biology earlier this year, I started this program to get a hands-on experience on research and conservation techniques used in the field. The good surprise was that i got a lot more than what i was hoping for, learning new things every day with the scientists and conservation instructors involved on the program. My only problem is that i don't want to leave. The wide array of topics discussed, tasks performed, dive experiences and the awesome people you meet on the way makes want to recommend this program to anyone that's even slightly interested in the ocean world!
    Avatar Joel

    Amazing time!

    Review by: Joel , On: 22 Mar 2015, Changed On: 22 Mar 2015 | Yes, I would recommend this program
    Having finished a degree in Marine Biology earlier this year, I started this program to get a hands-on experience on research and conservation techniques used in the field. The good surprise was that i got a lot more than what i was hoping for, learning new things every day with the scientists and conservation instructors involved on the program. My only problem is that i don't want to leave. The wide array of topics discussed, tasks performed, dive experiences and the awesome people you meet on the way makes want to recommend this program to anyone that's even slightly interested in the ocean world!
    Overall rating 
    10
    Experience
    10
    Program Administration
    10
    Living Conditions
    10
    Cultural Immersion
    10
    Social Life
    10
    Health and Safety
    10
    This program lead to my eventual career in the field, so, in every way, it was a life changing experience for me and others like me during my internship!
    Avatar Rahul Mehrotra

    Life Changing Experience

    Review by: Rahul Mehrotra , On: 22 Mar 2015, Changed On: 22 Mar 2015 | Yes, I would recommend this program
    This program lead to my eventual career in the field, so, in every way, it was a life changing experience for me and others like me during my internship!
    Overall rating 
    9.7
    Experience
    10
    Program Administration
    10
    Living Conditions
    10
    Cultural Immersion
    8
    Social Life
    10
    Health and Safety
    10

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