Underwater Ecologist
Underwater Ecologist

As you become more environmentally aware of your underwater surroundings, you may find yourself particularly interested in the ecology of two major oceanic environments, the Kelp Forests and the Coral Reefs.

NAUI proactively promotes sound environmental diving techniques to help protect our planet's ecosystems, and teaching divers how to better interface with the delicate kelp and coral environments. Through the Underwater Ecologist courses, you will learn more about our favorite diving environments. 

What You Will Learn

This course is to expose the diver to either kelp forest or coral reef ecology and the methods used by underwater ecologists in their studies of the respective ecosystems. The use of current events and news of recovered and threatened ecosystems are an important part of this course. Day and night dives are encouraged as part of this course. 

The Underwater Ecologist (Kelp Forest) specialty course focuses on the complex and productive ecosystem  bordering much of the west coast of North America, from Alaska to Baja California. Kelp forests are also found in other cooler coastal waters of South America, Tasmania, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and many other locations. 

This course examines the kelp forests, their occupants such as mollusks, crustaceans, fish and marine mammals.

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Coral reefs are primarily found in three major biogeographic regions of the world: The tropical western Atlantic (Caribbean), the Red Sea, and the Indo-Pacific region. Coral colonies are composed of thousands of tiny polyps, each with its own protective skeleton. The Underwater Ecologist (Coral Reef) specialty course focuses on the vertebrates and invertebrates of the complex living reef. 

This course examines coral zonation, seagrass beds, lagoons, mangroves, and the common reef algae, invertebrates and reef fishes. 

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How Do You Get Started?

NAUI Scuba Diver certification or the equivalent is required for enrollment. Find a NAUI Dive Center or Instructor near you by visiting the Dive Center Locator