Congratulations to our newest marine conservation trainer, Leon Haines. Leon got his start in marine conservation in 2014 when he conducted an extended internship at the New Heaven Reef Conservation Program in Thailand while attending the Van Hall Laurenstein University in the Netherlands. While at the program, Leon concentrated on the assessment of the Crown of Thorns Starfish around the island, and in 2015 completed his project titled “The dietary preferences, depth range and size of the Crown of Thorns Starfish (Acanthaster spp.) on the coral reefs of Koh Tao, Thailand.”
According to members of the Koh Tao team, Leon was a charismatic and hardworking intern who made every effort to enrich his knowledge and skill levels. He was a great team member and team leader who also worked independently to pursue a deeper understanding of the threats to the world’s coral reefs.
Following his internship and training, Leon traveled the globe to explore and join other volunteer projects before settling in at the Blue Marlin Dive center in Gili Air, Indonesia. There he will be setting up his own marine conservation program and will begin by teaching coral reef ecology, coral reef monitoring, coral nursery techniques, and artificial reef methods and uses according to the standards and requirements of Conservation Diver. His goal is to “to raise awareness amongst divers and teach people what they can do to help preserve the fragile ecosystems we rely upon so much.”
We wish Leon all the best of luck on his endeavors, and are confident that he will make an extraordinary Conservation Diver Trainer. We encourage all visitors to the area to contact him, and drop by to say hello or help out in his efforts.