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Become a Project AWARE Specialist

PADI AWARE Foundation is a non-profit environmental organisation. The underwater world needs caring divers - along with non-divers - to help conserve the fragile aquatic ecosystems.

This guide explains how to discover some of the most pressing problems facing vulnerable environments by joining the ongoing actions of concerned individuals.

Project AWARE Specialty | List of Contents

Note: The Project AWARE Specialty certification may count towards the Master Scuba Diver. Check the A to Z list of PADI Specialties for further details about more than thirty other courses that qualify.

What is the Meaning of Specialty Diver?

In simple terms, a Specialty Diver is someone with enhanced scuba diving abilities beyond entry level certifications (e.g. Discover Programs, Scuba Diver, Open Water Diver).

Signing up for specialist scuba courses is the ideal path to take if you want to learn new techniques and experience different kinds of underwater exploration.

Furthermore, you will get the best opportunity to acquire superior knowledge and skills in the diving activities that interest you most because a 'Specialty Instructor' will be supervising the training.

How to Protect Vulnerable Environments

Age Limits and Prerequisites for Certification

The PADI® Project AWARE Specialty course is a discussion-based activity that most often takes place in a classroom. So, unlike most specialties, there is no requirement to perform scuba training dives.

There are no age restrictions and no prerequisites to enrol in most PADI Environmental Specialties because they do not require any in-water instruction.

Time Commitment: Two (2) to Four (4) Hours

Maximum Depth: Not Applicable

Open Water Training Dives: Not Required

Note: Scuba certifications do not expire. But, we recommend the PADI ReActivate® scuba review if you've been inactive from diving for a while and want to get back in the water.

Why Should You Become a Project AWARE Specialist?

If you're a diver, or an active snorkeler, you most likely already know why saving coral reef ecosystems is vital.

But, if you're wondering why humans should care about ocean protection you will learn something new by taking the Project AWARE Specialty course.

There is no valid debate. Most underwater ecosystems are stunningly beautiful and practically bustling with marine life.

On healthy rock structures, whether they are natural or man-made artificial reefs, you can see all kinds of weird and wonderful critters and tropical fishes, including:

It is also worth noting that tiny reef polyps are sessile organisms form part of the structure. In fact, even though they appear to be colourful rocks, coral polyps are animals.

Okay, so all this information sounds pretty cool if you want to start scuba diving or join a snorkeling tour in Pattaya. But why are corals so important that even non-divers need to protect them?

10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet

Scuba divers and snorkelers share a deep connection with our oceans. Everyone can make a difference for protecting the oceans when they dive and travel.

  1. PADI Project AWARE Specialty Certification in Pattaya, Thailand.Be a Buoyancy Expert
  2. Be a Role Model
  3. Take Only Photos – Leave Only Bubbles
  4. Protect Underwater Life
  5. Become a Debris Activist
  6. Make Responsible Seafood Choices
  7. Take Action
  8. Be an Eco-tourist
  9. Shrink Your Carbon Footprint
  10. Give Back

Note: Most participants who want to become a Coral Reef expert will be scuba divers. Even so, our blog about snorkeling caters for other watersport enthusiasts.

Digital Learning Programs for Self-Study

In general, students with a busy schedule will benefit from choosing online learning to complete the self-study portions.

Being able to complete the independent study part for certification courses offers some convenience with flexibility.

As long as you have a computer or a mobile device, you will be able to study the knowledge development portion at your own pace (online or offline).

Signing Up for PADI eLearning™

You can complete some self-study assignments online with eLearning®. Then, you would need to contact the dive shop to perform any required scuba training dives with a PADI Instructor.

Project AWARE Specialty Course: What Will You Learn?

You need to participate in the instructor-led knowledge sessions by completing the knowledge reviews (the A.W.A.R.E. - Our World, Our Water manual is recommended and available as a free download).

The PADI AWARE Foundation is a nonprofit organisation, designated in 1992. It helps to unite divers and other concerned individuals about the plight of coral reefs and how to conserve underwater environments.

Joining forces with the team of environmental divers means you can become a Project AWARE Patron and contribute to conservation.

Key takeaway:

The main topics covered in the academics sections include information that unites scuba divers and other water enthusiasts, including:

  1. Conserving the aquatic environment
  2. Conservation actions and education
  3. Action - you can make a difference
  4. The world's oceans and coastal zone issues
  5. Fisheries - challenges and sustainability
  6. The coral environments - overview and inhabitants
  7. Underwater ecosystems and their importance
  8. The role of scuba divers as ambassadors

Note: Another section contains more information about how to earn the AWARE - Coral Reef Conservation Specialty certification with the 'Private Scuba' team in Thailand.

Specialist Equipment and Diving Gear

If you decide to go diving after completing the course you will be wearing a normal scuba gear set for the dives.

So, other specialist equipment that you might use when diving around shallow coral reef formations could include:

FAQ Section and Medical Questionnaire Form

Can I Take the PADI Project AWARE Course Online?

There are many scuba courses you can do online, and some offline too. You would need to check whether this particular course is available through digital learning.

Which Organisations are Trying to Help Save Coral Reefs?

Some of the major organisations that use simple methods of plant propagation in their coral reef and atoll restoration projects, include:

  • Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF)
  • National Coral Reef Institute (NCRI)
  • Reef Renewal Foundation Bonaire (RRFB)
  • Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI)
  • U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (CRTF)

What Does the A.W.A.R.E. Acronym Mean?

The A.W.A.R.E. acronym stands for Aquatic World Awareness, Responsibility, and Education. One of the key missions of PADI AWARE Foundation is teaching the world about the importance of preserving the aquatic environment.

Is it Bad Practice to Touch Underwater Organisms?

Divers share a common responsibility to protect and conserve nature. As a result, interacting passively with aquatic animals helps to safeguard the habitats of delicate and sensitive sea life.

When Should You Do a Scuba Refresher?

Suppose you don't go diving for more than six months. There is a simple way to refresh the knowledge and skills that you already learned.

After a long period of inactivity, taking the PADI ReActivate® program will help you brush up on the safety procedures and scuba diving fundamentals.

Medical Requirements: Free Download

You must be in good physical and mental health and be medically fit for recreational scuba diving. You can review the Diver Medical Participant Questionnaire Online to check whether you need to be evaluated by a physician.

It is not appropriate to ask dive staff (e.g. divemasters, instructors) for medical advice or clearance to go diving. Instead, you can contact the Divers Alert Network (DAN) if you have questions about your medical fitness to dive.

Price for PADI Project AWARE Specialty Course in Thailand 8,000 THB*

We have qualified instructors and expert dive guides who can teach in several languages, including English, Thai, and Chinese.

The price includes (all):

Blue Check MarkDive trips (where applicable)

Blue Check MarkProfessional tuition from a "Private Scuba" Instructor

Blue Check MarkFree rental of required diving equipment (for optional dives)

Blue Check MarkPADI Project AWARE Specialty Manual and Certification Card

Blue Check MarkHotel transfers within Pattaya City limits

The PADI Project AWARE Specialty Certification is one of the non-diving courses that Assistant Instructors can teach.

Important: You may be making two (2) scuba training dives in the same day. If so, the PADI flying after diving guidelines say you need to wait a minimum of eighteen (18) hours after the second dive before you go to altitude. Please send us an email if you need further information.

YouTube Video and Knowledge Base for Participants

Most of the information and advice in this page focuses on scuba diving activities conducted from different types of watercraft.

We also have a list of blog articles about snorkeling which relate to popular boating adventures - especially in Thailand.

Help Guides about Coral Reef Formations

Note: The short video [1:59 seconds] presented by PADI highlights some of the reasons why underwater reefs attract scuba divers and why we need more ambassadors to protect the Blue Planet.

What Comes after PADI Project AWARE Specialty?

The benefits of understanding the plight of our fragile aquatic ecosystems are available to everyone - divers and non-divers. The underwater world that we need to survive is being threatened at an alarming pace.

This course contributes valuable information about the plight of the world's coral reefs and how to become involved in conservation efforts to protect and conserve coral reef formations.

So what comes next?

This non-diving certification has links to the best Specialty Courses offered by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).

Even so, the PADI Project AWARE Specialty Certification combines well with several other specialty courses including AWARE Shark Conservation, Peak Performance Buoyancy, AWARE Fish Identification, and Digital Underwater Photographer.

Note: All course prices for diving are subject to change and assume that all prerequisites have been met to start the training. Click here to contact the team at Private Scuba in Thailand to make a booking or send an enquiry.

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