Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Beautiful Oceans has just launched the world’s first coral reef online science course designed for recreational SCUBA divers and snorkellers. The first course—one of five introductory courses—is available at the Beautiful Oceans eAcademy, and will be taught at selected dive centers in the Caribbean from January 2006. Beautiful Oceans courses promise to revolutionize recreational diving and snorkelling, adding an exciting new twist to tropical vacations, while increasing awareness of coral reefs—a fragile ecosystem that supports a quarter of all known marine organisms. Beautiful Oceans donates 1% of its annual income, or 10% of is annual pre-tax profit (whichever this is the greater) to environmental initiatives, allowing those who learn to contribute directly to the protection of this ecosystem.
“We aim to educate and protect, while increasing the enjoyment that people get from exploring coral reefs,” says Stephan Becker, President and co-founder of Beautiful Oceans. “Our courses provide a well-rounded introduction to Caribbean coral reef biology to anyone, whether they take to the water or not; for those that dive or snorkel, this will complete their in-water experience, and will bring an end to those confused post-dive comments like: ‘did you see that…erm…blue fishlike creature?’.”
Each Beautiful Oceans course is painstakingly researched and developed to ensure it is fun, scientifically accurate and truly enlightening. Beautiful Oceans’ first course—Coral Reef Architecture & Organisms—explains the zones into which typical coral reefs are divided, and provides insight into the organisms that divers and snorkelers might expect to find in each zone.
“This course is like a map of the coral reef, allowing divers and snorkellers to locate their creatures of interest and understand the reasons they are found there,” says Ian Popple, VP Science and Education and co-founder of Beautiful Oceans. “Additional courses on fishes, corals, the coral reef food web, and marine conservation, will be available next year.”
The first course is currently available online in the Beautiful Oceans eAcademy—a virtual classroom where participants can learn, watch video footage, take interactive quizzes, and interact with other divers and snorkellers using online chat and the free Internet phone, SkypeTM.
For more information, please contact:
Ian Popple or Stephan Becker
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