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Underwater Naturalist Certification Course

You love diving, but when your non-diving friends and family ask you what you saw on your dive, perhaps you want to respond with more details than “lots of fish... and other marine animals.” Or if you already know some of the underwater inhabitants, would you like to know how each species play a special role in kelp forest ecology, and how seasonal changes, oceanographic factors, and human impact can affect the kelp forest ecosystem?

As divers, we are presented with the awe and wonder of the underwater scene. Wouldn’t you like to keep the ecosystem pristine, so your kids and grandkids can also enjoy diving as much as you do? Become a part of the conservation team. You can become a citizen scientist and learn how to contribute to the scientific knowledge of our kelp forest ecosystem, and help preserve it for future generations.

In this course, you will learn to identify common fish and marine invertebrates of California’s kelp forests, learn about marine ecology and marine biology, and become citizen scientists to contribute to the conservation efforts of our oceans.

Course Objectives:
- Learn to identify common fish and marine invertebrates of California’s kelp forests
- Be introduced to marine ecology and marine biology
- Gain tools to further identify and learn about marine life
- Discuss factors that make a marine environment thrive and those that threaten it
- Become citizen scientists to contribute to the conservation efforts of our oceans.

Prerequisites:
- Minimum age 10 years old
- Scuba Diver certification required for open water portion

Curriculum consists of:
- 2 Classroom sessions
- Fish Identification Seminar (will be a link to see this course description)
- Marine Biology and Invertebrate Identification Seminar (will also be a link)
- 1 Open water trip for field study

We Provide:
- Small class size
- Education and instruction conducted by diving professionals with Biology/Marine Biology degrees.
- Openwater field survey materials
- Certification card

Students are Responsible For:
- Diving equipment
- Boat fee
- Marine life identification field guides/books (optional)

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