The first university course on Citizen Science and SCUBA diving just successfully concluded at the Polytechnic University of Marche (Ancona, Italy – new PADI Educational Facility) with the support by and collaboration of PADI, DAN Europe, Green Bubbles, Reef Check Italia onlus and Project AWARE.
The course, aimed at creating a new generation of professional divers at the interface between business and research, was open to undergraduate/PhD students or graduates in Marine Sciences holding at least a Dive Master certification of any internationally recognised Certifying Agency. It covered topics such as environmental and medical Citizen Science, technology and marketing to promote Citizen Science in the diving industry, business diversification in SCUBA diving, and provided all participants with Reef Check Italia onlus and PADI Researcher Diver certifications. The latter is a new specialty course that can only be taught by PADI Instructors holding a qualifying university degree. Intensive training was given through classroom and field-work sessions, thereby exposing all participants to theoretical background and real-life scenarios.
Dates and programme for next year’s course are already being defined!
Participants were asked to lay down a programme including based on newly acquired skills – they were just great!
Profiling RCI’s volunteers
Carlo Cerrano on the mutual benefits diving and research can deliver
Fabio Figurella introducing the new PADI Researcher Diver specialty course
Dr. Martina Milanese showing how the platform iNaturalist works
Dr. Carlo Cerrano (Green Bubbles’ coordinator and course organiser) explains why communicating science is key to conservation and resource management
Dr. Serena Lucrezi summarises her analysis of what it takes to be “green” for a diving centre
DAN Europe’s Massimo Casabianca introduces participants to technological tools supporting safety research via Citizen Science
The Reef Check Italia slate used during the course
PADI Regional Manager Fabio Figurella trains instructors during the course
Scenarios with Reef Check Italia onlus slates and programmes
Participants during real-life scenarios of Citizen Science in the diving industry
Group picture with participants, trainers and SeaWolf diving staff
Participants and trainers get in the water for one of the several water sessions included in the course
Prof. Paola Pierleoni explains how her engineering team at UNIVPM supports DAN Europe’s research
Prof. Alessandro Marroni delivering hands-on training in the classroom
Prof. Alessandro Marroni briefs participants before the dive
Searching for bubbles after the dive
The harbour at Numana
Participants and trainers celebrate the successful completion of the first course