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- Sue Gibbins
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When I learned to dive I was immediately hooked by the beauty of the underwater environment. After several diving holidays and progressing with PADI courses, I decided I needed to spend more time diving and volunteered for 4 months with Coral Cay Conservation (CCC) on Southern Leyte in the The Philippines. We learned over 200 species of marine life, survey techniques (baseline and reef check) and data handling, then collected data to identify suitable marine protect areas (MPAs) and helped with education days for local schools. Another fantastic opportunity during that time was to join the research vessel Discovery for their Whale Shark Identification project in Sogod Bay, where we photographed and identified individual sharks and submitted data to the ECOCEAN library for tracking and research. These wonderful experiences gave me the push to become a PADI Instructor. Since then I have been teaching in Thailand and the Philippines, as well as staffing a summer scientific conservation expedition with Operation Wallacea based on Cayos Cochinos, Honduras. Now PADI Course Director, while teaching divers and mentoring dive pros an important aspect is to create more ambassadors of the oceans and support organizations like Project AWARE.