In mid-April, 2015, Dr. Rita Peachey, Director of the CIEE Research Station Bonaire, offered grants to STINAPA enabling two marine park rangers to participate in a Scientific Diving program and earn AAUS Scientific Diver certification.
Two well-prepared rangers were chosen to participate in the Scientific Diving program from May 25th to June 19th, 2015. This program features two college-level courses: Advanced SCUBA and Marine Ecology Field Research Methods. By working through the scuba and filed research methods, students become certified AAUS Scientific Divers (American Academy of Underwater Sciences). The Advanced SCUBA course prepares students to manage safe scientific diving practices and diving emergencies. Students gain competencies in a wide range of coral reef research skills in the Marine Ecology Field Research Methods course. The STINAPA Rangers will get 100 hours of research diving experience above and below the water. This is a very high level accomplishment. www.aaus.org is the link to the website of the organization of which CIEE is a member.
Enchomar Wanga and Luigi Eybrecht were selected to participate in this program. It will greatly benefit the STINAPA Bonaire foundation to have well-trained staff to supervise and assist scientists that come to Bonaire to conduct field research. They will function as Nature Ambassadors for Bonaire, and serve as liaison and well-educated conduit of information between organizations. Luigi Eybrecht is a certified PADI Divemaster and Enchomar Wanga is a certified Rescue Diver.
Currently there are two STINAPA junior rangers enrolled in a similar CIEE scientific summer school program where they join a group of high school students visiting from the US.
STINAPA Bonaire wishes to extend a heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to Dr. Rita Peachey, director of CIEE Research Station Bonaire, and her staff for the grant and the opportunity offered to the STINAPA family.