Our Newest Marine Conservation Instructor
Meet New Heaven’s newest staff member, Spencer Arnold, who will be joining on as a marine conservation program instructor for the NHRCP. Spencer first came to the program in January of 2014, as part of the internship program. He proved to be a quick and enthusiastic learner, and an integral and important member of our team.
After finishing his internship placement with the NHRCP, Spencer completed the Divemaster program at New Heaven, and then worked with us until the end of the summer. After leaving he applied for a paid position at a marine conservation center in the Caribbean, but in the end decided that New Heaven was the place he would most like to be. With very little arm twisting he managed to talk us into having him back, and we are thrilled to once again have him on our team.
As a team, each staff member has to have different strengths for us all to succeed. Spencer brings to the table a strong sense on enthusiasm and excitement for the work we do, and creative insight into ways we can take the program into the future. He is a great leader to new students into the program, and his sincerely accepting and caring attitude makes new members to the team immediately feel comfortable and amongst friends.
According to Spencer, his motivations for joining and goals for this year are:
“The NHRCP is the best conservation program I’ve come across in my years of working and volunteering in the field of environmental sciences and as a conservationist. The work being done by the NHRCP is of vital importance to the island of Koh Tao and it’s efforts stretch far beyond the reefs of this busy diving hotspot. I’ve watched Chad, Rahul, Pau and Ploy share their passion with the people that pass through this program (myself included) and to now find myself working alongside them as a colleague is both an honor and privilege. My experiences in the world of marine conservation have taken me all over the world, from the cold Canadian waters off of the Huntsman Marine Science Centre, to the prestigious Shoals Marine Laboratory in the Gulf of Maine, all the way down to the beaches of Parcuare National Park in Costa Rica. What sets the NHRCP apart from so many other conservation efforts that I’ve benefited from seeing is that it strikes the perfect balance between active conservation and scientific research.
I’m planning on creating new and exciting ways of getting others involved in the work that we do here at the NHRCP through our artificial reef sculptures. I’ll be offering the chance to become a part of the reef to islanders of Koh Tao in the hopes of raising awareness for these fragile and surreal ecosystems. For a small donation to the NHRCP I will be taking detailed moulds of people’s faces with a skin-safe silicone rubber and transforming their casts into a concrete artificial coral structure. I hope that this structure will be the first of many to come and am looking forward to bringing something new to the NHRCP.”