Article by John Tapley
In early October, Sea Experience, a dive center located in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, announced an engaging new partnership with Ocean Education International (OEI) and its founder, scuba diving guru Dr. Alex Brylske: the Resort Operations Specialist (ROS) 2.0 training program. Slated to start with the new year, inline with the 30th anniversary of Sea Experience’s ROS course, the program teaches students valuable skills and techniques on sustainable tourism.
“As the original author of our ROS program we couldn’t have found a more perfect individual to head up this project,” stated Sea Experience President Bill Cole. “Alex has completely revised the curriculum to insure it reflects how the dive industry, the marine environment and travel consumer have changed over the past three decades since he first wrote the program.”
“Obviously, I have a strong sense of ownership for the ROS program, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to bring the course into the 21st century,” said Dr. Brylske. “I’m confident this entirely new course— ROS 2.0— will set a new standard for training dive professionals as well as help define sustainable tourism for the dive resort industry.”
The new ROS program includes a wide swath of subjects, represented throughout eight days of classroom and open water training. Scheduled topics include: Merging Business and the Environment: A Guide to Marketing Sustainability; Coral Reef Ecology for Diving Professional; Environmental Interpretation: From Tourist to Advocate; Coral Reef Restoration: The Science and
Practice; Sharks in Depth: From Conservation to Ecotourism. ROS 2.0 is part of Sea Experience’s Phase 4 and includes case studies from dive operators around the world who have implemented these practices.
Along with the ROS 2.0 program is a complementary certification hosted by Dr. Brylske: the Reef Check EcoDiver. Within this course, guests can learn how to conduct sea bottom, or benthic, surveys, and how to identify fish and invertebrate life that indicates good reef health. EcoDivers contribute their findings and research to an online global database, which is used by scientists and resource managers to assess the status of coral reefs and their heath.
For more information on the ROS 2.0 program, visit www.seaxp.com or call 954-770-DIVE (3483). For details on Ocean Education International, go to www.oceaneducationinternational.com.