Published: September 13, 2023

Location: Koh Tao, Thailand


Closing Date: Ongoing

Reef Conservation Internship

Programme overview

There is no better way to enrich and solidify your education than participating in ‘real world’ work and internship experiences. At New Heaven, we are proud to offer students the unique experience of not only getting certified and working on marine and island conservation and management projects, but also the experience of assisting the instructors with students during the internship program.

We have helped many students complete training for positions with conservation groups elsewhere in the world. Because of our small program size you will get one-on-one assistance and get to participate in a wide range of activities in a leadership position. Internships process and programs vary per student, please contact the conservation team directly for more information about these opportunities.


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About the organisation

The New Heaven Reef Conservation Program (NHRCP) was founded in 2007 by Conservation Diver founder Chad Scott, New Heaven Dive School manager Devrim Zahir and owner p’Kaen Zahir, to teach divers about coral reef ecology, research, and restoration. We believe that the people most closely connected to the reef should be the ones that care for it, and so are trying to get more and more divers involved in marine education and conservation.  As a for profit business, our focus is on protecting and enriching the coral reefs while providing education and training for those wishing to develop, contribute to, or pursue a career in fields related to marine coastal management and protection. Our program directly contributes to the conservation of Thailand’s coral reefs through research and monitoring, reporting, mitigation, as well as active and passive restoration around the island of Koh Tao.

Our education and certification program is designed to give participants a hands-on approach to learning about the coral reef environment and a wide range of research and restoration techniques used by professionals around the world. Participants in our program range from gap year students wanting to learn something new and give back on their holiday, to seasoned dive instructors wanting to learn.

The New Heaven Reef Conservation Program is responsible for much of the marine protection or related activities and on-going maintenance around the island of Koh Tao, working closely with the local community and government groups such as the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources and the Department of Fisheries. Students in our program assist on a wide range of our ongoing projects, allowing them to immediately apply and practice the skills learned.


About the programme

You’ll have the opportunity to get a taste of reef conservation work that has already stood the test of time and has had the chance to develop into a flourishing organisation. We have had many successful projects over the years all around our island and we love having the ability to involve people from around the globe. We continue to see interns leaving the program inspired, and continue their conservation efforts elsewhere and have even seen many of them go on to achieve careers in the conservation industry.

We train interns up over a period of about a month with lectures every weekday morning. This involves explaining all the theory which needs to be understood for the day’s conservation plan, plus a background in the ecology of the ecosystems in which we dive. We then follow this with an afternoon dive, which can involve anything from coral gardening, surveys, pest species management, underwater cleanups and much more.

We have a vast variety of projects and activities happening here at NHRCP, which you will have the opportunity to be involved in. These projects include but are not limited to:

  • Sea turtle head start program
  • Ecological Monitoring Program (EMP) including taking data on fish, invertebrates, substrate coral disease
  • Shark surveys
  • Coral nurseries building and maintenance
  • Artificial reef building and maintenance
  • Mooring line implementation and maintenance
  • Giant Clam nursery project
  • Crown of thorns and Drupella management
  • Seahorse Research
  • Mineral Accretion reefs
  • Beach and underwater clean ups



Koh Tao lies in The Gulf of Thailand, on the eastern coast of the country. Approx. 600km from Bangkok, Koh Tao is easily accessible from all parts of the country. Thailand is well known for its ease of travel. Generally you can leave yourselves in the hands of travel agents who will organize every aspect of your travel needs in an honest and affordable manner. Depending on your start point we can give you some of the best options to reach the island.



The internship program is directed at those pursuing a career in coral reef conservation or management. The internship consists of the 4 Week program, plus 4-8 weeks of working as an assistant instructor for the program, diving minimum 5 days / week and pursuing projects you are most interested in while helping new students in the course.

To extend the internship price is THB 16,000 per each additional 4 week period (must have prior approval, max. 6 months).


Costs and pre-requisites

2021/2022 – Price: THB 60,000

To begin the NHRCP courses you must be certified by SSI, PADI or equivalent as an Advanced Level Diver minimum. This means that non-divers coming to do the program must first complete the Open Water course (3 Days, 11,000 THB) and the Advanced Course (2 Days, 10,000 THB). Both of which can be done with the New Heaven Dive School. Thus, a non-diver coming for 2 weeks would spend the first week learning to dive, and the second week learning the conservation. The course prices above would then be changed to reflect this, so please write to us with your specific situation so we can quote you the correct price.

Also note that participants must be able to carry a gear bag on and off the boat, ascend stairs, and work outside and should be of physical condition to do so.

Diving is about expanding your limits; increasing your potential. And we should take that same attitude with us after we leave the water. By encouraging stewardship and responsible business practices we believe dive schools will soon be rated not by how many certifications they pump out, but by their social and environmental impact.


What’s included

Scuba diving costs (excluding scuba diving courses to reach advance level), Lecture/Presentation on theory, 4 Conservation Diver certifications, Course materials, the Ecological Monitoring Program Manual and Slate, company insurance (covers only minor accidents during diving or on the boat), equipment for scuba diving (compass, dive computer, SMB based on availability).

Drinking water available for refill at dive school and boat. The dive boat also have coffee, tea, cookies and light fruit.

Excludes: Food, accommodation, personal travel insurance including scuba diving up to 30 meters, travel to, from and on Koh Tao.


How to apply

Please email us your CV, cover letter, age and diving information