International Symposium on Scientific Diving Education and Applications
    19th July - 24th July, 2015, Hong Kong

Introduction

The International Scientific Diving Education and Application Symposium (IDEAS) 2015 is organized and sponsored jointly by the City University of Hong Kong (CityU), National Science Foundation Fund of China (NSFC) and the Diving Adventure Limited, which will take place in Hong Kong SAR from 19th to 24th July, 2015. On the basis of “The Spin Kid” and “Ocean Plus” Projects which have been initiated since 2012, the IDEAS will provide training of practical skills in scientific diving.

The aim of the IDEAS is to nurture "Tomorrow's Marine Scientists". The IDEAS acts as a platform to nurture young scientists via direct interaction and discussion with researchers/scientists in the field. It also provides participants with a valuable opportunity for career advancement, personal enrichment and the development of social awareness of and responsibility to the environment. We continue our mission to provide high quality, interactive teaching and NEW learning experiences (including lectures, diving skills training, field trips, underwater marine biology classes, student presentations and an open scientific forum) to the participants.

Mission

Through scientific safety diving education, we aim to elevate underwater research, ocean survey and exploration capabilities in order to better serve marine environmental science research, innovative technological development and underwater diving safety; and, at the same time, enhance underwater scientific development in the Greater China region; promote worldwide collaboration; and heighten public awareness in protecting the ocean.

Objectives

  • To enhance our knowledge and pursue exploration of the complexity of the marine environment in innovative ways;
  • To elevate the underwater safety and exploration technological level to better serve marine ecological surveying, ocean exploration and underwater safety; and
  • To nurture innovative talents with the ability for underwater research.

Previous experience

In May 2014, the SKLMP successfully organized the first International Diving Education and Application Symposium (IDEAS 2014) at the City University of Hong Kong, with participants including professors, researchers, government officials, undergraduates and graduate students from the University of Connecticut; City University of Hong Kong; Chinese University of Hong Kong; The University of Hong Kong; Hong Kong Baptist University; Hong Kong Institute of Education; Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department of Hong Kong Government; National Taiwan Cheng Kung University; Xiamen University; Tsinghua University; Shantou University; Second Institute of Oceanography of State Oceanic Administration; and the Science, Technology and Innovation Commission of Shenzhen Municipality. The symposium covered topics ranging from scientific meetings, scientific diving courses and training, to a scientific safety divers workshop and open-water divers workshop. Participants reached consensus on future cooperation through academic exchanges, discussion and practices hoping to capitalize on scuba diving for underwater scientific research and scientific diving education. We all believed that research and development of recreational and scientific diving in terms of theories, techniques and equipment requires support from government, enterprises, scientific research institutions and the public.

Response to IDEAS

Starting from 17th January and closing on 15th February, 2015, the IDEAS questionnaire received 72 valid responses. Respondents came from universities, research institutes and diving institutions in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and elsewhere in South East Asia. The majorities were postgraduates and undergraduates with a science or engineering academic background and their ages ranged from 15 to 45. In terms of the respondents’ diving interest and knowledge, the majority of them are interested in marine scientific research development and marine conservation. More than 50% of the respondents knew something about recreational diving but hardly knew about scientific diving and could not tell the difference between them.

For diving course participation, more than 90% of the respondents would like to participate in diving activities such as underwater marine biology lectures and marine ecotourism, expecting to apply diving skills in their future marine scientific research. According to this questionnaire, 19 respondents will attend the workshop for scientific diving instructor; 29 respondents will attend the workshop and symposium on scientific diver training and underwater sciences and technology; and 56 respondents will attend the international scientific diving education and application summer school.

Most of the respondents were eager to receive IDEAS information such as participants’ selection criteria, symposium announcement and schedule. Some respondents suggested that IDEAS should include courses about aquaculture, ecology and other activities to promoting scientific research.