Check out 360-degree video footage of QUEST field school students and staff conducting their final of 14 training dives in coral reef survey methods at Hōnaunau in Kona on Hawaiʻi Island. The video was taken by Tom Boyd and his production company. Viewers can grab the screen or use the dial in the upper left corner to look around and get a feeling of what the divers experience.
The Quantitative Underwater Ecological Surveying Techniques, or QUEST, is a two week field course offered through the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s Marine Option Program.
The course results in up to 24 undergraduates being trained in underwater data collection methods routinely used by UH scientists, and those of state, federal and NGO partner agencies (NOAA’s NMFS and PMNM, Hawaiʻi DAR, USFWS, NPS, and TNC-H. Graduates are in high demand for internships and employment with those agencies, and large proportions of the current field research staff and crews of these agencies are former UH Diving Safety Program/QUEST graduates.
“The importance of QUEST to this research community has been reflected by the provision of funding and staff support from our partner agencies, as well as scholarship grants and site donation by Kamehameha Schools,” said UH Diving Safety Officer David Pence. “This is truly one of our flagship programs for the recruitment of undergraduate students in marine biology.”