Author Archive

Become a 2016 Rolex Scholar and Dive Into Your Full Potential

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

In just six months, Danny Copeland traveled to Egypt and became an open-water scuba instructor, filmed the world’s largest aggregation of manta rays in the Maldives, and explored freshwater wrecks in Canada. How, you ask? As the 2015 European Rolex Scholar, Copeland was afforded a year of fully funded travel, giving him not just one experience of a lifetime, but an entire year of bucket-list diving adventures.

Copeland says he has had an unbelievable year as the 2015 European Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society Rolex Scholar— who wouldn’t enjoy swimming with bottlenose dolphins in the wild? — and it’s not over yet. Copeland doesn’t shy in sharing his excitement about plans to work with the BBC, National Geographic and a potential excursion to Antarctica in the future. The opportunities that come with the title of Rolex Scholar are nothing short of spectacular, and Copeland proudly proclaimed he wouldn’t change it for the world.

Recipients of the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society Rolex Scholarship are immersed in experiential education centered on marine environments and are able to tailor their scholarship year to their personal interests. In Copeland’s case, that meant taking advantage of underwater-photography workshops and being mentored by some of the industry’s finest photographers. Copeland recalls a trip to the Red Sea as one of his favorite experiences so far: “ I learned so much being surrounded by other underwater photographers that my own abilities increased substantially — it would have potentially taken years to learn the same amount off of my own back.”

Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society and Rolex have been working together for more than 40 years on a shared mission: Identifying and developing the next generation of dive leaders and underwater researchers. During that time, the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society and Rolex have fostered the development of future leaders of the underwater environment like Copeland. OWUSS and Rolex are currently seeking applicants for the 2016 Scholarships. Rolex Scholarships are awarded to a single applicant from each region: North America, Europe and Australasia. During the scholarship year, the three winners travel internationally and learn from the world’s leading experts in conservation, underwater photography, maritime archaeology, marine engineering and other related fields.

If you or somebody you know are between the ages of 21 and 26, have high academic standing and have achieved Rescue Diver or equivalent certification, continue reading at OWUScholarship.org to learn why being the next Rolex Scholar is a life-changing experience. Application deadlines for the 2016 Scholarship year are as follows: North American and European applications are due Dec. 31, 2015. Deadline for 2016 Australasian Scholarship application is Jan. 31, 2016. The organization also offers numerous internships, which can be viewed here. Application deadline for internships is Jan.31, 2016.

Keep up with Copeland’s adventures as the European Rolex Scholar on his blog.

Take the Plunge — Apply to be a 2016 Rolex Scholar

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

Diving with mantas is a bucket-list dream for most divers, but Ben Buchan, the 2015 Australasia Rolex Scholar, made that dream a reality.

During a three-week stay in Yasawas, Fiji, Buchan worked with the Barefoot Collection and Manta Trust to study manta mating behavior and take manta ID photos on a daily basis.

As an Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society Rolex Scholar, traveling to exotic locations comes with the job, but this trip to Fiji brought more than just mantas and great diving: Buchan participated in coral rejuvenation and the reintroduction of giant clams into Fijian waters.

“I’m eager to see how these projects grow over the coming years and to see more local communities become involved in saving their oceans!” Buchan says of his experience in Fiji.

Thomas Vignaud

Australasia OWUSS Rolex Scholar Ben Buchan photo ID’s mantas in Fiji.

As this trip recap suggests, the life of an Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society Rolex Scholar is nothing short of an adventure, one that can be tailored to individual interests, giving scholars the opportunity to leave a personalized mark on the underwater world.

The Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society Rolex Scholarship provides experiences for scholars to learn not only about marine environments but also the local cultures that rely on them. On a separate trip to Taveuni, Buchan put to action a particular passion of his, “to educate developing communities on the importance of ocean conservation and the need to protect local reefs.” He did this by leading marine talks and beach clean ups with local children of the island.

Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society and Rolex have been working together for over 40 years on a shared mission: to identify and develop the next generation of dive leaders and underwater researchers. Over the last four decades, the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society and Rolex have fostered the development of future leaders of the underwater environment like Ben. Today they are seeking applicants for the 2016 Scholarships. Currently, three Rolex Scholarships are awarded, to applicants in North America, Europe and Australasia. During the scholarship year, the three winners have the opportunity to travel internationally and learn from the world’s leading experts in conservation, underwater photography, maritime archaeology, marine engineering and other related fields.

If you or somebody you know are between the ages of 21 and 26, have high academic standing and have achieved Rescue Diver or equivalent certification, continue reading at OWUScholarship.org to learn why being the next Rolex Scholar is a life-changing experience. Application deadlines for the 2016 Scholarship year are as follows: North American and European applications are due December 31, 2015. Deadline for 2016 Australasian Scholarship application is January 31, 2016. The organization also offers numerous internships, which can be viewed here. Application deadline for internships is January 31, 2016.

Keep up with Ben’s adventures as the Australasia Rolex Scholar on his blog.