Become a 2016 Rolex Scholar and Dive Into Your Full Potential

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 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.

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