Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New Zealand Wave Rave
Hosted By "Our World Underwater - Rolex" Scholar Anthea Bell

Anthea Ibell, 22, was born and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand. From an early age she had ample access to the ocean on holidays, when the family would all head to a holiday house in Marlborough Sounds. Days out on the boat would occasionally gain spectacular views of pods of dolphins, and while walking on the jetties she kept her eyes peeled for sting rays and starfish.
Over the summer of 2007 Anthea enrolled in a PADI course. Her love of diving led to the completion of the Rescue Diver Course and PADI Open Water Instructor courses. These courses developed both her physical and mental abilities, often diving in challenging conditions and winter temperatures. By the end of 2008 Anthea had gained her Divemaster, Open Water Instructor, and five Specialty Instruct certificates-- including night, deep, digital underwater photography, wreck and AWARE Fish ID.
In 2009 Anthea spent four months travelling around North and South America. Diving in Ilha Grande, Brazil was her introduction to tropical ocean environments; the lagoons were picturesque with a variety of sea life including puffer fish, sea snakes, and sea turtles. Travelling allowed her to meet extraordinary people and opened her eyes to different cultures and world views. The biodiversity of the different countries excited Anthea’s interest and upon returning home she quickly returned to university to gain a Bachelor of Science in Zoology, with a Minor in Archaeology, at Otago University in New Zealand. She also has continued to work as a dive instructor and is pursuing her interest in photography. 

Anthea’s passion for the ocean is fuelled by the idea that these wonders might not always be here. Her aim is to educate people about the vulnerability of the ocean environment through programs such as Conservation Awareness week, Project AWARE beach and underwater clean up days and generally in her everyday life. She is passionate about including routines in our lifestyles such as recycling, reusing and conserving our resources. 

The Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society’s Rolex Scholarship will allow Anthea to bring all her interests together through marine research, SCUBA diving, photography and travel. She aims to contribute to conservation work around the world and increase public awareness about threats facing the oceans today.