Reef Smart is proud to announce that well-known dive industry educator and author, Dr. Alex Brylske, has joined the Reef Smart team as Director of Education.
Dr. Alex Brylske joins Reef Smart as Director of Education
Brylske will be responsible for managing the educational component of Reef Smart’s Resort Services program, which combines both education and mapping services in order to help resorts develop environmental products and experiences that are increasingly attractive to today’s eco-aware travelers. The goal of the educational component is to offer custom-designed professional development programming for resort staff and management around the world, focusing on environmental issues.
“The dive industry is way behind the rest of the marine tourism world when it comes to sustainable practices,” explains Brylske. “But we hope our Resort Services programs will show the dive travel industry that operating in a more ecologically-friendly way is also more profitable than business as usual.”
Brylske will also lead the publication of a series of new Reef Smart coral reef field guides, the first of which – Beneath The Blue Planet – is already in development. The new book covers a wide range of topics relevant to divers, including basic oceanography, coral reef ecology and conservation, and a comprehensive guide to sharks. There is even an entire section explaining how divers can become better stewards of the marine environment. Further updates about Beneath The Blue Planet and Reef Smart’s other planned field guides will be provided later this year. Lastly, Brylske will lead Reef Smart’s development of an online learning platform, that will host a number of planned courses for both divers and dive professionals in the coming year.
“My objective is to help expand the Reef Smart brand beyond helping divers become more familiar with dive destinations and specific dive sites, and create products that will engage and connect them more fully with the experience of diving,” says Brylske.
“We’re delighted to welcome Alex to the team,” says Reef Smart managing director Ian Popple. “He brings decades of experience and expertise in marine conservation and the dive tourism industry to Reef Smart, and we are excited to be working with him as we expand into education and resort services.”
During the 1980s, Brylske was the educational program development manager for PADI, where he designed and wrote many of the programs and materials used around the world today to train divers of all levels. Brylske recently retired as Professor of Marine Science at the College of the Florida Keys. He was also Sustainability Editor for both Dive Training Magazine and the trade journal, Dive Center Business. His numerous honors range from NOAA’s Walter B. Jones Memorial Excellence Award for Ocean and Coastal Resource Management to the 2012 DAN Rolex Diver of the Year, one of the most prestigious awards in diving.