Want to learn about the underwater environment, the obstacles it faces, and the ways you can have a
positive impact?

Then you need to GoECO!

The 4-week GoEco program, encompassing 6 conservation-centric PADI Specialties, delves deeper into coral reef ecosystems. With unique PADI Distinctive Specialties exclusive to UDC, coupled with insightful lectures and workshops, you'll hone skills in species identification, reef surveying, and health assessment, contributing directly to conservation endeavors. This structured program, centering around PADI specialties, offers official credentials while emphasizing scientific exploration beyond mere diving qualifications. In addition, it introduces various citizen science initiatives, enabling continued contributions post-Utila. Whether you're satiating underwater curiosity or accruing field experience for your CV, GoEco ensures a rich, impactful learning journey.

Throughout the Program, you will:

  • Gain PADI AWARE and Distinctive Specialty Certifications
  • Work on our licensed Coral Nursery
  • Gain training in reef monitoring Surveys
  • Collect and analyze your own data
  • Attend lectures on important local marine species
  • Take part in underwater and beach clean-ups


The purpose of the PADI Coral Nursery Course & Maintenance Specialty is to teach you about the different methodologies involved in reef restoration projects, techniques to clean and maintain the nursery and finally the proper way to survey and monitor the restoration project.

  • Discuss the Importance and Need For Coral Restoration
  • Explore Different Coral Nursery Techniques
  • Perform Thorough Maintenance on our Coral Nursery
  • Evaluate Nursery Conditions and Plan the Dive


Utila is home to three different species of dolphins and we regularly interact with them. Learn about the different types, how to identify them, as well as the different challenges their environment currently faces. Course includes theory session on dolphin types and behavior and a boat trip dedicated to look and observe their behavior and how to safely interact and record their behavior. d in reef research and record findings.


This course cultivates a profound understanding of aquatic preservation issues and empowers divers to become stewards of the underwater world. With a focus on the global challenges faced by marine ecosystems, and the critical role divers play in advocating for their protection, the Project AWARE Specialty encourages a lifelong commitment to making a difference.


Built on a research project at The University of Queensland, CoralWatch has developed a non-invasive method to quantify coral bleaching and monitor coral health. Since 2002, volunteers have contributed to building a global coral bleaching database used for scientific analysis.

Through classroom discussions and dives you will learn how to identify and assess coral health, use the Coral Health Chart on survey dives, and record and submit data.


During the AWARE – Fish Identification Specialty you will learn how to identify characteristics of local fish families and species. Through lectures, and dives you will learn how to determine fish families by shape, colours, markings and behaviour, and be introduced to fish survey techniques.

Identification skills will be developed through fish point dives, reviewing reference books and completing quizzes. The course will culminate in you using your enhanced knowledge to conduct a reef fish survey.


The Caribbean Marine Monitoring Diver Specialty certification is distinctive to the GoECO programme here in Utila and is designed to familiarise divers with the knowledge, organisation, techniques, and implementation of survey diving.

Through classroom presentations, confined and open water dives you will develop your skills to successfully identify local marine species, perfect neutral buoyancy, practice a variety of monitoring techniques and ultimately undertake a number of surveys used in reef research and record findings.

This certification provides you with knowledge and applied experience useful for anyone planning to work in the marine conservation field.

Whale Shark & Dolphin Encounters

The island's waters offer a rare opportunity to swim alongside the gentle giants, whale sharks, especially during their migration periods. Additionally, playful pods of dolphins frequent Utila's waters, providing unforgettable interactions. These experiences accentuate the island's allure for marine enthusiasts. You’ll gather data on their size, location as well as their behavior and analyze with fellow researchers, offering a chance to observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

Have a possitive impact on the community!

The GoECO team organizes and runs frequent beach clean-ups and underwater debris collection trips. Join in on these rewarding and enlightening experiences that contribute to keeping our Caribbean island and its inhabitants healthy as well as promote awareness on responsible environmental practices.

If you’d like to learn more about our conservation and ecology initiatives and are interested in pursuing a professional dive career with a focus on conservationism, please contact us for more information.