Conservation Team

Meet our team of Conservation Instructors and Interns

Our current Reef Conservation Staff team

Our current Reef Conservation Staff team








Past and Current Interns


Chad Scott

Chad Scott

M.Sc., Marine Ecology

Program Director/Instructor


PADI Open Water SCUBA Instructor, 2012
Emergency Oxygen Provider Trainer, 2012
Emergency First Response Trainer, 2012
Reef Check Eco-Diver Trainer, 2011
SSI Dive Conductor, 2010
PADI Dive Master, 2008
CPAD Research Diver, 2006
Outdoor Emergency Care/CPR, 2001

Education History

Masters Degree in Marine Ecology, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Thailand

Bachelors in Environmental Science, University of Colorado, USA [Minor in Geology]


Chad Scott was raised in the mountains of Colorado, but fell in love with coral reefs after coming to New Heaven Dive School in 2006 for an internship opportunity with the CPAD Foundation. After finishing his university, he came back to Koh Tao to start the New Heaven Reef Conservation Program with Devrim Zahir, in 2007. Since that time he has been working to increase the size and scope of the program, and introduce as many students as possible to the world of coral reef research and restoration. After the success of the program at new Heaven, Chad also helped to start, and now coordinates the Save Koh Tao Marine Branch, involving many dive schools on the island in conservation activities. His goal is to increase diver awareness on the problems facing reefs, and give them the tools they need to help slow or reverse the damage.


  • Koh Tao Ecological Monitoring Program Manual.2012. Save Koh Tao, Thailand. 110 pages.
  • Scott C.M., Zahir D.G., and Zahir M. 2010. Effective Long-term Market and Community Based Coral Reef Management, Research, and Restoration Models. Abstract and Poster for the Proceedings of the Second Asia Pacific Coral Reef Symposium, Phuket, Thailand. Pp 208.
  • Phillips W.N., Scott C.M., Zahir D.G. 2010. Community Monitoring and Assessment of the Reefs of Koh Tao, Thailand. Abstract and Poster for the Proceedings of the Second Asia Pacific Coral Reef Symposium, Phuket, Thailand.
  • Scott, Chad. 2010. A Sustainable Model for Resource Management and Protection Achievable through Empowering Local Communities and Businesses. Proceedings of the Ramkhamhaeng University International Research Conference pp. 25-28.
  • Larpnun R., Scott C., Surasawadi P. 2011. Practical Coral Reef Management on a Small Island: Controlling Sediment on Koh Tao, Thailand (p.88-9) in Wilkinson, C., Brodie, J. Catchment Management and Coral Reef Conservation: a practical guide for coastal resource managers to reduce damage from catchment areas based on best practice case studies. Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and Reef and Rainforest Research Centre Townsville, Australia, 120 P.

Devrim Zahir

Devrim Zahir

Owner – New Heaven Dive School
Instructor and Co-director – NHRCP


BIO: Dev has been living on Koh Tao for over 18 years, operating the New Heaven Dive School along with his wife. He has always held conservation and environmental activities as a main priority in his dive center, getting involved in various conservation projects with the government or non-profit groups for the last 15 years. In 2005 he helped to build the first Biorock artificial Reef on Koh Tao, along with the Koh Tao Dive Operators Club, and was the only person to maintain the structure after its installation (paying for maintenance of the site himself). In 2006 he hosted the Coastal Preservation and Development Foundation for their island activities, and was trained in the methods they use to monitor reefs around the island. After the non-profit left, Dev continued the projects again on his own, until in 2007 he and Chad joined up to start the New Heaven Reef Conservation Program to focus solely on training divers to carryout professional research, restoration, and protection projects.
Devs favorite thing to do other than yoga and meditation is marine conservation dives, and he brings great perspective and expireince to the program. His loving nature, positive outlook on life, and open mindedness make him one of the favorite instructors for marine conservation students.


Sirachai ‘Shin’ Arunrugstichai

Shin Instructor/Co-Director – NHRCP


Education History

Masters Degree in Marine Ecology, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Thailand (In progress)

Bachelors in Environmental Science, Mohidol University International College, Bangkok



Shin is our underwater ninja, one of the most amazing divers most students get to dive with. Shin is an avid photographer and lover of sharks since birth. Shin completed his dive master program at New Heaven in 2007, and even though he may have left a few times, his heart has always remained here on Koh Tao. Shin has been working part-time with the NHRCP since its inception, but joined more seriously onto the program after completing his degree.
Shin specializes in shark research and studies, and is an amazing instructor and person to be around. He brings great knowledge and skills to the program here, and is loved by all our students.






Pau is has been one of our star NHRCP Interns since December 2012. Now he is stepping up as one of our conservation program instructors. Pau brings an amazing atmosphere of fun and enjoyment to the program, as well as making sure everything always gets done. Not only is Pau a great dive leader, but he is also the star of the local band ‘Gypsy Divers’. Students coming to our program not only get the opportunity to enjoy diving with Pau, but might also ask him for some guitar lessons.






Rahul first came to NHRCP in June-Mid August 2012 to take part in practical marine conservation work and practice nudibranch species identification in preparation for his dissertation. He has since completed his degree in Animal Conservation Science (University of Cumbria, UK) and has been working with us since June 2013. Rahul focuses largely on gastropod and other molluscan research but is also a photo/videographer and spends much of his time constructing both concrete and metal varieties of our artificial reef structures. Rahul is a naturalist, muck-diving addict, and self-proclaimed nerd and science geek.







Past Staff Members



Gerianne Terlouw



Gerianne first completed an internship with the New Heaven Reef Conservation Program in 2012, while working on her masters degree. After completing her thesis and spending some time working in her field, she came back to help teach new students in the NHRCP course. Geri is very knowledgeable in Chemistry and marine science, and helps to keep our program organized and make sure all data gets entered at the end of each day. Geri is a very hard worker and always gets done what she sets out to do.

See Geri’s paper about coral growth rates on the Hin Fai biorock (2012)




Sunghee came to Koh Tao to complete her Divemaster training, and fell in love with the island just like most of us do. In 2013 she moved here with her boyfriend Adam, who was heading up the Save Koh Tao Land Conservation Branch. Her background in science and biology at University in Korea made her a great addition to the research and science side of our program.












Chris originally booked a short program with the NHRCP in the summer of 2012, but then returned to stay on as our program photographer. Look for Chris’ great pics on our facebook page during much of 2013!








NHRCP Interns

Our interns are really the heart of our program, much of the progress we have made is solely due to their efforts. We have been hosting 3-6 month internships here at New Heaven since 2007, and each of those participants has made an everlasting impression on our program, for which we will be forever in gratitude. Interns have helped us shape our research program, collect the bulk of our data, published scientific reports, designed and built artificial reefs, and so much more. Some of the interns that have helped develop our program are listed below: