Bailey White ’25


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Project Title

Promoting Pro-conservation Behaviors in Recreational Scuba Divers on Coral Reefs in Southeast Asia

Certificate(s): Environmental Studies

I investigated the behavior of recreational scuba divers on coral reefs in the Philippines and Indonesia. These countries lie within the Coral Triangle, the most biodiverse marine ecosystem on the planet. Coral reefs are hotspots of ecotourism, yet tourists such as scuba divers can damage a reef by intentionally or accidentally touching the coral. This project aimed to collect data on the prevalence of contacts between divers and reef by recording divers underwater. I reviewed this footage and tabulated all contacts, their suspected cause, and the resulting damage. I also asked divers to complete a survey after their dives to shed light on the potential root causes of reef contacts. Throughout this project, I conducted 37 research dives and collected data on dozens of divers. I gained an understanding of and practice with scientific research diving principles and learned how to use diving as a tool for research. This experience has reaffirmed my passion for conservation biology and my commitment to studying threats to marine biodiversity.

Internship Year


Project Category

Biodiversity and Conservation


Wilcove Lab, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University - Bali, Indonesia; Malapascua, Philippines; Panglao, Philippines


David Wilcove, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Public Affairs and the High Meadows Environmental Institute; Bing Lin, Ph.D. candidate, School of Public and International Affairs