John DeBuysser


Dive Safety Officer (DSO)




B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies
Whitman College (WA, USA)

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It is still a topic of curiosity in my family how I came to be so enamored with coral reefs. I grew up in South Bend, Indiana, and the nearest thing to an ocean is the decidedly unsalted Lake Michigan. The series of fortunate events to my coral reef crush began like so:

During my junior year of high school I participated in a research trip to the Bahamas as part of the Shedd Aquarium’s High School Marine Biology program. A dive certification soon followed as well as beginning classes at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. I studied abroad here at SFS TCI in the fall of 2015 and completed directed research with my classmates on health trends of the coral reef, and my portion focused on coral recruitment and substrate characteristics. In 2016 I conducted research on invasive lionfish behavior as part of a summer REU program in Little Cayman, Cayman Islands and presented the results at the GCFI 69th Conference in Grand Cayman and ALSO 2017 Conference in Hawaii. I completed my bachelor’s in Biology-Environmental Studies at Whitman College in 2017.

Following graduation, I worked as an intern with CIEE Research Station Bonaire and a coral restoration technician with the Nature Conservancy in St. Croix, USVI. I am excited to return to South Caicos and facilitate a fantastic study abroad experience for students. In the moments I am not underwater or working on the computer, I love playing ultimate frisbee and volleyball.