Meet Nicole Helgason, Coral Spotter | Scuba Diving

Meet Nicole Helgason, Coral Spotter

Humans protect what we love, so let’s get to know our corals a bit better, shall we?

Nicole Helgason

Our new Coral Spotter column will hopefully inspire you to “see the reef with new eyes.”

Ethan Daniels/Alamy

Every year is the year of the reef for Nicole ­Helgason. A dive instructor for 10 years and a ­coral ­enthusiast, Helgason noticed that “­divers pay very little attention to coral diversity.” She ­founded reefdivers.io and started w­riting about coral to help divers better appreciate its ­amazing ­diversity.

When 2018 was designated the ­International Year of the Reef — shining a spotlight on the ­myriad threats to coral reefs everywhere — we decided it was time to get to know our corals ­better. Starting this month, Helgason will share her passion for coral — and learning — in the pages of Scuba ­Diving magazine.

Nicole Helgason

“Once you start spotting corals, your perception of the underwater landscape evolves.”

Nicole Helgason

From Helgason you’ll learn to identify the ­corals you see on every dive. “Once you start spotting ­corals, your perception of the underwater landscape evolves,” Helgason says. “The term ‘coral reefs’ is too broad. A French angel is always a French ­angel, but not corals. The same coral can look totally ­different in a different environment.”

We hope our new Coral Spotter column will help you understand and appreciate those differences and, as Helgason says, be inspired to “see the reef with new eyes.”

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