Reef to Rainforest 2019: Citizen Science in Malaysian Borneo

Inver Hills Biology Instructor James Schneider leading July 2019 trip

James Schneider, biology faculty at Inver Hills Community College, is leading a citizen science trip to Malaysian Borneo in July 2019. The SEASFiRE@Summer program, Reef to Rainforest 2019: Citizen Science in Malaysian Borneo, costs $2,500 and runs from Friday, July 12, till Tuesday, July 23, 2019, and includes all diving and certifications as set out in the program’s draft schedule.

The SEASFiRE@Summer program features a Reef to Rainforest expedition in Sabah, Malaysia, where you will document and research the wonders of Borneo in the forests and underwater. As with all SEASFiRE programs, you can learn to scuba dive—or if you are already a certified diver, you will learn and refine your underwater skills while starting to make and document conservation dives. Throughout the program, you will publish regular updates as well as your research outcomes on the SEASFiRE website and to internationally recognized conservation organizations. Review the official SEASFiRE@Summer program brochure below to learn more:

The program is split into three distinct phases:
  • Dive/conservation training
  • Rainforest conservation and wildlife expeditions
  • Coral reef conservation

“This SEASFiRE@Summer program exposes you to scuba diving, environmental activism and conservation science,” James Schneider reported. “Even with the environmental degradation you will document, Borneo is still an incredible place to visit, and you will see things impossible to find elsewhere. The program is an amazing, rewarding and fun adventure unlike anything else you’ve ever experienced.”

James noted that students have the option to participate in the program as independent study and earn two college credits. That option is not a requirement. He added that the SEASFiRE company was co-founded by an Inver Hills alumnus, Christian Ogle, who went on to earn a Master of Science (M.S.) in Education with a focus on biology and evolution from the Teachers College of Columbia University. Christian is a science teacher at The Shanghai American School in Shanghai, China.

Where is Kota Kinabalu, the capital city of Sabah?

Located on the northwest coast of Borneo with stunning views of the South China Sea, Kota Kinabalu has a metropolitan population approaching 630,000. According to Wikipedia, Kota Kinabalu is nicknamed KK both in Malaysia and around the world.

The city is a significant tourist destination and serves as a gateway for travelers visiting Sabah, one of Malaysia’s 13 states, and Borneo, arguably the most beautiful and mysterious island on Earth.

One of the fastest growing cities in Malaysia, a nation with nearly 32 million people, Kota Kinabalu thrives as a major industrial and commercial center in the region.

More about the SEASFiRE@Summer program in Malaysian Borneo

Program costs include:
  • Accommodation on dorm-sharing basis in Kota Kinabalu
    • Up to four people sharing in Bilit Adventure Lodge
    • Sepilok Jungle Resort is twin-sharing
  • All dive requirements, including training and certification as appropriate
  • All travel within Sabah required by the program
  • All SEASFiRE training materials required for the program
  • Breakfast and lunch in Kota Kinabalu on all days when we visit Gaya Island
  • All meals when traveling in Sabah outside Kota Kinabalu
  • Entry tickets for all centers on the draft schedule
  • Website, support and media requirements, including use of cameras on the surface and underwater
Key documents
Sepilok Jungle Resort
Sepilok Jungle Resort
If you would like to register for Reef to Rainforest 2019: Citizen Science in Malaysian Borneo, you can download and complete the registration form and deliver to James Schneider at his office, Heritage Hall 302f, along with a $400 deposit.


Registration DEADLINE: January 31, 2019

More about James Schneider…

James Schneider
James Schneider

James Schneider started teaching biology at Inver Hills in 2003. James has also taught biology at Normandale Community College, Saint Paul College and Anoka-Ramsey Community College. He earned certification as a PADI Divemaster, a significant accomplishment in the professional diving community.

James has a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Education from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Zoology/Animal Biology from St. Cloud State University. During his time at St. Cloud, he studied abroad in Alnwick, England.

James also completed graduate work at Bemidji State University, including graduate biology coursework and grant-funded research through the Clean Lakes Program (EPA). He designed and completed a field study on natural stands of wild rice and invertebrate communities on the White Earth Reservation of the Chippewa Tribe. The research provided information to the tribe to help with diminishing rice production.

Learn more about Reef to Rainforest 2019: Citizen Science in Malaysian Borneo by contacting:

James Schneider
Biology Faculty

Learn more about Biology at Inver Hills by contacting:

Heather Brient-Johnson
Biology Faculty

Tags from the story
, ,

1 Comment

  • What an amazing opportunity! As locals of Borneo we are, of course, very protective of our wildlife and environment but also really love the ongoing research and development that external sources, such as yours, brings to us. Anyone reading this article should expect an amazing journey and I think it’s an amazing experience not to be missed!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *