Scuba Diving pic

How to Become a Certified Diver

Scuba Diving pic

Scuba Diving
Image: padi.com

During his seven years at Australia Zoo in Beerwah, Queensland, Josh Ruffell held multiple curatorial positions where he worked with a myriad of species in various settings. Outside his professional life, Josh Ruffell enjoys snorkeling and is also a certified diver.

The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Open Water Diver course is the test to seek out for those looking to become certified divers. The performance-based course is very flexible and can be tailored to work around one’s schedule. For those looking to aggressively make their way through the course, it can be completed in as little as three to four days if home-study options are implemented.

The PADI instructor will work to help a person become more confident and comfortable in the diving environment. For some, this will come easily, but for others it will take longer. So while the course can be completed quickly, the ultimate factor in how long it takes is how well the diver is performing.

There are numerous PADI dive centers around the world that all implement the identical training standards, so the course should be accessible to most who are looking to become certified divers. Contact your local PADI dive shop to find out more about when the course is offered and how to register.

Cirque du Soleil pic

Cirque Du Soleil to Offer NFL Experience in Times Square

Cirque du Soleil pic

Cirque du Soleil
Image: cirquedusoleil.com

As Curator of Reptiles and Birds at Australia Zoo, Josh Ruffell oversaw a diverse collection of animals both native and foreign to Australia. Outside his professional life, Josh Ruffell enjoys taking in all sorts of shows and entertainment, and is particularly fond of Cirque Du Soleil.

Cirque Du Soleil is teaming with the NFL and the NFL Players Association to create a unique attraction in Times Square that will encompass 40,000 square feet. The four-story installation will be located at 20 Times Square and is slated for a fall 2017 opening.

Among its many features, the attraction will boast a 350 seat theater that will be packed with high-definition screens and geared to give fans a unique multimedia experience. The show, which will be produced with the help of NFL Films, will beckon fans into an immersive experience and draw them into the game’s action, both from the sidelines as well as behind the scenes.

Cirque Du Soleil is working in conjunction with the Witkoff Group, a real estate investment firm, to develop the site. AEG is also a financial partner in the project, which includes several other strategic stakeholders such as the Rockwell Group, a design firm, and the Thinkwell Group production agency.

Conservation Projects pic

Two Important Conservation Projects Funded by Australia Zoo

Conservation Projects pic

Conservation Projects
Image: australiazoo.com.au

A strong interest in reptiles from a young age eventually led Josh Ruffell to pursue a career path in wildlife care and conservation. At various points in his career, Josh Ruffell served as Curator of Reptiles and Birds as well as Assistant Curator at Australia Zoo.

Located on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, the two acre wildlife park opened in 1970 as the Beerwah Reptile and Fauna Park. Robert and Lyn Irwin, the parents of famed conservationist Steve Irwin, originally opened the park. In the early 1990s, Steve took over management and along with his wife Terri, renamed the park Australia Zoo. Today it has expanded to 1,500 acres with a staff of more than 500.

Aside from entertaining and educating visitors with wildlife displays, Australia Zoo also funds numerous conservation projects, including one for tiger conservation. It has donated more than $1.5 million to support Sumatran tiger conservation in Southeast Asia through a partnership with Fauna & Flora International.

Australia Zoo also supports the Anatolian Shepherd Dog Program in South Africa. These dogs are raised with herds of livestock and trained to bark and take protective actions to scare cheetahs and other predators away from the herd. This reduces the threat of farmers killing cheetahs when seen in the area, whose population is diminishing due to human encroachment.