Graham Patterson

Graham has spent most of his adult life working for nonprofits, building new programs, and figuring out ways to help them fulfil their missions. Over the course of this time he was also developing his favorite recreational activity, scuba diving, into a passion. As he learned more about the fragile state of the ecosystems he visited, and saw life and diversity disappearing in front of his eyes, he became convinced that he must join the work of finding and implementing solutions.

In 2019 he decided to go "all in" and quit his job in healthcare so that he could pursue this passion fulltime. He first landed in Mexico, then Thailand, Malaysia, and Honduras, taking part in conservation focused programs while simultaneously working towards becoming a scuba instructor. In 2020, armed with the knowledge he gained over his 10 years of diving, and with a better understanding of the needs that his skillset was a match for, he founded the 501c3 nonprofit, Restoration, Ecology, and Environment Focused Scuba, or REEF Scuba.

Asked why he founded it, he replied "It is time that the recreational scuba diving industry as a whole, which trains over a million new divers each year, steps up to play its role in being part of the solution. All new divers should be instructed in what is happening to the ecosystems they are visiting. Scuba diving can no longer be a solely recreational activity - each participant needs to return home an ocean champion."

REEF Scuba’s mission is to help facilitate that transition.

Graham also has an undergraduate degree from UCLA in International Development, and a master's degree from the Central European University in Public Policy. He is also, perhaps most proudly, a Dive Instructor who works to bring the magic he experiences to the people he encounters.