Staff Spotlight: Anne Van Den Boomen

Program Coordinator


After working in the corporate industry for several years, Anne left Amsterdam to pursue a career in ocean conservation. She spent some time in Raja Ampat becoming a dive master before moving to Nusa Penida to become a dive instructor. She currently works as a program coordinator for Indo Ocean Project.


What is your favorite travel memory?

Diving in Fiji with bullsharks and tigersharks. There is a shark feeding program working on the coral coast of Viti Levu, that allows advanced divers to descend into the blue to spend time with sharks. It's very humbling to see these huge animals underwater. The thrill and absolute magic of these marine creatures is something I'll never forget.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

When I came to Indonesia I was an average diver. IOP has taught me so much from being very comfortable in the water, to how to be responsible in challenging conditions. Teaching diving is something I'm really enjoying, and I've learned a lot from being able to teach dive master trainees about marine conservation every day.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

One of the students that was already a dive master completed the research internship with IOP. She was very good as a research interns and loved it so much that she was asked to fill the position as research assistant for IOP. She spent a good few months filling this position and became a good friend of mine. Currently, she if working in the Philippines in ocean conservation, what a great story!

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I've visited all three locations where IOP is currently operational, Bira, Raja Ampat and Penida. All locations have something truly magical over them. Bira has amazing views, with some very dramatic divesites with steep drops, strong currents and many curious sharks. Raja Ampat is magical in itself, the jungle and people are amazing and the biodiversity is the greatest I've seen in my life. Penida suprises with Mola's and sharks and it's so amazing to dive in more challenging conditions :)

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

I think what makes IOP unique is that it's a combined training to become a very good dive professional combined with the hands on conservation experience. IOP makes sure that you will spend a lot of time in the ocean. However, every dive is a training dive. Whether you're dropping a baited underwater remote video, you are executing surveys or practiving being a dive lead. No dive is the same and the amount of experience you get is truly unique.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

To me, a big factor in being a succesful company is diversity in skills the employees have. At IOP, everyone is good at something else but we all share the same passion for the ocean. We have people being amazing in finding macro life, proper coral enthousiasts and so on...everyone is very passionate about their job here!