04/20/2015 03:07 EDT | Updated 07/11/2015 02:59 EDT

Mike Irvine defends master's thesis under water

University of Victoria graduate student Mike Irvine will defend his master's of education thesis under water on Monday, to demonstrate how underwater technology can foster better appreciation of marine science.

The 27-year-old's thesis defence will be live streamed via YouTube from 12:30 p.m. PT or you can watch it here at

Irvine says he is the first person to defend a master's thesis from beneath the sea — but his advisers had no reason to be surprised.

"They kind of knew full-on what they were getting into when they took me on," said Irvine. "I was talking about some pretty crazy ideas right from the get-go of doing my master's."

'Groundbreaking research'

Irvine is donning scuba gear for his thesis defence, including a mask with communications gear. 

The mask enables the members of his thesis committee to ask him questions from a nearby pier via teleconference.

"This is groundbreaking research," said Jason Price, one of Irvine's thesis supervisors, in a statement. "Mike is an innovator charting the course for the next wave of marine educators." 

Irvine's master's of education thesis is about connecting students to the oceans using underwater cameras in order to motivate students to engage in marine science and marine awareness. 

He is also the founder of the Fish Eye Project, which brings together ocean scientists, teachers and students to build awareness of oceanic environments.