Please join us in congratulating ANGELA ZEPP 

Graduate from Humbolt State University 

Masters phycology at the Moss Landing Marine Lab, Cal State University.  She is a NAUI Instructor, PADI Divemaster and the Assistant Diving Safety Officer at Moss Landing.

Q: Why did you decide to pursue marine science?

Growing up in the landlocked state of Missouri instills in one the idea that the ocean is a mysterious “delicacy” if you will, in that you only see it on vacations.  Generally, Midwesterners tend to fear the ocean completely or are enchanted by it. I chose the latter.

Q: What experiences and opportunities have shaped your path to get you where you are now?

I was certified to SCUBA dive when I was 16. That certification really only allowed me to accomplish 6 dives, 5 of which was in a tiny lake 4 hours away with maybe 2 feet of visibility. These factors somehow didn’t deter me from my budding new interest of diving. I chose to run off to Humboldt State and got involved in their really intensive, rigorous dive program. The program is very demanding but equally rewarding. It trained me to be ready for everything underwater from being blind folded and locating a toy army man using search pattern techniques in a pool to leaping sideways over massive urchin beds as a dive entry. I have since worked in Alaska and was dry suit and full face mask certified and did a bunch of technical diving. That opened up a job for me on Catalina working as the aquarium collector in which I had to devise obscure methods to humanely capture specimen for the aquarium there. My point in all this is that Diving. Is. Awesome. I fully believe that it should be the first step to any marine science research idea. Studying something in a lab is important but what better way to learn than to study things in their natural environment?

Q: What are you studying and why is it interesting and important to you?

I will be working with Ivano Aiello and Diana Steller to inspect the intake pipes in the bay. The pipes are either sinking below the sediment or the sediment is accumulating over them, blocking the water supply. My job is to figure out what ecologically is happening to the sediment around these intake pipes. This idea is at the very beginning stages of development so stay tuned!

Q: What advice do you have for someone who wants to get in to marine science?

I would say pay attention in your undergrad classes! Stop falling asleep because the information you’re receiving WILL be useful in the future. So next time you’re dozing off in Genetics because who really cares what the Lac operon does anyway, snap out of it!

Zale Parry 2014 Scholarship Winner Anne Benolkin


Stefanie Dawn Martina














Please join us in congratulating Stefanie Dawn Martina


Graduate Student - Ocean Safety Research

Memorial University of Newfoundland

Newfoundland And Labrador, Canada

Stefanie Martina is a master’s student in kinesiology with an exercise and work physiology focus at the Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN). She aspires to complete a doctoral degree and pursue a career in extreme environments physiology and human factors research in diving and the marine environment. She is an avid scuba diver and was recipient of the 2017 Women Divers Hall of Fame Advanced Dive Training Grant. She aims to complete technical and cave training so that practical knowledge can be applied to future research and communications on findings and safety applications with the advanced diving community can be optimized.


Stefanie received a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2010, she was first exposed to diving safety research as an intern at the Navy Experimental Diving Unit. After graduation, she was a research intern at Divers Alert Network (DAN) and subsequently was hired as research assistant at the Duke Center for Hyperbaric Medicine & Environmental Physiology. She later returned to DAN as research associate. She was involved in numerous investigations such as immersion pulmonary edema with Dr. Richard Moon; flying after diving with Dr. Richard Vann; and narcosis with Dr. Jake Freiberger. She also performed transthoracic echocardiography and took blood samples for field monitoring of technical, rebreather divers and NASA-funded hypobaric decompression stress studies with Dr. Neal Pollock.


Stefanie is now conducting her thesis research with Dr. Heather Carnahan with the Ocean Safety Research Lab at the Marine Institute and Centre for Offshore Safety & Survival. Her project aims to investigate interactions of stress, learning, training fidelity, and performance. Intentions are to inform future training programs and safety protocols in high-stress training environments such as helicopter emergency escape and cave diving.

  Anne Benolkin, An Environmental Sciences major born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, is the winner of the 2014 Zale Parry Scholarship, and the presentation of her award at the NOGI Gala in Las Vegas provided a most memorable highlight of the Gala evening! After Zale presented Anne Benolkin to the audience, this charming young woman spoke extemporaneously and passionately about not only her work, but her deep appreciation for receiving the Scholarship. She so captivated everyone with her poised, intelligent speech that when THREE notable NOGI Fellows took the stage afterward – unexpectedly – to present her with personal checks made directly to her, the crowd roared!



  First up was Carol Rose, President of the Underwater Society of America, presenting an Underwater Society of America check for $500.00.This was followed by Ernie Brooks (Arts, 1975), who presented a personal check to Anne for $3,000.00…and after that, Bret Gilliam (S&E, 2012-2013) went to the podium to hand his personal check to Anne for $3,000.00. Together with the $3,000.00 that is the Zale Parry Scholarship prize, Anne Benolkin received a total of $9,500.00 this night, to help further her career!



  Anne Benolkin became an AAUS scientific diver in 2011 and has since been a scientific diver with five universities, providing diving support for various research projects. She has worked on everything from seagrass ecosystem structure in Florida to community succession in kelp beds in Prince William Sound, Alaska. In 2012, Anne conducted diving-based research at Shannon Point Marine Lab in Washington, with a focus on restoring the endangered pinto abalone population. After graduating from University of Alaska Southeast with a BS in Biology and a minor in Communications, Anne became an intern with the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF). REEF is a grass-roots organization that seeks to conserve marine ecosystems by educating, enlisting and enabling divers and other marine enthuasiasts to become active ocean stewards and citizen scientists.


  Anne then became a PADI dive master, and at the time she won the Zale Parry Scholarship she was working part time as a dive master to fund her Master’s degree work at Alaska Pacific University, studying the behavior and body patterns of Octopus cyanea. She says her hope is that a quantitative approach toward this research would provide new insights into “this fascinating creature.”Once she graduates, Anne’s hope is to pursue a career that marries science and diving. She said she would like to become a research at a university or an aquarium.




  THE ZALE PARRY SCHOLARSHIP, which debuted in 2006, is named after one of diving’s most celebrated women divers, Zale Parry (DS, 1973) the memorable lady-star of “Sea Hunt.” The Scholarship is awarded annually to an outstanding young man or woman diver who is enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate academic program, or who is engaged in accredited field work in undersea exploration, marine conservation, hyperbaric medical research or diving equipment technology. The goal of the Zale Parry Scholarship is to encourage and enable future generations of divers to carry on Zale Parry’s legacy. The director of the Zale Parry Scholarship is Ed Stetson (S&E, 2011), who works with Zale to review applications, which are sent in beginning in July/August every year.


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