:: Dr. Gerry R. Allen - Science - 2017
Gerry Allen is an international authority on the classification and ecology of Indo-Pacific coral reef fishes. His numerous publications include 35 books and more than 500 scientific articles. A passion for diving and underwater photography continues as the driving force for frequent field trips in search of new fish discoveries.
During a career spanning 50 years Gerry has published descriptions of 540 new species. His expertise also encompasses freshwater fishes of the Australia-New Guinea region. Gerry was born and raised in California, but migrated to Australia with wife Connie, after receiving a PhD from the University of Hawaii. He worked as Curator of Fishes at the Western Australian Museum for 25 years. Although still living in Perth Australia, he has worked closely with US-based Conservation International since 1997, serving as a full-time biodiversity consultant. He helped design a GIS mapping program for all Indo-Pacific coral reef fishes (more than 4,000 species), an invaluable tool for conservation planning and prioritization.
Much of Gerry’s recent work has focused on documenting the species-rich West Papuan region of Indonesia and the establishment of marine protected areas. He is the recipient of several awards for lifetime contributions to the knowledge of fish classification and biology including the K. Radway Allen Award (Australia), Bleeker Award (Indo-Pacific Fish Society) and Joseph Nelson Award (American Society of Ichthyology and Herpetology).
:: Richard Anderson - Arts - 1970
Dick Anderson, an adventure-seeking diving pioneer whose multifaceted career paralleled the birth and growth of recreational diving and included making key technical contributions to diving equipment died in June 3, 2006 at the age of 73.
Anderson, who also produced humorous underwater films, died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease, in West Hills, CA.
Anderson launched his more than half-century underwater odyssey in the 1940s when he bought a $1.98 face mask and began skin diving and spearfishing for food off the coast of Santa Monica.
In 1950, he went to work for Westwood sporting goods store owner Rene Bussoz, who had just launched U.S. Divers, which became the largest diving equipment company in the world. Bussoz had acquired U.S. distribution rights to the Aqua Lung, and Anderson became the first authorized Aqua Lung repairman in the United States.
After graduating from the Sparling School of Deep Sea Diving in Wilmington in 1954, Anderson worked on numerous commercial diving projects on the West Coast.
In the 1960s and '70s, he played a significant role in developing several groundbreaking pieces of scuba equipment for the Los Angeles-based company Healthways and then for the giant Scubapro diving equipment company.
One of the designs for the scuba regulator that he came up with in 1960 was still used by the majority of manufacturers in the diving industry when he died.
In 1962, Anderson was one of two safety divers on Swiss scientist Hannes Keller's world-record 1,020-foot open-ocean saturation dive in a bell off Catalina Island.
Because of a series of mishaps after reaching the ocean floor, Keller and Peter Small, the British journalist who accompanied him, passed out. The surface crew, watching on closed-circuit television, began raising the bell.
At 200 feet, it was discovered that the bell was losing pressure, so Anderson and fellow safety diver Chris Whittaker dived down to investigate. They found and closed all of the external valves and resurfaced, but instruments showed that the diving bell was still not maintaining pressure.
Although warned not to go down again, Anderson and Whittaker made a second dive, during which they discovered that the tip of Keller's fin was stuck in the hatch, preventing a proper closure. Anderson cut the fin tip and the hatch closed. He remained with the bell and sent Whittaker, whose nose had been bleeding, to the surface. But Whittaker never made it and his body was never recovered. Small died later.
Anderson was praised by a Los Angeles coroner's investigation panel, which concluded that "the selection of the safety diver, Richard Anderson, was justified and most fortunate. We feel Hannes Keller owes his life to the unusual ability and courage of this one man."
Earlier, while working as an instructor and equipment technician for Diving Corp. of America in Florida, Anderson became the diving equipment technician in Nassau during the filming of Walt Disney's 1954 movie "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."
He later worked on numerous other films, including serving as a dive master for the underwater unit on the 1987 movie "Jaws: the Revenge," and did underwater work on the television series "Baywatch" in the 1990s.
Anderson also made half a dozen humorous underwater movies, including Gold From the Winfield Scott, a treasure-diving film that won the Film of the Year award at the 1970 International Underwater Film Festival.
Anderson was editor of Dive magazine in the early 1960s and wrote more than 100 articles for Dive, Skin Diver, Argosy, Life and other magazines. He also wrote a book, Diving and Dredging for Gold, in 1994 and was a 2004 inductee into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame.
Anderson was born on Sept. 26, 1932, in Portland, Ore., and spent his much of his childhood living with a foster family. A high school dropout who ran away from home at 15, he held a variety of jobs, including doing carpentry and working on a dairy farm in Oregon and as a longshoreman in Alaska.
:: Paul S. Auerbach, MD, MS, FACEP, FAWM - Science - 2006*
Dr. Paul Auerbach is one of the world’s leading authorities on the clinical management of injuries from hazardous marine animals. He is a physician, writer, teacher, and researcher who has significantly supported and advanced the field of dive medicine. He champions dive medicine as an integral body of knowledge for physicians, and is a "go to" doctor whenever anyone in the greater dive community needs assistance related to his areas of expertise.From 1969-1973, Paul attended Duke University as an Angier B. Duke scholar. From 1973-1977, he attended Duke Medical School, during which time he served an externship with the Indian Health Service in Montana. At that time, he conceived the concept of wilderness medicine. Paul completed his emergency medicine residency at UCLA from 1978 to 1980 and began to create the textbook Wilderness Medicine, which was published in its first edition in 1983 - the fifth edition was published in 2008. In 1987, Paul published original medical research on bacteriology of the aquatic environment, which remains the standard for antibiotic selection for treatment of aquatic-acquired wounds and infections and in 1991, he published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine on marine envenomations that drew worldwide attention.Dr. Auerbach has several recognitions from the diving and medical industries:
1993: Inducted as SSI Platinum Pro 5000.
1996: Education Award, Wilderness Medical Society.
1997: Apex Award of Excellence for A Medical Guide to Hazardous Marine Life.
1998: DAN America Award, Divers Alert Network.
1999: Outstanding Contribution in Education Award, AmericanCollege of Emergency Physicians.
2001: Founders Award, Wilderness Medical Society.
2006: NOGI Award, AUAS.
2008: Diver of the Year (Science), Beneath the Sea.
Dr. Auerbach is currently a Clinical Professor in the Division of Emergency Medicine at Stanford University. Some of his contributions include referral physician to the Divers Alert Network, assisting medical professionals and laypersons; contributor to the DAN First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries training program and The DAN Pocket Guide to First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries. He has authored hundreds of definitive medical textbook chapters and original research and clinical reports; articles in the popular press (including Medical Editor, Dive Training Magazine); chapter author in The Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving; clinical trials design to evaluate a novel topical jellyfish sting inhibitor; many hundreds of lectures at medical education meetings; consultant to the military, including the Special Operations Command; former member of the Committee of Diving Instructional Standards and Safety for the Recreational Scuba Training Council; consultant to Sea Studios (National Geographic television program "Sea Nasties"); and advisor to aquarium directors.Dr. Paul Auerbach has also authored two underwater photography books: Diving the Rainbow Reefs and An Ocean of Colors. He is co-author of A Colour Atlas of Dangerous Marine Animals. His most recent book is the 3rd edition of Field Guide to Wilderness Medicine.
:: James Jennings Auxier and Charles Richard Blakeslee - Arts - 1960
PICTURES - Left TOP: James Auxier Left BOTTOM: Chuck Blakeslee and Lloyd Bridges
Charles Richard Blakeslee was born October 29, 1925, in Manitou, OK. His father was a telegraph and station operator on an oil pipeline; his mother was a housewife. The family lived in southwestern Missouri before moving to Southern California when Chuck was 13. He attended Lynwood and Clearwater junior high schools then Compton High School and Compton Junior College. He also took several technical courses relating to the oil industry and maritime radio.
After working as a machinist in the shipyards and aircraft industries during WWII, Chuck was employed by Texaco, Inc. as a lab technician, essentially in bacteriology, for nine years in Long Beach, CA.
In 1948 he married Geraldine (Jeri) Stone, who became his lifelong diving companion. They had four children, Chris, Jim, Carol and Renee.
James Jennings Auxier was born September 21, 1928, in Tulsa, OK, and grew up in Oklahoma and California. He graduated Compton High School in Compton, CA, where he was involved in the printing of the yearbook. After high school he continued on as a printer for various newspapers.
Both Jim and Chuck started diving in 1946. Although they both went to Compton High, Chuck was three years older and they didn’t meet until after they graduated. That fateful event occurred at a Compton Dolphins dive club meeting (they both became members). They shared many of the same interests and, in 1951, founded The Skin Diver, later called Skin Diver Magazine. They were co-publishers/co-owners of the magazine and alternated as President and Vice-President. In addition, Jim served as Editor and Chuck as Advertising Manager.
The first issue of The Skin Diver was black and white, though it had a two-color cover. There were 16 pages (including the cover), two underwater photos and some topside pictures. The issue cost 25 cents; readers could get a one-year subscription for $3. Chuck and Jim published the magazine for 12 years before selling it to Petersen Publishing in 1963. The magazine was the largest and oldest publication of its kind when it was discontinued in 2002, one issue short of its 51 birthday.
Under Jim and Chuck, The Skin Diver Magazine of the 1950s and ’60s was, for the most part, the only American source of reference material relating to recreational diving, its activities, personalities and the manufacturers and retailers of early diving equipment. Many myths existed about the history of skin diving as so few records were kept early on. Skin Diver began to investigate, to record, to follow and dispute, to compare and add to, and to question. It was a forum for divers and historians, a place to post one’s opinion and ideas.
Jim and Chuck received their LA County Diving Instructor’s Certificates in the second UICC in 1954 and NAUI affiliate status in 1963. Chuck invented the CO2 speargun, the Barracuda, and received a patent for it in 1953. Jim became an underwater photographer and was a member of the Underwater Photographic Society in the 1950s and ’60s. He served as a judge for the International Underwater Film Festival in the ’50s.
Chuck was a regular contributor to Colliers Encyclopedia Yearbook and Selling Sporting Goods, was a member of the Board of Directors of the International Film Festival, a NAUI organization participant, and served on numerous ad hoc committees, such as that of selecting and promoting the Diver’s Flag. He appeared at numerous California Fish and Game meetings in support of divers’ rights and beach access and served as an advocate for safety in diving through restriction of ads determined not to be safe.
Jim remained on the Skin Diver staff for three years after the magazine was sold to help with the transition. During that time he traveled to many new destinations, such as the Red Sea and Cozumel. In 1966, he retired to Big Bear, CA, with his family. There, he spent his time investing in real estate and as a volunteer for local organizations such as the Big Bear Lake Search and Rescue Team.
When Skin Diver was sold, Chuck moved to Carpinteria, CA, with his family and was an avocado farmer for 23 years. He later moved to Grass Valley, CA, and then to Nevada City, CA. He continued to dive regularly for many years, both locally and overseas.
In 1960, Jim and Chuck became the first recipients of the NOGI Award for the Arts. They were inducted into the DEMA Diving Hall of Fame in 1994 and the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame in Grand Cayman in 2003.
Although Jim suffered a debilitating stroke in 1984, he continued to travel. He died May 26, 2002, in Conyers, GA, where he had moved to be near his daughter, Yvonne Lee. His survivors included Yvonne, a son, Michael, and six grandchildren.
Chuck died April 17, 2012, in Nevada City. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Jeri, and their four children.
:: Michael Aw- Arts - 2012-13
Michael AW's saturated colour images have earned him more than 63 international awards.
In 2012, Michael’s ‘Indonesia’s Global Treasures’ won the International the Palme d'Or (Gold) Prize for Best Book of the Year at the World Underwater Images
Festival (Festival Mondial de l'Image Sous Marine). Michael is the first to have won this prestigious award twice; the first was for “Heart of the Ocean” in 2009. Outdoor Photography named Michael AW as one of the world’s most influential nature photographers. His essays and images have been featured in BBC Wildlife, National Geographic, the Smithsonian, Nature, Ocean Geographic, Times, Nature Focus and more. In 2010 he won the Gold Diver award for the Portfolio category at the World Festival of Underwater Images in France. He is also a recipient of awards from the Natural History Museum BBC Photographer of the Year Wildlife Competition in 2000 and 2010. In 2006 he won the Best Winner award in the underwater category. In 2008 Stan Waterman conferred Michael with the Peter Benchley Shark Conservation Award by Sharks Research Institute in recognition of his highly effective and unrelenting campaign against shark fin soup consumption in the Asia Pacific region. Michael is also a recipient of the WYLAND ICON award for Conservation in 2011 and in 2012 he was presented the Diver of the Year Award at the Beneath the Sea Festival in New Jersey.Michael is an active member and Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers and a Fellow International of The Explorers’ Club of NY.Michael is project director of the Elysium Epic imagery expedition with 57 team members to document the flora and fauna for a movie and a climate change index from the Antarctic Peninsula to South Georgia, following in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1914-16 Trans Antarctic Expedition. (www.ElysiumEpic.org)“Beneath Bunaken” (1993) was his first and Elysium Shackleton Antarctic Epics (2013) is his 30th book of the sea.MILESTONE:In 1998 Michael co-founded Asian Geographic; he managed the title as publisher till 2005. In 2001, he acquired Scuba Diver Australasia and successfully revamped the title to become the PADI Diving Society magazine in 2004. In 2007, Michael garnered some of the world’s most celebrated underwater photographers, film makers and scientists to be on board his dream journal “Ocean Geographic”. The current editorial board is now comprised of Dr Gerry Allen, Dr Carden Wallace, Emory Kristof, Stan Waterman, David Doubilet, Jennifer Hayes, Cabel Davis, Laurent Ballesta, Doug Perrine, Howard Hall, Michelle Hall, Alex Mustard and Wyland. Today Asian Geographic, Ocean Geographic and Scuba Diver SDAA are among the world’s acclaimed wildlife journals.Michael AW is the founder of Ocean Environment, a charity organization registered with Environment Australia.
:: Arthur J. Bachrach Ph.D.- Science - 1973
Art Bachrach had many different sides. He was a Professor of Psychology, a research scientist at the Navy’s deep diving undersea program SeaLab III, director of the Naval Medical Research Institute at the National Naval Medical Center, and supervised and developed underwater and extreme environment research.
He authored or edited 14 books and published over 180 articles in scientific journaIs. Instead of retiring, he and his wife Susan opened
Moby Dickens Bookshop in Taos, New Mexico and he wrote “D.H Lawrence in New Mexico...” He was 88.
This comment is from NOGI fellow Hillary Hauser (DS, 2009): I was working for Petersen Publishing in Los Angeles and interviewed Art over dinner on Hollywood Blvd. He had this enormous persona in underwater/ocean/science, he had published books and papers. We discovered our mutual love for the artist Henry Miller who I was personally helping. It turned out Art Bachrach had been
collecting Henry Miller art for some time, and our conversation turned from diving to art.
Art Bachrach was an artist as much as he was a scientist. – Hillary Hauser From the Taos News: Art’s request was that there be no memorial service and that instead of flowers, well-wishers may send a donation to the Stray Hearts Animal shelter in his name. Art was known for his great sense of humor and on the night before his passing said to his family these words: “I’m cramming for finals.”
:: Robert D. Ballard Ph.D.- Science - 1975
Dr. Robert Ballard is among the most accomplished deep-sea explorers and is best known for the remarkable discoveries of ancient shipwrecks, the most popular ones being, the RMS Titanic and the German battleship, ‘Bismarck’. During his long career, he has conducted more than 120 deep-sea explorations using the latest expedition technology and is also a forerunner in the early use of deep-diving submersibles. Apart from deep-sea exploration, he has pioneered distance learning courses in America and around the world, with the JASON project; an award-winning instructive program that reaches out to more than 1 million science students and deep-sea enthusiasts. He has received prestigious awards from the Explorers Club and the National Geographic Society and was also recently made the president of the Institute of Exploration. Nowadays, he tours with his newfangled explorer ship, the ‘EN Nautilus’ and spends around five to six months out in the big blue, exploring the likes of the Atlantic Ocean, the Aegean, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The love for oceans, his prolific writing skills and his passion for designing new technological vessels, has made him one of the most illustrious and celebrated personalities in the world of marine geology and archaeology. Scroll further for more interesting information on this personality.
:: Bill Barada- Arts - 1967
Bill Barada was not just a diving pioneer but one of our sport's Renaissance men, someone who had not one talent but many, who had not one career but several. He was an inventor, writer, photographer, businessman, fireman and salesman - among other things. He was also a dive travel pioneer.Bill was born in St. Joseph, MO, and grew up in Santa Monica, CA. He started free diving in 1935, when the sport was called "goggle fishing." In 1940 he formed the Los Angeles Neptunes, one of the first skin diving clubs in America. (It is still going strong today.)In 1950, skin diving was threatened with restrictive legislation. To combat it, Barada founded the California Council of Diving Clubs, the first of its kind in the nation and probably the world. He also served as one of its presidents.Bill was on the Board of Governors of the Underwater Society of America during its formative stages. He was active in legislation, conservation and safety issues throughout the country in scuba diving's early years and that interest never waned.
Since little equipment was available for early divers, Bill designed his own, forming The Bel-Aqua Water Sports Company to produce and market it. His designs included the Bel-Aqua drysuit, an all-rubber snorkel and a CO2 speargun. He owned and managed Bel-Aqua for seven years.
Bill was a fireman with the Los Angeles Fire Department from 1940 until his retirement in 1962; then he served as advertising and promotion manager of U.S. Divers (now known as Aqua-Lung). He joined the staff of Skin Diver as sales promotion manager in 1963. He became marketing manager not long after, then "retired" - again - in 1968.
Among Bill's accomplishments at Skin Diver was the hiring of a new eastern manager/associate editor. The young photographer/writer he chose for the job - Paul Tzimoulis - would be with the magazine for 34 years. Before, during and for many years after he was a Skin Diver staffer, Bill wrote articles on a variety of subjects. He teamed up with Dewey Bergman, founder of the first dive travel agency, Sea & See. The two were responsible for popularizing dive travel to Mexico and Tahiti.
In the spring of 1968, Bill left his full time position with Skin Diver to become its Special Assignments Editor. He and his first wife, Harriet, set out on a 20,000 mile journey in their Dodge station wagon, pulling a 24 foot Fireball tandem-wheeled house trailer. They traveled from California to Canada and eventually ended up in Florida. Along the way, Bill explored America's popular diving areas and visited with local dive shops, clubs and councils. He wrote articles about his experiences for Skin Diver. Readers could track his progress through the country by reading his monthly reports in 1968-69.
Bills first book, Underwater, was published by Skin Diver's owner, Petersen Publishing, in 1955. He wrote several other books, including Mask and Flippers, an as- told-to-book featuring Lloyd Bridges. He wrote many TV scripts for Sea Hunt and a chapter in a National Geographic book, World Beneath the Sea. He was still writing articles in 1981 but when he stopped smoking the articles stopped coming in. It seems Bill could only write when he smoked.
Besides his 1967 NOGI Award for the Arts, Bill received the Florida Governor's Award for Conservation and Communication in 1976. He lived with his second wife, Ellen, in Kissimmee, FL, until her death in 1997, when he moved to Orlando. He had three children: Barbara Webber (now deceased), Robert Barada and Richard Barada, and was stepfather to Ellen's daughter, Sonja Otto.
After Bill died on October 1, 1998, his ashes were brought to California and scattered off Pt. Fermin. He is once again among the creatures and the sea he loved so well and fought so hard to protect.
:: George Bass, Ph. D. - Science - 1974
Dr. George F. Bass was born in Columbia, South Carolina, on 9 December 1932. He graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 1955 with an M.A. in Near Eastern archaeology, and then attended the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Greece, for two years. During that time he gained excavation experience at Lerna, in Greece, and Gordion, in Turkey. From 1957 to 1959 he served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, and then began doctoral studies in classical archaeology at The University of Pennsylvania. In 1960 he was asked by his professor, Rodney S. Young, if he would learn to dive in order to direct the excavation of a Bronze Age shipwreck of around 1200 B.C. reported by journalist Peter Throckmorton off Cape Gelidonya, Turkey; it was the first ancient shipwreck excavated in its entirety on the seabed.
Bass devoted the rest of the 1960s to the excavation of two Byzantine shipwrecks off Yassiada, Turkey, where he developed new tools and techniques for underwater research: a submersible decompression chamber, a method of mapping under water by stereo-photography, and a two-person submarine, Asherah, the first commercially-built American research submersible, launched in 1964, the year Bass received his doctorate and joined the University of Pennsylvania faculty. In 1967 his team was the first to locate an ancient wreck with sonar. In 1968, however, he returned to land archaeology to spend a summer with Professor Spiridon Marinatos in the initial excavation campaign at a Bronze Age city covered by volcanic ash on the Greek island of Santorini. In 1971 he directed the excavation on land of a preclassical site in southern Italy.
In 1973 Bass left the University of Pennsylvania in order to establish the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA), which in 1976 affiliated with Texas A&M University, where until his retirement in 2000 he was a professor of nautical archaeology. INA conducts research on four continents, and has excavated the oldest known wrecks in the Mediterranean and Caribbean seas, but Bass continued to concentrate on shipwrecks in Turkey, including wrecks of the 14th, 6th, and 5th centuries B.C., and the 5th, 7th, and 11th centuries A.D.
In 1986 Bass received the Archaeological Institute of America's Gold Medal for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement, and a Lowell Thomas Award from the Explorers Club. The next year he received an honorary doctorate from Boghazici University in Istanbul, and in 1998 received a similar degree from the University of Liverpool. The National Geographic Society awarded him its La Gorce Gold Medal in 1979 and, in 1988, one of its 15 Centennial Awards. In 1999 he received the J.C. Harrington Medal from The Society for Historical Archaeology, and in 2002 President George W. Bush presented him with the National Medal of Science. He has written or edited seven books and more than a hundred articles, and has lectured around the world; his projects have been televised internationally. The books include Archaeology Under Water (1966), A History of Seafaring Based on Underwater Archaeology (1973), Archaeology Beneath the Sea (1975), Yassi Ada I: A Seventh-Century Byzantine Shipwreck (1982), Ships and Shipwrecks of the Americas (1988), Serce Limani I: An Eleventh-Century Shipwreck (2004) and Beneath the Seven Seas: Adventures with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (2005). With his wife Ann he divides his time between College Station, Texas, and Bodrum, Turkey, where he was made an honorary citizen of the city. They have two grown sons, Gordon and Alan.
:: Sally E, Bauer M.D. - Sports & Education - 2018
In 2005, Sally and her husband, Joe, founded the Florida Keys History of Diving Museum featuring the world’s largest collection of historic diving artifacts. The 2,500 volume Research Library provides a unique resource for scholars of diving history. The Museum’s artifacts and rare books are from the Bauer’s’ personal collection. They co-authored the Diving Helmet chapter in The Pictorial History of Diving and were founding members of the Historical Diving Societies in the UK and US. Sally has also lectured and published on topics in aquariology and marine biology. Sally began diving in the 1960’s and became certified in Underwater Medicine as an adjunct to her work as an ER physician. The Bauers started the Cleveland (Ohio) Saltwater Aquarium Society, editing its magazine for several years. In the 1970’s, Sally became the first person to raise clownfish and peppermint shrimp in her Ohio home, remote from the ocean. Sally and Joe conducted a 30-year research project on marine angelfish reproduction and social behavior, both on the reefs and in the aquarium. Sally continues to actively preserve and promote the 5,000-year-old story of our quest to explore under the sea. Sally was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2011.
:: Albert Behnke, MD - Science - 1969
Albert Behnke MD, was an American physician, who was principally responsible for developing the U.S. Naval Medical Research Institute. Behnke separated the symptoms of Arterial Gas Embolism (AGE) from those of decompression sickness and suggested the use of oxygen in recompression therapy.
Behnke is also known as the "modern-day father" of human body composition for his work in developing the hydrodensitometrymethod of measuring body density, his standard man and woman models as well as a somatogram based on anthropometricmeasurements.
In 1932 Behnke wrote a letter to the Surgeon General that was published in the Naval Medical Bulletin outlining the possible causes of arterial gas embolisms he was seeing related to submarine escape training. This separated the symptoms of Arterial Gas Embolism (AGE) from those of decompression sickness. This letter caught the attention of the director of the submarine medicine in the Bureau of Medicine, Captain E.W. Brown. Brown sent Behnke to do postgraduate work at the Harvard School of Public Health and research on diving and submarine medicine with fellow student Charles W. Shilling. Dr. Philip Drinker asked Behnke to stay for two additional years and the Navy allowed it.
Lieutenant junior grade Behnke was then sent to Pearl Harbor in 1935 to the Submarine Escape Training Tower. Later that year, Behnke et al. experimented with oxygen for recompression therapy. Evidence of the effectiveness of recompression therapy utilizing oxygen was later shown by Yarbrough and Behnke and has since become the standard of care for treatment of DCS.
Behnke also began to outline his idea for a medical laboratory in 1936. That outline would eventually become the Naval Medical Research Institute (NMRI) now located with theNational Naval Medical Center. In 1937, Behnke introduced the “no-stop” decompression tables.
After being transferred to Washington, D.C. in 1938, Behnke was assigned to medical duty at the Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU).
:: Peter Benchley - Arts - 2005
Peter Benchley is world-renowned as the author of "JAWS," a best selling novel that was made into one of the largest Hollywood blockbuster movies in history. But, several years before he wrote "JAWS." Benchley had already established himself as a talented writer, with freelance articles for National Geographic Magazine. His first piece was about Nantucket Island, and in the ensuing decades he has written more than a dozen stores for the magazine about everything from New Zealand to Great White sharks, from Galapagos Islands to the underwater world of New Guinea. He has also written for National Geographic Traveler and one of his recent stories won the 2003 Lowell Thomas Gold award for adventure - travel writing for the Society of American Travel Writers.
From his novels about the sea had has been called "the preeminent mythologist of our time." He has appeared in, hosted and written and or narrated dozens of television documentaries about the sea, including the April, 2000 two hour National Geographic Explorer special, "Great White, Deep Trouble."
In addition to his best selling novels (such as, "The Deep," "Beast", and "Shark Trouble") and his TV documentaries, Benchley has written or co-written several screenplays and televisions pilots, and has created two television series, "Peter Bentley's Amazon" and (in collaboration) "Dolphin Cover." His many stores and articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines all over the world.
For the past several years Benchley has been a full time marine conservationist, traveling the world and speaking against such odious practices as shark fining and drift net fishing. He is currently an executive producer and host of the World of Water film series that produces, in partnership with the New England Aquarium, short films aimed at entertaining and educating children about the sea. Benchley is a member of the National Board of Environmental Defense.
:: Peter Bennett - Science - 1990
Dr. Bennett has been involved with hyperbaric medical research for over 63 years in 5 countries, published 9 books and over 250 scientific papers. He was elected Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Science in 1994 and the Dr. Honoris Causa (Honorary Degree), University of the Mediterranean, France in 2001.
A UHMS Charter Member in 1967, he was a member of the Executive Committee, 1972 – 1975; President, 1975 – 1976; Editor UHMS Undersea and Biomedical Research Journal, 1976 – 1979; Editorial Board, 1979 – 1982 and 1987 – 1991; Nominations Committee 1989 and Executive Director, UHMS from 2007 – 2014. In 2014 he was elected Fellow of UHMS.
From 1953 to 1972 he served the UK Royal Naval Scientific Service at the RN Physiological Laboratory (RNPL) in Alverstoke near Portsmouth. His research covered underwater blast, drowning, inert gas narcosis, oxygen toxicity, decompression sickness and first discovered the High Pressure Nervous Syndrome (HPNS). From 1966 – 1968 he was on loan to DCIEM in Toronto, Canada for 2 years to initiate a new diving medicine department with a new 300 ft chamber and staff.
On return to RNPL in 1970, he directed a world record oxygen-helium dive to 1,500 ft. In 1972 he left RNPL as Deputy Director and Principal Scientific Officer with a staff of 60 for the United states. He was invited to Duke University Medical Center for a tenured position as Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Co-Director of the F. G. Hall Environmental Laboratory (now Hyperbaric Center). He became Director, 1977 – 1988 and Senior Director 1988 – 2007.
His research work continued on very deep diving and culminated in the development of TRIMIX (He/N 2 /O 2 ) to prevent HPNS. He directed a number of world record deep TRIMIX dives eventually reaching 2,250 ft in 1981. A large number of further deep working TRIMIX dives with welding and other research to depths of 600 m (2,132 ft) were carried out in Germany at the new GUSI (German Underwater Simulator) using TRIMIX. Other research at Duke involved anesthesia mechanisms, decompression theory and the “deep stop,” nitrogen narcosis and oxygen toxicity mechanisms, HBO 2 therapy including directing a research study on multiple sclerosis and initiated clinical HBO 2 therapy at Duke with Dr. Enrico Camporesi and later Dr. Richard Moon as Directors.
In 1980, he founded the Divers Alert Network (DAN). As president and CEO of this non-profit, he grew DAN at 20% per year to a $16 Million organization with over 200,000 members, a staff of 80 and its own office building. He retired from DAN in 2003. By then the DAN emergency hotline had helped more than 33,000 recreational divers with acute diving injuries; more than 180,000 advisory assistance and information calls; over 100,000 certifications as DAN O 2 instructors and 150,000 certified as Oxygen Providers.
He has received over 18 international and American awards, including the UHMS 1st Oceaneering Award in 1975, 1980 NOGI Science Award, the UHMS Behnke Award in 1983, First Prince Tomohito of Mikasa Prize (Japan) in 1990, the UHMS Craig Hoffman Award in 1992, the Joseph Priestly Lecture, Penn State College of Medicine in 1999, the Pavlov Medal Russian Academy of Sciences in 2001, Diving Equipment Manufacturers Association “Reaching Out Award” in 2002, Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year North and South Carolina in 2002, British Historical Society Reg Vallentine Award in 2003, British SubAqua Jubilee Trust Colin McLeod Award in 2011. He is Listed in Marquis Who is Who in the USA and Marquis Who is Who in the World.
:: Dewey Bergman - Sports / Education - 1977
For many years, Dewey Bergman owned a travel agency in Berkeley, California which catered to wealthy families who wanted their college-age children to spend time traveling in Europe to enrich their cultural development. Serving those clients, Bergman evolved a sophisticated all-inclusive service at a level required to satisfy such a discriminating clientele.
After he sold that agency, Dewey lived in French Polynesia for several years, where, among other adventures, he was a technical advisor to the producers of the Marlon Brando version of Hollywood’s Mutiny on the Bounty.
Bergman was an early YMCA and NAUI (#202) Diving Instructor. As an underwater photographer, he participated in diving and scientific expeditions to the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Galapagos, Caribbean and several South Pacific destinations, including Tahiti, Micronesia, Australia’s Coral Sea, Hawaii and Fiji.
Bergman was an accomplished underwater photographer. He documented all of the beautiful dive destinations he visited. In addition, Bergman did underwater photography on some serious marine science and ocean technology studies. In 1964, Bergman was the underwater photographer during Dr. Perry Gilbert’s Tikehau Shark Expedition sponsored, in part, by the Office of Naval Research.
Bergman was active in many areas of diving, including years as travel editor of Skin Diver Magazine. He was co-producer of Man Sea/San Francisco with Al Giddings. He was a long-time member of the Explorers Club and a Director of CEDAM. His films, done independently and in cooperation with Bob Hollis and Al Giddings, have been shown on national TV and in underwater film festivals.
Returning to California and his love of travel, Dewey applied his knowledge and experience to researching, planning, organizing and operating top quality diving tours.
Combining his diving background with over 25 years of experience as owner of successful travel agencies, Bergman created See & Sea, Inc. in San Francisco in 1965. Echoing his past service to executive-level clientele, he rapidly built a reputation for high-quality, all-inclusive diving tours. See & Sea was the first and most successful travel service in the world catering exclusively to diving travelers. Every new location selected as a possible dive destination by See & Sea was thoroughly investigated and researched prior to adding it to the list of dive tours. The high standards of See & Sea set the standards for all of the dive travel operators to follow.
In 1972, See & Sea had grown to such an extent that Bergman sought a younger partner to become his eventual successor. Carl Roessler had been introduced to Dewey Bergman by Paul Tzimoulis of Skin Diver Magazine (who had been Roessler’s scuba diving instructor in Connecticut in 1957). Roessler went on one of Bergman’s diving tours to Cozumel in 1967. Bob Hollis was the Assistant Tour Leader on the trip. A few months later, Roessler met and dove with Bob Croft, the gifted Navy breath-holding diver.
In 1968, Roessler arranged for Bob Croft to ask Dewey Bergman, Bob Hollis and Al Giddings to film Croft’s world record breath-hold depth record down to 240 feet in the Gulf Stream off Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The resulting movie, The Deep Challenge, launched Giddings’ very productive film making career. Roessler joined Bergman’s See & Sea Travel in 1972. Dewey retired in 1977, and Roessler carried on Bergman’s tradition of superior service for the next twenty years.
Dewey Bergman received many honors for his distinguished career in diving: the NOGI Award Sports & Education from the Underwater Society of America (now presented by The Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences) (1977); and many other awards.
Dewey Bergman passed away in 1993.
:: Dr. Charles Birkeland, Ph.D. - Science - 2007
The science career of Charles Birkeland has always been underwater where he combined his ecological field experiments with natural history observations. His PhD thesis, begun in 1965, determined how sea pen populations were able to persist despite the intense combined predation pressure of seven species of predators. Also in the 1960s he discovered the life history dynamics of the invertebrates on Cobb Seamount, 400 miles off the coast of Washington state. The most abundant gastropod and starfish populations at a depth of 110 ft, the top of the seamount, were brooding species (so how could they get to the seamount so far from the coast?), and the gastropod was only found otherwise in the intertidal.
Also in the 1960s, he spent a continuous three weeks underwater on Tektite II, determining the predatory behavior of molluscs on sea fans. Birkeland has been doing research on coral reef ecology and management since 1970 when he was a post-doc at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. He was a professor at the University of Guam Marine Laboratory from 1975 to 2000 and has been at the University of Hawaii since 2000. He has done much of his field work in American Samoa since 1979. The main focus of his research has been the factors that determine reef resilience or capacity for reef systems to recover. He has also been especially involved in determining how life history characteristics of species affect their role in the system, e.g., why the crown-of-thorns starfish has such an impact, and how the older individuals in populations of fishes can have disproportionate effects on the ecosystem and on the resilience of their own populations.
While in Panama he did the first experimental underwater field studies of coral recruitment and demonstrated the importance of nutrient input to the survival of coral recruits. These studies on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Panama led to an understanding of how nutrient input affected ecological processes on coral reefs on a large scale in different geographic regions of the world.
Birkeland also determined that nutrient input into the coral-reef ecosystem leads to crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks through fertilization of phytoplankton blooms that feed the starfish larvae. He coauthored a book on "Acanthaster planci: major management problem of coral reefs" and edited a textbook on "Life and death of coral reefs". He was the third president of the International Society for Reef Studies, organized the seventh International Coral Reef Symposium, and was recently presented an award for "Outstanding Scientific Advancement of Knowledge" by the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force and was elected Honorary Fellow of the Pacific Science Association.
Birkeland's present work involves the energy drain of chronic predation pressures on Hawaiian corals, the influence of past history on the effectiveness of MPAs, the influence of an introduced grouper on the fish communities of Hawaii, and how the corals in a lagoon with extreme temperature fluctuations have acclimatized or possibly adapted to the stressful conditions of global climate change.
:: Dick Bonin - Distinguished Service - 1982
Dick Bonin, the co-founder of Scubapro, was responsible for some of the most technically advanced equipment lines the recreational diving industry. But he also built careers. And more importantly, he built character, ethics, and integrity into so many of diving’s businessmen that
came to age under his leadership. It’s difficult to express the profound influence that Dick had on the industry… and on his dealers who embraced the Scubapro philosophy to completely redefine a new level of professionalism in a sport that was just beginning to establish itself.
Bonin got his start as a Navy ofﬁcer assigned to some of the earliest dive teams. He tested gearand blew up beach approaches in some of the most distant locations in the world. When his Naval service ended, he began selling dive gear for some early manufacturers. He soon realized that the only way he was going to get the kind of quality equipment and company policies he believed in was to do it himself.
He formed a partnership with another diving pioneer, Gustav Dalla Valle. This led to the start of their own company in 1963. Both men were working for the soon-to- be-bankrupt Healthways company. Dick had been brought in to manage a new division for diving equipment that would be sold only through professional dive stores under the name Scubapro. When Healthways declared bankruprtcy, Gustav bought the
rights to the name and Dick Bonin stayed on. Gustav Dalla Valle paid the sum of one dollar! Dick stated, “Gustav bought Scubapro for a dollar and got me with it. He always said he overpaid.”
The two men quickly turned Scubapro into one of the largest success stories in diving history. Bonin took the unprecedented step of offering a lifetime guarantee on his equipment, including parts. Some of the other inovations that Bonin’s Scubapro company brought to the diving
industry: the enduring ﬂow-through piston design of his regulators beginning with the immortal Mark V introduced in 1970, the ﬁrst low-pressure BC inﬂator, the ﬁrst back-mounted BC for widespread distribution, the ﬁrst silicone mask, the ﬁrst jacket style BC (the famous Stabilizing Jacket), the shotgun snorkel incorporating an exhaust valve that made clearing effortless, the ﬁrst integrated inﬂator/second stage regulator called the AIR II, the ﬁrst analog decompression meter,
the ﬁrst pilot valve assisted second stage called the AIR I, and last but not least, the celebrated Jet Fin that forever changed the design of what used to be called “ﬂippers.”
Above all, Dick was, ﬁrst and foremost, a real diver who personally evaluated, tested and approved every item his company brought to market. He surrounded himself with the brightest minds in the industry and pushed his research and development engineers to produce the next great piece of diving gear. His leadership and innovative drive inﬂuenced the entire diving industry for generations.
Dick’s career contributions were recognized with the Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences 1982 NOGI Award for Distinguished Service, the 1992 DEMA Reaching Out Award, and the 2009 Historical Diving Society Diving Pioneer Award.
:: Alfred Bove, M.D., Ph.D. - Science - 1994
Dr. Bove has been diving since 1960 and continues as an active sport diver. He was certified as a YMCA diving instructor in 1964, and as a NAUI instructor in 1973. He is a lifetime NAUI instructor. He was a diving medical officer in the U.S. Navy assigned to the Naval Medical Research Institute from July 1971 to June 1973. During this time he published, with two co-investigators, numerous articles on decompression sickness, discovered a mechanism for spinal cord decompression sickness, and developed adjunctive therapy for decompression sickness which is standard therapy today. With his co-investigators (J.M. Hallenbeck, D.H. Elliott), Dr. Bove received the Stover-Link award of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical society for contributions to diving research in 1975. Dr. Bove maintained his Naval career as a diving medical officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve, where he worked with Naval Reserve diving units, and acts as a lecturer for the U.S. Naval Diving and Salvage Training Institute undersea medical officer program. He retired from Naval duty in 1998. Dr. Bove is a guest lecturer for the undersea medical officer program of the Canadian Navy.
In 1984, he was elected president of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), and from 1980 to 1983 was the chairman of the education committee of the UHMS. Dr. Bove was the chairman of the 9th symposium on Undersea Physiology held in Kobe, Japan in 1986, and was co-author of the proceedings of this meeting. As chairman of the UHMS diving committee (1990-1992), Dr. Bove instituted a seminar for divers at the annual meetings of the UHMS. He is the Course director of Temple University Underwater Medicine, a diving medicine post-graduate program which has trained over 400 physicians in diving medicine over 33 years. He is a member of Undersea and Hyperbaric examination committee of the American Board of Preventive Medicine. Dr. Bove has made significant contributions to the health and safety of sport divers as medical editor of Skin Diver magazine where he wrote a monthly diving medicine column from 1981 to 1999 when the magazine closed. He was awarded the Craig Hoffman award of the UHMS in 1988 for his contributions to the health and safety of divers, and the NOGI award for science in 1995. He received the Paul Dudley White award of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States in 1998 for cardiovascular work related to diving. He has been the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the UHMS (1992), the European Undersea Biomedical Society (1981), and The South Pacific Undersea Medical Society (1982, 1995). He is the author of over 250 scientific articles including 30 on diving medicine and physiology, 8 book chapters on diving medicine and physiology. He is the Editor of the textbook Diving Medicine, with its 4th edition published in 2004, and maintains the diving medicine website www.scubamed.com where he provides medical information and advice for sport divers and others interested in diving medicine.
Dr. Bove is a practicing cardiologist, and the Chief of Cardiology at Temple University Medical School. He has made numerous contributions to the literature in cardiovascular medicine and physiology, has authored a textbook on coronary disease, and a text on exercise physiology and medicine. He was president of the Pennsylvania chapter of the American College of Cardiology (1990-1991), and co-chair of the 1987 Annual Scientific Sessions of the American College of Cardiology. He has served on numerous committees of the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. He is the editor in chief of the education website of the American College of Cardiology www.cardiosource.com, and a member of the board of trustees of the American College of Cardiology where he serves as Vice President of the organization. Dr. Bove is a member of the National Basketball Association Physicians Society, and serves as the cardiologist for the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team. Dr. Bove is considered a national expert on cardiovascular disorders and diving, and consults for the US Navy, the National Academy of Science, NOAA, and the Divers Alert Network (DAN).
Dr. Bove is board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases by the American Board of Internal Medicine, and in Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine.
:: Lloyd Bridges - Sports / Education - 1982
Lloyd Vernet Bridges was born in San Leandro, CA, on January 15, 1913 and died March 10, 1998, in Malibu. His first acting job was in a Broadway play in 1939. Over the course of 45 years, he appeared in more than 150 movies and numerous TV shows and was twice nominated for an Emmy Award. However, it was his role as Mike Nelson in Ivan Tors’ Sea Hunt that made him a hero and a legend to scuba divers. In fact, he and Jacques-Yves Cousteau inspired generations to take up diving.
Sea Hunt was the first series to take place underwater. It ran for four years (1957 to 1961) and was the top American TV series in 1958. Thirty-nine episodes were shot each season. Reruns appeared on TV for 20 years and DVDs featuring all of the episodes are available today.
Bridges wasn't a diver when Sea Hunt began. The day before shooting began, he had his first scuba lesson in Courtney Brown's swimming pool. The next morning he was in Silver Springs, FL, playing Mike Nelson.
In the beginning, Courtney did all of Mike Nelson's underwater stunts but Bridges eventually learned to do a lot of them himself.
Bridge’s sons, well known actors Jeff and Beau, began their careers on the show, although they weren’t certified either.
It wasn’t until after the show ended that the Bridges family finally had time to take a course at Dive 'n Surf in Redondo Beach and get certified by one of its owners, Bob Meistrell.
Bridges studied political science at UCLA, where he met Dorothy Simpson. They were married in 1938. Besides Jeff and Beau, they had a daughter, Lucinda Louise, and a son who died in infancy. The Bridges’ marriage was considered one of Hollywood’s most successful and endured until his death.
Little known facts about Bridges include that he served in the Coast Guard during WWII and co-authored a book, Mask and Flippers, The Story of Skin Diving, with Bill Barada (1967 NOGI winner for the Arts and author of many Sea Hunt episodes) in 1960. There were at least six editions in both hard cover and paperback.
Lloyd Bridges was awarded his NOGI for Sports & Education in 1982.
:: Earnest Brooks II - Arts - 1975
Since the 1960s, Ernie Brooks has been one of the diving world's leading underwater photographers, educators and ambassadors. He established the Brooks Institute, where he helped pioneer new concepts in photographic education and introduced far ranging workshops for professional and amateur photographers. The list of famous photographers who graduated from the Brook Institute is legion.
As project leader or principal member, Brooks has participated in projects of international recognition including the photographic investigation into the Shroud of Turin (1978, Shroud of Turin Research Project) and photo-documentation of Arctic research station activities, 1977, sponsored by the McGinnis Foundation of Toronto, Canada. He served as a keynote speaker and consultant to the Dillingham Corporation; Hasselblad Incorporated; Department of Fish and Game, National Parks Service; Texaco Corporation, Nikon Inc., and was an advisor on the International Panel to the New Zealand Centre for Photography.
Brooks was a project leader and member of the international panel in the "Focus on New Zealand" event, 1985, and led a photographic research and travel expedition to the Sea of Cortez aboard the Institute's vessel "Just Love" in 1986.
Brook's photographic work has been widely exhibited, including at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photography Hall of Fame. He participated in numerous photographic research projects and equipment evaluations and testing.
Brooks's many awards include:
1973:"Triton" Award - Inner Space Pacifica, Hawaii
1975:"Nogi" - The Underwater Society of America
1977: National Award, Professional Photographers of America
1971 through 1980: Hall of Fame elector. Photographic Art and Science Foundation
1978: Camera Craftsmen of America, on the National Advisory Council of The National Society of Arts and Letters.
Brooks's coffee table book, Silver Seas, has become a staple for photographers and collectors of fine art.
:: Ricou Browning - Arts - 1996
Ricou Browning, better known as "The Creature from the Black Lagoon," began his underwater odyssey at an early age. Born in Jensen Beach, Florida, on the Atlantic, he appeared in Grantland Rice underwater films as a pre-teen. As a teenager at Wakulla Springs, Ricou was a lifeguard and put on underwater shows for the glass bottom boat tours at which time he helped develop hose breathing, prior to the invention of scuba gear. While still in high school, Ricou helped clear and develop Weeki-Wachee Springs, later becoming underwater show producer and performer; again utilizing his hose breathing techniques. Following his performances in three "Creature" films, Ricou joined Ivan Tors Films as Second Unit Director and President of the Underwater Studios in Nassau, Bahamas, for such projects as "Aquanauts" and "Sea Hunt."Later became President of Ivan Tors Studios in North Miami.
:: Frank K. Butler, Jr., M.D. - Distinguished Service - 2010
CAPT Medical Corps USN (RET) - Chairman Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care - Defense Health Board
Dr. Frank Butler completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in 1972 and spent 3 years as a platoon officer in the Navy SEALs. After medical school, Dr. Butler spent 5 years as a Diving Medical Research officer at the Navy Experimental Diving Unit in Panama City, where he helped to develop many of the diving techniques and procedures used by Navy SEALs today.
While at NEDU, Dr. Butler supervised the largest experimental oxygen dive series in U.S. history. This series of almost 900 dives allowed the Navy’s oxygen exposure limits to be completely redefined. Closed-circuit oxygen rebreather operating times at some depths were increased by over 200% and the ability to make a brief excursion to depths as deep as 50 feet was added to the Navy Diving Manual. Both of these advances have been invaluable to SEAL diving operations. Dr. Butler’s tables have been proven remarkably safe and are still in use 25 years later. Their excellent safety record is due in large part to the improved purging procedures for oxygen rebreathers devised by Dr. Butler.
Dr. Butler also developed the decompression procedures and medical emergency procedures for SEAL Dry Deck Shelter (DDS) and SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) operations, thereby providing mission-critical support to the SEALs’ most important underwater mobility asset.
He treated hundreds of episodes of decompression sickness and oxygen toxicity while at NEDU. He also participated as a diver-subject in many of the experimental dive series there, suffering both decompression sickness and 3 episodes of central nervous system oxygen toxicity (including two convulsions).
After completing his ophthalmology residency, Dr. Butler served as the Chief of Ophthalmology at Naval Hospital Pensacola from 1990 to 1994. He was also the Director of Biomedical Research for the Naval Special Warfare Command from 1990 to 2004, where he continued to be involved in diving medical research. He spearheaded the successful development of the SEAL decompression computer, the Cochran Navy, personally selecting the VVAL-18 decompression algorithm that was used in the Cochran Navy. This computer has now been used by SEALs for over a decade and has become an essential part of SDV/DDS diving operations. The VVAL-18 decompression algorithm is now the basis for the revised Navy air decompression tables and has provided enhanced diving safety for all Navy divers.
Dr. Butler is a pioneer in the field of ophthalmology and diving. His landmark paper “Diving and Hyperbaric Ophthalmology” was the first comprehensive review of ocular disorders in diving and is now the standard on this topic. Dr. Butler has volunteered his time as an ophthalmology consultant to the Divers' Alert Network since 1995, providing expert advice to divers around the world about their diving-related eye problems.
Dr. Butler served for 3 years as a member of the Board of Directors for the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. He is the Co-Chair of the UHMS Decompression Sickness and Arterial Gas Embolism Committee and is currently spearheading the Society’s effort to develop evidence-based Best Practice Guidelines to improve the treatment of these disorders.
Dr. Butler has authored over 30 articles, reports, and book chapters on diving and diving medicine. His contributions have greatly advanced the diving capabilities of Navy SEALs and made diving safer for everyone.
In 2003, Dr. Butler served as the Task Force Surgeon for a Joint Special Operations Counterterrorist Task Force in Afghanistan. He was later the first Navy medical officer selected to be the Command Surgeon at the United States Special Operations Command. Dr. Butler now serves as the Chairman of the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (CoTCCC), which is a component of the Defense Health Board, the senior external advisory group on medical issues to the Secretary of Defense. The CoTCCC is responsible for the U.S. military’s very successful casualty care guidelines that have been customized for use for in the prehospital tactical environment.
In 2006, Dr. Butler was the first recipient of an award for outstanding contributions to TCCC. This award is now presented annually by the CoTCCC and has been named for Dr. Butler. He was also the recipient of the 2010 Auerbach Award for exceptional contributions to Wilderness Medicine and the 2009 Norman McSwain Award for outstanding leadership in prehospital trauma care. Dr. Butler's military awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the Navy Meritorious Service Medal.
:: Jim Cahill - Science - 2003
:: Nick Caloyianis - Director/Producer, Photographer & Naturalist - Arts - 2011
After graduating with a degree in Zoology from the University of Maryland in 1973, Nick began his Post-graduate work with Eugenie Clark, Ph.D.. In 1974 he was awarded his first grant to study and film “sleeping” shark behavior with Eugenie off Isla Mujeres, Mexico. There, he worked with, and was mentored by Ramon Bravo, who taught Nick the fundamentals of life underwater. It was here he learned how to film wild pelagic sharks for Hollywood without injury to humans or sharks. These experiences would later inspire Nick in his career as an extraordinary underwater filmmaker.
Over a span of 30 years, Nick's artistry has been honored with numerous awards, including an Oscar and Primetime Emmys. He has directed and produced films for National Geographic and Discovery Channels, has filmed for IMAX and Hollywood screens and still continues to collaborate with marine scientists not only to record their work, but to help them make their groundbreaking discoveries. Also an accomplished underwater photographer, Nick’s still pictures have appeared in over 100 national and international publications. Against many odds, Nick was the first ever to encounter, film and photograph Greenland sharks under Arctic waters, in 1995. Before then, no one had ever thought of documenting these little-known creatures in their Arctic environment; there were only three obscure mentions of greenland sharks found on the web and these referred to dead specimens. His underwater visuals sparked much research in these bizarre creatures.
An avid conservationist, Nick has used his visuals to help in lobbying for protection of sharks, the creation of undersea parks, sanctuaries, and for protective laws (e.g. Ras Mohammed Park in the Red Sea and a seasonal sanctuary for mating nurse sharks in the Dry Tortugas, Florida Keys).
More recently, Nick’s company has been instrumental in raising several million dollars to help (the highly successful Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative) increase marine habitat areas by placement of artificial reefs in waters of Maryland's Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean.
:: Bernie Campoli - Arts - 2010
Mr. Bernie Campoli has been photographing the Recreational, Commercial and Military diving world over the past six decades. Skin diving since 1953, Bernie first used the "Aqua-Lung" in 1956 while a junior in High School. Soon he was working at the local northern New Jersey distributor for "Aqua-Lung” equipment, where he sold, repaired dive gear, filled tanks and, in his own words, was his own best customer. Bernie’s first published photo appeared in a 1955 issue of Skin Diver, well over a half-century ago. As an early New Jersey Wreck Diver himself, he keeps in touch with many of the Northeast’s pioneers and legends in this sport.
Portending events to come, in July 1958 Bernie set a new world's record for submerged endurance after spending 30 hours and 6 minutes underwater in a Hamburg, New Jersey quarry. During 1959-1960 Bernie, diving for Lamont Geological Observatory, traveled to Iceland, Azores, Bermuda and Barbados installing wave recorders, and completed assignments from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
In 1961 Bernie enlisted in the U.S. Navy, was assigned to the newly formed Atlantic Fleet Mobile Photographic Group, and became a member of the commands "First Still Photo Team". After attending Navy Underwater Swim School he was awarded the unique designation of Navy Photographer / Diver (nec 8136). Early Navy underwater assignments included documenting UDT and SEAL Training in Little Creek, Virginia and St Thomas Virgin Islands. In his brief 4 1/2 year active duty Navy career, Bernie traveled the world documenting with Motion Picture and Still Photography the U.S. Navy story. He was there, documenting in film President John F. Kennedy's visits to the Fleet in 1962-63, the tests on the new MK VI semi-closed re-breather, the commissioning and first sea trials of the "Alvin", the voyages of the French Navy's "Archimedes", and NASA's Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions. In 1963 alone Bernie traveled to 14 countries in Africa and the Mediterranean on photo assignment.
In 1964 Bernie became a "Plank Owner" of Project SEALAB, filming the U.S. Navy's pioneering Man-in-the-Sea saturation diving mission. His photography of men living and working underwater won several awards. Importantly, Bernie’s images proved instrumental in exciting the public imagination of living in the sea, and recognized the contributions of Captain George F. Bond, now known as the father of saturation diving. After completing his Navy tour, Bernie joined Ocean Systems Inc’s Submersible Department as a crew member in 1966, performing at sea surveys and underwater searches for the U.S. Navy, AT&T and other Government agencies. This work provided opportunities to craft still photos and motion pictures which led to his underwater footage included in two Emmy award-winning "21th Century Programs" with Walter Cronkite.
This film work resulted in Bernie’s transfer to Union Carbide in New York City as a corporate photographer, and further assignments to Oceans Systems for search and savage projects for the U.S. Navy. In the spring of 1969 he traveled to California to provide still and motion picture support of the Navy's Mark 1 Deep Dive saturation system, and Ocean SystemsJapan Diver Training. In 1970 Bernie was awarded two Communications Arts Awards for still photography.
The period 1971-1974 in California saw Bernie in Santa Barbara,California attending college, and…..simultaneously working on episodes of the TV show “Cannon” with Bill Conrad, teaching SCUBA diving, and photographic assignments with Jack McKenny for Skin Diver Magazine. Including returning to the east coast to dive the Andrea Doria in 1963 with Saturation Systems Inc, which placed a habitat on the ship’s hull. The story was told in the December 1963/January 1974 Skin Diver Magazine and in Jack McKenny's book "Diving to Adventure."
In 1974 he became a "Scientific and Technical Photographer" at the Naval Coast Systems Laboratory(nos Naval Support Activity) a job requiring diving and flying in Navy aircraft . This led to unique opportunities over the next two decades, as Bernie photo-documented testing of military mine counter-measure systems in- air and underwater, and the development of the Navy’s hovercrafts. In Hawaii and California, Bernie filmed the technical and operational evaluations of the Mark 12 dive system to 300 fsw replacing the vintage Mark V hard hat gear. On the naval station, Bernie built a full service in-house photo and video capability to support Navy research.
In the early 1980s Bernie conducted extensive underwater photography for the State of Florida on a special manatee program. He also worked for the Smithsonian Institution on a special coral reef film “The Sea – A Quest for the Future” which won two awards in 1985: The Golden Eagle Award and the Cindy, a cinematography industry award to filmmakers.
From 1982 to 2000 Bernie provided major photographic support to Naval Special Warfare programs involving the Seal Delivery Vehicle (SDV) and Dry Deck Shelter. Working at sea with East and West Coast SDV teams, Bernie deployed several times each year. As the only Navy Civilian Diver/photographer routinely locking out of Navy nuclear submarines , not many can say they were underway on 10 different subs, nor locked out more than 70 times. Bernie accumulated a lot of underwater time. And was awarded The Meritorious Civilian Service Award for his work for Naval Special Warfare from 1987 to 1993.
In 1990 Bernie was awarded “Honorary Chief Photographers Mate Chief Petty Officer by the National Association of Naval Photography for his contributions to Naval Photography.
In 1993 Bernie received Emmy photo credits for Discovery Channel’s "Silent Option" and “In Harm’s Way" which included his underwater scenes of working on submarine decks and surfacing submarines. This footage continues to be used on Discovery, NGS, ABC, Learning Channel, History and Military Channels, and feature motion pictures. Bernie's images of military diving have appeared in theU.S. Navy Dive Manual, All Hands Magazine, Naval Institute Proceedings, and the 2008 historical compendium Naval Forces Under the Sea, Volumes 1 and 2. Bernie retired from the Federal Government in March 2000.
Bernie is a Life Time Member of the National UDT-SEAL Museum and the UDT-SEAL Association, an associate member of the Boston Sea Rovers and maintains NAUI instructor number 1900.
:: Bonnie Cardone- Arts - 2008
Bonnie J. Cardone was born in Chicago and raised in Illinois, Michigan and Arizona. She graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in advertising, which included a class in photojournalism. Those ten weeks would have a major impact on her life.
In 1967 Bonnie and her family moved to Los Angeles. A stay at home mom for the next nine years, she began taking UCLA Extension classes and doing a little writing, hoping to make it a full time career when her two children were older. Also, in 1973 she fulfilled a lifelong dream by learning to dive.
Bonnie began diving California’s Channel Islands with the Santa Monica Blue Fins and soon fell in love with them. In 1981, she also began going on trips with the California Wreck Divers.
As a novice diver, Bonnie was an avid shell collector and hunter of lobster, abalone and scallops. Then, in 1975, she bought a used Nikonos. It proved less than waterproof, stretching Bonnie’s budget as a divorced single mom and impeding her progress as an underwater photographer for several years. About 1978 she finally acquired a Calypso (forerunner of the Nikonos), which didn’t leak. Using extension tubes/framers and a tiny Oceanic strobe, she began capturing close-up images. A 15mm lens soon followed and Bonnie could, at long last, call herself an underwater photographer.
Bonnie’s first tropical dive was in 1974 off Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. A trip to Hawaii’s Lanai Island followed in 1975. In 1976, she joined the staff of Skin Diver Magazine, the world’s oldest and largest dive magazine. During most of her 22 years there, she traveled on her vacations. She has been around the world underwater, diving the Sea of Cortez, the Galapagos, Philippines, Socorros, Caymans, Bonaire, Belize, Roatan, the Virgin Islands, Fiji, Palau, Yap and Indonesia. She has also dived North Carolina shipwrecks and Florida rivers and springs. She has been shipwrecked twice, once in the Philippines (where she and her fellow travelers were rescued by the U.S. Navy) and once in Fiji.
Her LA County instructor, Ralph Singer, did not think Bonnie had any potential as a diver, considering her a “bored Pacific Palisades housewife.” Luckily, he didn’t tell Bonnie that until several years after she began working at Skin Diver. She started out as an editorial assistant and worked her way up to editor.
In addition to taking underwater photos, Bonnie became a studio photographer in 1990, shooting dive gear for SDM articles (and a cover) in the studio she set up in her garage on the weekends. More than 900 of her articles and thousands of her photographs were published in the magazine while she worked there.
Over the years Bonnie has served on the Board of Directors for the Historical Diving Society USA and the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium Chocolate Lobster Dive. She also wrote a series of articles on women diving pioneers for the HDS journal. In the 1980s, Bonnie began giving slide presentations at such venues as Our World-Underwater, Lima, Ohio, the Scuba Show in Long Beach and dive shows in Monterey and Oakland. She also gave presentations to dive clubs all over Southern California.
Bonnie is the author of two nonfiction books, Shipwrecks of Southern California (1989) and Fireside Diver (1992). In 2001, she was the principal photographer for Lonely Planet’s Diving & Snorkeling Southern California & the Channel Islands. Since 2012 she has written a monthly marine life article for California Diving News.
Bonnie was Sisters in Crime’s national newsletter editor for nine years and has authored three mystery novels featuring Cinnamon Greene, a scuba diving female photographer. The Bride Wore Black (2013), Murder Dives the Bahamas (2013) and Murder Dives the Caribbean (2014) are available as Kindle ebooks and paperbacks. Bonnie also has short stories in two mystery anthologies and in an online magazine, King’s River Life.
In 1999, Bonnie was named Woman Diver of the Year and also received the California Scuba Service Award from Saint Brendan Corp. She was among the initial inductees to the Women Divers Hall of Fame that same year. Bonnie was awarded a NOGI for the Arts in 2009. Bonnie has been a freelance photo/journalist since 1999. Her work has appeared in California Diving News, Canada’s Diver Magazine, Sport Diver, DAN’s Alert Diver and several e-zines, including Underwater Journal.
:: Edward C. Cargile - Sports / Education - 2002
:: Scott Carpenter - Distinguished Service - 1995
Scott Carpenter loved the quest. His curiosity was a guiding force in his life, second only to overcoming fear. In 1962 he was the second man to orbit the earth, and one of the few to follow up by diving to the depths of the ocean. He “wanted to get rid of what was an unreasoned fear of the
deep water,” (he told a NASA historian), but down he went. In 1965, he spent 30 days under the ocean off the coast of California as part of the Navy’s SeaLab II program.
Carpenter worked with the Navy to bring some of NASA’s training and technology to the sea floor. The 57-by- 12-foot habitat was lowered to a depth of 205 feet off San Diego. A bottlenose dolphin named Tuffy ferried supplies from the surface to the aquanauts below.
After the SeaLab II experiment, Carpenter returned to the space program and was responsible for liaison with the Navy for underwater zero-gravity (neutral buoyancy) training. But in 1967, he returned to the Navy’s Deep Submergence Systems Project and was appointed Director of Aquanaut
Operations during the short-lived SeaLab III experiment.
In 1969, Carpenter founded Sea Sciences, Inc., to develop programs aimed at enhanced utilization of ocean resources and improved health of the planet, working closely with Jacques Yves Cousteau. He has dived in most of the world’s oceans, including the Arctic under ice.
Years later he said he actually preferred his experience on the ocean floor to his time in space. He was sorry that the funding for ocean exploration was so small compared to the space program because both were so important.
:: Cathy Church - Arts - 1985
Cathy Church has been photographing the beautiful underwater world since 1967. She earned her BS from the University of Michigan and her Masters degree in Marine Biology from the University of Hawaii. Sheis recognized as one of the world's foremost teachers and authors on underwater photography. She received the NOGI award for the arts in 1985, the DEMA "Reaching Out Award" in 2000. She is on the founding Board of Governors of the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame established in the Cayman Islands1999. She was inducted in 2008. She is in the inaugural 2000 class of the Woman Divers Hall of Fame and was also voted a Fellow of the Explorers' Club in 2000. Her first photography prize was for a photo taken in Hawaii in 1971. In 2009 she was chosen to be a Jurer, presenter and exhibitor at the Festival Mondial di L'Image Sous Marine in France, and in 2011 was selected as a Juror for the SMAS World Underwater Photography Championship in Bodrum, Turkey. In 2012 she was honored as ADiver of the Year Arts by Beneath the Sea.
Cathy was a photo editor for Skin Diver magazine for 15 years, coauthored hundreds of magazine articles and four books on underwater photo techniques, and offered seminars throughout the USA. Her first week-long photo courses started in Grand Cayman in 1972. She developed the first franchised photo courses for dive shops through NASDS. Due to NASDS copyright infringements, she discontinued the relationship.
A versatile photographer, Cathy is well known for many styles of photography from documentary and editorial to gallery art. She shot the award winning Cayman Islands underwater poster "Wonderland," and has done extensive work for such clients as Kodak, Nikon and more.Her work has appeared in dozens of books and magazines, including five of her own popular books (co-authored with the late Jim Church) on photo technique and an instructional video. She worked for fifteen years with black and white photography, spending long days in the darkroom to make her limited edition fine art black and white prints until digital became a more appropriate way to produce prints. In 2004, Cathy published a coffee table book of her images: "My Underwater Photo Journey" which includes an on-line set of lessons on how each image was taken.
Her latest photo style has grown over the past several years from her imagination collection to a varied fantasy collection. See her work at www.cathychurch.com.
More than anything, Cathy loves to teach. She has taught thousands of divers how to enjoy and improve their underwater photography. She still offers seminars throughout the USA and teaches regularly at her underwater photo centre in Grand Cayman.
:: Jim Church - Arts - 1985
Jim Church took up underwater photography in 1964 with a Calypso camera and a string of flashbulbs off the coast of California. There was not a lot of how-to information on underwater photography at that time so Jim decided to create his own.
His first article – A Beginner’s Guide to Underwater Photography – was published in the May, 1966 issue of Skin Diver magazine. After that first article, Jim became a regular photo writer and eventually Photo Editor for Skin Diver, with articles appearing in almost every issue from May 1966 to January 1999. Jim's underwater photographs have been used in advertisements for companies such as Nikon and Kodak, as well as photo illustrations for many magazines and books such as The Ocean World of Jacques Cousteau.
Jim is primarily known for the pioneering instructional material he developed and wrote on underwater photography. It is often said that many of today's professional underwater photographers started with a camera in one hand and Jim's articles and books in the other. His first book, Beginning Underwater Photography, (1972) ran for five editions. His two books on strobe photography contained a wealth of information and techniques he developed in those early years. The Nikonos Book (1979, Nikonos I, II & III) and The Nikonos Handbook (1986, Nikonos IV & V) are now collectors' items. Jim’s last series of books - Jim Church's Essential Guide to Underwater Video (1992), Jim Church's Essential Guide to the Nikonos Systems (1994, Nikonos V & RS) and Jim Church's Essential Guide to Underwater Photo Composition (1998) contain information and techniques underwater photographers still use in today’s digital world.
Jim won the NOGI Award for the Arts in 1985. He also won the DEMA Reaching Out Award for Education and Photography posthumously in 2003. The annual Jim Church Award for Excellence in Underwater Creative Imaging was named to honor him by the Beneath the Sea organization also in 2003.
Of all the accolades that Jim received throughout his life, the one that meant the most to him was “Teacher”. Beginning in 1972, Jim and his wife and partner Cathy, started teaching underwater photography each summer on Grand Cayman Island. In 1982 they relocated the school to St. Thomas until 1986 when they returned to Grand Cayman. After they divorced in 1988, Jim began teaching his underwater photography courses on the live-aboard dive vessels of the Aggressor Fleet. In Jim's words, "The Aggressor vessels give me the flexibility I need to teach effectively." This was a very successful partnership that led to a majority of Jim's students returning over the years for multiple courses with Jim aboard Aggressor vessels.
His students would often comment that Jim’s style of teaching took the mystery out of learning underwater photography. His classes were considered a "must" by beginning or advanced underwater photographers and videographers.
Jim passed away at his home in Miami Lakes, Florida on December 31, 2002, after a brief illness. He was a true pioneer in underwater photography. We miss him deeply.
:: Eugenie Clark, Ph.D. - Arts / Science - 1965
A leading force in marine science and deep-sea exploration, Dr. Eugenie Clark's association with the underwater world began in the 1940s, when she donned her first set of underwater gear. She has since worked tirelessly for marine conservation and advocacy, including lobbying successfully for the first Egyptian National Marine Park in Ras Mohammed, and led a distinguished career as professor of zoology at the University of Maryland, until her retirement from full-time course work in 1992. A world-renowned ichthyologist, she now serves as professor emerita at the university, where she continues to teach and organizes expeditions to the Red Sea, Mexico, Caribbean, Australia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Indonesia, Thailand, Vanuatu, and Palau. Four species of fish have been named after Genie Clark. She has been the subject of over 100 profiles in magazines and newspapers, and has authored over 200 articles, academic papers and two best selling books, Lady With a Spear, and The Lady and the Sharks. Dr. Clark was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2000 and she received the Wyland ICON Award in 2006.
:: Robert Clark - Sports / Education - 1997
Bob was born 11/12/37 in Sidney, Nebraska, where he lived until age 6, when he moved to Catalina Island where his father was stationed during WWII. It was there he started skin diving and developed a love for water and the sea.
After the war ended, he moved back to Sidney until 1949 when the family once again moved to California (Palo Alto.) They stayed there for 2 more years, but his father missed his hunting and felt there was a better life for them back in Sidney, and there the family remained until his parent's deaths in 1988.
Bob graduated from Sidney High in 1956 and from University of Northern Colorado (Colorado State College at that time) in 1960 with degrees in Art and Business.
After graduation, Bob, along with his wife, and son moved back to Sidney to join the family business and lived there until 1971 when they moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, and it has been their home ever since. The move was precipitated by the need for greater population to support his growing dive business, and of course, the family's deep love for the mountains.
Bob and his wife Marilyn have been married since 1957. They have three children, Gary, born 1959, Linda, born 1961, and Laurie who was born in 1962. They also have two grandchildren by Laurie and her husband John Humpal, Charlie and James Humpal who were born in 1994 and 1995 respectively. Our son Gary has a wife, Bettie.
Bob started skin diving at age 7 on Catalina Island. He had been a water rat almost from birth, but the ocean became a basic part of his life, even at that tender age. He started Scuba diving in 1960 as a hobby, and those were the days before there was any real opportunity to take formal instruction, so he was largely self-taught. With his self described excessive-compulsive personality, he went about learning to the extent that when he finally decided to become an instructor, he found he was better informed that those teaching the instructor course.
The reason Bob became an instructor was because he had decided to sell scuba equipment as a means of supporting his hobby, only to find that there wasn't anyone to buy it because no one knew how to do it. So, he became an instructor and went into the diving equipment business. Bob opened his first store in 1965 in Sidney, Nebraska (known worldwide as the scuba capital of the universe. By 1970 he had a small chain of retail diving equipment stores in Colorado and Nebraska.
Bob became an Instructor Trainer along the way, and developed a national reputation for his teaching and the magnitude of his sales in the very small market in western Nebraska. A friend put him in touch with a gentleman by the name of John Gaffney and in 1966 Bob worked with John and helped to develop the National Association of Scuba Diving stores, (NASDS.) However, by 1970 NASDS had headed in a direction that Bob was uncomfortable with, and as a result several of those who had been instrumental in the development of NASDS went together and founded Scuba Schools International. SSI has since become the second largest certification agency for scuba diving in the world.
In 1972 Bob was offered the opportunity to write the Open water diver text for Jeppesen-Sanderson. It subsequently became the best selling scuba text of the time. In 1974 he assumed control and ownership of Scuba Schools International, and thanks to the opportunity to develop a text that reflected his views on scuba instruction, he was able to put together the first integrated instructional system in diving. SSI has since become world renown for cutting edge instructional systems and has been copied by every other scuba agency in the world.
Bob recognizes that he has been blessed over the years with wonderful employees and has been equally blessed with a modicum of success in our small industry. As a result of his achievements Bob has been honored with the three awards that are meaningful in our business. To begin with, in 1994 he received the PLATINUM PRO 5000 award for having made 5000 scuba dives and for distinguished contributions to the sport and business of Scuba diving.
In 1996, he was inducted into the Scuba Diving Hall of Fame and was presented with the REACHING OUT AWARD. Only 33 people had been so honored at that time, and included such people as Jacques Cousteau, Lloyd Bridges, and others who have made the sport of diving a very special activity.
In 1997 the Academy of Underwater Arts and Science presented him with the NOGI award in Education. This was in honor of the numerous texts and educational systems he has developed over the years.
Also in 1997, Bob founded the Platinum Pro Foundation. It is a non-profit dedicated to the development of children. While the primary emphasis is on getting them involved in the sport of scuba diving, it is equally focused on helping underprivileged children, and educating all children about the delicate nature of the waters of our world. This is accomplished in two principle ways. First by providing scholarships to worthy kids for participation in programs like Scuba Rangers (a scuba program for kids 8-12) and second through a web site, PLATINUM PRO FOUNDATION that is a resource and link to information about the seas, as well as a great many underwater photos that have been donated by a large number of top underwater photographers for free use by the children.
As a kind of "full circle" redemption for the split up of NASDS and SSI in 1970, in 1999, Scuba Schools International assumed ownership of the National Association of Scuba Diving Stores, (NASDS,) and added significantly to their worldwide presence.
As a final note, SSI teaching materials have now been translated into 22 languages and are used in more than 585 countries. It is the premier certification program in many parts of the world and is expanding each year.
:: Mike Cochran - Science - 2017
Mike Cochran is the CEO of Cochran Consulting, Inc. (CCI) He has been a prolific and ingenious inventor, designer, and developer of dive computers during his career. Over $1 billion in gross sales has been received from new products developed during his over 50 years of experience as a key technical contributor for a wide variety of companies.
Mike’s career began at Cape Canaveral where he operated and worked on ship-board missile tracking equipment for land based and sub-launched missiles.
While working for Texas Instruments, Mike co-invented the world’s first microcomputer chip, started the Scientific Calculator Department, and was recognized as TI’s most prolific inventor. While working at ElectroMechanical Research in Sarasota, FL, Mike designed and evaluated telemetry systems used in the Gemini space flights and experimental aircraft.
Mike started his work in the decompression field working with NASA. NASA does long, multi-level dives in their Weightless Environmental Training Facility (WETF) - a massive swimming pool that simulates a weightless environment.
Mike later worked closely with Capt. Ed Thalmann of the US Navy for over a year to understand, convert, and test his decompression algorithm and use it in a CCI Dive Computer. Subsequently working with the Navy Experimental Diving Unit and the Navy SEAL community, Mike’s company was chosen from a competitive field to incorporate Dr. Thalmann’s V-VAL 18 algorithm into the Cochran Commander in order to provide optimized decompression calculations for complex, multi-level, multi-gas diving operations conducted by Navy SEALs. This project was successfully completed and in January of 2001 off Barber’s Point in Hawaii, members of SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One made the first open-water decompression computer-based dive in U.S. military history.
The Cochran Navy dive computer continues to be a mainstay of SEAL and other military diving operations after over a decade of superb performance. CCI produces the world’s only dive computer with such a low magnetic signature that it is approved for underwater Explosive Ordnance Disposal. The Cochran Navy has revolutionized the way that the Navy addresses decompression issues in its diving operations. After years of independent testing, Mike’s dive computers are the only ones on the U.S. Approved for Military Use (AMU) list and the only ones on the NATO list. CCI currently has nine different dive computer models that serve both the military and the recreational diving communities.
Mike has 57 US patents. Among Mike’s many awards are an appointment as an Admiral in the Texas Navy (by Gov. Rick Perry) and recognition as “Texas Instrument’s Most Prolific Inventor” (by James Fischer, VP TI). He is a private pilot and an advanced scuba diver.
As CEO of Cochran Consulting, Inc and as a diving engineering innovator, his combination of inventing genius, engineering expertise, business leadership, and love of diving have enabled him to advance the computer technology and make diving safer for both U.S. military divers and recreational divers all around the world.
:: Patrick L. Colin, Ph.D. - Science - 2010
Patrick L. Colin earned a M.S.(1970) and Ph.D.(1973) in Marine Sciences at the University of Miami Rosensteil School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences working on the biology of western Atlantic reef fishes. His Ph.D work focused on the cleaning gobies of the western Atlantic and revealed for the first time a level of biogeographic compartmentalization (enclaves) within the Caribbean region which is the focus of much research today. In addition to very extensive scuba diving research, he was involved in programs in Jamaica and Belize using small submersibles to examine fish communities to depth of 1,000 feet. In 1974 he joined the graduate faculty of the Department of Marine Sciences, University of Puerto Rico, teaching and doing basic research on the reproductive biology of marine fishes of the Caribbean region. Work in Puerto Rico included studies of reef fish spawning, particularly spawning aggregations, as well as the larval development and recruitment of numerous reef fishes. Special attention was devoted to the luminescent flashlight fishes which require special diving techniques to observe and collect.
In 1979 he left there to take the position of Senior Scientist for the University of Hawaii’s Mid-Pacific Research Laboratory at Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands. He spent four years studying the relationships between living organisms and environmental radionuclides, as well as continuing studies on reef fish spawning. Research at Enewetak included the first documentation of the control of radionuclide distribution and remobilization by a marine organism and the first investigation of the deep lagoon and slope of a coral atoll by submersible (Makali'i - 1981). At Enewetak he constructed a "amateur built" aircraft called a COZY which was (and still is) used extensively for photographing marine habitats from the air.
In 1983 he and his wife Lori relocated to the Motupore Island Research Station of the University of Papua New Guinea where they ran the activities of the research and educational facility. Work in Papua New Guinea included larval rearing of numerous reef fishes for the first time, mariculture of the giant clams, and continuing studies of luminescent flashlight fishes.
In 1987 he took a position with Caribbean Marine Research Center, Bahamas, as Senior Scientist to study the fast disappearing Nassau grouper spawning aggregations of the Atlantic, which was later expanded to include studies of life history and spawning of all the Atlantic Ocean groupers. During this time he studied in detail the oceanography associated with larval dispersal and recruitment.
In 1991 Dr. Colin co-founded the Coral Reef Research Foundation, a non-profit corporation, which won the highly-prized U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) marine collections program contract. In 1992 he and his wife moved to Chuuk Atoll in the Federated States of Micronesia where they started the Chuuk Atoll Research Laboratory. In 1995 they relocated CRRF’s base of operations to Koror, Palau and built a facility dedicated to basic marine research. As of 2011 the work for the NCI continues, with over 13,000 samples of marine invertebrates and plants having been collected from 20 countries in the Into-Pacific. Work in Palau continues on reef fish spawning aggregations, including detailed studies of their oceanography, species diversity studies of invertebrates in the western Pacific. Aerial documentation of marine and terrestrial environments continue using the aircraft, with comprehensive series of images of habitats having been acquired and archived. In Palau his organization has used the Deepworker 2000 submersibles for NCI collections to 1,200 feet and he has piloted over 30 dives in Deepworkers.
Dr. Colin has published 62 scientific papers, dealing with a diverse range of topics from coral reef fish reproduction and larval biology, marine communities, sediment-organism relationships, and zoogeography. He has published four books, including field guides to Caribbean invertebrates and tropical Pacific Invertebrates and is completing a new general volume on the marine environments of Palau. He has made over 10,000 SCUBA dives in connection with his research and has used mixed-gas diving techniques and saturation diving in his work. He has developed new equipment and techniques for diving research, including specialized camera housings, mixed gas breathers, and a wide variety of GPS related instruments for use in remote areas. Work for the NCI has resulted in mixed gas dives to 400-500 feet for collections, as well more regular recovery on temperature monitoring instruments at 300 feet for the past decade.
He works with many government and non-government agencies in Palau, as well as the Society for the Conservation of Reef Fish Aggregations and Grouper-Wrasse Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
:: Rodger Cook - Science - 1979
:: Richard A. Cooper, Ph.D. - Science - 1982
:: Jacques-Yves Cousteau - Distinguished Service - 1966
Jacques-Yves Cousteau was the most famous undersea explorer in the world, known by his dozens of books and films from the 1950s until his death in 1997. Cousteau was born in Saint-Andre-de-Dubzac, France, to Daniel and Elizabeth Cousteau on June 11, 1910. Cousteau always loved the water and in his early teens, he became interested in machines. At the age of 11, Cousteau built a model crane and at 13, he built a battery-operated car. Also in his early teens, Cousteau became fascinated with films. He saved his money and bought a home movie camera. After graduation from boarding school, Cousteau entered the Ecole Navale (Naval Academy) in Brest. In 1933, Cousteau joined the French Navy as a gunnery officer. It was during this time that he began his underwater explorations and began working on a breathing machine for longer dives.
In 1937, Cousteau married Simone Melchoir, and they had two sons, Jean-Michel and Phillipe. Two years after their marriage, Cousteau fought for the French in World War II. He spent time as a spy and was awarded several medals. During the war, Cousteau still found time to continue his underwater work. In 1943, he and French engineer Emile Gagnan perfected the aqualung, which allowed a diver to stay underwater for several hours. Divers used the aqualung to located and remove enemy mines after World War II.
Cousteau was named a Capitaine de Corvette of the French Navy in 1948, and two years later he became president of the French Oceanographic Campaigns. That same year, Cousteau purchased the ship Calypso to further his explorations. To finance his trips and increase public awareness of his undersea investigations, Cousteau produced numerous films and published many books. His films include The Silent World (1956) and World Without Sun (1966). Both won Academy Awards for best documentary. His books include The Living Sea (1963), Dolphins (1975), and Jacques Cousteau: The Ocean World (1985).
Because of his many projects, Cousteau retired from the French navy. In 1957, he became director of the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, founded the Underseas Research Group at Toulon, and headed the Conshelf Saturation Dive Program. The Conshelf program was an experiment in which men lived and worked underwater for extended periods of time.
In 1968, Cousteau was asked to make a TV series. For the next 8 years, The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau introduced the public to a world of sharks, whales, dolphins, sunken treasure, and coral reefs. In 1974, Cousteau started the Cousteau Society to protect ocean life. The membership of this non-profit group has grown to include more than 300,000 members worldwide. Cousteau was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Reagan in 1985 and in 1989, he was honored by France with membership in the French Academy.
:: Jean-Michel Cousteau - Science - 1993
Explorer, environmentalist, educator, film producer--for more than four decades, Jean-Michel Cousteau has used his vast experiences to communicate to people of all nations and generations his love and concern for our water planet.
The son of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel spent much of his life with his family exploring the world's oceans aboard Calypso and Alcyone. Honoring his heritage, Jean-Michel founded Ocean Futures Society in 1999 to carry on this pioneering work.
Ocean Futures Society
As Executive Vice President of The Cousteau Society for nearly 20 years, and now as Founder and President of Ocean Futures Society, Jean-Michel travels the globe, meeting with leaders and policymakers at the grassroots level and at the highest echelons of government and business. He is dedicated to educating young people, documenting stories of change and hope, and lending his reputation and support to energize alliances for positive change.
Ocean Futures Society, a non-profit marine conservation and education organization, serves as a voice for the ocean by communicating in all media the critical bond between people and the sea and the importance of wise environmental policy. As Ocean Futures’ leader, Jean-Michel serves as an impassioned diplomat for the environment, reaching out to the public through a variety of media.
In 1999, he merged the Jean-Michel Cousteau Institute with the Free Willy Keiko Foundation to continue research and care for Keiko, the captive killer whale of film fame. In the first attempt ever to return a captive orca to the wild, Jean-Michel and his team pioneered both husbandry techniques and scientific research on wild orcas. In 2002, Keiko was released and crossed the Atlantic Ocean. He was then entrusted to the Humane Society for continued monitoring and care.
Jean-Michel has produced over 80 films, received the Emmy, the Peabody Award, the 7 d'Or, and the Cable Ace Award. In partnership with KQED, a PBS affiliate, Jean-Michel is Executive Producer of “Jean-Michel Cousteau Ocean Adventures,” a multi-part television series launched in 2006 on PBS and internationally.
Jean-Michel’s filmmaking on behalf of water and ocean issues includes his success in convincing President George W. Bush to designate the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands as a Marine National Monument after screening his documentary film on the subject at The White House in 2006. The NWHI Marine National Monument is now one of the largest protected marine areas in the world.
Also recognized as a voice for the ocean who communicates to a new generation, Jean-Michel appeared in a DVD special feature for Pixar/Disney’s Finding Nemo (Exploring the Reef with Jean-Michel Cousteau.) and in Coral Reef Adventure, a MacGillvray Freeman Films IMAX production. In addition, he produced and appeared in a DVD special feature, Case of the Sponge Bob, for Paramount Pictures’ SpongeBob SquarePants: The Movie. He also was a presenter and consultant for Sharks 3D and Dolphins and Whales 3D, IMAX feature films.
His collaboration with Green Cross International and the Natural Resources Defense Council on issues of global water security, protection of sensitive marine areas, prevention of oil spills, and prevention of the use of damaging sonar systems have been long-standing achievements. Jean-Michel has served as a spokesman on water issues at the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, at the 3rd World Water Forum in Kyoto, and at the Dialogues on Water for Life and Security in Barcelona.
His diplomatic achievements as a voice for the ocean were recognized in December 2003 when he was the first person to receive the Ocean Hero Award from Oceana, recognizing his commitment to communicate the value of the oceans and the threats they face to people of all nations and generations.
For over 30 years, Jean-Michel and his team have conducted a hands-on environmental education program, now called Ambassadors of the Environment, in over seven countries, reaching thousands of people in a personal and in-depth way to change views on sustainable living and personal responsibility to the environment. This unique program is land and sea-based, with sites at pristine environments, vacation resorts and on cruise ships.
In 2004, he launched the Sustainable Reefs Program, a package of materials including a CD-ROM, cartoon book, and video on how to sustainably manage the coral reef system, to be distributed at no cost to communities bordering coral reef ecosystems around the world. The international organization Reef Check acknowledged Jean-Michel’s efforts to protect the world’s reefs by giving him their Poseidon/Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.
Through Ocean Futures Society, Jean-Michel continues to produce environmentally oriented programs and television specials, public service announcements, multi-media programs for schools, web-based marine content, books, articles for magazines and newspaper columns, and public lectures, reaching millions of people globally. He is the editor and contributing author of Water Culture, a collection of photographs and interviews calling attention to the global issues of water. In 2004, he authored My Father, the Captain, his depiction of life as the son of Jacques Cousteau. In 2007, he co-authored America’s Underwater Treasures, which was awarded the Benjamin Franklin gold medal for best non-fiction, independent publisher’s first book.
Acting on a childhood dream to build cities under the sea, Jean-Michel pursued a degree in architecture, graduating from the Paris School of Architecture in 1964. He remains a member of the Ordre National des Architectes, the French counterpart of the American Institute of Architects. Artificial floating islands, schools, and an advanced marine studies center in Marseilles, France, are among his projects.
He has been instrumental in the design of theaward-winning, Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort, created to demonstrate an environmentally and culturally oriented family resort and prove to the business community the economic benefits of incorporating environmental concern and design. In 2005, the resort received the #1 ranking in the world on the Conde Nast World Traveler’s Green List and was the first winner of “Australasia’s Leading Green Hotel” in 2008. In order to expand the impact of ecological tourism, he created L’Aventure Jean-Michel Cousteau, a flagship dive operation at the resort in Fiji that bears his name. He is currently forming an action partnership to expand this ecologically responsible model to other sites. In 2005, the resort was awarded Conde Naste’s highest award for small resort environmental design.
In 1969, Jean-Michel headed the team that transformed a 100,000 square foot section of the former ocean liner, Queen Mary, into the Living Sea Museum in Long Beach, California. He was a member of the selection committee for the International NASA/AIA Space Station design competition in 1972. He also directed the design and development of the Parc Oceanique Cousteau in Paris, a public attraction that introduced new ways of teaching visitors about the ocean without captive animals.
In January 2003, Jean-Michel was inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, joining other diving pioneers in recognition of his belief that the privilege of diving in the world’s ocean is also a call to action to protect it.In February 2002, Jean-Michel became the first person to represent the Environment in the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games, joining luminaries including Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Africa), John Glenn (The Americas), Kazuyoshi Funaki (Asia), Lech Walesa (Europe), Cathy Freeman (Oceania), Jean-Claude Killy (Sport), and Steven Spielberg (Culture). He also served on the Board of Directors of the Athens Environmental Foundation for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
In 1998, Jean-Michel was honored with the Environmental Hero Award, presented to him by Vice President Gore at the White House National Oceans Conference. In April of1998, highlighting the International Year of the Ocean, Jean-Michel participated in a live downlink from the Space Shuttle Columbia to CNN New York, discussing NASA's contribution to ocean awareness with astronaut marine biologist, Rick Linnehan. Also in 1998, he was a spokesperson for the United States Pavilion at Expo '98 in Lisbon, Portugal.
In 1997 on Earth Day, Jean-Michel led the first undersea live, interactive, video chat on Microsoft Internet, from the coral reefs of Fiji, celebrating the International Year of the Reef and answering questions from 'armchair divers' throughout the world.
In recognition of his many and diverse contributions to learning, Pepperdine University awarded Jean-Michel an Honorary Doctor’s Degree in Humane Letters in 1976. He has received DEMA’s 1994 Reaching Out Award and the 1995 NOGI Award from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences. In 1996, Jean-Michel was awarded the SeaKeepers Award from Showboats International, and the John M. Olguin Marine Environment Award from the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. In 2008, he received the Jules Verne Lifetime Achievement Award and the National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.
For information, please contact www.oceanfutures.org, Ocean Futures Society, 325 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, 805-899-8899.
:: Bob Croft - Sports / Education - 2017
Bob discovered the technique of “air packing” in 1947. Years later while an Escape Training Tank Instructor during his Navy career (see below) he found he was able to hold his breath for over six minutes under water using this method of filling his lungs. He began his free diving career and was the first person in history to dive beyond a depth of 200 feet while breath holding. This remarkable dive caused diving manuals worldwide to be rewritten. At the time the US Navy Diving Manual stated that a breath hold diver would have a thoracic squeeze and die at a depth beyond 110 feet. He took part in the first international free diving competition. He continued to compete internationally and set two more world records in the 1960’s. He is considered a legend in the sport of free diving.
In 1962 he joined the Staff at the Submarine School in Groton, Connecticut, where he taught SCUBA diving, and trained prospective submarine sailors and re-trained existing submarine crews in submarine escape techniques and procedures. As a Navy Diving Instructor he was one of the divers who helped test, evaluate and instruct the use of the Steinke Hood, a revolutionary change in submarine escape devices that considerably enhanced the chances of survival while escaping from a downed submarine. It was later incorporated with a full exposure suit and is used to this day on all U.S. and British submarines, perhaps others as well.
The Naval Research Laboratory recognized Bob’s breath holding and free diving abilities and utilized Bob as a subject in research projects to test numerous theories over a six-year period during the 1960’s. Bob participated voluntarily knowing physical injury, or even death, could occur. Probably the most important theory proved, using Bob’s unique abilities, was the verification of the “blood shift” in human free divers that had previously only been measured in diving mammals such as harbor seals and dolphins.
Other projects included: studies to discover if divers would experience permanent or temporary hearing loss while diving in close proximity to high frequency sonar; trials and evaluation of diving contact lens to replace the face mask (due to these test results UDT/Navy Seals still use face masks); and studies of oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood and how they effected the depth limits of free diving. The information obtained from these research projects and many more, have an impact today on submarine escape, as well as safety, operations, and training standards for all divers.
As a result of the physical ramification of these research studies, Bob suffered some debilitating permanent physical ailments including severe hearing loss that, ultimately, ended his Navy and Diving careers, and after 23 years of service to his country he was retired from the Navy. After retirement from the Navy, he joined Tarrytown research laboratory assisting in the building and installation of control vans dedicated to 1000 foot dives.
:: John Cronin - Sports / Education - 2001 - Distinguished Service - 1985
For almost 50 years, John Cronin was one of the most influential men in the diving industry.
A native of Albany, New York, John joined the Marine Corps where he served from 1947 to 1948 and was recalled to service in the Korean conflict from 1950 to 1952. In 1959, John accepted the position of East Coast Promotions Manager for U.S. Divers Company in New York City. In 1964, John became the first person in the history of the diving industry to surpass wholesale sales of $1 million dollars. Rising rapidly through the ranks, John was promoted to Marketing Director in March of 1969. Later that same year, he was appointed CEO and then President of U.S. Divers, a position he held until his retirement in September of 1985.
While attending a diving banquet in December of 1961, John met Ralph Erickson, a professional educator. A friendship immediately developed, and over the next several years their concept of a new, professional diver training organization was developed, this was PADI. In 1966, Cronin, in conjunction with Erickson, formalized the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, or PADI, as it is known today.
Thanks to John's leadership, PADI is currently recognized as the largest single entity in the diving industry with retail sales in excess of $250 million. PADI has offices in 7 countries, over 100,000 individual members and 4,600 Retail and Resort locations located in 175 countries worldwide. In 2000, PADI issued its 10 millionth diving certification.
Cronin served on the board of the DEMA from 1971 until 1993, at one point being the President, and again elected as President in 1999, 2000, and 2002. He gave his time unselfishly in promoting the industry and the sport championing new diver acquisition, retailer, resort, and manufacturer growth, and fighting legislation that would negatively impact the industry.
Cronin was also heavily active in politics being actively involved with Republican candidates at the local, state, and federal levels for over 20 years. He raised millions of dollars while serving as the treasurer or finance chairman for over 60 campaigns, including several for former Governor Pete Wilson of California and past Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush.
John Cronin died July 15, 2003 at his home in Temecula, California at the age of 74.
:: E.R. Cross - Sports / Education - 1975 - Distinguished Service - 1992
Ellis Royal Cross was born December 27, 1913 in Valley Ford, WA. He was the second of nine children born to Hal and Dora Cross, who died the night her youngest son was born. Cross was 16.
When he was 19, Cross enlisted in the Navy. He would spend the next 14 years there, learning skills that would shape the course of his life, including seamanship, communications, navigation, command, diving and salvage.
From April to September 1946, during the atom bomb tests, Cross served as flag secretary to the commander of the salvage unit at Bikini Atoll. He was in charge of the inspection and recovery of special recording instruments and took photographs of the newly sunken ships.
While in the Navy, Cross did a little moonlighting as a commercial diver. One of his clients started the Sparling School of Diving and Underwater Welding in Wilmington, CA. Cross worked with the owners, helping write the curriculum. After transferring to the Naval Reserves in 1946, he went to work full-time for the Sparling School, serving as manager and chief instructor. In 1947, he became the school’s owner, changing its name to the Sparling School of Deep Sea Diving. During his years there he trained approximately 2,500 commercial, open sea, research and other specialty divers, along with sport divers.
Cross married Jere Lee Montgomery in 1943. He taught her to dive using Mark V hard-hat gear and scuba. She often worked as her husband’s tender on commercial jobs.
In addition to the Sparling School, Cross owned Diver’s Supply, a mail order commercial diving equipment store, which his youngest brother, Ken, ran for him for four years.
In 1951, Cross resigned his commission as a Lieutenant in the Naval Reserves. In 1953, he served as one of a five man technical advisory committee to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Department of Parks and Recreation, in the development of the L.A. County Water Safety Program—the nation’s first training program for scuba divers.
In 1954, the Crosses dismantled the Sparling school. In 1956 they bought a 60-foot schooner, the Four Winds, and sailed to the South Pacific. Their mission was to educate native breath-hold divers about the bends, known as taravana. Cross reported on this disease to the Hawaii Medical Association at its first meeting in 1959 and, in 1965, presented a report to a symposium on breath-hold diving in Tokyo.
The Crosses were on their way back to California when they stopped in Honolulu. Almost immediately, Cross was hired by Bechtel Corporation as marine superintendent. The company was constructing Chevron’s tanker mooring terminal and underwater pipeline system at Barbers Point, Oahu. During this project, Cross introduced underwater TV and other innovative tools, equipment and work techniques to commercial diving in Hawaii.
In 1973, Jere Lee and Cross went their separate ways. She returned to California, where she died in 1991. When the job with Bechtel was completed, Cross was hired by Chevron as a consultant/diver in connection with the inspection, maintenance and repair of the tanker mooring and underwater pipeline system he had just helped construct. He also performed marine life survey work and served as environmental inspector and advisor. He worked for Chevron from September 1961 through April 1983.
Cross met his second wife, Dianna, when he bought air from her dive shop on Sand Island, off Honolulu. Cross and Dianna were married in 1976.
In December 1983, Cross left Chevron and became consultant/manager for the oil spill control and clean-up organization known as the Clean Islands Council. He retired in 1986 and returned to the mainland with Dianna. They bought a house near Port Angeles, WA, in 1989. Cross died there on May 8, 2000.
E.R. Cross lived a long and extraordinarily productive life. He wrote several books, including Underwater Photography and TV, Underwater Safety, Skin Diving Annual, Science of Skin and Scuba Diving (co-author), Commercial Diving with Scuba, Introduction to Skin Diving, and Advanced Skin and Scuba Diving. He wrote many, many articles for trade publications as well as for Vocational Trends and Popular Science. He was technical editor for Petersen’s Waterworld magazine from July 1955 until October 1957. He was a member of the Hawaiian Malacological Society and three shells are named after him. He began writing the Technifacts column (renamed Cross Talk in 1999) for Skin Diver in 1964. It remains the longest running column in diving history.
Cross also developed the Cross Conversion Tables for High Altitude Diving and served as a consultant to police, insurance companies and attorneys in connection with various aspects of diving equipment failure and diver accidents.
Cross received two NOGIs (Sports and Education in 1975, Distinguished Service in 1992), as well as the Reaching Out Award. He received the Historical Diving Society USA’s Historical Diver Pioneer award, and the organization now has an award named for him.
:: Bill Curtsinger - Arts - 2006
Bill Curtsinger is one of the worlds greatest wildlife photographers and one of the few underwater photographers who has captured extensive images of sea life under the polar ice and in Antarctica. Bill Curtsinger was born in Philadelphia, grew up in southern New Jersey, and moved to Maine in 1972. He attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and Arizona State University in Tempe. Bill was a member of the elite Navy Photo Unit, Atlantic Fleet Combat Camera Group based at the Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Virginia, from 1967 to 1970. He graduated from U.S. Navy Dive School in Key West, Florida, Navy Parachute School in Lakehurst, New Jersey, and attended various U.S. Navy Flight Crew training units in the Norfolk area. For almost four years Bill traveled the world on special assignments for the Commander In Chief of the Atlantic Fleet, and his CO, the great Gerry Pulley. He won several awards with his coverage of carrier flight operations and Naval aviation and qualified to fly in the F-4 Phantom and A-6 Intruder to carry out his photo assignments. He was made an honorary member of the world famous Red Rippers, U.S. Navy Fighter Squadron VF-11, for his photography of the squadron including the first color front and back covers in Naval Aviation News.
Bill has been a freelance photographer since leaving the U.S. Navy in November, 1970. Bills enormous body of editorial photographic work has focused on underwater, natural history, marine archeology, people, culture, environments and wildlife for many clients. He has photographed thirty-three articles, (six cover stories) for the National Geographic Magazine, the latest in the June 2003 issue on Harbor Porpoises. The March 1999 issue of Life Magazine has a story Bill photographed on the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Other photographs and stories have been published by Smithsonian, Outside, Time, Newsweek, Audubon, Natural History, Islands, Terre Sauvage, Aqua, Experiment, Unterwasser, Airone, Stern, Geo, Paris Match, New Look, London Sunday Express, Sinra, Shukan Asahi, BBC Wildlife, Bonniers, to name a few. His work is also included in numerous text books, encyclopedias and aquarium displays. Bill is also a regular contributor to Gulf of Maine Research Institute publications and website.
In 2006, Bill moved from Maine to Port Townsend, Washington, where he continues his freelance photography career. To date, Bill has photographed six books and his work has been published in hundreds more.
" WAKE OF THE WHALE", written by Kenneth Brower, and published in 1980 by E.P. Dutton, N.Y., & David Brower of Friends of the Earth, San Francisco. " His photographs of whales, seals, and dolphins that appeared in Wake of the Whale, were the first look at many marine mammal species in their natural habitats around the world, and helped launch an international interest in whales, seals, and dolphins, and their plight. To date, there is no single photographic collection of marine mammal images equal to those published in Wake of the Whale.".... David Brower, 1999.
" THE PINE BARRENS", written by New Yorker writer John McPhee was published by Farrar Strauss & Giroux, NY, in 1981.
" MONK SEAL HIDEAWAY", written by Diane Ackerman and published by Crown Books, N.Y., in 1995.
" SEA SOUP, PHYTOPLANKTON"; a children's book about phytoplankton,Tilbury House, Publishing, December 1999
" SEA SOUP, ZOOPLANKTON; a children's book about zooplankton, Tilbury House, Publishing, March, 2001.
" LIFE UNDER ICE": a children's book about underwater Antarctica, Tilbury House, Publishing, June, 2003.
" EXTREME NATURE" a thirty year retrospective of Bills work in a 409 page, 300 image photo book Published by White Star, Vercelli, Italy 2005 in eight languages and nine countries.
:: Clive Cussler- Arts - 2015
Clive Cussler, the Grand Master of the American action adventure novel, grew up in Alhambra, California. He attended Pasadena City College for two years, but then enlisted in the AirForce during the Korean War where he served as an aircraft mechanic and flight engineer in the
Military Air Transport Service. Upon his discharge, he became a copywriter and later creative director for two of the nation’s leading ad agencies. At that time, he wrote and produced radio and television commercials that won numerous international awards one at the prestigious
Cannes Film Festival.
Cussler began writing in 1965 and published his first novel featuring Dirk Pitt® in 1973. His first non-fiction work, THE SEA HUNTERS, was released in 1996. Because of this work the Board ofGovernors of the Maritime College, State University of New York considered THE SEA HUNTERS in lieu of a Ph.D. thesis and awarded Cussler a Doctor of Letters degree in May of 1997. It was the first time since the College was founded in 1874 that such a degree was bestowed.
As THE SEA HUNTERS and THE SEA HUNTERS II relate, Cussler is the founder the National Underwater & Marine Agency, (NUMA) a 501 C3 non-profit organization that dedicates itself to the discovery of historically significant lost ships. Cussler and his crew of marine experts and
NUMA volunteers have discovered over 80 historically significant underwater wreck sites. After verifying their finds, NUMA turns the rights to the artifacts over to nonprofits, universities, or government entities allover the world. Some of these finds include the C.S.S. Hunley, best known
as the first submarine to sink a ship in battle; the Housatonic, the ship the Hunley sank; the U-20, the U-boat that sank the Lusitania; the Cumberland, sunk by the famous ironclad, Merrimack; the Confederate raider Florida; the Navy airship, Akron; the Republic of Texas Navy warship, Zavala, found under a parking lot in Galveston, Texas, the remains of the Carpathia, the valiant ship that braved icebergs to rescue the survivor’s of the Titanic and the famous ghost ship, the Mary Celeste.
In addition to being Chairman of NUMA, Cussler is a fellow in both the Explorers Club of New York and the Royal Geographic Society in London. He has also been honored with the Lowell Thomas Award for outstanding underwater exploration. A noted collector of classic automobiles, Cussler owns over 120 of the finest examples of custom coachwork and 50’s convertibles to be found anywhere. The collection is housed in Arvada, Colorado. After 45 best sellers, Cussler’s book are published in more that 45 languages in more than a 100 countries with a readership of over 125 million avid readers and fans.
:: Gustav Dalla Valle - Sports/Education - 1962
Gustav Dalla Valle was born in the north of Italy. His father was a count and became wealthy in the silk business. As a child, Gustav had a fascination with the sea and began free diving in the Mediterranean Sea. He became of of the first divers in Europe and was friends with all the early European equipment pioneers: Beuchat, Cressi, Cavalero and Forjot. He moved to Haiti and started one of the first snorkeling and spearfishing schools until his departure in 1957.
While in Miami, Gustav started importing dive gear into the United States from Europe. He began distributing Cressi equipment. Soon afterwards, he was contacted by Healthways to begin distributing his European diving equipment through them. They also planned on marketing specialized diving equipment named Scubapro.
In 1962, Healthways hired Gustav to create and run Scubapro and Dick Bonin would develop new products. Together, they began marketing high
quality diving equipment under the name of Scubapro. When Healthways declared bankruptcy, Gustav bought the rights to the name and Dick Bonin stayed on. Gustav Dalla Valle paid the sum of one dollar! Dick Bonin stated, “Gustav bought Scubapro for a dollar and got me with it. He always said he overpaid.” The two men quickly turned Scubapro into one of the largest success stories in
Scubapro took the unprecedented step of offering a lifetime guarantee on his equipment, including parts. Some of the other innovations that Scubapro brought to the diving industry: the enduring ﬂow-through piston design of his regulators beginning with the immortal Mark V introduced in 1970, the ﬁrst low-pressure BC inﬂator, the ﬁrst back-mounted BC for widespread distribution, the ﬁrst silicone mask, the ﬁrst jacket style BC (the famous Stabilizing Jacket), the shotgun snorkel incorporating an exhaust valve that made clearing effortless, the ﬁrst integrated inﬂator/second stage regulator called the AIR II, the ﬁrst analog decompression meter, the ﬁrst pilot valve assisted
second stage called the AIR I, and last but not least, the celebrated Jet Fin that forever changed the design of what used to be called “ﬂippers.”
In 1974, Scubapro was sold to S.C. Johnson. Gustav moved to the island of Mustique in the West Indies, then to the Napa Valley in California in 1982. His family had been in the European wine business for over 150 years, so Gustav built a winery and planted 25 acres of wine grapes. The
‘Maya” wine of the Dalla Valle Vinyards was considered by many to be one of the finest wines in California.
Gustav Dalla Valle was responsible for putting the statue of “Christ of the Abyss” underwater in the John Pennekamp State Park in the Florida Keys.
Gustav passed away in 1995.
:: C.B. "Ben" Davis - Distinguished Service - 1961
After serving his country in the Canadian Armed Forces, Ben first picked up a scuba unit in the early 1950’s, joining the Underwater Club of Canada (UCC) in 1952. A few years later, Ben helped turn the UCC into a community organization with a basic diving safety training program. As Ben’s emphasis on diver safety began to grow, dive clubs throughout Ontario started to exchange safety information and procedures.
In 1958, the dive clubs in Ontario decided to form the first provincial council, the Ontario Underwater Council (OUC), picking Ben as the council’s Vice-President. After the council president died in a tragic traffic accident, Ben was promoted to OUC President. In 1959, Ben was asked to attend the formative meeting of the Underwater Society of America in Boston on behalf of Canada. This formative meeting included guest speaker Jacques Cousteau who had established CMAS a few months earlier.
The original Underwater Society of America became the CMAS affiliate for North America with Ben chosen to be the first Safety Officer and the only Canadian to have served on it’s board.
In 1961, NAUI held the second ever Instructor Certification Course (ICC) in Toronto, Canada under the direction of Ben Davis. His involvement was essential in the development of NAUI in Canada. The Toronto NAUI ICC was the first course for diving instruction held in Canada. Ben was awarded NAUI #101 (numbers 1-100 had been reserved for U.S. instructors). He was elected President of the NAUI in 1968 and President of NAUI Canada in 1972. In 1968, he participated in the development of the extremely popular Canadian Divemaster Project designed for experienced advanced divers to acquire the basic skills and knowledge to supervise diving students”.
In 1964, he was the founding President of the Association of Canadian Underwater Councils (ACUC) 1964. He was a Canadian Diving Program (CDP)/CMAS 3 Star Instructor (C-001) and Vice President/Safety Officer of the CDP in 2012. And he received the distinguished Canadian
Commemorative Medal (in sports) for “important service to the nation”.
When asked about his career accomplishments and contributions to the sport, Ben, considered to be the patriarch of diving in Canada, told his friend Gain Wong, “I was just there when things were coming together, so I put in my two cents.” Those two cents have certainly reaped benefits for the entire diving world. Thank you, Ben!
:: Chuck Davis - Arts - 2017
From the freezing climes of Antarctica and Greenland to the heat and humidity of the Amazon, Chuck Davis has worked for nearly 40 years as a specialist in marine and underwater photography and cinematography. His motion picture credits include work on several IMAX films, including Ring of Fire (underwater lava scenes), Whales, The Greatest Places, Amazing Journeys, Search for the Great Sharks, and the Academy Award-nominated, Alaska: Spirit of the Wild and The Living Sea (underwater/marine scenes of Monterey Bay).
For over twenty years, Davis worked as a freelance cinematographer and still photographer with the Cousteau filming teams working with the late Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his son Jean-Michel onboard vessels, Alcyone and Calypso, during production of the Rediscovery of the World TV series and later, as a director of photography on Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Adventures PBS television series.
Davis has also worked on feature films such as Warner Brothers’ SPHERE, 20th Century Fox/Walden Media’s, Chasing Mavericks, Wavelength Pictures’ Tao of Surfing (currently in production) as well as documentary projects for the BBC, CBS, NBC/Universal, Discovery/Learning Channel, and National Geographic Channel. Davis was the director of photography for the Smithsonian’s Who We Are (a special dome-theater film for the National Museum for the American Indian, in Washington, D.C.), and the avant-garde production, Crystal Palace, filmed in Papua New Guinea for director, Mathias Poledna.
Davis’s still photographs have been widely published in magazines such as LensWork, B +W, ORION, LIFE, National Geographic, Audubon, Nature’s Best, Outside, French Terre Sauvage, BBC Wildlife, Ocean Realm and numerous Cousteau publications, including the Doubleday expedition books, Cousteau’s Great White Shark, Cousteau’s Papua New Guinea Journey, and Cousteau’s Australia Journey. Davis, as a veteran Cousteau cinematographer, was honored to be one of the interviewees that appeared in Jean-Michel’s Cousteau’s, My Father the Captain: Jacques-Yves Cousteau, a documentary film in tribute to the 100th birthday anniversary of Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
Davis’ still photography work has also been included in several private and corporate collections and in special exhibitions by the Ansel Adams Gallery and multi-photographer exhibits at the National Geographic Society/Explorer’s Hall, the Center for Photographic Art, the Monterey Museum of Art, Brooks Institute, Rfotofolio, the Art Museum of South Texas and is included in the permanent photographic collection of the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News,VA. Davis is the author/photographer of California Reefs (Chronicle Books) and has earned degrees in fisheries biology from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and in filmmaking from the Brooks Institute.
The main thrust in Davis’ personal work is in helping to stimulate marine environmental awareness and conservation via the use of marine and underwater imagery. His photographs and/or motion picture footage have been published, exhibited and/or presented for advocacy and educational purposes by an number of environmental organizations including the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, Audubon Society, NRDC’s OnEarth, Ocean Conservancy’s Blue Planet, Pew Oceans Commission Reports, WWF/Canada, the American Cetacean Society and Save the Whales Foundation.
:: Helen Turcotte Davis - Sports / Education - 1983
Helen Turcotte Davis is the owner and president of Medical Seminars, Inc., a company which provides physicians with information and skills in the medical aspects of sport diving. She also recognized that it was vitally important for all scuba divers to have physicians trained to recognize, diagnose and treat diving accidents.
Medical Seminars, Inc. arranges academic seminars for physicians of all specialties who are interested in diving medicine. The academic program is highly accredited by the American Medical Association through the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society as well as the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Emergency Physicians.
The academic faculty is composed of physicians who are recognized experts in the treatment of diving medicine, undersea medicine and sports medicine. Most have held the position of president of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society and many are professors at major medical schools. The physicians who attend are from all over the United States and Canada and all medical specialties are represented.
The meetings are usually one week long and destinations in the Caribbean include Bonaire, Grand Cayman, Cayman Brae, Little Cayman, St., Lucia, Peter Island in the British Virgin Islands, Cozumel as well as Pacific destinations such as Palau and Yap. In addition to the academic program, Helen handles the complete package of selecting the destination, making the hotel, diving and airline reservations, overseeing the classroom setup and escorting the trip. Her groups range from 50 - 150 people of which 80 are divers.
Medical Seminars, Inc. has a publishing division dedicated to publications concerning diving medicine including Medical Examination of Sport Scuba Divers which was edited by the late Jefferson C. Davis, M.D., himself a NOGI recipient, and DIVING MEDICINE, edited by Jefferson C. Davis, M.D. and Alfred A. Bove, M.D.
:: Jefferson Davis, MD - Sports / Education - 1981
B.S., M.D., University of Missouri
M.P.H., University of California
Certified in Aerospace Medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine
Fellow, American College of Preventive Medicine (President, 1982-1983)
Fellow, Aerospace Medical Association (President, 1982-1983)
Graduate, U.S. Navy Diving Medicine Course, 1965
Graduate, Hyperbaric Medicine, University of Buffalo, 1966
Lecturer and Consultant, Nine USAF Compression Chambers Worldwide, 1966-1978
Founder, USAF Hyperbaric Medicine Center and "LeoFast"
Medical review Board, National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA)
Major Contributor, NOAA Diving Manual, 1st and 2nd Editions
Co-Editor and Author, Diving Medicine, Bove & Davis, W.B. Saunders, In-Press, 1989
President, Undersea Medical Society, 1979-1980
Author of over 70 papers and book chapters, including the chapter, "Scuba Medicine" in the textbook, Wilderness Emergency Medicine
Adjunct Professor, environmental Medicine, University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston
Lecturer: U.S. Navy Diving Medical officer Course
Lecturer: Canadian Diving Medical Officer Course
1978-1989 Director, Hyperbaric Medicine Department, Southwest Texas Methodist Hospital and nix Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas
1989 Undersea Medical Society appointment to the U.S Army, Navy, Air Force Joint Committee on Hyperbaric Medicine
1986-1989 Chairman, NASA Committee on Hyperbaric Chamber and Decompression Sickness Treatment Procedures for International Space Station Astronauts
1984-1989 National Consultant to U.S. Air Force Surgeon General, Hyperbaric Medicine
:: Paul Dayton, Ph.D. - Science - 2005
Dr. Paul Dayton is a world-renowned biological oceanographer at Scripps Oceanographic Institution. Professor Dayton researches coastal and estuarine habitats, including seafloor (or "benthic") and kelp communities, as well as global fisheries. He has conducted investigations in several parts of the world, including spending more than 50 months in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, performing research during more than 900 dives under the ice. The scientific papers resulting from these research projects are largely believed to have set the standard for Antarctic undersea ecology. Dayton's studies also include the impacts of overfishing on marine ecosystems. Dayton is a PEW Fellow and recently served as a director for the Ocean Conservancy and the National Research Council Panel on Marine Protected Areas. Dr. Dayton's career has been motivated by the belief that one must understand nature to protect it, and he has attempted to use analytical techniques to understand marine community systems. The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., also recently honored Dayton with an Award for Merit for outstanding scientific research and for his work in management and policy and the 2002 American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) Scientific Diving Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also the only person to have won both of the Ecological Society of America's Mercer and Cooper research awards and in 2004 he won the E.O. Wilson award from the American Society of Naturalists. A resident of Solana Beach, Calif., Dayton was born in Tucson, Ariz., and received a B.Sc. in zoology from the University of Arizona in 1963. In 1970, he earned a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Washington, Seattle. He is a member of the Ecological Society of America and the American Society of Naturalists, and he is both a member and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1990, he was appointed a member of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission by President George Bush. He has served the United States Marine Mammal Commission and the University of California Natural Reserve System. Previously he received the Louise Burt Award for excellence in oceanographic writing from Oregon State University.
:: Mike deGruy- Distinguished Service- 2011
Mike deGruy had a lifelong interest in all things ocean, a BS and 3 years of Graduate School in Marine Biology, followed by making films in the ocean for over 35 years.
He was a dynamic force exposing and espousing the wonders of the sea. His enthusiasm fired up audiences around the globe and his film work thrilled everyone who was lucky to watch.
He was an award winning filmmaker, writer, producer, director of photography and television host with over thirty prestigious awards including three EMMYs. The list of his work is very long but it does not do justice to the enthusiasm that inspired, excited and motivated everyone that he interacted with.
On April 2, 1978, Mike deGruy and a fellow researcher were shooting in a little known area of the Eniwetok Atoll when he was violently attacked by a grey reef shark. It ripped the top of his right arm off and left him bleeding profusely in the shark-filled waters of the lagoon. His diving partner was less severely attacked by the same shark. They were 10 miles out, with no land in sight and nobody in their 21-foot boat to help. Mike accepted his impending fate, rolled over on his back, used his left hand to clamp off the blood flow from his right arm, and slowly kicked toward the boat. The expected second attack never came, and his partner was already in the boat to help him.
Mike has filmed everything from enormous orcas attacking sea lions in the frozen north with Mike in the frozen water amid the sea lions, to a tiny yellow pufferfish blowing itself up as big as it could possibly get when it was suddenly attacked by an eel. The little puffer kept blowing and finning with its little fins as fast as possible, while the eel worked and worked on gulping it down until…until….the pufferfish got away!
Mike worked for Discovery Channel, National Geographic, PBS and the BBC, and with David Attenborough, James Cameron and Turner Broadcasting. Mike has dived under the ice at both poles, been to all continents, become a submersible pilot, dived hundreds of times in many types of submersibles, filmed hydrothermal vents and had more meals on the Titanic, now resting at 12,500 feet deep, than did the doomed passengers.
On February 3, 2012, Mike died in a helicopter crash in Australia while working on another in his long list of photo expeditions. He leaves behind is wife Mimi Armstrong deGruy, an associate producer for Ted Turner when they met to work on a film in Hawaii. They have two teen-aged children Max and Frances. Max is also an underwater cinematographer.
Thank you to Hillary Hauser for contributions to this biography.
:: Henri G. DeLauze - Distinguished Service - 2004
Henri DeLauze founded COMEX and its world-renowned Subsea Services in 1961. He was awarded a degree in engineering from the Ecole Superieure des Arts et Metiers in Aix-en-Provence (1946/49) and a Master of Science in Marine Geology at the University of California (Berkeley) in 1960. From 1952 to 1955, he cooperated on a voluntary basis with Captain Cousteau's team as an engineer and as a diver in Marseilles (OFRS). From 1956 to 1961, during his promising career with the big international contractor, Grands Travaux de Marseille, he was responsible for several major large construction sites, including the motorway tunnel under Havana's bay in Cuba (1956/57). At the end of 1961, back in France, he joined the CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research) as head of the "ARCHIMEDE" Bathyscaph Submersible Laboratory in which he carried out a dive to a depth of - 9,650 metres, off the coast of Japan in 1961. He thus became the "Deepest Frenchman in the world" (the deepest human dive was sponsored by the US Navy with Ct Don WALSH and Jacques PICCARD in the Batyscaph "TRIESTE" to 10.700 m. in 1960).
Delauze anticipated the oil industry need for deep diving assistance and created a hyperbaric experimental center where scientists and engineers could study the effects of pressure on divers and develop new sub-sea techniques. He personally participated in the first dives with helium at depths of 335m and 360m during which the high-pressure nervous syndrome was discovered and described. Under his leadership COMEX developed many of the technologies now used by all the offshore industry such as the diving spread configurations, hyperbaric welding, cold and hot tapping, abrasive jetting and underwater NDT. Henri has been married since 1953 and has three children, Michele, Marc and Beatrice.
:: Sylvia A. Earle, Ph.D. - Science - 1976
Sylvia A. Earle is an oceanographer with a B.S. degree from Florida State Univ. (1955), M. S. and Ph D. degrees from Duke Univ. (1956, 1966) and honorary degrees from the Monterey Institute (1990), Ball State Univ. (1991), Washington College (1992), Duke Univ. (1993), Ripon College (1994), Univ. of Connecticut (1994), Univ. Rhode Is. (1996), Plymouth State College (1996), Simmons College (1997), Florida International University (1998) and St. Norbert's College (1998). She was Curator of Phycology at the California Academy of Sciences (1979 - 1986) and Research Assoc. at the Univ. of California, Berkeley (1969 - 1981), Radcliffe Inst. Scholar (1967-1969 ) and Research Fellow or Associate at Harvard Univ. (1967 - 1981). From 1980 to 1984 she served on the President's Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere (1980-84). In 1990 she was appointed as Chief Scientist of NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) where she served until 1992. In 1992, she founded Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, (D O E R), to design, operate, support, and consult on manned and robotic sub sea systems.
Recognized by the Library of Congress as a Living Legend, Dr. Earle is presently, Chairman of D O E R and the Explorer in Residence at the National Geographic Society. In addition, she serves as the Executive Director of Conservation International's Marine Conservation Program, Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Harte Institute Marine Advisory Board, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Chairman of the Science Committee for the National Park Service Advisory Board and Honorary President of the Explorers Club. She led the Sustainable Seas Expeditions, a five-year study of the National Marine Sanctuaries sponsored by National Geographic and funded by the Goldman Foundation. She is an adjunct scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), a Director of Kerr-McGee Inc., and serves on various boards, foundations and committees relating to marine research, policy and conservation. These include the World Resources Institute, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, World Environment Center, University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, Duke University Marine Laboratory, Lindbergh Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, the Natural Resource Defense Council, United Nations Environmental Program and National Park Service.
She is a Fellow of the AAAS, the Marine Technology Society, the California Academy of Sciences, and the World Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Earle has led more than 50 expeditions worldwide involving in excess of 6500 hours underwater in connection with her research. She led the first team of women aquanauts during the Tektite Project in 1970 and holds a depth record for solo diving (1000 meters). Author of more than 100 publications concerning marine science and technology including the books, Sea Change (1995), Wild Ocean (1999), and Atlas of the Ocean (2001) she has participated in numerous television productions and given scientific, technical and general interest lectures in more than 60 countries. Books for children include Hello Fish, Sea Critters, Coral Reefs, and the award winning DIVE! Honors and awards include: The 2004 AAUS Scientific Diving Lifetime Achievement Award, 2004 International Banksia Environmental Award, 2003 Wyland Icon Award Lifetime Achievement Award, 2001 Robin W. Winks Award, 1999 Ding Darling Conservation Medal, 1999 Barbie Ambassador of Dreams, 1998 John M. Olguin Marine Environment Award, 1997 Bal de la Mer Foundation's Sea Keeper Award, 1997 Julius B. Stratton Leadership Award, 1997 Sea Space Environmental Awareness Award, 1997 Marine Technology Society Compass Award, 1997 Kilby Award, 1996 Explorers Club Medal, the 1996 Lindbergh Award, 1995 Boston Museum of Science Washburn Medal, the 1995 Massachusetts Audubon Society's Allen Morgan Prize, 1992 Director's Award of the Natural Resources Council; 1991 DEMA Hall of Fame Award; 1991 Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement; 1990 Radcliffe College Alumnae Association Medal; 1990 Society of Women Geographers Gold Medal; 1989 New England Aquarium David B. Stone Medal; 1981 Order of the Golden Ark by the Prince of the Netherlands; 1980 Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Award; 1970 Los Angeles Times Woman of the Year Award and a 1970 U. S. Department of Interior Conservation Service Award. In October 2000, she was inducted to the National Women's Hall of Fame.
She has been profiled for the National Geographic Explorer program (1987), Life Magazine (1987), The New Yorker (1989), the New York Times Magazine (1991), Parade Magazine (1991), Tomorrow Magazine (1991), Scientific American (1992), Current Biographies (1972 and 1992), ABC TV 20/20 (1992, 1995), the Charlie Rose Show (1993), The Lauren Hutton Show, CBS Sunday Morning (1995), TIME magazine, CNN (1998), USA Today (1999), People magazine (2000), & Vanity Fair (2002).
From the Academy of Achievement:
Sylvia Earle was born in Gibbstown, New Jersey. Her parents raised her on a small farm near Camden. From the time she was very small, Sylvia loved exploring the woods near her home. She was fascinated by the creatures and plants that lived in the wild. Neither of her parents had a college education, but they too loved nature, and they taught young Sylvia to respect wild creatures and not to be afraid of the unknown. Those who have followed her adult career may wonder if she is afraid of anything.
When Sylvia was 13, the family moved to Clearwater, Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico. Soon, Sylvia was learning all she could about the wildlife of the Gulf and its coast. Her parents could not afford to send her to college themselves, but she was an exceptional student and won scholarships to the Florida State. Throughout her school years, she supported herself by working in college laboratories.
Here, she first learned scuba diving, determined to use this new technology to study marine life at first hand. Fascinated by all aspects of the ocean and marine life, Sylvia decided to specialize in botany. Understanding the vegetation, she believes, is the first step to understanding any ecosystem.
After earning her Master's at Duke University, Sylvia Earle took time off to marry and start a family but remained active in marine exploration. In 1964, when her children were only two and four, she left home for six weeks to join a National Science Foundation expedition in the Indian Ocean. Throughout the mid-1960s, she struggled to balance the demands of her family with scientific expeditions that took her all over the world.
In 1966 Sylvia Earle received her Ph.D. from Duke. Her dissertation "Phaeophyta of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico" created a sensation in the oceanographic community. Never before had a marine scientist made such a long and detailed first-hand study of aquatic plant life. Since then she has made a lifelong project of cataloguing every species of plant that can be found in the Gulf of Mexico.
Dr. Earle's burgeoning career took her first to Harvard, as a research fellow, then to the resident directorship of the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory, in Florida. In 1968, Dr. Earle traveled to a hundred feet below the waters of the Bahamas in the submersible Deep Diver. She was four months pregnant at the time.
In 1969 she applied to participate in the Tektite project. This venture, sponsored jointly by the U.S. Navy, the Department of the Interior and NASA allowed teams of scientist to live for weeks at a time in an enclosed habitat on the ocean floor fifty feet below the surface, off the Virgin Islands. By this time, Sylvia had spent more than a thousand research hours underwater, more than any other scientists who applied to the program, but, as she says, "the people in charge just couldn't cope with the idea of men and women living together underwater."
The result was Tektite II, Mission 6, an all-female research expedition led by Dr. Earle herself. In 1970, Sylvia Earle and four other women dove 50 feet below the surface to the small structure they would call home for the next two weeks.
The publicity surrounding this adventure made Sylvia Earle a recognizable face beyond the scientific community. To their surprise, the scientists found they had become celebrities and were given a ticker-tape parade and a White House reception. After that Sylvia Earle was increasingly in demand as public speaker, and she became an outspoken advocate of undersea research. At the same time, she began to write for National Geographic and to produce books and films. Besides trying to arouse greater public interest in the sea, she hoped to raise public awareness of the damage being done to our aquasphere by pollution and environmental degradation.
In the 1970s, scientific missions took Sylvia Earle to the Galapagos, to the water off Panama, to China and the Bahamas and, again, to the Indian Ocean. During this period she began a productive collaboration with undersea photographer Al Giddings. Together, they investigated the battleship graveyard in the Caroline Islands of the South Pacific.
In 1977 they made their first voyage following the great sperm whales. In a series of expeditions they followed the whales from Hawaii to New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Bermuda and Alaska. Their journeys were recorded in the documentary film Gentle Giants of the Pacific (1980).
In 1979, Sylvia Earle walked untethered on the sea floor at a lower depth than any living human being before or since. In the so-called Jim suit, a pressurized one-atmosphere garment, she was carried by a submersible down to the depth of 1,250 feet below the ocean's surface off of the island of Oahu. At the bottom, she detached from the vessel and explored the depths for two and a half hours with only a communication line connecting her to the submersible, and nothing at all connecting her to the world above. She described this adventure in her 1980 book: Exploring the Deep Frontier.
In the 1980s, along with engineer Graham Hawkes, she started the companies Deep Ocean Engineering and Deep Ocean Technologies. These ventures design and build undersea vehicles like Deep Rover and Deep Flight which are making it possible for scientists to maneuver at depths that defied all previously existing technology. In the middle of this life of adventure, Sylvia Earle has been married and raised three children, some of whom have worked side by side with her at Deep Ocean Engineering.
In the early 1990s, Dr. Earle took a leave of absence from her companies to serve as Chief Scientist of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. There, among other duties, Sylvia Earle was responsible for monitoring the health of the nation's waters. In this capacity she also reported on the environmental damage wrought by Iraq's burning of the Kuwaiti oil fields.
Today she is explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society. Wherever future journeys take her, we can be certain that Sylvia Earle will be in the forefront of deep ocean exploration.
From National Geographic:
Sylvia Earle, called "Her Deepness" by the New Yorker and the New York Times, "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress, and the first "Hero for the Planet," is an oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer with experience as a field research scientist. She also is executive director for corporate and nonprofit organizations, including the Aspen Institute, the Conservation Fund, American Rivers, Mote Marine Laboratory, Duke University Marine Laboratory, Rutgers Institute for Marine Science, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and Ocean Conservancy.
Former chief scientist of NOAA, Earle is president of Deep Search International and chair of the Advisory Council for the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies. She has a B.S. from Florida State University, an M.S. and a Ph.D. from Duke University, and 15 honorary degrees. She has authored more than 150 scientific, technical, and popular publications, lectured in more than 60 countries, and appeared in hundreds of television productions.\
Earle has led more than 60 expeditions and logged more than 6,000 hours underwater, including leading the first team of women aquanauts during the Tektite Project in 1970 and setting a record for solo diving to a depth of 1,000 meters (3,300 feet). Her research concerns marine ecosystems with special reference to exploration and the development and use of new technologies for access and effective operations in the deep sea and other remote environments.
Honors include the Netherlands Order of the Golden Ark, inclusion in the National Women's Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Achievement, and medals from the Explorers Club, the Philadelphia Academy of Sciences, the Lindbergh Foundation, the National Wildlife Federation, Sigma Xi, Barnard College, the New England Aquarium, the Seattle Aquarium, the Society of Women Geographers, and the National Parks Conservation Association.
:: Glen H. Egstrom, Ph.D. - Distinguished Service - 1969- Science - 1981
Born in Jamestown, ND on October 16, 1928 Glen Egstrom graduated from Jamestown High School in 1946. He was very involved in athletics in High School and College. Upon graduation from High School he went to the University of North Dakota ands received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education in 1950. He married Donna following graduation and they left for Tracy, California and their first teaching job in 1950. He was drafted into the Army shortly thereafter and was selected for Officer Candidate School following basic training. He graduated with the first Antiaircraft Artillery OCS class in Fort Bliss Texas. Following a short tour stateside he was sent to Korea where he served in the 3rd Infantry Division as a Platoon Leader with a Self Propelled Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion in direct support of Infantry and later as an Aerial Observer with the Air Force 6147th Tactical Air Control Squadron where he engaged in 28 combat missions before returning stateside. He was honorably discharged from the Army in 1965 as a Major. Glen was fortunate to return to his wife, Donna , then in Los Angeles, and he used the GI Bill to enroll at UCLA where he was accepted for graduate school. He was offered a position as a Teaching Assistant and in the following year, full time employment in the Physical Education Department, soon to be the Department of Kinesiology and later the Department of Physiological Sciences at UCLA. Following the award of a Master of Science Degree, Glen continued working at UCLA full time during the period when he became a candidate for a Ph.D. in Physical Education at USC. His interest in human performance research developed while working at UCLA and became focused while engaging in his studies at USC. He was awarded the Ph.D degree in 1961 and gained new perspective on the advantages of a life in academia with an advanced degree. He observes that the circumstance is somewhat like the difference between being an enlisted man in the army and an officer in charge of something, it is far better to be a leader than a follower. During these early years at UCLA, the Egstrom family increased to five with the addition of Gail, Eric and Karen.
The year 1954 contained a milestone in his career as he was given a two hose regulator (Aqualung #1008 and a set of twin cylinders from Rene's, hydro tested in 1951) that he used for his first scuba dive at Palos Verdes, Ca. while being followed by a close friend who acted as the "bubble watcher" on the surface. His underwater career to this point had been breath holding dives using a towing sled to find lost fishing gear and outboard motors in fresh water lakes. Challenging but lucrative! A series of largely solo experiences in California's cold, low visibility water made it clear to him that the small paper back "dive manual" lacked a great deal of detail regarding the nuances of enjoyment of the underwater realm. The addition of a $25 "made to measure kit" Dive and Surf, skin one side, wet suit made an enormous difference in his interest in diving. Much of his later research on thermal problems in diving grew out of the lesson that it doesn't matter how cold the water is as long as the diver can stay warm. He became the faculty sponsor for the UCLA Skin and Scuba Club and by 1961 a formal Los Angeles County certification course had been developed and completed at UCLA. Following certification in this basic Scuba course he enrolled in the L.A. County Underwater Instructors Course in 1964 and received the "Outstanding Candidate" award upon completion. Even though he was primarily an academician he agreed to be the UCLA Diving Safety Officer from 1964 until 1992, at no increase in salary, he adds. During this time he operated a major recreational and scientific diving program whose divers have consistently distinguished themselves in the field.
Dr. Egstrom was elected President of the L.A. County Underwater Instructors Association in 1967, President of NAUI in 1970, and President of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences in 1989. The latter group was responsible for gaining an exemption for Scientific Diving from the OSHA Commercial Diving standard. He has been very active in diving education for over 50 years working with many organizations and thousands of divers in basic, advanced, public safety, scientific, military and instructor training programs worldwide. He served as Course Director or Training Director in 36 courses for underwater instructors worldwide. His heavy involvement in underwater education led him to develop an Underwater Kinesiology Laboratory at UCLA and establish a diving safety research project that would operate for over 40 years and result in over 125 publications on various aspects of underwater performance and safety. Glen and Dr. Art Bachrach co-authored Stress and Performance in Diving in 1987 in an effort to provide additional insight into the nature of the calculated risks involved in diving. Glen has also been a contributing author to four editions of the NOAA Diving Manual, four editions of Bove and Davis Diving Medicine , 3 editions of Bennett and Elliot Physiology and Medicine of Diving as well as a number or recreational diving manuals. He recently was selected to edit a major Aquatic Safety Compendium for the National Swimming Pool Foundation. He has also served as a Board Member of several organizations including Our World Underwater Scholarship Society, the National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs Diving Control Board, the DAN Board of Directors and the NAUI Board of Directors.
During his 50+ years of teaching experience he has enjoyed interaction with students while lecturing on topics such as applied anatomy, exercise physiology, environmental physiology, underwater physiology, aquatic kinesiology, biomechanical analysis and conditioning for optimal performances and safety and underwater performance to name a few of his favorites. He has always felt that the exposure to students is one of the most enriching learning experiences that one can have on this planet. Dr. Egstrom has been an elected Fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine since 1962, a member of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society since 1970, a member of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences since 1980 and a NOGI member of The Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences since 1969. He has received over 20 awards from National and International diving organizations for his work in diving education and safety. Since 1991 he has been Professor Emeritus in the Physiological Sciences Department at UCLA and still maintains office and laboratory space on the campus. He continues to serve on the UCLA Diving Safety Control Board for the scientific diving program. When possible, he goes to campus and swims 2500 meters with mask, fins and snorkel 4-5 times a week in the 50 meter outdoor pool. A great believer in the benefits of the increased partial pressure of Oxygen, he feels that regular swimming, along with the opportunities to enjoy the benefits of hyperbaric therapy in the form of scuba diving, has enabled him to keep senility at bay in a minefield of stress producing activities. Dr. Egstrom is a founding director for the Our World Underwater Scholarship Society and has been actively involved in the selection and nurturing of the OWU Scholars since 1972. This activity has brought over 50 young people into a family of scholars that are actively focused upon the preservation of our underwater world. It is a most rewarding life experience to meet and enjoy the company of this group of extraordinarily qualified young people as well as the members of the Society that supports the scholars year long odyssey. An annual regret upon selection of the Scholar is that he cannot step into the scholar's shoes for the year. With a little good luck and continued good health he hopes to continue the adventure and the pursuit of the higher partial pressure of Oxygen.
Glen is still an avid diver who continues to enjoy underwater adventures in warm clear water in prime dive locations wherever they can be found. His love of diving has resulted in over 10,000 hours of enjoyment while working and playing underwater since 1954. His fondness for underwater hunting has largely, but not completely, been replaced by the challenge of underwater videography that has led him to many of the most beautiful underwater dive sites in the world. Should he ever find himself unable to dive, it will be time to edit the hundreds of hours of ½", 8mm, hi8, and digital video images that have accumulated next to his basically underused, but sophisticated, editing equipment. His good health and a mind that makes appointments with a high regard for enjoying the moment creates a conflict with things that can wait till later. His good fortune has led him into participation in a wide range of diving activities including weightless simulation studies in early space suits, underwater studies at Eniwetok Atoll, diving under the ice in the Antarctic as well as the frigid waters off Alaska, Shark studies in Rangiroa, underwater work projects on Sea Lab III, underwater behavioral studies for the Naval Medical Research Institute Behavioral Sciences laboratory for 13 years, underwater work studies on the Aegir project in Hawaii, development and evaluation projects involving the Mark V and Mark XII USN diving systems, underwater work tolerance studies for the Office of Naval research, 6 years, served as a reserve search and rescue diver with Emergency Services Detail of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department in the Marine Company 218, retired as Captain after 30 years of service. He has also been active as an expert witness involved in hundreds of aquatic accidents since 1957. Among his favorite activities has been service as a faculty member on 52 Diving Medicine courses for the continuing education of diving physicians worldwide. These courses have enabled him to study and dive with physicians from an entire range of medical specialties from all parts of the world. He feels that this involvement has provided an unusually stimulating post doctoral educational experience. A recurring thought that he has been able to live like a millionaire without the aggravation of making the money, has enriched his life. A more complete CV is available online.
:: Richard Ellis - Arts - 2014
Richard Ellis’ first book The Book of Sharks, debuted to much praise in 1976, slated as “an exploration of the intertwined destinies of sharks and humankind.” Seven printings and closing in on 40 years later, this large-format, beautifully illustrated (20 Ellis paintings, hundreds of his
detailed drawings and photographs), nearly four-pound behemoth was, at this article’s press time, holding steady among Amazon’s Top 100 ichthyology books, and #13 on the list of top fish field guides.
The cover shark, Odonta spis taurus—a grey nurse shark, its scale intimated by the dappled seafloor—looks solid, impassive, self-possessed; as Ellis depicts it, like the exquisite animal it is: closer in demeanor to, say, an outsized Carassius auratus auratus than the torpedoing man-eater of
Peter Benchley’s 1974 bestseller or Stephen Spielberg’s ’75 blockbuster. Then again, a nurse shark is not a white shark. And it was Jaws that inadvertently led to Ellis’s shark book. Which brings us to a typical Ellis understatement: “People like to depict sharks as ravenous killers,” he says, “which, of course, they’re not.” And another Ellis pet peeve: the occasional gaps between an artist’s perception and reality. As a self-taught painter and naturalist, a longtime research associate with the American Museum of Natural History in New York, Ellis believes in learning about his subjects firsthand. Too often, he says, marine artists rely on someone else’s descriptions or illustrations without setting eyes on the
living animals they portray. “As a result, their perceptions may be a little off,” leading to misinformation in lieu of education. “I’ve seen a lot of whales and sharks, and been in the water with many of them,” he adds. Indeed Ellis has plunged into waters off all seven continents to research his subjects (and admits he’s loved every minute of it).
So how does a guy become at once a celebrated marine artist and writer as well as a naturalist,conservationist, museum consultant, and adventuring member of the Explorers Club? He thinks big as a kid and takes his kid dreams seriously. A native New Yorker, the son of two lawyers, Ellis grew up on Long Island. From an early age, he liked to draw— animals, mostly. He also liked to play at the beach. And he loved dioramas. When he grew up, Ellis decided, he would paint dioramas for museums. College took him to the University of Pennsylvania to study history. After graduation and a stint in the Army, he gathered up his childhood drawings to convince AMNH to hire him. “Back then it
was a fussy old museum, just a great place to spend a rainy day with a stuffed buffalo.” As it happened, though, the fussy old museum wanted a life-size model of a blue whale....“I had no more idea of how to build it than how to build a 747,” he says. But he drew the whale,then forged ahead, supervising its construction and installation. Ellis’s epic “diorama” encompasses no less than the entire 29,000-square- foot Hall of Ocean Life;
the 94-foot- long, 21,000-pound Balaenoptera musculus hangs from the ceiling. Completed in 1969, an exercise in patience and possibility, the fiberglass whale made Ellis a name.
At 31, he was an acclaimed artist of marine subjects and natural history. Childhood dream accomplished. As his next challenge, Ellis switched mediums, tackling wildlife illustrations for Encyclopedia Britannica. He especially liked doing the sharks—studying them, drawing them, painting them. He began moonlighting on a shark series in his Manhattan studio. Peter Benchley, then a New York-based journalist deep into researching his first novel, got wind of Ellis’s pursuit, came to the studio, and snapped up an Ellis painting of (what else?) Carcharodon carcharias. The two shark aficionados became good friends who went fishing together. “He put sharks into the limelight with Jaws,” Ellis says. “I figured sharks needed better representation than his hysterical one.” Through a chance meeting at the Jaws 1974 launch party, Ellis landed a publisher for what became his opus.
Of course, Ellis lamented Benchley’s portrayal of sharks as blood-lusting people-eaters—but so, too, toward the end of his life, did Benchley. In the interim, the public’s Jaws-induced fears about sharks focused Ellis’s ambitions: “I love these animals,” he explained in a New York Times
interview. “I don’t want them maligned. I don’t want them killed. I don’t want them misunderstood. And it became my job, my passion, to eliminate the misunderstanding.”
With characteristic resolve, Ellis has worked steadily toward that goal and then some. Over the course of his career, he has written and illustrated more than two dozen books, in-depth examinations of various shark species, as well as whales, dolphins, porpoises, tuna, swordfish,
octopuses, giant squid, and such heady topics as the evolution of sea life, ocean exploration, ocean predation, prehistoric marine life, species extinction....
His repertoire also spans scores of illustrated articles for a long list of publications (Audubon, National Geographic, Scientific American, Sport Diver), plus television appearances, screenplays, and exhibitions at galleries and museums across the country. In New York, he’s represented by Ro
Gallery on Long Island. For the New Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts, he painted a 100- foot-long mural of Moby Dick swimming with a pod of sperm whales. Museum visitors have since included Herman Melville’s great-great- grandson. Ever-prolific and intrigued by his subjects, Ellis, now 76 and rebounding from a recent stroke, is currently working on two new illustrated books, one on cephalopods; the other about “the
little-known beaked whales—all 17 species!” Still, it’s The Book of Sharks and his shark paintings, he says, that have probably shed the most light on animal behavior among the public.
“I’ve always hoped my books would not only help to educate people to the wonders of life in the sea,” he says, “but would also contribute to the conservation of these various life forms.”
If the longevity of and reception to his works is any indication, it’s already mission accomplished.
:: Bob Evans - Sports / Education - 2005
Bob Evans is Founder and President of Bob Evans Designs, Inc., the corporate entity behind Force Fin. He is a world class photographer, visionary, and noted inventor who has been awarded over 33 patents for his revolutionary fin designs, including fins that use lift as opposed to drag forces to propel a diver, fins that snap to increase diver efficiency and fins that are split. His Tan Delta Force Fin is part of the permanent collections of the New York Museum of Modern Art and along with his Extra Force Fin, is part of the collections of the Costume Institute of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Bob has devoted his life to sharing the oceans. His company's mission statement reflects his vision to help people feel free as those who inhabit it. His diving career began in 1964 when he learned to free dive and purchased his first Nikonos. From 1966-73, he was employed by Dive 'N Surf in
Redondo Beach, California and was certified by Bob Meistrell, County of Los Angeles Instructor No. 1. In 1967, he was trained as a commercial diver and over the years, he has made over 850 dives documenting life below platforms in Santa Barbara Channel under contracts with Exxon, Shell Oil Company, Atlantic Richfield, Union Oil, Western Oil & Gas, and American Petroleum Institute. As a photographer he is best known for his Channel Islands Collection, which includes images he took on and in the waters surrounding the California Channel Islands.
Bob Evans is an original SSI Platinum Pro 5000. He was awarded an Honorary Masters of Science by the Trustees of his alma mater, Brooks Institute of Photography for extraordinary contributions to art, science and photography. Evans' photography has appeared in over 300 publications including Time, Life, and National Geographic. He has published two books, "The Living World of the Reef" and "The Channel Islands Collection."
Bob Evans has designed underwater camera housings for time-lapse systems, camera towing systems and a buoy system to carry cameras to preset depths. He was Chief Photographer of the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project's (SCCWRP) study of artificial reefs managed by Willard Bascom and John Isaacs of Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Atlantic Richfield Foundation funded Evans' productions for the Cabrillo Marine Museum. Santa Barbara's Sea Center opened with an exhibit of his photographic work. In the 1980's, Evans received a research grant from Kennedy Foundation to study the feasibility of harvesting and canning mussels from the offshore oil platforms of the Santa Barbara Channel.
Bob Evans is best-known for his fin designs, the most popular of which is his Force Fin, which he patented in 1981. His day job is as President of Bob Evans Designs, Inc., a research and development company that also manufactures and distributes Evans' fins.
:: Albert Falco - Distinguished Service - 1999
Albert Falco was a French scuba diving veteran and champion of underwater conservation. He was one of the longest-serving diving companions of Jacques Cousteau, Chief Diver, and later Captain of the RV Calypso.
He was a daring explorer, trying new equipment and descending to new depths. He lived in France and was active in preserving
Only three days before he died in April, 2012 he learned that a long sought goal was accomplished— a 190 square-mile land and marine protected zone was established near Marseilles, France. He was 85.
:: Louis M. Fead - Sports / Education - 1980
Lou Fead graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1953 with a B.S. in Engineering and a commission as an Ensign. A qualified submariner, Lou served aboard the USS Basker (SSR-269), USS Halibut (SSGN-587), and other vessels in the U.S. Pacific Fleet. In 1973, he retired from the
Naval Reserve as a commander after 20 years of service to his country.
Lou began his long and distinguished underwater career as a pilot of deep submersibles. He was inspired by what he saw deciding to share the underwater world with others by becoming a NAUI Scuba Instructor in 1969. At San Diego’s Diving Locker, Lou served as their head instructor
and Instructional Coordinator.
Following the Diving Locker, he taught scuba diving in Florida, the Bahamas and Aruba. A prolific author and leading figure in international diver education, Lou presented papers at NAUI’s International Conferences on Underwater Education (ICUEs) and published articles on diver training in many national and international magazines and journals. He was also an invited speaker at many major diving conferences in the US and Canada.
In the early 1970’s Lou commented publicly on the need for a standard, generally accepted set of basic hand signals for underwater communication. The response from the diving industry was, “OK Lou, you do it.” And that he did, presenting the diving world with a suite of signals that was
formally approved as a national standard by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 1976.
Lou decided to share his personal diving philosophy for safe and enjoyable diving, “Dive with your brain, not with your back” with a wider audience through publishing his landmark book, “Easy Diver”. Recognizing the importance of sticking to your dive plan, understanding your personal limits, the value of a buddy and relying on skill rather than strength were all part of Lou’s recommendations. Easy diving also included what
he considered to be one of the most stressful aspects of the preparation for diving, packing. His solution was to ‘fun pack’ your dive bag. You put in first what you want to come out last. So your fins, mask and snorkel go on first, followed by wetsuit, regulator and BCD.
It made sense then and still makes sense today. Diving should be easy, minimizing the work to maximize the enjoyment. And we have Lou Fead to thank for that.
:: Melvin Fisher - Sports / Education - 1978
“Today’s the day.” This was the famous cry of treasure diver Mel Fisher. July 20, 1985, was finally the day. Mel Fisher had found it. The 1622 wreck of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha, a Spanish galleon with 47 tons of gold and silver on board. Thousands of gold coins and jewelery. Valued at
over $400 million.
Mel Fisher was born in 1922 in Indiana. As a young boy, he experimented with breathing underwater with a bicycle pump, a hose and a bucket. During WWII, he was stationed in France and Germany. This is where he learned of a breathing apparatus used by the military. After the
war, he moved to California and started a chicken ranch. He had an air compressor in the barn and used it to fill scuba tanks for the local divers.
In 1953, he sold the ranch and opened up Mel’s Aqua Shop in the Riviera Village section of Redondo Beach. It was considered to be the first dive
shop in California. Mel would sell gear and offered to teach free lessons to anybody who bought gear from him. He and his wife Deo built their own spearguns and wetsuits. Mel’s father, Earl, poured the lead to make weights for the weight belts, filled tanks and made repairs. As a
promotion, Deo spent over 55 hours underwater in the Marineland dolphin tank.
In 1964, Mel and Deo met Kip Wagner, a Florida treasure hunter who found some silver coins that had washed up on the beach. This began Mel’s quest for sunken treasure. They sold the dive shop and moved to Florida. He put together a team of experienced divers and engineers from California to begin searching for treasure. At the Colored Beach Site, they found thousands of coins. Laws were soon created in Florida where the state would receive 25% of whatever was found.
After several finds, Mel decided to move to the Florida Keys in search of the 1622 Spanish galleons. They began searching around the area of the Marquesas. In 1973, Mel’s son Kane found a silver bar inscribed with the numbers that matched the manifest of the Atocha. It appeared they
were getting closer. In 1975, Mel’s oldest son Dirk found five bronze cannons belonging to the Atocha. However, one week later, Dirk, his wife Angel and diver Rick Gage were killed when their salvage boat Northwest capsized in the night.
Over the next 10 years, thousands of gold coins and jewelry were found. It was during this period that the State of Florida declared that the Antocha and all her treasure belonged to the State of Florida. It was also required that State agents would be aboard the dive boats to monitor the salvage operations, at a cost to the treasure hunters. Paul Horan, Mel Fisher’s attorney, appealed the decision to the Supreme Court. After 7 years, 141 hearings and $4 million in legal fees, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mel Fisher. He was the complete owner of the Atocha and the treasure.
After searching for 20 years, $20 million invested and refusing to give up hope, Mel had accomplished his dream. He found the treasures of the Atocha 35 miles southwest of Key West in 55 feet of water.
Mel Fisher passed away in 1998.
:: Rodney Fox - Distinguished Service - 2015
Rodney is a pioneer in three thriving dive industries in Australia and is a powerful contributor to shark conservation worldwide.
As the South Australian spear fishing champion, Rodney survived a massive shark attack in 1963. He wanted to learn more about his attacker and in 1964 he invented and pioneered cage diving with great white sharks for research, film-makers and tourists.
In 1965 he found lucrative abalone beds and became South Australia’s first full time commercial abalone diver. A profession he followed for 16 years. Rodney’s idea of fitting an aeroplane with a marine radio to spot whale sharks leading dive boats to them was so successful it kick started the now popular whale shark diving industry of Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia.
As expedition leader for 80 documentaries and feature films, plus hundreds of tourist expeditions. Rodney is accredited in someway of being responsible for all of the footage of great white sharks produced in he 20th century. After designing and building his first shark cage in 1966, Rodney organized the first cage diving expedition asking Ron Taylor to help him make the first ever underwater film on great white sharks. Rodney’s very successful expedition paved the way for a thriving, great white shark diving and filming industry. Rodney has now led expeditions for many film companies like Disney, Universal Studios, National Geographic, the Cousteau Society, BBC,
NHK and the ABC etc., amounting to over 80 successful expeditions for films and documentaries.
In 1970 after Peter Gimbel failed to find great white sharks off South Africa, he contacted Rodney. Rodney was successful, and with Stan Waterman and Ron and Valerie Taylor, completed this classic feature film Blue Water, White Death. In 1974 Universal Studios asked Rodney to lead an expedition to film the live shark scenes for the Hollywood blockbuster JAWS. Like many involved
in the film, Rodney was stunned by the fear the fictional film instilled in people, but later was thrilled when slowly this fear turned to curiosity. Ironically sparking an interest in many students in marine science and the study of sharks.
Rodney was a strong campaigner for the protection of great white sharks for almost 20 years and in the 1990’s they were protected. Rodney’s passion for diving and exploring led him on many expeditions around Australia, many for National Geographic magazine with specialist
photographer David Doubilet, diving on one expedition, with up to 28 whale sharks each day.
Within a year, Rodney led other successful trips, an IMAX film ‘In Search for Great Sharks’, two TV documentaries and others for tourists and journalists starting a whale shark gold rush. Today using Rodney’s spotting technique 20,000 people per year swim with these whale sharks along the Ningaloo Reef.
In 2001 together with his son Andrew, Rodney founded the Fox Shark Research Foundation, a non-profit organisation with the mission ‘to inspire the appreciation and understanding of great white sharks through research and education.’
Many items from Rodney’s shark museum collection travel around the world as part of an international exhibit Planet Shark (Predator or Prey).
Over the years Rodney became a spokesperson for the sharks his message is simple “We need the sharks in our ocean, look out for,
but look after the sharks.”
:: Rick Freshee - Arts - 1981
Rick Freshee was a world-renowned underwater photographer, teacher and mentor. Skin Diver Magazine, which showcased Rick's articles and photos for decades said: "Rick Frehsee is one of the most respected and accomplished underwater and travel photographers in the world." Rick began his career in the early 1970s as a research diver and marine biologist (University of Georgia, University of Miami), returning to teach in the Florida University system as a diving officer and Assistant Professor of Marine Technology. During this time he served as an expedition photographer, cave specialist and aquanaut (saturation diver), living undersea for weeks at a time in various undersea habitat projects in the Bahamas and the Florida Keys. Freshee worked as a photographer/cinematographer for Jacques Cousteau, and conducted research assignments on various scientific projects such as the Bahamas and Belize holes, archaeological shipwrecks and the Atomic shipwreck at Bikini Atoll.
In the 1980s, Rick turned to editorial and advertising photography, serving various resorts, airlines and tourist boards around the world. His assignments took him from the Caribbean to Micronesia, Australia, Indonesia and the Red Sea. Rick's photographs appeared in hundreds of publications including National Geographic, Natural History, Smithsonian, Popular Science, national Geographic Traveler, Life, Sports Illustrated, Ocean Technology, Sea Frontiers, various In-Flight publications and, Skin Diver, where he served as a special contributor for 15 years.
Rick received many national and international awards for his work, including print work and audiovisual design. Within the dive industry he received the Our World Underwater Award (Chicago), Diver of the Year (Boston Sea Rovers), Diver of the Year (Washington DC) and the N.O.G.I. National Award for Arts (note: in 1993, Rick became a Platinum Pro 5000 diver).
Rick also taught underwater photography for Nikon Inc. for 10 years, and made audiovisual presentations for Nikon, Kodak, National Geographic and Walt Disney.
Rick had a special relationship with Central America, especially the Bay Islands of Honduras. He made his first dive in Roatan in 1973 and has authored and photographed dozens of articles on the Bay Islands. He worked as a photographer and consultant to the Honduras Institute of Tourism for many years, as well as other tourist boards in Central America. He was also a spokesperson, travel consultant, photographer and advertising specialist for TACA Airlines - the official airlines of Central America.
:: Stephen Frink - Arts - 2017
Stephen Frink is one of the world’s most frequently published underwater photojournalists of the last four decades. He began his career in Key Largo, Florida in 1978 with a studio dedicated to underwater photo services and specialized training. His photography quickly attracted publishers who assigned a variety of travel features and photo training articles that took him around the world. He was a senior contributing photo journalist for Skin Diver magazine for 17 years and then transitioned to Scuba Diving magazine for another nine years.
More recently, in the past six years, Stephen has been the publisher of Alert Diver magazine for the Divers Alert Network. Prior to his involvement, it was a small modest edition primarily devoted to medical advice and safety tips for member divers. While serving on DAN’s Board of Directors, Frink became aware of how significant the numbers of DAN divers had become, and with the Board’s urging he took over the role as publisher. His job was to be the architect of a project to transform the publication to an upscale and expanded format to better serve and inform the readership. It is now arguably the finest diving magazine in North America with a wide range of features including medical, travel, instructional, conservation, interviews, and enlightened editorial content… achieving the reputation as a coffee-table collectable resource.
His commercial clients have included Scubapro, Victoria’s Secret, Henderson Aquatics, Aqualung, Oceanic, Canon, Nikon, Subgear, Mercury Marine, Jantzen, Alcan Aluminum, R.J. Reynolds, Seaquest, Neosport, American Express, Club Med as well as scores of resorts, liveaboards, and expedition vessels dedicated to diving. His stock photography is represented by Waterhouse Marine Images, Getty Images, Offset, Alamy, and Image Source.
Stephen also teaches Masters level courses through the Stephen Frink School of Underwater Digital Imaging in his home waters of the Florida Keys. This has been his ongoing passion since 1980 and he has brought the wonders of underwater imaging to thousands of student divers.
Additionally, he sponsors photographic tours internationally to the world’s best diving regions and uses his influence to promote ecology and conservation practices that have helped preserve the ocean environment.
He has also developed and patented a unique safety product, the BCD integrated safety-signaling device known as the Surface Observation Signal or S.O.S. His devotion to education and training bring regular public speaking engagements, both domestic and international.
His entire life has been devoted to diving photojournalism and education. He has led the path in this arena and his works are renowned worldwide. His legacy is far reaching.
Awards: Frink has been the recipient of numerous awards including “Diver of the Year” by Beneath the Sea. He was also named an “Explorer of Light” by Canon as one of the world’s most influential marine photographers.