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Gaffney, Jon

:: Jon Gaffney - Sports / Education - 1989

Gagnan, Emile

:: Emile Gagnan - Distinguished Service - 2002


Emile Gagnan was born in 1900 in Burgundy, France. He graduated in 1920 and worked as an engineer for Air Liquide, a French gas supply company. Gagnon specialized in high pressure pneumatic design. He had developed a regulator that would allow the use of cooking gas in an

automobile. At the request of Air Liquide, Emile Gagnan partnered with French Naval Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau, to design a regulator system that could be used by divers under the water. Cousteau’s father-in- law was a member of the Board of Directors of Air Liquide. They decided that the cooking gas regulator could be altered to use underwater. Their “Scaphandre Autonome” or “Aqua-Lung” regulator was the beginning of modern day scuba diving.


In 1943, Gagnan and Cousteau perfected the “Aqua-Lung” demand regulator that regulated the diver’s air supply automatically. Cousteau and his divers began testing the unit underwater in the Mediterranean Sea. This self contained unit now permitted divers to swim independently

underwater. The diver was no longer tethered to an air hose leading to the surface. The new “Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus” or “SCUBA” revolutionized diving.


In 1946, the first production models were manufactured and sold in France. In 1947, Gagnan and his family immigrated to Montreal, Canada. It is here he set up a lab and proceeded to design, engineer and patent a large number of SCUBA units. These regulators are considered to be the

direct ancestors of virtually every type of SCUBA regulator in common use today.


The development of the Cousteau-Gagnan regulator gave divers freedom of movement under the sea. Emile Gagnan passed away in 1979.

Galerne, Andre

:: Andre Galerne - Distinguished Service - 1988


Andre Galerne was the founder and former Chairman of the Board of International Underwater Contractors (I.U.C.) and its subsidiary, Deep Sea International Inc.


Born in 1926, in Paris, France, Mr. Galerne was recruited into the French Underground Resistance to fight against the German forces occupying France during World War II. He took his first dive in 1943 using Le Prieur apparatus and worked closely with Jacques Yves Cousteau and Phillipe Tailliez in the early days of Aqua-Lung development. Later he honed his engineering skills at l'Ecole Technique d'Aeronautique et de la Construstion Automobile.


In 1952, he founded Societe Generale de Travaux Maritimes et Fluviaux, SOGETRAM, one of the world's first international firms providing professional diving in industrial work. Using the Aqua-Lung and light diving helmets, Mr. Galerne's firm revolutionized the underwater industry. In 1959, he left France to start I.U.C.-Canada, in Montreal. In 1962, he emigrated to the United States where he formed International Underwater Contractors, Inc., serving as President until 1993.


In 1970, Mr. Galerne began I.U.C. International to service the offshore oil industry. In 1978, he formed the Deep Sea International to operate marine vessels and submersibles and ROVs for the same industry. As President of the Association of Diving Contractors he introduced the regional chapter system, modified the bylaws and articles of incorporation, and instigated the formation of Underwater Magazine.


Mr. Galerne is further credited with starting several professional diving school and several hyperbarics treatment facilities. He hold four U.S. patents on methodology and equipment advanced in the industry.


Mr. Galerne is professionally associated with the following organizations:

  • International Underwater Contractors; Founder and former Chairman of the Board

  • Deep Sea International, Inc.; Founder and former Chairman of the Board

  • Association of Diving Contractors; former President and former Board member

  • Bronx Chamber of Commerce

  • City Island Chamber of Commerce; former President and Chairman of the Board

  • The Historical Diving Society U.S.A.; founding Advisory Board Member

  • Marine Technology Society; former Vice President

  • The Moles

  • National Ocean Industries Association; former Director

  • Undersea Hyperbaric and Medical Society

  • Naval Submarine League

  • Scaph '50; Honorary President

  • Hyperbaric Services; President

  • American Bureau of Shipping; member of the Subcommittee of Underwater Systems and Vehicles

  • Musee Frederic Dumas; Board Member


Mr. Galerne has received the following awards:

  • Honors with appointments as Knight of the "French Legion de Honor," for his service to his country in World War II

  • 1981- 13th Annual Lockheed Award

  • 1983- Special Commendation for Improvement Safety and Training Practices from the Diving Industry by NOIA

  • 1986- Lowell Thomas Explorer's Club Award

  • 1988- NOGI Award for Distinguished Service, from the Underwater Society of America

  • 1989- New York Academy of Science Sea Award for Achievement in Science and Technology

  • 1993- Lifetime Achievement Award from Beneath the Sea

  • 1995- Association of Diving Contractors John Galletti Memorial Award. The ADC Board modified their rules, for one time only, to present the award to a sitting Board Member

  • 1999- Historical Diver Magazine Pioneer Award, The Historical Diving Society USA

:: Michael Gernhardt, Ph.D.- Science - 2018

In the 1970s, Gernhardt developed a new decompression model based on the biophysics of tissue bubble dynamics (TBDM). In the 1980s while a commercial diver, and PhD student at University of Pennsylvania under Dr. C.J Lamberstsen, he developed decompression tables for commercial diving using the TBDM model. These tables became the Oceaneering and Subsea International tables resulting in dramatic decreases in DCS. As the founder of Oceaneering Space Systems he was instrumental in developing the procedures and equipment for underwater spacewalk training using nitrox diving.  In 1992 Gernhardt was selected as a NASA astronaut. He has made four space flights and performed the first space walk from the international Space station, using a new exercise decompression protocol, for which he was the principle investigator.  He has been a pioneer in using saturation diving and submersibles to simulate space exploration missions, and evaluate human performance at variable gravity levels.  He also invented and is leading the development of a new class of space exploration vehicles, optimized for Space walks, which incorporate diving physiological and operational principles.

Gernhardt, Michael
Giddings, Al

:: Al Giddings - Arts - 1972


Director, Producer, Cinematographer


During the past three decades, Al Giddings has earned a reputation as one of the most creative and talented irector-producer-cinematographers in the entertainment industry. Never settling for off-the-shelf technology, Giddings is constantly designing innovative cameras, lighting and optical systems in all film and video formats, from IMAX to high definition.


Giddings is well known in the entertainment industry for his creative directing and undersea camera work, demonstrated in such classic films as THE DEEP and the James Bond classics FOR YOUR EYES ONLY and NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN. Giddings pushed underwater film techniques and technology to the edge as director of underwater photography for 20th Century Fox's blockbuster THE ABYSS, which captured an Academy Award nomination for outstanding cinematography. He also served as Co-producer/Director of Underwater Photography on Jim Cameron's 1997 Fox spectacular, TITANIC, the highest grossing film in movie history. In addition, Giddings directed and filmed the heart stopping under-ice sequences in DAMIEN: OMEN II, and Disney's NEVER CRY WOLF.



Giddings has directed and filmed dozens of films for television, including specials on the ANDREA DORIA, the North Pole, deep-sea volcanoes, the great whales and great white sharks. In 1996 he coproduced and codirected GALAPAGOS: BEYOND DARWIN, for the Discovery Channel, the third-highest rated show in Discovery's 15-year history, and BLUE WHALE: LARGEST ANIMAL ON EARTH for ABC World of Discovery. Four television specials, BLUE WHALE, SHARK CHRONICLES, MYSTERIES OF THE SEA, and THE LIVING EDENS: PALAU, have earned Giddings Emmy® Awards.


Giddings' topside cinematography produced spectacular white-water sequences for the CBS miniseries DREAM WEST. He produced and directed OCEANQUEST, a five-part NBC ocean adventure series which captured the number one slot in prime-time ratings. Giddings and his company produced four highly acclaimed one-hour specials, WATER GIFT OF LIFE (hosted by Gregory Peck), IN CELEBRATION OF TREES (Discovery Channel), TITANIC: TREASURE OF THE DEEP (CBS, hosted by Walter Cronkite) and OCEAN SYMPHONY, Giddings music video which won the American Film Institute's highest award. His most recent work in IMAX Productions, WHALES and GALAPAGOS 3-D, are garnering national attention and setting attendance records around the world.


The Giddings Natural history image library is one of the most extensive in the industry and has been supplying both film and still photographs internationally for three decades.



Al Giddings Images, Inc.



TITANIC (Fox) Co-producer, Director of Underwater Photography

STRIKING DISTANCE (Columbia) Director of Underwater Photography

THE RIVER WILD (Universal) Director of Underwater Photography

THE ABYSS (Fox) Director of Underwater Photography

BLACK WIDOW (Fox) Director of Underwater Photography

DAMIEN: OMEN II (Fox) Director of Underwater Photography

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN (Warner) Director of Underwater Photography

BOYS (PF Productions) Director of Underwater Photography

GALAPAGOS (IMAX) Producer, Director, Cinematographer

WHALES (IMAX) Director, Cinematographer

DREAM WEST (CBS) Director, Cinematographer

ON THE EDGE (Alliance Films) Director of Underwater Photography

THE DEEP (Columbia) Director of Underwater Photography

NEVER CRY WOLF (Disney) Cinematographer, under ice scenes

LOVE IS FOREVER (Landon/Hall) Director of Underwater Photography

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (EON Productions) Director and Cinematographer, underwater scenes

THE END (Burt Reynolds) Cinematographer, underwater sequences

SHARKS TREASURE (United Artists) Cinematographer



LIVE FROM A SHARK CAGE (Discovery) Producer, Director, Cinematographer

Cuba's FORBIDDEN DEPTHS, (Discovery) Producer, Director, Cinematographer

SECRETS OF THE HUMPBACK WHALE (Discovery) Producer, Director, Cinematographer

THE LIVING EDENS: PALAU (ABC/Kane) Producer, Director, Cinematographer

TRUK LAGOON: UNDERWATER ODYSSEY (Turner) Producer, Director, Cinematographer

GALAPAGOS: BEYOND DARWIN (Discovery) Producer, Director, Cinematographer

BLUE WHALE: LARGEST ANIMAL ON EARTH (ABC/KANE) Producer, Director, Cinematographer

THE SECRETS OF THE UNDERWATER VOLCANOES (Kurtis) Director of Underwater Photography

TITANIC: TREASURE OF THE DEEP (CBS – Walter Cronkite) Producer, Director, Cinematographer

IN CELEBRATION OF TREES (Discovery) Producer, Director, Cinematographer

WATER, GIFT OF LIFE (music video), Producer, Director, Cinematographer

OCEAN SYMPHONY (MCA music video) Producer, Director, Cinematographer


OCEANQUEST (NBC) Producer, Director, Cinematographer

JAWS: THE TRUE STORY (Nova/BBC) Cinematographer


THE ETERNAL SEA (Disney) Circlevision, Director and Director of Photography

MYSTERIES OF THE SEA (ABC) Producer, Director, Cinematographer

DIVE TO THE EDGE OF CREATION (National Geographic) Co-director, Cinematographer

LIFE ON EARTH (BBC), Director and Cinematographer, underwater sequences

GENTLE GIANTS OF THE PACIFIC (NBC) Director, Cinematographer


SEARCH FOR THE SHINOHARA (NBC) Producer, Director, Cinematographer




American Express, McDonald's, Energizer, Chevron, Chevrolet, Pacific Telesis, Starkist, General Electric, Squibb, Dream Quest, Exxon, AT&T








GALAPAGOS: BEYOND DARWIN, Gold Medal, New York Film FestivalsWATER, GIFT OF LIFE, six Gold Medals

OCEAN SYMPHONY, American Film Institute, Best Video of the Year, Nature and ScienceSMPTE Fellowship

GRIERSON AWARD, Photographic Excellence



Mandalay Media Arts, Founding Partner

California Academy of Sciences, Research Associate

Al Giddings Images, Inc., Director/President

Gilliam, Bret

:: Bret Gilliam - Sports / Education - 2012-13


Bret Gilliam began diving in 1959, and has been professionally involved in the diving industry since 1971. His background includes scientific expeditions, military/commercial projects, operating hyperbaric diving treatment facilities, liveaboard dive vessels and cruise ships, retail dive store & resort operation, equipment manufacturing (UWATEC), dive training certification agencies (TDI, SDI and ERDI), publishing companies (Scuba Times, DeepTech and Fathomsmagazines), as well as filming projects for movies, television series, and documentaries. He is a successful entrepreneur… two of his multi-national companies were taken public and six others were sold to private investors. 


As President of Ocean Quest International, he was responsible for the world's largest sport diving program from 1987 to 1990 aboard their 550 ft., 28,000-ton ship. 


Bret is licensed as a USCG Merchant Marine Master, submersible pilot, aircraft pilot, and recompression chamber supervisor. He has sponsored research projects in decompression sickness, diving computers, inert gas narcosis, multi-day repetitive diving, and helped develop certification specialty courses in dive accident management & recompression chambers, nitrox, technical diving, and multi-level computer diving. 


He has contributed papers to The International Society of Aquatic Medicine (ISAM), the Diver’s Alert Network (DAN), the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Agency (NOAA), and the South Pacific Underwater Medical Society (SPUMS). He also was a contributing editor and author on “Diving Emergency Medicine” for the reference text Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support. 


Bret has contributed to articles on various subjects related to diving education and training, diving physiology, travel, and diving operational systems. He has widely published throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia, contributing to over 1000 articles, 100 magazine covers, and 58 books on diving and other topics. His coffee table book, Diving Pioneers & Innovators: An In-Depth Series of Interviews was released in November 2007. 


Bret has twice been the recipient of NAUI's Outstanding Contribution to Diving Award, Beneath The Sea’s Diver of the Year, as well as international honors for his photography and film work. He is also included in Who's Who In Scuba Divingby Best Publishing. He was elected to membership in the Explorers Club with additional honors as a "Fellow National" in 1993. Twice he has held the world record for deep diving on scuba and contributed to the industry’s growth in the field of technical diving, electronic dive computers, rebreathers, and other technological advances. 

Since his retirement in 2005, he formed the Diving Legacy Foundation that makes generous financial grants and support for ocean conservation, scholarships for diving education, and honorariums to diving pioneers. 


He remains active as a consultant to diving industry businesses and enjoys extensive international travel on special projects.

Gower, Mike

:: Mike Gower - Distinguished Service - 2008


Mike Gower is one of our pioneer divers, starting with his first scuba dive in 1959; he continues to enjoy diving and the underwater world. Mike is one of the original members of the Underwater Society of America, whose mission it is to represent divers in all aspects of diving and diving related matters. Mike has dedicated forty-six years to the society, and has dealt with legislation, environmental issues, ecology, aquatic sports, education, and safety. He has served as the society's President, Secretary and has been a member of the Board on numerous occasions. He is presently serving as the Society's Secretary and their representative to the Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences Board of Directors. He is serving as Comptroller for AUAS. 


Mike has made a second career out of promoting underwater activities and diver related educational issues, ranging from free diving records, spear fishing competitions, and other new aquatic sports. Mike is currently the representative to the United States Olympic Committee and the CMAS international fin swimming and free diving - spear fishing competition. 


For thirty years, Mike has been a very active representative and special consultant to the California Fish & Game Commission, representing the diving community on many issues, including Abalone out planting, and underwater bottom cleanup projects. 


As an active diver and avowed leader within our community, in 2007, he directed the U. S. National Spearfishing Championships, he served as officer for dive clubs and dive councils in the Northern California area, wrote diving articles for Army newspapers while in the Service. and served as a Diving Representative to the California Fish & Game Commission Abalone Ad Hoc Committee.

Graver, Dennis

:: Dennis Graver - Distinguished Service / 2008


Dennis Graver has more than 30 years of experience as a scuba instructor and instructor trainer. 


He has authored 27 books and manuals on scuba diving, including three previous editions of Scuba Diving from Human Kinetics. In his position as director of training for the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), he designed the PADI modular scuba course and wrote

the PADI Dive Manual, which revolutionized scuba instruction.


During his tenure as director of education for the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI), Graver wrote several diving texts, including the NAUI Openwater I Scuba Diver Course Instructor Guide. He has also contributed hundreds of articles on diving to magazines such as Skin Diver, Sources, and Undercurrents as well as several NAUI technical publications.


From the Red Sea off the coast of Egypt to the barrier reefs of Australia, Graver has spent the past 32 years photographing many wonders under the water.


He has won numerous awards from the Underwater Photographic Society, and his photos have graced the covers of numerous magazines

and illustrated several diving texts and audiovisual educational programs.

:: Jerry Greenberg, - Distinguished Service - 2019

Pioneer underwater photographer Jerry Greenberg has been photographing marine life since 1946 and began designing and manufacturing underwater camera housings in 1953. Lacking instruction on underwater photography, in 1956 he published his own, forming Seahawk Press. Thereafter he and his wife, artist and writer Idaz Greenberg, began publishing books, cards, and other products. As innovators of the first waterproof marine life identification cards, their work has been sold around the world. Jerry’s work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Argosy, and Life magazine. Along with photo essays in National Geographic, Jerry’s work has graced that iconic magazine cover several times. Jerry was documenting the reefs of the Florida Keys before the creation of America’s first undersea park, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. In his first photo essay for National Geographic in 1962, the park area spanned 75 miles. After his 1990 follow-up article with writer Fred Ward entitled “The Coral Reefs of Florida Are Imperiled,” the alarm was sounded. Today 2,900 square miles of reef are protected, and Jerry helps conservation efforts to educate the public and reestablish corals where his photos show they belong. 

Jerry has been a consummate businessman, mentor, and a stalwart champion of artists’ legal rights. In 2004, Jerry was inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame.

Seahawk Press has been a family affair through the years. Son Michael Greenberg now runs Seahawk Press &

Jerry Greenberg
Greenberg, Jerry
Grigg, Richard W.

:: Richard W. Grigg, Ph.D. - Science - 1999


Richard (Rick) W. Grigg, who received a Ph.D. from Scripps Inst. Of Oceanography in 1970, is internationally known for research on coral reefs & precious corals. He has published over 100 papers in scientific journals, including 6 books; one a recent autobiography entitled "Big Surf, deep dives and the islands: my life in the Ocean" that chronicles his contribution to pioneering big wave riding in Hawaii and winning the world surfing championship at Sunset Beach in 1967.


Grigg Recently served a 5 year term as the Managing Editor of the Journal, Coral Reefs and he was awarded Life-time Achievement Award in 2000 from the National Academy of Underwater Arts and Science.


Grigg currently holds the title of Emeritus Professor of Oceanography at the University of Hawaii, where he retired on 12/31/03 after having served 34 years.

Hall, Howard W.

:: Howard W. Hall - Arts - 1993


Howard Hall is a wildlife filmmaker who specializes in marine wildlife films. He has directed many television films including a National Geographic Special and three episodes of the PBS series Nature.  One of the films he produced and directed for Nature, “Seasons in the Sea,” was awarded the Golden Panda / Best of Show award at Wildscreen 1990, and The Festival Choice Award at Jackson Hole in 1991.  Working with his wife, producer Michele Hall, Howard also directed the award winning, five-hour series “Secrets of the Ocean Realm.”  His television work has resulted in six Emmy Awards. 

Howard is perhaps best known for his underwater IMAX films. In 1994 he directed the first underwater IMAX 3D feature “Into the Deep” and in 1998 he directed the IMAX film “Island of the Sharks” (produced by Michele Hall).  Howard was Director of Underwater Cinematography for the Primesco Productions IMAX film “Lost Worlds,” the MacGillivray Freeman Films (MFF) Academy Award Nominated film “The Living Sea.”  Howard was Underwater Cinematographer for MacGillivray Freeman’s “Journey Into Amazing Caves” and in 2002 was Underwater Sequence Director for MacGillivray Freeman’s IMAX feature “Coral Reef Adventure,” a film in which both he and Michele are featured on-camera.  In 2005 Howard directed his third IMAX feature entitled “Deep Sea 3D” a Warner Brothers/IMAX film, which was awarded Best Picture at the Giant Screen Cinema Association Conference and Best Large Format Film at Wildscreen 2006.  Howard’s fourth IMAX film “Under the Sea 3D” was released in 2009.  Its awards include Best Cinematography at the Giant Screen Cinema Association Conference in 2009 and Best Documentary from the International 3D Society in 2010.  In 2012 and 2013, he was again Director of Underwater Photography for MFF’s IMAX features “Humpback Whales” and “Journey to the South Pacific.”  Of the five highest grossing 3D films produced by IMAX Corporation, two were directed by Howard.  “Into the Deep” has earned box office receipts of over $70 million, “Deep Sea 3D” has earned over $97 million, and “Under the Sea 3D” has earned over $54 million.

Howard Hall has been on the masthead of several magazines including International Wildlife Magazine and Ocean Realm Magazine. His photographs and/or articles have been published domestically and internationally, including in Life, Natural History Magazine, National Geographic, and BBC Wildlife. He has authored several books including Successful Underwater Photography, and Secrets of the Ocean Realm.

Howard holds a BS degree in zoology from San Diego State University. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  He is a recipient of the 1993 Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences’ (AUAS’) NOGI Award in Arts.  In 2011 he was named Diver of the Year at Beneath the Sea, and was inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame.  In 2013 he received the International Wildlife Film Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Marine Conservation & Media.  He was recognized by the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival with the Outstanding Achievement Award for Natural History Filmmaking in 2015.  In 2016 he was named as an honoree of the Hans Hass Award.  Additional accolades in 2017 include the Our World Underwater Outstanding Achievement Award and Beneath the Sea’s Diving Pioneer Award.

Howard has a Masters rating in hang gliding and an Instructors rating in ultralight aircraft.

Hall, Michele

:: Michele Hall - Arts - 2009


After nearly 2 decades as a pediatric nurse, Michele entered the field of documentary filmmaking in 1991. While her underwater still photos have been published internationally, the focus of her work has been in marine wildlife documentary film production, with her husband Howard. 


Though Michele has co-produced or produced 8 award-winning television documentaries, including several episodes of the PBS series Nature, a National Geographic Special, and the five-part PBS series “Secrets of the Ocean Realm,” she is probably better known for her IMAX films. 


Her interest in large-format filmmaking was sparked in 1994 when she was the Location Manager for the first underwater IMAX 3D film, “Into The Deep.“  In 2003 she was Location Manager for the IMAX film “Coral Reef Adventure” in which she was also featured on-camera along with Howard and their crew.  She has produced 3 other IMAX feature films, including the “Island of the Sharks” (1999), “Deep Sea 3D” (2005), and “Under the Sea 3D” (2009). Both “Deep Sea 3D” and “Under the Sea 3D” were funded by Warner Bros. Her films have won Cine Golden Eagle Awards, the Grand Prize Award at Antibes Film Festival, the Jules Verne Adventures Award, the Festival Choice award at Jackson Hole, Best Large Format Film Award at Wildscreen, Prix du Public Award at La Geode Festival, Best Film at the Giant Screen Cinema Association, and Best Documentary from the International 3D Society.


Michele strives to make family-friendly films that raise awareness of and increase appreciation for the marine environment. The films she has produced have been seen by thousands of children and adults.  She has received positive feedback from many who have said that her films not only increased their knowledge of the marine environment, but have also been the inspiration to turn their career choices toward marine sciences and / or environmental issues.


Michele holds a BS in Health Sciences.  She is a member of the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Women Divers Hall of Fame, Filmmakers for Conservation, and is a lifetime member of the Historical Diving Society and the San Diego Oceans Foundation. She is also a member of the Boston Sea Rovers and is a recipient of their Diver of the Year Award, and of the 2004 SeaSpace/PADI Environmental Award.  She is a recipient of the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences’ (AUAS’) NOGI Award in Arts, 2009.  In 2011 she was named Diver of the Year at Beneath the Sea, and was inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame.  In 2013 she received the International Wildlife Film Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Marine Conservation & Media.  She was recognized by the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival with the Outstanding Achievement Award for Natural History Filmmaking in 2015.  In 2016 she was named as an honoree of the Hans Hass Award.  Additional accolades in 2017 include the Our World Underwater Outstanding Achievement Award and Beneath the Sea’s Diving Pioneer Award.

Hamilton, R.W.

:: R. W. Hamilton, Ph.D. - Science - 1995


Dr. Bill Hamilton is a physiologist with four decades of specialization in diving, aerospace, and environmental physiology. He is a leading expert in decompression, breathing gases, and the effects of pressure. His work includes the development and assessment of decompression and operating procedures for commercial, scientific, recreational, and military diving (including submarine free ascent), both in the U.S. and internationally.


In 1965, Dr. Hamilton served as both physiologist and subject in early laboratory "dives" which led to the first manned saturation exposure to the continental shelf pressure of 200 meters sea water (msw), and which included the development of Oceans Systems Mark VI and Mark VIII commercial decompression tables. He also pioneered the study of neon as a component of breathing gases, studying human performance and decompression aspects of this gas to pressures as great as 400 msw, collaborating in its use offshore in an unprecedented series of deep commercial dives, and more recently in exploring its value when used with closed circuit breathing systems.


Among his many milestones, Dr. Hamilton became a leader in the development and commercial application of nitrox saturation-excursion procedures, including those in the NOAA Diving Manual as well as NOAAs Repex procedures for repetitive diving. He is also regarded as a pioneer in "technical diving," having created prototype deep diving tables and safety protocols for the cave and wreck diving communities that got the whole thing started.


Dr. Hamilton has received numerous awards, including the NOGI Award for Science, and three of the awards of the Undersea and hyperbaric Medical Society. As a prolific writer (his work is even in the Encyclopedia Britannica), consultant, and advisory board member to numerous scientific organizations, which include NASA, NOAA, the Navy, and DANs Decompression Advisory Board, Dr. Hamilton remains at the forefront of decompression and mixed gas technical. He is currently President of his consulting firm, Hamilton Research, Ltd., in Tarrytown, New York.

Hamner, William M. and Peggy P.

:: William M. and Peggy P. Hamner - Sports and Education - 2010


Bill Hamner received a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from Yale University (1961). Peggy was an undergraduate Physics major at Wellesley College when she and Bill first met; they married while still undergraduates. They moved to California where Bill obtained a Ph.D. degree in Zoology from UCLA (1965) with a dissertation on Photoperiodic Control of the Annual Reproductive Cycle of Birds, work he continued as an Assistant Professor of Zoology at UC Davis (1966-1972). Thereafter, he received joint-appointments at UC Davis as Associate Professor of Zoology and Associate Professor of Environmental Sciences (1972-1974). While at UC Davis, Peggy finished her Bachelor’s degree (Zoology), obtained a Master of Science degree (Marine Ecology), and produced two sons.  



Bill’s research interests changed from birds to zooplankton while at UC Davis (allergic to feathers) and in 1971-‘72 he and a group of highly gifted graduate students (including Peggy) spent 15 months at the Lerner Marine Lab on Bimini in the Bahamas, pioneering the technique of bluewater scientific diving in the open sea. This research approach emphasizes use of SCUBA to conduct in situ studies of undisturbed individual animals in their own environment and to collect undamaged live animals for additional research in the lab. Taking small boats offshore out of Bimini they dove every day in the Gulf Stream to investigate gelatinous zooplankton (funded by NSF, Guggenheim, National Geographic Society, and Bill’s UC sabbatical salary). Bill and Peggy have worked as a research team since 1971, with a primary research interest in the behavior of marine animals (popular articles in National Geographic Magazine listed below). 


In 1974 the Hamners moved to Townsville, Queensland, Australia. Bill was appointed as Principal Research Scientist and Peggy as a Research Associate at the newly formed Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). The Hamners conducted research on coral reefs and coastal zooplankton in Australia from 1974 to 1977. In 1977 they moved to Palau for 2 years and began NSF funded research on the saltwater lakes of Palau. Their research on jellyfish in one of the lakes was featured in the IMAX film, “The Living Sea.” 


In 1979 they returned to UCLA where they continued to do oceanic field research with graduate students, using SCUBA, research submersibles and ROVs, working off California, in Palau, Australia, Antarctica, the Bering Sea, the Gulf of California, Saanich Inlet, British Columbia, and Monterey Bay. Peggy earned the unique distinction in her forties of being the “Oldest Woman in the World to Dive Antarctica” when they investigated Antarctic krill around the Antarctic Peninsula. 


The in situ oceanographic observations made in 1971-’72 by the Hamners and their research team introduced the novel idea of using SCUBA while drifting in the upper waters of the open sea to conduct research on undisturbed, fragile gelatinous plankton. Using SCUBA at sea poses serious risks and Hamner’s basic safety procedures for conducting bluewater diving operations, using tethers, surface-supported down-lines and a central ‘safety diver’ are essentially unchanged today (Haddock, S. H. D. & J. N. Heine, 2005, Scientific blue-water diving. La Jolla, California). To illustrate the breadth of blue-water SCUBA use, the AAUS database listed 3,048 hours of bluewater diving operations from 1997 to 2007, supporting 200 scientific divers from 19 institutions. These contributions to in situ open ocean science were recognized as one of the major advances in Biological Oceanography by the National Science Foundation at its celebration of 50 years of NSF-sponsored ocean research. In 2009 Dr. Hamner received a Scientific Diving Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Underwater Sciences. 


In addition to their research and Bill’s Professorial duties as lecturer and graduate student advisor at UCLA, beginning in 1992 the Hamners developed and directed 15 years of marine science outreach education for K-12 teachers and informal educators, funded by the National Science Foundation and private donors. Bill and Peggy have now retired to Alabama to live next door to their son who is an Assistant Dean at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Bill is a Senior Adjunct Scientist at the Dauphin Island Marine Lab near Mobile, and both Bill and Peggy continue to present information about the ocean and blue water diving research to college and adult audiences. 


* Popular articles on our research: 


Hamner, W. M. Oct. 1974. Blue-water plankton. Nat’l. Geogr. Mag. 146: 530-545. Hamner, W. M. Feb. 1982. Strange world of Palau's salt lakes. Nat’l. Geogr. Mag. 161: 264-282. Hamner, W. M. May 1984. Krill: Untapped bounty? Nat’l. Geogr. Mag. 165: 626-643. Hamner, W. M. Aug. 1994. Australia's box jellyfish: a killer down under. Nat'l. Geogr. Mag. 186: 116-130.

:: Eric Hanauer - Sports/Education - 2019

Although Eric Hanauer made his first dives in Chicago’s lakes and quarries in 1959, he didn’t focus primarily on diving until 15 years later.  In the meantime he was a successful swimming and water polo coach. He developed the grab start, which is now used by swimmers worldwide.  
Hanauer founded the scuba program at California State University Fullerton, and when he transitioned from coaching into teaching, began shooting pictures underwater instead of shooting fish.  He introduced thousands of students to the underwater world during his 35 years as an associate professor of kinesiology.

In 1977, Eric broke into a new field with his first article in Skin Diver magazine.  Over the past 40 years, his photos and articles have been published in magazines, books, posters, and electronically.  He has written four books: The Egyptian Red Sea, Diving Pioneers, Diving Micronesia, and Immersion.  Currently Hanauer is primarily filming and editing underwater video.  He is a board member and past president of the San Diego Undersea Film Exhibition (UFEX).
Born in Stuttgart, Germany and raised in Chicago, Eric earned a BS in Physical Education at George Williams College, and an MS in Kinesiology at UCLA. His wife, Karen Straus, is also an active diver, writer, and underwater photographer. They live in San Diego.

Hanauer, Eric
Handelman, Lad

:: Lad Handelman - Distinguished Service - 2014


He never liked school. He hated supervision.
He never did a scuba course. He holds no certifications. But knowing what he didn’t want out of life was enough
to propel Lad Handelman from being “the worst diver ever to jump in the water” to revolutionizing the commercial dive


For instance: At 16, Lad Handelman knew he didn’t want a life on the lam so he high-tailed it out of New York. “I wasn’t going toward diving, but away from trouble,” he says. “I was in a gang. I wanted to get as far away as
I could....” As it happened, his Uncle Jimmy ran an abalone diving

outfit in California. Handelman hired on as a line tender and got fired within a week. “I never learned the idea of having a boss,” he says.

Still, for Handelman, there was something about abalone diving that resonated.


“The abalone didn’t care whether you had an education or how smart you were or your size or your color,” he says. “It was just hunt ’em and get ’em or not. I didn’t know anything about the ocean. I was not a dreamer about diving. All I wanted was to make money and not be controlled by other people.”


Flip that around and we have a coming-of- age Handelman toe-deep in the newfound wonders of freedom, independence, and self-employment. He started out on his own with a 16-foot rowboat.Handelman spent his next decades abalone diving and working offshore construction up and down the coast, from San Simeon to San Diego.


In Santa Barbara, he partnered in General Offshore Divers, experimenting with mixed-gas diving, helium in particular, with its promise of more bottom time at greater depths and less decompression. Though the kid from the Bronx suffered some near-death consequences, he was still in his 20s and earning six figures a year.


When Union Carbide bought out General Offshore in 1969, Handelman, his brother Gene (he’d come West to haul Handelman back home, but wound up staying himself), and compatriots Bob Ratcliffe and Kevin Lengyel teamed up to found Cal Dive. As an independent alternative to

corporate operations, it offered their services—including helium diving and its specialized equipment—at cut rates to the offshore oil and natural gas industry.


Handelman, now in his 30s, was CEO and sales force, though it took 18 months and a joint venture with Phil Nuytten’s more-

but helium diver-less Industrial Divers in Vancouver to
land their first big contract. That venture turned into Oceaneering International with Handelman once again at the helm. He also founded two hospital-based hyperbaric contract services companies. Along the way, Handelman was inducted into the Offshore Energy Hall of Fame and the Association of Diving Contractors Hall of Fame, and received the Historical Diver Magazine Pioneer Award. He also learned how to snorkel. “I found out I was good at free diving,” he says. “I went down to 40 feet, lay on my back, and marveled at the shafts of sunlight coming through the giant kelp stalks. And I asked myself, ‘Why didn’t I do this 20 years earlier?’ During all my years of commercial diving, I never even looked around!”


Today, Oceaneering and Cal Dive (now Helix Energy Solutions) are headquartered in Texas and Handelman has stepped down from both. He hung up his commercial diving boots in
the mid-80s after breaking his neck in a skiing accident. Though he would continue to consult with his

companies for another
five years, he was headed in new directions. He formed a Santa Barbara-

based support group for spinal-cord injury survivors; he joined a number of boards, including several nonprofits; and he savors spending more time with loved ones.


Looking back on his career, he takes special pride in Cal Dive’s innovations and its contributions to commercial diver safety. “We had no history, no one would hire us,” he says. “We succeeded not because we were so smart or had any big plan, but because our competition, these big

conglomerates, were run by ivory-tower types: admirals and captains who tried to impose all kinds of administrative requirements—and failed.

“Divers were getting killed on the job, and for reasons pretty bizarre. I said, enough. I never wanted to go to another funeral or hold onto another widow again.” When the conglomerates started shutting down their diving subsidiaries, Cal Dive picked up the scrap, taking over equipment contracts and replacing everything that led to accidents.


“Everybody laughed at us,” he says. “Within eight years, we turned it all around. “They’d used rebreathers—we threw all those away and replaced them with small helmets,” he says. “They had engineers flying around doing all the repairs—we got rid of them. Our people in

the field developed the protocol. Equipment has to be maintainable by divers on the job with their own bare hands. We used common sense. That’s still how it works.”

Harvey Guy C.

:: Guy C. Harvey, Ph.D. - Arts - 2004


Guy Harvey is a unique blend of artist, scientist, diver, angler, conservationist and explorer, fiercely devoted to his family and his love of the sea. Growing up in Jamaica Guy was inspired by the abundant marine wildlife around the island. From his early inspirations, Guy's natural gift to recreate marine life has propelled him from Professor of Marine Biology to a Wildlife Artist and Photographer.


Guy initially opted for a scientific education, earning high honors in Marine Biology at Aberdeen University in Scotland in 1977. He continued his formal training at the University of West Indies, where he obtained a Doctorate in Fisheries Management. In 1986, Guy was selected as Jamaica's representative to the International Game Fish Association and in 1992 was appointed as a Trustee. In 1999, the Oceanographic Center of Nova Southeastern University and Guy Harvey collaborated to create a non-profit Marine Research Institute, The Guy Harvey Research Institute. In 2004, Guy Harvey's Portraits from the Deep, a 13-episode, made-for-television fishing series aired on Outdoor Life Network. Guy currently maintains his art studio in Grand Cayman, where he lives with wife Gillian and their two children, Jessica and Alex.

Hass, Hans

:: Hans Hass, Ph.D. - Science - 1998- Distinguished Service - 1998


Hans Hass's significant achievements and advances have made him a pioneer for both scuba divers and the environment of the ocean. His many books and films have influenced countless underwater filmmakers and photographers, who continue to build on the foundation he has created. The first to "discover" the Red Sea's potential for underwater exploration, Hass was among the first to pioneer the use of oxygen rebreathers as he photographed and filmed undersea wildlife for his films Man Amongst Sharks, and Red Sea Adventure, which won the international prize for best documentary at the Venice Film Festival in 1950. He is the producer of more than 100 films, and the recipient of two NOGI Awards by The Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences. The first for Distinguished Service and the other for his contributions to Science.


Born January 23, 1919 in Vienna, Hans Hass first encountered the underwater world of the Mediterranean Sea in July 1937 during a vacation to the South of France. From the time of his youth, Hass was fascinated by the unknown and mysterious, including the ocean, not only shrouded in mystery but dangerous. In the 1930s, much less was known about the ocean. There were still rumors about sea snakes, dreadful sharks and other monsters of the ocean. Hans Hass entered the ocean armed with diving goggles and a spear and found a fairytale world that wouldn's let him go. His friends in Vienna whom he told about his experiences wouldn't believe him. So in 1938 he made his first underwater camera to document his adventures. This was the beginning of underwater photography. He, being a fish among fish, experienced things no one else had seen before because research scientists were too afraid to explore the reefs.


At first a sporting daredevil, he soon turned to serious scientific work. Already in 1941 he developed the first underwater diving equipment facilitating free movement on the ocean floor for longer periods of time. His pioneering inventions make him the actual founder of underwater diving, a sport practiced by millions today. But his actual aim went further: The almost shocking idea of encouraging scientists, (mostly older, honorable gentlemen at the time), to shark-contaminated areas and that with proper equipment, one could bring valuable, new scientific discoveries.


From Vienna he moved to Berlin in the early 40s. He gave over one hundred lectures, introducing the new research method and collecting enough money to equip a research vessel. In 1942, only 23 years old, he bought a sea vessel but in the confusion of the last years of war, the ship was lost and like millions of others, he was faced with a devaluated bank account and almost all of his equipment was lost. In 1943 he earned his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Berlin. With an unshakable faith in his dreams and despite all unfavorable circumstances, he achieved what no one could believe: By his own efforts he bought a ship, equipped it, and went on two long expeditions in the Pacific- and Indian Oceans. The scientific results of those trips went down in history and made Hans Hass famous. From that time forth, he shot innumerable films, wrote books, gave lectures, winning many awards for his underwater photography. One can hardly find any comparison to his planning and financing his expeditions entirely on his own. Scientific expeditions of this magnitude, - for example, the expeditions of Cousteau, - were usually supported by the government. Here was an example of what a single, dedicated person could achieve.


The inner restlessness of the research scientist and his urge for knowledge did not allow Hans Hass to rest on his laurels. He went off to new challenges, researching growth and development laws of biological organizations. Impartially, like he used to observe fish and their behavior in coral reefs, he now tried to study people. Systems and evolution research became his main focus for the next ten years. He left ocean caves for the university library in Vienna where he studies various kinds of economics. In 1970 he introduced his "Energon Theory" which contends that organisms live off positive energy balance. They have to be efficient to survive. This applies to coral fish and humans as well as businesses. In the following years he extended his theory, applying the results of his evolutionary research to the social behavior of humans, making it usable for businesses. Business found his thoughts interesting and he became a highly demanded consultant. In 1999 he founded the International Hans Hass Institute for Energon-Cybernetic Research, within the Department. of Theoretical Science and Research at the University of Vienna, incorporating multidisciplinary fields.


Hans Hass has led a exceptionally versatile and interesting life - the work of the tireless laborer and passionate researcher.








:: Jill Heinerth - Sports & Education - 2017

More people have walked on the moon, than have been to some of the remote places Jill Heinerth has explored on earth. Jill is a veteran of over twenty years of scientific diving, filming, photography, and exploration on projects with National Geographic, NOAA, universities, and television networks worldwide. Her expeditions include the first dives inside Antartica iceberg caves and record breaking scientific missions in deep underwater caves around the world. A true pioneer in technical rebreather diving, she has assisted training agencies in defining standards and has authored and published six books on technical diving.

In recognition of her lifetime’s achievement, Jill’s home nation of Canada awarded her the Sir Christopher Ondaatje medal for Exploration, and shortly after, appointed her as the inaugural Explorer in Residence for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. For her work at the extreme ends of the earth, Canada’s Governor General presented Jill with the rare and prestigious Polar Medal. 

Jill conducts workshops, facilitates film festivals, and gives presentations at industry trade shows, schools and corporate events around the world. She is a frequent online educator, leveraging technology like Google Hangouts to inspire classrooms full of eager young people from Anchorage, Alaska, to Mumbai, India. Jill has been a presenter on hundreds of radio and TV broadcasts, including the BBC, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, CBC, and television networks from Japan to Australia. Over two million people have learned about climate change, water, adventure, and exploration by viewing Jill’s passionate and motivational TED Talks.

More than anything else, Jill considers herself an exploration educator. Sharing her unique experience and knowledge, she speaks about leadership, risk assessment, fear and failure, using her expedition experiences as a correlation to the missions that her audience members are tasked with every day. At corporate events, she inspires innovators, invigorates collaborators and makes a special connection with women leaders of today and tomorrow. 


With her “We Are Water” project, Jill leads an educational effort for water literacy by helping people make everyday behavioral changes that will lead to greater access to, and preservation of our endangered fresh water resources. In support of this effort, Jill and her husband Robert McClellan rode their bicycles 4600 miles across Canada, meeting groups large and small to spread the message of environmental stewardship.


 Jill’s accolades include induction as a Fellow into the Explorer’s Club and the inaugural class of the Women Diver’s Hall of Fame. She received the Wyland ICON Award and was selected as Scuba Diving Magazine’s “Sea Hero of the Year.” 


Jill Heinerth continues to educate and inspire people about our fascinating underwater world. Partnering with Penguin Random House in Canada and Harper Collins in the US, Jill will soon be releasing four new major market non-fiction and children’s books.

Heinerth, Jill
Hauser, Hillary

:: Hillary Hauser - Distinguished Service - 2009


Hillary Hauser is co-founder and executive director of Heal the Ocean, an internationally recognized citizens’ action group in Santa Barbara, California. The formation of this 3,000-member group is the culmination of the 40-plus years Hillary has been working in, on, under, around and for the ocean, including being on-staff of Skin Diver Magazine in the late 1960s and working as a publicist for DEMA during DEMA’s earliest days.


Hillary started diving in 1966, got certified in 1968 (NAUI card #54990), when she became Skin Diver Magazine’s assistant editor, working with Paul Tzimoulis, Jack McKenney, Connie Johnson and Art Smith to put out the magazine every month. In 1977 Hillary became publicist for the Diving Equipment Manufacturers (now Marketing) Association (DEMA), and came up with the bumper sticker program, “Discover Diving,” a label that went on to become a major promotional jingle in the dive world, as well as a title to a magazine. Hillary’s has published six books about the sea, as well as numerous articles about underwater adventure for National Geographic, the Los Angeles Times Sunday Travel section, Esquire, Redbook, Geo, Readers Digest, The Surfer’s Journal, among others. She was West Coast stringer for Ocean Science News(Washington, D.C.) and a reporter on ocean issues for the Santa Barbara News-Press. 


In August 1998, in response to the terrible situation of local beaches being posted closed because of pollution, Hillary published an editorial in the Santa Barbara News-Press, which resulted in a public demonstration that motivated her to form Heal the Ocean. The organization focuses on wastewater technology as it impacts the ocean, facilitating wastewater treatment plant upgrade and removal of septic tanks from creeks, marshes, bays and beaches. Heal the Ocean’s trailblazing work, which has helped coastal communities not only in Santa Barbara, but all over the world, has been commended with recognition from the U.S. State Senate, as well as Resolutions from the Central Coast (California) Regional Water Quality Control Board (2006, 2008) and the California state assembly (2009).

Hendrick Walt SR

:: Walt Hendrick SR. - Sports and Education - 1985


Walt joined the Navy during World War II and served his country in the US Navy. Shortly after joining the Navy, he married his lifelong sweetheart, Maria (Dolly). In 1961, Walt moved the family to Puerto Rico. Walt became a NAUI Instructor in 1962 (NAUI 391) and developed one of the first Caribbean dive resorts and one the first resort dive courses. While in Puerto Rico, in the 1960s and ’70s, he ran the Sea Grant Program there and was Director of Underwater Activities for the Department of Marine Sciences Graduate School at the University of Puerto Rico. During this time, Walt designed and installed a hyperbaric facility at La Concepción Hospital in San German, Puerto Rico, and supervised all

treatments and therapy for the next ten years (1971-1981).


Walt became a NAUI master instructor trainer, volunteering countless hours as NAUI Instructor Training Course (ITC) staff, lecturer, and Course Director to ensure that NAUI Instructors were well trained and highly skilled. After returning to Connecticut, he was active in the NAUI North Atlantic Branch serving briefly as North Atlantic Branch Manager until he moved to California in 1983 to take the position of NAUI National Training Director, a post he held until 1986.


Walt was the recipient of many awards from the
diving industry and his peers. These awards include
the NAUI Outstanding Service Award (1978), the
 Boston Sea Rovers’ Diver of the Year (1985) and
the NOGI Award in Sports/Education (1985) in

of his service to global diver education
and safety. Walt was honored by NAUI in 1986 as the inaugural recipient of the Charlie Brown Memorial

Award for volunteer service to the diving industry.


In 2000 at the NAUI 40th Anniversary Conference, Walt was one of the select few in the first class of inductees into the NAUI Hall of Honor.

Walt’s safety philosophy has been carried on
by his son, Butch Hendrick (S/E 2008) founder of Lifeguard Systems. Walt was one of those rare and special people whose focus was always on providing service to the global diving community without seeking recognition for himself. He was a humble man and a true role model/mentor to many of today’s diving leaders. His influence will live on in all those who were lucky to have learned their craft from him.

Hendrick, Walt "Butch"

:: Walt "Butch" Hendrick - Sports and Education - 2008


Walt "Butch" Hendrick began teaching diving and rescue in 1960 in Puerto Rico, where he and his family performed many of the off-shore rescue, started an offshore water rescue team, and installed and ran the first and only civilian Hyperbaric Facility in the Carribean at the time. Walt's work in Puerto Rico was interrupted for a few years when he served in the U.S. Navy. Since that time Walt has devoted his life to teaching diving, rescue, recovery and diver safety to thousands of fire, police, EMS, military, and sport divers.


Walt Founded Lifeguard Systems to further these efforts. In the 1970’s he and the Lifeguard Systems staff trained FDNY Rescue Companies Dive Team for over a hundred hours per year for several years. Walt moved onto train many other departments including the U.S. Parks Dept., Washington DC FAA, Washington DC FD, South African Dive teams, and diver and teams in over 15 countries.


Walt became a prolific writer and started a diving column in Fire Engineering Magazine, and wrote for several other diving journals. He developed several three-projector slide shows and audiovisuals about public safety and sport diving rescue. Many of the slides and photos used in the shows and publications around the world.


By the 1980’s Lifeguard Systems had grown with more trainers and a larger teaching area, expanding in, and to, such countries as South Africa, Saudi Arabia, all over the Caribbean, the US, and Canada. Walt and his lead trainers became noted public speakers, authors, and award winners.

High, William

:: William High - Distinguished Service - 2006 - Science - 1991 - Sports / Education - 1964


Bill High is President of PSI, Inc., a training company for inspectors of high pressure cylinders. Located near Seattle, Washington, he began training cylinder inspectors in 1983 and set the SCUBA/SCBA industry standard for technical inspections. Presently Bill is the senior consultant to more than 70 cylinder inspector trainers in North America and at numerous international locations. Bill is a consultant to the NASA Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory.


Trained as a marine scientist, Bill worked for more than 37 years in the marine science field using scuba and advanced diving systems as essential research tools. In the late 1950's and early 1960's Bill introduced and promoted diving to numerous marine science agencies that had not yet learned of the merits and value of scuba as a research tool. He served as the national diving officer for both the US Bureau of Commercial Fisheries and the National Marine Fisheries Service as well as NOAA's first National Diving Coordinator. Bill wrote the first scientific diving regulations for each agency.


Bill led 4 first mission saturation scientific diving programs (Tektite, Hydrolab, Edalhab, and Helgoland) and directed 5 major deep submersible research expeditions in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. He served as a diving consultant to the United Nations.


Bill is a prolific writer with more than 160 articles and five books authored or co-authored. His latest book, BENEATH THE SEA- A Sampling of Diving and Other Adventures, recounts many of his technical diving experiences. His book INSPECTING CYLINDERS is the gas industry standard for cylinder safety inspections. The majority of his more than 160 published articles promoted dive industry safety. More than 200 of his photographs, both underwater and surface, have been published by National Geographic, Encyclopedia Britannica, Newsweek and other media to illustrate his published works and those of other writers.


Throughout his diving related career, beginning in 1955, he served as president of his diving club, President of the Washington State Council of Divers, Vice President of the Underwater Society of America, President of the Pacific Rim Underwater Federation, President of the National Association of Underwater Instructors and President of Professional Scuba Inspectors, Inc.


Certified as NAUI Instructor #175 in 1961, Bill went on to serve NAUI for many years as North Pacific Branch Manager (10 years), Member of the Board of Directors (8 years), President (4 years), Board of Advisors (10 years), Director of International Affairs (3 years) and other duties. He trained more than 8,000 basic, and advanced divers before focusing his efforts to promote cylinder safety through technical visual inspections. As an instructor trainer Bill always held to the highest standards and imparted his strong concerns about safety to all of the candidates. He has personally trained more than 3,000 professional cylinder inspectors and federal hydrostatic re-testers.


For many years Bill High was a hyperbaric chamber operator, inside medic or supervisor at the Pacific Northwest's regional chamber facility. He participated in the treatment of more than 100 patients for both diving and non-diving injuries.


Bill High is a genuine pioneer in the field international diving. His 50 year contribution to recreational diving, educational diving, scientific diving as well as technical diving support has the mark of excellence so badly needed in diving today. He continues as an active diving industry consultant today and is held in the highest esteem by his peers. His hundreds of lectures to audiences worldwide have carried his enthusiasm for diving to thousands of divers.


Bill's awards for service to diving have been many including lifetime achievement awards from both NAUI and PADI. He has been honored by inter-state safety agencies, state and community groups. He is the recipient of NOGI awards for Sports Education (1964), Science (1991) and Distinguished Service (2006), making him only the second person to ever receive three NOGI Awards. As a lifetime Ambassador for diving Bill High has made a difference in the way diving safety is viewed and practiced.

Hollis, Bob

:: Bob Hollis - Science - 2001


Ever since he surfaced from his first scuba dive more than 40 years ago, Bob Hollis has looked for ways to make diving better and more convenient. Today, this industry pioneer's influence can be seen in virtually every dive computer, BC and regulator on the market - and he's not through yet. In 1973, he helped develop the first portable saturation system in the world. This allowed extended exploration of the Andrea Doria, a wreck he logged more than 150 dives and 21 days of saturation at 240 feet making the film "The Final Chapter" with Peter Gimble.


He is credited as the driving force in Personal Dive Computer (PDC) development, still an Oceanic strength today. He was diving a prototype PDC as early as 1978. Hollis and his team have worked with NASA, the US Military and others to research and develop new technologies including wireless data transmission seen in the US Navy "Heads-Up Display" mask. Awards have honored Bob, too numerous to list, including The Diving Hall of Fame, The International Hall of Fame, the Industry Reaching Out Award as well as receiving a NOGI Award, presented by the Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences. He is the founder of the Underwater Photographic Society of Northern California and a member of the Explorers Club. Bob Hollis is a true American Diving Legend.

Hollis, Mike

:: Mike Hollis - Sports / Education - 2014


From the development and introduction of the first air-integrated dive computer to today’s cutting- edge Bluetooth-capable wrist units, Mike Hollis, the CEO
of American Underwater Products, has been dedicated to innovation. The tech visionary’s goal throughout a lifetime in the

dive industry: to stay abreast of new developments while keeping divers safe and free to enjoy each dive.


Hollis has been at the helm of AUP, based in San Leandro, California, since 2013, when he took over the reins of Oceanic Worldwide, Oceanic-merged AERIS, Hollis Gear, Lavacore, and Oceanpro from his father, fellow NOGI award-winner Bob Hollis. Along with instrument-focused Pelagic Pressure Systems, he now guides AUP’s team of engineers, product designers, and manufacturing experts, while maintaining the same philosophy of excellence that has guided the companies since their inception.


“With today’s consumers constantly demanding new and improved versions of everything, we need to constantly rethink our products,” Hollis says. “Can we make them better? Smaller? Lighter and more user-friendly? Our aim is to create products that will exceed the needs of divers and enhance the diving experience.”


He also aims to help inspire new interest in diving among younger generations. Toward that end, AUP recently provided sponsorship to Jean-Michel Cousteau’s son, Fabien, and his research team on Mission 31, their record-setting 31- day stay in a seafloor lab in the Florida Keys. For the data- collection challenge, the team donned Oceanic’s Pioneer dive suits, Probe BCs, and ZEO regulators. “Growing up in the industry, I’ve seen growth that we’re just not seeing now,” Hollis says. “We need to bring that back. We need to work to make diving affordable for the younger generation and work on ways to keep people active in the sport.”


Born and raised in California, Hollis started diving— and his dive career—at an early age, enjoying his first dives in 1966 while traveling with his father to the Mexican Caribbean and Central America. He grew up working in the family’s Anchor Shack dive shop, washing wetsuits
and gear,

and then at Oceanic, where he built strobes and underwater camera housings. After high school, Hollis completed professional certification at the Commercial Diving Center in Long Beach, then tested his mettle building dive chambers for Saturation Systems in Northern California and

welding oil pipeline for Louisiana-based Taylor Diving  Salvage in the North Sea and the Gulf



While the isolation (he spent one North
Sea Christmas at depth in a diving bell) and risks of commercial diving proved challenging, he found the lack of dependable gauges and dive instrumentation even more so.


In 1979, he cofounded Pelagic Pressure Systems
with his father to fill the gap, designing instrumentation products that met his standards. Under his leadership, Pelagic initially developed and manufactured high-quality analog gauges, high- and low-pressure hoses, oil-filled depth gauges, and compasses.


By 1984 Hollis had led development of the first air- integrated dive computer featuring a patented air-time- remaining algorithm. He next introduced computers that could track dive time, depth, ascent rate, air consumption, and nitrogen absorption. Included among Pelagic’s long list of notable contributions to diving: the air-integrated DataMax, DataMaster, DataTrans, and ProPlus handheld gauge series; the modular Veo series; the watch-style Atom, Geo, OC1, and OCi computers; the DataMask in-mask HUD; the F10 and F11 free-diving computers; the TX1 Trimix

computer; the A300 CS OLED, a full- color, Bluetooth-capable wrist unit.... The company also developed the eDiverLog and DiveCloud apps.


On all of these projects, Hollis oversaw each step of the product-development process, and Pelagic has won numerous awards and produced more than 300 different dive computers, many that have gone on to become industry standards. Hollis was named a Scuba Schools International Platinum Pro 5000 Diver in 2007, once again following 
in the footsteps of his father, who was inducted in 1993. And while Hollis has taken over AUP as CEO, his father remains chairman of the board. In addition, his brother Nick is president of Hollis Gear, his brother Zach is operations manager of ROMI, and his sister, Debbie Hayes, works for AUP in purchasing in planning.


“I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by and grow up with excellent divers who were and are

passionate about the sport,” Hollis says. “My dad is my mentor, he has accomplished so much in his life, and has always included me and

inspired me to strive for more. I’ve been lucky to work with him my whole life—and to still be working with him. In fact, he works in the office next door.”

:: Peter Hughes - Distinguished Service - 2018

Peter Hughes has 50 years of experience in recreational diving, first in Tobago then in Roatan, where he met his wife Alice, and onto Bonaire where he found himself as owner of a bankrupt dive operation. Paying special attention to female divers and offering “we do it for you” service, Dive Bonaire N.V. gained international recognition. Peter was also instrumental in originating the installation of  permanent mooring systems.

After 15 years in resort operations, Peter moved into the liveaboard dive boat business with his first vessel Sea Dancer. Continuing his policy of attracting more divers through comfort and convenience, and exporting the permanent mooring policy, Peter contined to grow his fleet. Peter set new standards in what was basically a hard core boy’s club.

Building the Dancer Fleet into a worldwide operation he made the decision to step back in 2008 and go into consulting for liveaboard operations. After a long, successful relationship with Galapagos Sky, Peter is now focused on helping develop the Pelagic Fleet into one of the world’s premier liveaboard operations.

Pioneering the diving liveaboard experience, a lifetime of marine conservation and diving safety efforts such as the decobar, are shining tributes to Peter’s sustained dedication of service to the diving world.

Hughes, Peter
Humann, Paul

:: Paul Humann - Sports and Education - 2009


Paul’s work established visual identification criteria for many marine animals. To assure scientific accuracy long hours of observation, documentation, cataloguing and corresponding with dozens of taxonomic marine scientists were essential steps in a long process. In many instances picture/voucher specimen collection was required to make positive identifications. As a result, many of his pictures were the first ever published of living species in their natural habitat. The specimens from this work now reside in the Smithsonian’s National History Museum collections. His photos and collaboration with scientists formed the basis for Paul to write his award winning series of popular marine life identification books, published in conjunction with his business partner Ned DeLoach. These books made it possible for underwater naturalists around the world to make valid visual non-impact biodiversity assessments of reef ecosystems. 


Paul’s photo/voucher specimen collections also included some rare finds. One specimen turned out to be an ahermatypic stony coral unknown to science. In fact it was classified in a Genus previously unknown to exist in Tropical West Atlantic waters. Commonly named Ornate Cup Coral, the species was scientifically described by Smithsonian scientist Dr. Stephen Cairns in Paul’s honor, Coenocyathus humanni.


Paul and Ned’s concern for the welfare of the marine environment led them to co-found the Reef Environmental Education Foundation in 1990. REEF is an organization of active sport scuba divers that conduct underwater surveys to provide a continual flow of data monitoring marine wildlife populations -- much the same as Audubon bird watchers. They worked with marine scientists from NOAA, the University of Miami and The Nature Conservancy in developing the program and protocols to assure both the accuracy and usefulness of the data. This included the development of marine life visual identification courses which are used today not only to teach REEF volunteers, but include all participants in the sport of snorkeling and diving. For their work with REEF in 2006 Paul & Ned received the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force’s Outstanding Public Awareness and Education Award. 


Today, marine wildlife scientists, marine ecologists, fisheries managers, and marine park managers throughout the West Tropical Atlantic, Alaska to Galapagos and the Hawai’ian Islands use data provided by REEF. Currently REEF is working to expand its programs into the Tropical West and Central Pacific. REEF has programs studying grouper spawning aggregations to save their endangered populations. Due to the current budget constraints of governments and scientific/educational institutions this valuable data would unavailable were it not for the efforts of REEF. REEF is also the lead environmental organization with its Exotic Species Program to hopefully control the potentially disastrous consequences of the invasion of lionfish into the waters of the Tropical West Atlantic. Paul continues his volunteer work for REEF as Chairman of the Board of Trustees and acting Executive Director. He also continues to write and publish marine life identification books. 


In 2006 Paul was one of DEMA’s Outreach Award recipients and in 2007 was inducted into the International Diving Hall of Fame.

Icorn, Nick

:: Nick Icorn - Distinguished Service - 1974


Nick is a diving pioneer, historian, and has amassed an unprecedented collection of historical diving equipment that he often displays and lectures about at diving symposia. Nick holds Instructor certifications from YMCA, NAUI, SSI, and NASDS. In 1969, Nick became the first Executive Director of PADI and helped PADI grow through developing programs and standards. After leaving PADI, Nick went on to hold the positions of Vice President and Chief Engineer at a number of companies including U.S. Cavalero Corp. and Ocean Dynamics Intl. Nick is a member of the NAUI Hall of Honor and has served on the Board of Directors of many companies including PADI, AUAS, and the Historical Diving Society (HDS). Nick has written over 100 articles and several training manuals on all aspects of diving equipment and training. He is also recognized as a leader in commercial and technical diving; he has expertise in hardhat, semi-closed circuit, and mixed gas diving. Nick helped develop life support systems used in the USN's MKI Deep Diving System, SEALAB II, the MAKI Range, the Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle, and mixed gas rigs for the US Army's Special Forces. In Oct., 2006, Nick received the DEMA Reaching Out Award.




:: Tom Ingram - Distinguished Service - 2017

Tom Ingram has more than 40 years of experience in the recreational diving industry, including dive leadership, retail and retail management, education, marketing, and has served as the Executive Director of DEMA since 2002.  


Ingram started in the recreational diving industry working as a divemaster with a store in Florida, and as a scuba technician with Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) in Jensen Beach.  After becoming an instructor in 1976, Ingram went on to teach at FIT and several different local dive centers.    


Ingram became an FIT faculty member in 1980, and in 1985 became the Department Head of the Sport Diving Operations Program.  A NAUI Instructor Trainer, Ingram volunteered as an Examiner for numerous NAUI ITCs as well as a speaker at various NAUI IQs, NAUI’s US-based national educational conventions.  In addition, Ingram worked as a trainer for scuba-related operational techniques for the US Army Corps of Engineers. 


At FIT, while teaching full-time during the academic year, Ingram worked during summers as Manager of the East Coast Shipwreck Project, coordinating the efforts of Mel Fisher’s treasure salvors, the State of Florida, and Marine Archaeologists employed to recover and catalog treasure from the 1715 Spanish Plate Fleet. Ingram also participated in the recovery of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha off Key West, Florida in 1985. 


In 1987 the satellite campus of FIT closed, and later that year Ingram established the first four-year degree program in Recreational Diving Management (RDM) at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida.  The RDM program incorporated a business minor, diving business, and diving leadership education, resulting in a diving instructor certification and baccalaureate degree in Recreational Diving Management; everything needed for a career as a recreational diving professional.


While at Barry, Ingram now a PADI Course Director, served on the Z375 (ANSI) Committee on development of Diving Instructional Standards.  In addition, Ingram frequently volunteered as an Instructor Examiner with PADI, and provided educational support for Dade County’s Inner City High School Marine-related-science and business program, the Maritime Science and Technology (MAST) Program.


In 1995 Ingram joined Scubapro as Manager of Education and Retail Development, and later became Product Manager and Director of Technical Marketing.  In 2000 Ingram joined Aqua Lung as Manager of Sales and Marketing for Swim Products and later as Marketing Manager for Professional Diving Equipment.  Ingram joined DEMA as Executive Director in September of 2002.


 Ingram is a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) where he serves on the Public Policy Committee and has been a featured speaker and author on numerous occasions.  He has also been Board Chair for the California Society of Association Executives (CalSAE), and in 2008 -2009 was recognized as the California Association Executive of the Year. Ingram also serves on the Board of the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame. He is a Certified Association Executive (CAE), and holds Masters’ degrees in Marketing and Management.  


Ingram is a consummate industry professional with over 40 years of distinguished service to the international diving industry.

Ingram, Tom
Jones, Hardy

:: Hardy Jones - Environment - 2017


Hardy Jones, a marine wildlife conservationist and filmmaker, has dedicated his life to marine mammal protection and ocean conservation.  

Early in Hardy’s career he worked for United Press International, The Peruvian Times, and CBS News.  Since 1978 he has been producing his own television documentaries, making over 75 ocean conservation films for PBS, Discovery, TBS and National Geographic. 


Hardy’s legacy is what has become a nearly-four-decade campaign to stop the killing of dolphins by Japanese fishermen.  In 1979 he was the first westerner to document the dolphin massacre at Iki Island Japan.  The footage captured during that first visit was syndicated world-wide and created international outrage and official letters of protest from several governments.  Hardy returned to Japan for many years and saw village after village quit dolphin hunting, in one case to begin dolphin watching. The lives of thoiusands of dolphins have been spared. 


In 2000, Hardy and film actor/ocean activist Ted Danson founded, dedicated to the protection of dolphins and whales, and to stopping the hunting of dolphins in Japanese fishing villages.  The organization has been instrumental in revealing the impact that contaminants such as mercury, PCBs and persistent organic pollutants have as they accumulate in the food web from plankton to fish, marine mammals, and humans.


More recently and moving forward, Hardy and initiated an international effort to end the brutal slaughter of dolphins in Peru, recruiting Peruvian-based Mundo Azul ( to join in the effort.  The campaign, aimed at Peruvian fishing practices that kill as many as 15,000 dolphins yearly for use as shark bait and human consumption, has included funding expeditions that returned with graphic photographic evidence of massive hunts for dolphins.  Additionally, undercover surveys revealed the illegal sale of dolphin meat, resulting in citizens reporting violations of dolphin protection laws. 


The impact of Hardy’s efforts were also seen with  his 1990 film If Dolphins Could Talk, hosted by actor Michael Douglas, which included footage of dolphins dying in tuna nets.  Soon after broadcast, Heinz announced it would no longer accept tuna caught by surrounding dolphins with nets. 


Hardy’s book The Voice of the Dolphins (2011), recounts more than thirty years of work with dolphins in the wild, and the efforts of to end the killing of dolphins in Japan, and the increasing menace of chemical contaminants in the marine food chain.

As noted on’s website: “At a time in history when we are constructing the world’s most sophisticated communications infrastructure on the internet, we are dangerously neglecting the “infrastructure” which supports life on our planet.  This is particularly true in the marine environment.  Life in the oceans is in serious jeopardy and none of it is “backed up.” If it is destroyed it will not be recoverable.”


Among Hardy’s numerous awards are the 2005 Filmmaker of the Year Award from Filmmakers for Conservation, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Wildlife Film Festival, the Genesis Award of the Humane Society of the United States, and the Special Jury Award of the Explorers Club. 

North, Wheeler

:: Wheeler North Ph.D. - Sports and Education - 1974


Wheeler North earned his PhD in marine biology from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego, California. He began research diving under Conrad Limbaugh, Scripps’ first diving officer. North was one of a few PhD’s actively diving to do his research. He began studying the

California and Baja Mexico kelp forests in the early 1950’s. He developed many of the techniques that are currently used today in scientific diving. His diving day usually began at 4:00 AM and he typically dive for 12 hours in a ratty old wetsuit. He didn’t believe in surface intervals and went right back to work. Fortunately, most of his dives were shallow. 


North was one of the nation’s first dive instructors teaching courses with Jim Stewart for the San Diego Park's Recreation Department. He partnered with Stewart, Chuck Nicklin and others and opened the San Diego Diving Locker. It one of the first dive shops in California. The shop was opened the day after a skin diver was attacked by a white shark in La Jolla Cove. Their first week in business, they only sold one piece of gear: a dive mask. Sales soon picked up and diving became more popular. North later sold his share to Nicklin so he could focus on his kelp research.


His first research boat was named the Great Green Urinal. North rarely rinsed his dive gear and would use it until it finally fell apart. On a research project at Diablo Canyon in San Luis Obispo, they refused to allow North into the water until he purchased new gear. Wheeler North and his team of research divers studied an oil spill and it’s effects on the marine environment.


In the late 1950’s, the tanker Tampico ran aground about 60 miles south of Ensenada, Mexico. The resulting oil killed almost everything in the bay. Within 6 months, the bottom was covered in juvenile kelp. North continued to study the area for the next 12 years and created a linear database on the recovery in the bay.


For several decades, North continued to study kelp: transplanting and fertilizing kelp to maximize growth. The gas companies were interested in harvesting kelp to produce methane gas, so North established kelp farms in various areas to study growth rates. Wheeler North and his friend Zale Parry would fly down to Mexico with their dive gear and land on the beaches. They’d go diving to study kelp and then fly home. He studied the effects that sea urchins have on kelp and various ways to remove the urchins. His PURP (Palos Verdes Underwater Restoration Project) was an effort to reduce the sea urchin population to allow more kelp to grow. In one day, 250 volunteer divers destroyed about 800,000 sea urchins. 500 kelp plants were then transplanted to White’s Point. In 10 years, the area was transformed from an urchin desert to lush kelp beds.

Wheeler North was a true pioneer in research diving. His numerous publications on kelp are still referenced by research divers today.


Keller, Hannes

:: Hannes Keller - Science - 2008


World renowned philosopher, mathematician and visionary, Hannes Keller. Contributions made by Hannes Keller to diving include development of decompression algorithms for use in dive computers. In 1961, he set the current deep diving record of 710 feet. He is also an artist and concert pianist.

Kirby, Bob

:: Bob Kirby- Sports / Education - 2015


Bob Kirby served as a diver in the U.S. Navy during the mid 1950’s, assigned to the submarine tender, (AS-17) anchored in San Diego, California. Kirby was unimpressed with the standard U.S. Navy Mark V system, that was basically unchanged since it entered
the service in 1916, and he

applied his creative metal smith talents to develop equipment that would serve a diver better. One of his earliest equipment designs was a stainless-steel free flow mask for abalone diving.


On leaving the navy Kirby was mentored by abalone diver Jerry Todd and became immersed in the trade
of commercial diving. An early colleague of Kirby’s in equipment design during this period was Bob Ratcliffe. Ratciffe worked with Lad Handelman (DS 2014) and would later go on to develop his famous Rat Hat diving helmet for OCEANEERING International.


Kirby’s involvement in commercial diving would lead him up the coast to Santa Barbara, California, and he was there when the critical leap from air to helium
diving was taking place during the early 1960’s.
Santa Barbara was the international cutting
edge for working deep diving technology and
the competition between diving companies was
fueled by flush finances of the oil companies who
were drilling ever deeper offshore. 


Working with colleagues at Associated Divers, Kirby constructed a helmet that re- circulated helium, and in 1965 went into the diving equipment manufacturing business producing helium recriculator helmets. Kirby teamed up with Bev Morgan (Arts 1990, S.E. 1995) and the Kirby

Morgan Corporation was formed. From his career in surfing, Morgan and had worked a lot with fiberglass and saw that the next logical step ahead in diving from Kirby’s traditional copper and brass recirculators was lightweight helmets that a diver could swim with.


In developing the lightweight helmet the Kirby Morgan Corporation became the world’s leading manufacturer of surface supplied diving equipment, replacing the storied English company of  Siebe Gorman in the oceans of the world.


The Yokohama Diving Corporation of Japan took over manufacture of Kirby’s helium recirculator helmet and examples of these helmets are now highly sought after by museums and collectors.


Bob Kirby and Bev Morgan eventually parted professionally, but the company they founded half a century ago now dominates the international fields of military and commercial surface supplied diving. Kirby went on to be an instructor at the Marine Diving Technology Department at Santa Barbara City College, passing on his several decades of knowledge to younger generations.


He joined fellow AUAS Fellows Leslie Leaney (SE 2003), Lee Selisky (DS 2005), and Nick Icorn (DS 1974) as a Board member of the Historical Diving Society. He designed and built the helmets for his friend Jim Cameron’s (Arts 1999) movie The Abyss, and self published his autobiography, Hard Hat Divers Wear Dresses, in 2002. In addition to his career in diving Kirby had one in aviation and co authored the 2008 book Aviation Visionary, detailing the history of Jack Conroy and the Conroy Aircraft Corporation.


Now fully retired Kirby volunteers his time with the Historical Diving Society, of which was a Director, and the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, which maintains an exhibit of his equipment. In recognition of his career contribution to diving he was inducted into the Commercial Diving

Hall of Fame in 2000.

Koblick, Ian

:: Ian G. Koblick- Distinguished Service  - 1990

Ian G. Koblick has pioneered ocean exploration since the early 1960's, and for the past three decades has developed, built and operated ocean and environmental education facilities.  As an alternate Aquanaut in Tektite I and manager and Aquanaut in Tektite II, he was one of the nation's first scientist aquanauts. In 1986 he and his two partners created Jules’ Undersea Lodge, the world’s only undersea hotel, at the research and education facility he created and runs in Key Largo, FL.  He designed and managed "La Chalupa", the most advanced undersea lab program ever carried out.  He has consulted internationally in Panama, Vietnam, Brazil, Virgins Islands, Puerto Rico, Malta, Italy, Sicily, Spain and Croatia.  He is the co-author of the book, Living and Working in the Sea, a definitive book on the history of saturation diving and underwater habitats. Since 2005 he has co-developed the Aurora Trust program, a marine archeology projects in the Mediterranean and US.



1971 - Present: Founder President and Chairman of the Board of Marine Resources Development

Foundation, Key Largo, Florida. .  The Foundation teaches marine ecology to more

than 4000 students annually.

2009 2012 Co-founder of Deep Blue Surveys, a commercial marine company engaged in

hydrographic surveys, based in Malta.

2005 – Present: Founding Director of Aurora Trust marine archeological trust operating in the

Mediterranean and the US. .

1986 - 1994: Developer and Co-owner, Jules' Undersea Lodge, the world's first underwater hotel.

1976 - Present:  President, Koblick Marine Center.  Consultant for marine resources development

for countries including the Caribbean and New Zealand. 

1971 - 1976:  Developer and Manager of PRINUL, (Puerto Rico International Undersea

Laboratory).  Participated as an Aquanaut for two, two-week saturation dives on N2O2 at 106',

with excursions to 265'.  Carried out a total of eleven, two week Aquanaut missions. 

1969 - 1971:  Special Assistant to the Governor of the Virgin Islands for Undersea Programs. 

Initiated the Governor's Proclamation designating 1970 "Year of Ocean Resources Development",

created Governor's Marine Resources Council, initiated "The Virgin Islands and the Sea" study, 

Managed the Government of the Virgin Islands participation in the Tektite II Program.

1969: Author and principal investigator of a National Science Foundation grant for an ecological

study of lobster management.

1969 - 1970:  Alternate Aquanaut, Tektite I, During Tektite I, a 60-day saturation dive for science,

four Aquanauts proved that man could live and work productively on the ocean floor. 

1970: Program Manager and Aquanaut, Tektite II. Tektite II was a three week saturation dive.


1966 - 1969:  Coordinator of Field Studies at the College of the Virgin Islands Ecological Research

Station (VIERS). 

1965 - 1972:  President, Virgin Islands Cruises, Inc.  Owner of 3 Aquatic Sports Centers in the

Virgin Islands


2010 – Present: Member of the Selection Committee for the Astronaut Hall of Fame

2003 - Member of the Smithsonian Institution Committee for the Ocean Exhibit

1995 - Consultant to FOREC (Feasibility Study for Aqua Resort Panama 2000)

1993 - Present:  ESPACE MER Association - Science and Technical Committee.

1992 - 1994:  Consultant to United Nations for marine resources development of Vietnam.

1990 - 14:  Consultant to Consultex - Moscow, USSR and Vietnam.

1988 - Resource for the World Business Council Caribbean Conference.

1987 - Consultant to CitiPac for the development of the Federal States of Micronesia.

1985 - Senior Scientist, Japan/China Expedition, National Institute for Exploration.

1985 - Member of US Congressional committee, met with Fidel Castro to discuss ocean programs.

1979 - 1980 - Member of the Port Everglades Environmental Advisory Board.

1979 - U.S. Department of Commerce, Senior Consultant for the NOAA Diving Manual.

1978 - 1979 -Advisory Board member, Nova University Ocean Sciences Center.

1971 - 1976 -Consultant to the Department of Public Works, Puerto Rico.

1972 - 1985 -Member of U.S. State Department U.S./Japan Natural Resources Committee.



Explorers Club Member FM 78

Blue Key National Honor Fraternity (Academic)

Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity, Beta Omega Chapter

Omicron Theta Epsilon (Honorary Biological Science Fraternity)


2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 Carried the Explorers Club Flag

1997 - Medal of Honor, The Daughters of the American Revolution -

1993 - Who's Who in Diving

1991 - Who's Who in Leading American Executives

1991 - Recipient of the NOGI Award for "Distinguished Service"

1989 - 1994 - American Men and Women of Science

1986 – Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Award for Underwater Exploration

Kristof, Emory

:: Emory Kristof - Arts - 1987

:: Dr. Christian Lambertsen - Science - 1971

Christian J. Lambertsen, a scientist and doctor invented an underwater breathing system used by the military in World War II and later coined the "scuba" acronym by which such systems are widely known.

Lambertsen, born May 15, 1917, earned a bachelor's degree from Rutgers University. He began working on his breathing apparatus, using parts of anesthesia machines, even before he enrolled as a medical student at the University of Pennsylvania, according to medical school dean Arthur Rubenstein, who called him "one of our institution's most honored professors."

Lambertsen's background as a doctor, inventor and diver made him "the right man in the right place at the right time" for the development of an early version of the device later known as scuba or "self-contained underwater breathing apparatus, according to a July biography in "The Year In Special Operations."


In 1941, Lambertsen worked with the Army's Office of Strategic Services to establish special underwater forces deployed in Burma, and later worked with the Navy to train surface frogmen to become divers. During this service, Rubenstein said, Lambertsen made the first exit from and reentry into a submerged submarine, marking the beginning of modern underwater demolition teams.

Back at the University of Pennsylvania, he converted an abandoned altitude chamber into a laboratory for the study of undersea and aerospace environmental physiology. In 1968, he established the Institute for Environmental Medicine, which has studied oxygen toxicity, diving-related diseases and the effects of hypoxic response in humans, exploring how humans can live in hostile environments from the oceans to space and in extreme temperatures.


Lambertsen retired as institute director in 1987 but continued his research as a professor emeritus, studying how high-pressure oxygen therapy can help in treatment of diseases. In 1992, he patented inergen, a fire-suppression product now used in commercial buildings but developed initially to extinguish fires in submarines and spacecraft, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Among his many honors are the highest civilian awards from the Department of Defense and Coast Guard. In 2000, Navy SEALS proclaimed him "the father of U.S. combat swimming."

Lambertsen is survived by sons Christian, David, Richard, Bradley and six grandchildren.

Chris Lambertson.jpg
Lambertsen, Christian
Lang, Michael A.

:: Michael A. Lang - Science - 2009


Michael A. Lang was recruited by the Office of the Under Secretary for Science in January 1990 to direct the Smithsonian’s pan-institutional Scientific Diving Program. Lang served as OUSS Executive Officer for Scientific Programs (2001 – 2002) and as Director of the Smithsonian Marine Science Network since 1998. He provided senior executive staff support to the Smithsonian Science Commission (May 2001 – January 2003), served as Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative to National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Public Administration Smithsonian Science Studies (June - October 2002) and as OUSS symposium chair for Smithsonian at the Poles: Contributions to International Polar Year Science (May 2007), Smithsonian Marine Science (November 2007), coordinator of Tropical Extinction Symposium (January 2009), and Symposium Co-Host and International Board Member of the Antarctic Treaty Summit 50th Anniversary, Smithsonian Institution (November 2009). Through an Interagency Agreement with the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs he has directed the U.S. Antarctic Program scientific diving program since 2001. Lang serves as the OUSS representative on the Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects Research. 


Lang came to the Smithsonian from San Diego State University (B.Sc. Zoology and postgraduate marine ecology) where he was a Staff Marine Biologist and Collections Curator from January 1982 – December 1989. He has served as President of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences, Chairman of the Board of Divers Alert Network, and as Board member of the National Association of Underwater Instructors, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Our World Underwater Scholarship Society, Ocean Futures Foundation, Coral Reef Alliance, 8th International Coral Reef Symposium, National Geographic Society Sustainable Seas Project, U.S.-Japan Natural Resource Council - Diving Physiology Panel, International Board of AT50Summit, and as expert consultant to the Nature Conservancy and the U.S. Coast Guard.


Scientific collaborations include projects with Channel Islands Research Program, U.S. National Park Service Channel Islands National Park, California Department of Fish and Game, NOAA Aquarius Habitat Program, Aquarium et Musée Océanographique Monaco, National Science Foundation - UNOLS, MBC Applied Environmental Sciences, UNESCO-Paris, The Nature Conservancy - US AID, USGS-Biological Resource Division, National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs, US Navy Experimental Diving Unit, NAVSEA, Supervisor of Diving and Salvage, and US Coast Guard. Lang has published over 50 papers and received research awards from UC Sea Grant, Woods Hole Sea Grant, USC Sea Grant, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA), American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS), Divers Alert Network (DAN), National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Polar Programs and Division of Ocean Sciences. Professional acknowledgements include DAN/Rolex Diver of the Year, NAUI Outstanding Instructor Award, AAUS Dedicated Service Award, UHMS Craig Hoffmann Award, Smithsonian Special Act Award, AAUS Conrad Limbaugh Award for Scientific Diving Leadership, and DEMA Reaching Out Award/Diving Hall of Fame. Lang has been featured in SMITHSONIAN Magazine and Smithsonian Channel’s Spotlight on Science. He is quinquilingual, an internationally requested speaker, and publishes Marine Science and Diveand Ipy for the Office of the Under Secretary for Science.

Lanphier, Edward Howell

:: Edward Howell Lanphier, M.D. - Science - 1963


Edward Howell Lanphier was born on May 29, 1922 in Madison, Wisconsin. He earned his degrees from the University of Wisconsin (B.S., 1946) and the University of Illinois (M.S. & M.D., 1949). He married Karron Baird in 1978. 


Dr. Lanphier was involved in dive-related research beginning in 1951, and was one of the world’s leading authorities on hyperbaric medicine and diving physiology. He was senior scientist at the Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Wisconsin at Madison (U.W.-Madison) and Assistant Director for Biomedical Research at U.W.-Madison Biotron. His professional experience included the following: American College of Physicians research fellow in physiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (1950-1951); assistant medical officer and physiologist, United States Navy Expert Diving Unit (1952-1958); diving medical officer, Eniwetok Proving Ground (1958); medical officer, Underwater Demolition Team, Norfolk, VA (1958-1959); he went from assistant professor to associate professor in physiology at the SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine (1959-1973).


In the 1970s he directed work under the Wisconsin Sea Grant, conducting some of the first controlled experimental assessments of the causes and effects of the bends and other forms of decompression sickness or illness. Lanphier wrote and spoke extensively on a variety of diving subjects, including decompression in surface-based diving, comfort in underwater exercise, animal and human respiration under increased pressures, and hyperbaric treatments. His research interests included respiratory physiology, submarine and diving medicine, physiological problems of immersions and exposure to increased pressure, and hyperbaric medicine.


During his career Dr. Lanphier was a member of the American Physiological Society, the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, and the American Academy of Underwater Science. Dr. Lanphier was the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Behnke Award from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (1977), and the NOGI Award from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences (1963). He died on June 6, 1999.

Leaney, Leslie

:: Leslie Leaney - Sports / Education - 2003

Co-Founder, Historical Diving Society USA

Founder, Historical Diver Magazine


Born in 1947 in London, England, Leslie Leaney started diving in 1969 in Singapore. He progressed through the BSAC system and became a scuba instructor, club Expedition Director and eventually Diving Officer, for BSAC Special Branch in Singapore. During his two-and-a-half year tenure he trained several dozen divers and was responsible for the training curriculum of over a dozen instructors and over 70 active recreational divers. 


In 1970, operating out of the port of Mersing, Leaney lead dozens of diving expeditions out into the South China Sea islands off Malaya’s east coast. Exploring principally around the islands Pulau Dayang, Aur, Tioman, and Permangil, his expeditions did some of the very early recording of the effect of the Crown of Thorns starfish on coral reefs in that area. 


In 1971, prior to the rise of international diving tourism, Leaney led an expedition dive team to the Perhentian Islands off the north east Malay coast, and then another to the Indian Ocean, diving the atolls of the Maldive Islands. In 1972, after diving trips to Australia and New Zealand, he conducted a survey on behalf of the late King Hussein of Jordan, on the feasibility of establishing a dive center in the Red Sea port of Aquaba, Jordan. During the 1970’s he traveled extensively working with divers and instructors in England, Malta, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. 


In 1980 Leaney relocated to Malibu, Southern California, where he worked in the music industry. He started to pursue his interest in diving history, and throughout the 1980’s he compiled an extensive diving library and a collection of historical antique equipment. His archives currently provide reference research material for diving historians, and items from his collection are on display at various museums. In 1992 this interest in history lead to Leaney to co-found the Historical Diving Society-USA, (HDS-USA) with Skip Dunham. The inaugural meeting featured a mix of recreational, military, and commercial divers and the Society continues to provide an educational forum for these separate, but connected, groups to learn about their joint history. 


Initially formed as a chapter of the British HDS, the Society evolved into an American non-profit corporation. During its fourteen year existence Leaney has worn the hats of Chairman, President, and Executive Director, and under his guidance the Society has grown from a few dozen members to over 2,700 in 37 countries. It is internationally affiliated with similar organizations. 


To guide the new Society Leaney helped to establish and develop an international Advisory Board of divers, who had distinguished themselves in their chosen fields. Under his guidance the HDS-USA Advisory Board has continued to grow in stature along with the Society. Members include Sylvia Earle, Hans and Lotte Hass, Scott Carpenter, Sir John Rawlins, James Cameron, Bev Morgan, Lad Handelman, Jean-Michel Cousteau, Dr. Christian Lambertsen, Dr. Peter B. Bennett, Andre Galerne, Phil Nuytten, Ernie Brooks, James Caldwell and many others. A listing of the HDS-USA Advisory Board can be found at


In 1993 Leaney founded The Journal of Diving History (JoDH) (originally titled Historical Diver Magazine), America’s first, and only, publication devoted to all aspects of diving history. As founding editor he introduced various columns, including the “Women Pioneers in Diving” column written by former Skin Diver Magazine editor Bonnie Cardone. He also published numerous historical articles translated from foreign language, including Russian, French, and German that had never before been published in America. From its small initial circulation The Journal has grown to be the official publication of historical societies in America, Australia, Asia, Germany, Canada, Russia and Mexico and is mailed to over 3,000 divers in 37 countries world-wide. 


Through his research Leaney has written numerous articles that have appeared in several international publications, and he has lectured on the subject of diving history at seminars in France, Canada, Mexico, England and America. A partial listing of his research articles can be found at, - Historical Diver Magazine back issues. His research is referenced by numerous authors and he has been a consultant for The History Channel, The B.B.C., The Discovery Channel, United States Navy, and other organizations. 


During his international travels he has assisted in strengthening the ties between America and divers many other countries who wished to record their own nations diving history. Leaney’s work with the Musee du Scaphandre in Espalion, and the World Festival of Underwater Images in Antibes, helped lay the foundation for the formation of HDS France. His work in promoting the careers of Austrian diving pioneers Professor Hans Hass and Lotte Hass, lead to their American return in 1998 for a film festival in their honor. A stellar cast comprising of Zale Parry, Al Giddings, Stan Waterman, Ernie Brooks, Al Tillman, Sylvia Earle, Phil Nuytten, Howard and Michele Hall, Emory Kristof, Bev Morgan and Andy Rechnitzer participated in the event. “It was the finest tribute occasion I have ever attended,” said Stan Waterman. Leaney is currently the American representative of the Hasses. 


Leaney serves, or has served, on the Board of Directors of The International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, The Commercial Diving Hall of Fame, the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, the Historical Diving Society USA, and others. Among his awards are the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences NOGI Award for Education, the Beneath the Sea Diver of the Year Award for Service and Honorary Life Time memberships in the Historical Societies of Russia, Canada, and South East Asia, Pacific.

Lentz, Terry

:: Terry Lentz - Sports / Education - 1968




When Terry Lentz was three years old he visited a rural part of California where his aunt Barbara lived. There was an eight foot high concrete structure with a ladder running up the side that he climbed and looked at something he had never seen before; a huge(to him) expanse of water within concrete walls, an above ground cistern. He had never seen the ocean, a lake or even a swimming pool so this body of water was entrancing. Walking along the concrete edge of the structure he lost his balance and fell to the bottom. He opened his eyes, saw a ladder in the water going to the surface and walked in slow motion to the ladder and climbed out. He thought the experience was a lot of fun.


When he was fifteen he began free diving and spear fishing. He was twenty two when he won the 1959 individual World Underwater Spear Fishing 

Championship title in Malta and a few weeks later with a partner from Algeria won the Cup de Mediterranean. He completed college, won two individual National Underwater Spear fishing Championships and was a member of one National Championship team. In 1964 he and his Olympic Kayak racing partner finished third in two man kayak qualifications and did not make the Tokyo Olympics Kayaking team. Two years later he and his partner won a U.S. National championship, he spent many days surfing and trained several years in the martial arts.




He arrived for a short stay on Oahu, surfed the north shore, married, moved to Maui and dove for Black Coral. He had a baby boy and shortly after moved to the Big Island of Hawaii. He entered construction and Real Estate, had a beautiful baby girl, got divorced, after seven years remarried, continued his martial arts, spear fished commercially for four years, had some life altering moments with Tiger sharks, and adopted two homeless cats and two dogs.




Terry and his wife Jeanne moved to the state of Washington for a few years and seeing the failing health of his parents moved to Southern California. He dove infrequently in California, adopted two more cats and two dogs, purchased their fifth Yorkshire terrier, and continued his martial arts.




Terry and his wife moved to Arizona. He adopted one more dog, trains year around for Mike McGuire's freshwater Underwater Spear fishing tournaments and Ocean Surf Ski races, volunteers his time and resources to the protection and preservation of endangered species of fish and a nearby wild animal rescue facility, reads a book or two a week, a great deal of magazines a month, practices Qi Gong daily, target shoots his .44 magnum handgun frequently, and works his one man business.

Lillis, Mary Edith

:: Mary Edith "Mel" Lillis - Sports / Education - 1963 - Distinguished Service - 1994


"Mel" Lillis, a Kansas City native and resident, was a pioneer in spear fishing and skin diving. She started the Kansas City Citizen Club and became a competitive spearfisher in tbe early days of the sport. Lillis also started the Underwater Hunter Safety Corps and began working on area scheduling SCUBA events. She formed the Midwest Diving Council made up of clubs from Missouri and Oklahoma and represented the newly formed Midwest Council at the official formation of the Underwater Society of America in Chicago. In 1960, Lillis went to a special meeting of the Society in New Orleans on Free Diving Rules and requested that Competitive Skin Diving-SCUBA Division be added to the Underwater Society and that they create a position of Vice President in charge of SCUBA Competitions. From 1961 to 1970, Lillis served the Underwater Society as Inter-Council Coordinator; Secretary; Chief Archivist; Historian; and she represented the Diving Council and the Oklahoma Council of Divers. She held office in both organizations as Secretary, Vice President; as well offices in two local diving clubs. 


In 1961, the team of Lillis and June Poplar won the first International SCUBA Triathlon competitions in New Orleans. Local, state, and regional competitions continued and Lillis remained the top national competitor for the next five years, retiring from competitive diving in California. 


In 1963, in Philadelphia, Lillis became the first woman recipient of the NOGI and until 1983, she was the only woman to be honored in the Sports and Education category. Soon after becoming a NOGI Fellow, Lillis was elected Executive Secretary and she served in that office for the past forty years. In 2005, the title of "Executive Secretary" was changed to "NOGI Awards Director," and as such, Mel continues to oversea the NOGI Elections. 


In addition to the NOGI Awards, for over 40 years, Lillis has been an active member of the Boston Sea Rovers, the oldest Scuba Diving Club in America, and still helps coordinate their annual show. Apart from her myriad diving activities, Mel Lillis currently works for the Kansas City Missouri-Mexico Business Development Office.

Limbaugh, Conrad

:: Conrad Limbaugh - Science - 1978


Conrad Linbaugh was born in 1924 and began skin diving when he was a teenager along the California coast in Laguna Beach, Palos Verdes and Conona del Mar. The mask that he used was made out of a coffee can and a piece of glass. In 1949 he received a bachelor’s degree in Biology.

Limbaugh soon began graduate work in zoology through UCLA. He purchased one of the first Aqua Lung units in the United States. Along with his friend Andy Rechnitzer, they taught themselves how to scuba dive.


In 1950, Limbaugh transferred to Scripp’s Institute of Oceanography. This is where he started to combine scuba diving with scientific research. In 1951, Limbaugh began developing the first guidelines for scuba training and began instructing others. He became well known for his articles in Skin Diver Magazine. His 1951 article and photo of a California Sheepshead appeared in the first edition of the magazine.


In 1953, he was inducted into one of the oldest skin diving clubs in America: The Bottom Scratchers. Members included Jim Stewart, Carl Hubbs, Lamar Boren, Jack Pradanovich and Wally Potts. That same year, he was appointed to be the first Diving Safety Officer at Scripps. He is

credited with creating the first scientific diving standards. His research diving course at Scripps was the first civilian instructional course in the United States and became the model for all courses afterwards. Limbaugh taught the founders of the Los Angeles County program. He ran their first instructor’s course, in coordination with Bev Morgan and Al Tillman. In 1959, along with Scripps research divers Jim Stewart, Any Rechnitzer, Wheeler North, they opened one of the first dive shops in California: the San Diego Diving Locker. Chuck Nicklin was then brought on to manage the shop which he eventually purchased from the other three.


Limbaugh published several scientific papers. These were some of the first written by a diving scientist. Along with Ron Church, Bev Morgan, Jim Stewart, and Wheeler North, they produced underwater films, two of which became well known amongst scientific and recreational divers:

River of Sands and Underwater Wonders.


In 1960, Limbaugh was invited by Jacques Cousteau and other leaders of the scientific community in Europe to attend the first meeting of the Confederation Mondiale des Activities Subaquatiques (CMAS) in Spain. While visiting Spain and France, he dove some of the caves along the coast. On March 20, 1960, Limbaugh lost his way inside of a cave at Port Miou, 20 miles from Marseille, France and died. He is buried in a small cemetery overlooking the Mediterranean Sea at Casis, France.

Link, Edwin

:: Edwin Link - Science - 1965


Edwin A. Link was the inventor of the Johnson-Sea-Link class of lockout submersibles. Link, a famed explorer-oceanographer, is invented the Submersible Decompresson Chamber (SDC), which could house two divers. Early experiments using Link's engineering developments paved the way for future development in lockout submersible systems.

Lobel, Phillip S.

:: Phillip S. Lobel, PhD - Science - 2011


Dr. Phillip Lobel (PhD, Biology, Harvard University, 1979) is an Ichthyologist and Professor of Biology in the Boston University Marine Program.


Phil learned to scuba dive from his father in Lake Erie, Ohio at age 12 in 1965. He started as a volunteer at the Cleveland Aquarium at age 14 where he met scientists who took him scuba diving to collect fishes and sharks in the Florida Keys during summers. This is when he really knew he wanted to be a marine biologist. At age 17, he traveled by himself into the Amazon jungle for six weeks where he met an old Amazonian Indian and the two of them canoed the jungles looking for fishes to collect.


He worked during school vacations, as the assistant lab manager at UH's Enewetak Atoll Marine Lab serving as a dive buddy for visiting scientists and "riding shotgun" with a McNair powerhead for protection from sharks (that was a long time ago!). He was the first to observe angelfishes and butterflyfishes spawning in the wild.        


He was the first to map a Hawaiian Ocean eddy in real time and to show how open ocean eddy currents could transport fish larvae from reefs and back again. 


The next huge discovery by Phil was made when he developed a specialized hydrophone and coupled it to a first generation 8-mm video camera in an underwater housing. While it was known that some fishes made loud courtship or aggressive sounds, Phil found that several (including hamlets and parrotfishes) also made quieter specialized spawning sounds that most scuba divers and aquarists never hear.


He established the Johnston Island marine research laboratory and led the research team that evaluated the impact on the marine environment from the US Army’s prototype facility for the destruction of chemical weapons and nuclear weapons fallout which resulted in the Dept. of Defense Coral Reef Protection Implementation Plan. 


He has been featured in two National Geographic TV shows about his work on shark behavior at Johnston Atoll and in Palau. He has discovered several new species of fishes in Hawaii, the Line Islands, Wake Island, and Belize. His wife, Lisa Lobel, PhD is also an accomplished marine biologist.  They have co-authored several papers.

Lutz, Richard

:: Dr. Richard Lutz - Science - 2015


Dr. Richard A. Lutz is currently Director of the Center for Deep-Sea Ecology and Biotechnology at Rutgers University. He also served as Chairman of the Planning and Search Committee for Rutgers Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences (IMCS), which was created in 1987, and was Director of IMCS from 2011 until 2014, at which time IMCS was transformed into Rutgers new Institute of

Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences.


Dr. Lutz is one of the foremost authorities in the world on the ecology of deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Since his participation in the first biological expedition to these unique ecosystems in 1979, Dr. Lutz has spent hundreds of hours on the bottom exploring thermal vents throughout the world’s oceans in a variety of deep-diving submersibles, including DSV Alvin, Nautile and the Shinkai 6500.


He received his B.A. from the University of Virginia in 1971, his Ph.D. from the University of Maine in 1975 and subsequently spent several years as a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University. In 1979, he joined the faculty of Rutgers University, where he currently is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Marine & Coastal Sciences. He has been Chief Scientist on numerous oceanographic cruises, has over 200 scientific publications, and was awarded the Rutgers’ Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Research.


In April 1991, Dr. Lutz joined a number of his geological colleagues on an oceanographic expedition, during which they used the deep-submergence vehicle Alvin to dive, for the first time, into the caldera of an actively erupting volcanic ridge along the East Pacific Rise at a depth of 2500 meters. For a decade following the eruption, Dr.Lutz returned to the site at approximately annual intervals to document post-eruption biological and geological succession. The results of his ongoing studies at the volcanic eruption site have been featured in many scientific journals and magazines, including Science, Nature, a cover
story in American Scientist, and three separate issues of National Geographic. Observations made during the course of Dr. Lutz’s studies in this unique “natural deep-sea laboratory” dramatically altered our views of the rates at which many biological and geological processes are occurring on the face of the planet. Dr. Lutz was Principal Investigator on the NSF project that funded the IMAX film entitled Volcanoes of the Deep Sea and served as the film’s Science Director. It is estimated that the film has been viewed by over 200 million individuals worldwide.

Macdonald, Bill

:: Bill Macdonald - Environment - 2014


In 2000, at the American Cetacean Society’s annual conference, held in Monterey, California, Bill Macdonald attended a talk on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch given by his friend, Captain Charles Moore, president and founder of the Algalita Marine Research Institute. Moore’s presentation consisted of a poster, a shoeboxful of seabird photos, and his eyewitness account of a garbage patch—great swaths of floating plastic debris choking the Pacific. And Macdonald, a visual guy with a keen instinct for story, a lifelong love of the sea, 25 years in ocean-themed filmmaking, and a healthy sense of outrage, was blown away.


The stage was set for collaboration. Macdonald teamed up with Moore to make Synthetic Sea. The award-winning nine-minute video, coproduced pro bono and released the same year via the research institute, became the tipping point for bringing the reality of ocean garbage patches to a horrified public.


“It lit the fuse on the plastic issue,” Macdonald says. “It completely shocked and compelled individuals to come to grips with the plastic plague.”

Back then, AMRI, a fledgling nonprofit in LongBeach, California, had just embarked on its new missionto conserve marine environments through education and research on plastic pollution.


Macdonald joined the AMRI board in 2001 and pitched in on media and outreach for six years. In 2006, he produced The Synthetic Sea Story, a half-hour overview of AMRI’s continuing research on plastic marine debris: its buildup from urban runoff, the toxins it spreads. In 2008, the Oprah Winfrey show ran footage from it for an Earth Day special. “Oprah cried when she saw it,”

Macdonald recalls. And by 2009, the word on ocean garbage patcheshad gone long past viral: The Los Angeles Times had wona Pulitzer for its coverage; a story on garbage patches had appeared in People magazine; and NOAA-centric wordslike “gyre” and “nurdle” (NOAA predicted the existence of ocean garbage patches back in 1988) had finally entered mainstream discussions on what might be done about them.


Meanwhile, Macdonald, a lifelong diver, had been pondering another marine conservation issue near to his heart: how to revive a flat-lining dive industryand, in turn, inspire a new community of divers to environmental activism.


“Surfers have done this so successfully,” says Macdonald. “It’s time for the divers to step up. The surfers have Surfrider. They have the Blue Water Task Force. They organize beach cleanups and styrofoam pickups. Surfers are cool. They have lifestyle gear. They have street style. They have Jack Johnson. Divers have no lifestyle gear. We have no street style. We have no Jack Johnson. We don’t organize, we’re not activist. We’re not cool. And that’s part of the problem. All of that is keeping our numbers down.”

MacInnis, Joe

:: Dr. Joe MacInnis - Science - 1972

JOE MACINNIS is a medical doctor, author and storyteller who’s pioneering research on undersea science and

engineering projects earned him his nation’s highest honour — the Order of Canada. He currently studies

leadership in high risk environments and gives leadership presentations in North America and Europe. His

audiences have included Microsoft, IBM, National Geographic, Rolex, Visa, Toyota and the U.S. Naval Academy.


Supported by the Canadian government, Dr. Joe led ten research expeditions under the Arctic Ocean. The first

person to explore the ocean beneath the North Pole, he was among the first to dive to the Titanic. Recently, he was

medical advisor/ journalist on the James Cameron-National Geographic 7-mile science dive into the Mariana Trench.


Dr. Joe has worked with the U.S. Navy, the Canadian Forces, the French government and the Russian Academy of

Sciences. He has produced two leadership training videos for the Canadian Forces and written ten books.

His last, Deep Leadership: Essential Insights from High Risk Environments, was published by Random House.


Dr. Joe has written and produced radio, television and giant-screen stories for CBC, CBS, Imax Corporation,

National Geographic and the Discovery Channel. He’s currently producing CARRY THE FIRE, a multimedia project to

inspire enterprise, optimism and leadership in young people.

McAniff, John J.







:: John J. McAniff - Distinguished Service - 1962


John McAniff was a noted diving professional for over 50 years. He was a world renowned authority on diving safety and for many years his University of Rhode Island office on the Kingston campus was the headquarters for the National Underwater accident Data Center. McAniff collected and provided information on diving accidents throughout the US. McAnnif's research was financed by the National Sea grant College Program and the Center was funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S Coast Guard.


McAniff received a NOGI in 1962 and in 1976 the first U.S. Coast Guard Academy Award for outstanding contributions to the field of diving and marine safety. He is also a recipient of the DEMA Reaching Out Award.


McAniff was one of the four Founders and the Safety Director of the Underwater Society of America. He has been a member of the Newport Underwater Association and served as the President of the Rhode Island Council of Skin Diving Clubs, and a task-group chairman fore the Underwater Safety Commission that is associated with the American National Standard Institute.

Meistrell, Bill

:: Bill Meistrell - Sports / Education - 2007 (co-recipient)


Bill and Bob Meistrell, Recipients of the 2006 NOGI Award in Sports and Education, were pioneering watermen and lifeguards whose inventions, talents and exploits helped transform surfing and diving into worldwide phenomena and billion-dollar industries. Bill and twin brother Bob are two of the three watermen named to both the surfing and diving halls of fames. Bill and Bob were born in Booneville, Missouri; Bill on July 30, 1928, and Bob 20 minutes later on July 31st. Bill and Bob started diving as kids in the farm's pond using an oilcan for a helmet and a bicycle pump and a hose for air. Bill and Bob had big dreams as Missouri farm-boys. Bob Meistrell explains, "We had three goals when we were small boys: own a submarine; go deep-sea diving; and treasure-hunting. Somehow we managed all three." 


A former business partner murdered their father when the twins were only four years old. Bill and Bob moved to Manhattan Beach with their mother, two brothers and three sisters in 1942. Bill attended Redondo Union High School and graduated from El Segundo High School in 1947. Bill, a Korean War veteran, was awarded the Bronze Star. Bill and Bob were among first crop of Los Angeles County Ocean Lifeguards in the 1940s and were among the first generation of California surfers and divers who blazed a path for generations to follow. 


Bill bought into their retail store Dive N' Surf in Redondo Beach in 1953 with brother Bob, legendary surfboard maker Hap Jacobs, and renowned surfer and diver Bev Morgan. Dive N' Surf was the first and is the oldest surf and dive shop of its kind in the South Bay of Los Angeles. Bill and Bob became sole owners in 1958. Bill, Bob and partner Morgan, are best known for inventing (in 1953) the first practical wetsuit, which revolutionized surfing and diving. Bill came up with the phrase "fits like a glove" and Body Glove was born. Body Glove's boned-hand, which Bill helped design, is one of the most globally recognized brand logos. 


Dive N' Surf's success was not lost on Hollywood. Hired to consult, they provided equipment and custom wetsuits for "Sea Hunt," the TV show that made Lloyd Bridges a star. The custom wetsuit sported by Bridges was integral to his character. They have been involved in dozens of movies since. Bill and Bob taught the entire Bridges family to dive as well as Gary Cooper, Hugh O'Brien, Charlton Heston, Jill St. John, and Richard Harris. Bill and his son, Billy even made a custom wetsuit for LA Laker legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Bill also retrieved millions in gold coins from shipwreck Brother Jonathan off the Northern California coast. 


Bill and Bob were recognized with the SIMA (Surf Industry Manufactuer's Association) Lifetime Achievement Award at the Waterman's Ball in 2003. 


Bill died from Parkinson's disease on July 26, 2006 at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes surrounded by family and friends. Bill was 77. He is survived by wife Lori; former wife Jackie, son Bill Jr, daughter Julie, four grandchildren and four step grandchildren.

Meistrell, Bob

:: Bob Meistrell - Sports / Education - 2007 (co-recipient)


Bill and Bob Meistrell, Recipients of the 2006 NOGI Award in Sports and Education, were pioneering watermen and lifeguards whose inventions, talents and exploits helped transform surfing and diving into worldwide phenomena and billion-dollar industries. Bill and twin brother Bob are two of the three watermen named to both the surfing and diving halls of fames. Bill and Bob were born in Booneville, Missouri; Bill on July 30, 1928, and Bob 20 minutes later on July 31st. Bill and Bob started diving as kids in the farm's pond using an oilcan for a helmet and a bicycle pump and a hose for air. Bill and Bob had big dreams as Missouri farm-boys. Bob Meistrell explains, "We had three goals when we were small boys: own a submarine; go deep-sea diving; and treasure-hunting. Somehow we managed all three." 


A former business partner murdered their father when the twins were only four years old. Bill and Bob moved to Manhattan Beach with their mother, two brothers and three sisters in 1942. Bill attended Redondo Union High School and graduated from El Segundo High School in 1947. Bill, a Korean War veteran, was awarded the Bronze Star. Bill and Bob were among first crop of Los Angeles County Ocean Lifeguards in the 1940s and were among the first generation of California surfers and divers who blazed a path for generations to follow. 


Bill bought into their retail store Dive N' Surf in Redondo Beach in 1953 with brother Bob, legendary surfboard maker Hap Jacobs, and renowned surfer and diver Bev Morgan. Dive N' Surf was the first and is the oldest surf and dive shop of its kind in the South Bay of Los Angeles. Bill and Bob became sole owners in 1958. Bill, Bob and partner Morgan, are best known for inventing (in 1953) the first practical wetsuit, which revolutionized surfing and diving. Bill came up with the phrase "fits like a glove" and Body Glove was born. Body Glove's boned-hand, which Bill helped design, is one of the most globally recognized brand logos. 


Dive N' Surf's success was not lost on Hollywood. Hired to consult, they provided equipment and custom wetsuits for "Sea Hunt," the TV show that made Lloyd Bridges a star. The custom wetsuit sported by Bridges was integral to his character. They have been involved in dozens of movies since. Bill and Bob taught the entire Bridges family to dive as well as Gary Cooper, Hugh O'Brien, Charlton Heston, Jill St. John, and Richard Harris. Bill and his son, Billy even made a custom wetsuit for LA Laker legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Bill also retrieved millions in gold coins from shipwreck Brother Jonathan off the Northern California coast. 


Bill and Bob were recognized with the SIMA (Surf Industry Manufactuer's Association) Lifetime Achievement Award at the Waterman's Ball in 2003. 


Bill died from Parkinson's disease on July 26, 2006 at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes surrounded by family and friends. Bill was 77. He is survived by wife Lori; former wife Jackie, son Bill Jr, daughter Julie, four grandchildren and four step grandchildren.

Miller, James W.

:: James W. Miller, Ph.D. - Science - 1986


Jim Miller was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He came into the world in 1927 along with Babe Ruth's home run record and Lindbergh's first transatlantic flight. Living in a depression/Word War II era middle class neighborhood, Jim participated in several sports throughout school, specializing in gymnastics and competitive swimming. This helped a lot in later years when he took up diving.


Following early graduation from high school in February, 1945, Jim enlisted in the Navy. After completing boot camp at Great Lakes, Illinois, he was sent to Hospital Corps School in San Diego, where he was trained as a combat medic in preparation for the anticipated invasion of Japan later in the year. Following the Japanese surrender, Jim spent the rest of his Navy life working in hospitals as a corpsman in the Oakland, California area until November 1946, when he was discharged and returned to Detroit.


Taking advantage of the G.I. Bill, Jim enrolled in Michigan State University in January, 1947 majoring in music. This seemed a natural thing to do as he had played clarinet and sax in several types of bands all through elementary and high school, including a Polish band where he was the only member unable to speak Polish.


At the end of the first year at Michigan State, after deciding that he would never make a living as a musician, Jim changed his major to experimental psychology and physiology and made music his avocation. While at Michigan State, he completed his B.A. (1949), M.A. (1950), and Ph.D. (1956).


Following receipt of his Master's Degree in 1950 and a short stint as a claims adjuster in Detroit, in early 1952, Jim went to work as a research assistant for the Kresge Eye Institute, also in Detroit. Later that same summer, he was transferred to the Naval School of Aviation Medicine in Pensacola, Florida, where he worked for the next eight years under a contract that Kresge had with the Navy, conducting research on visual problems related to high speed/low altitude and high altitude flight. Jim was involved personally in both laboratory and in-flight experiments, including flights with the Navy Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Team who always have been home-based in Pensacola.


Upon completion of the contract in early 1960, Jim joined the Hughes Aircraft Company in Fullerton, California as a Staff Engineer and a Member of the Human Factors Section until June 1963, when out of the blue, he was offered a job as Head of the Human engineering Branch of the Office of naval research (ONR) in Washington, D.C. This job involved the development of new Navy research programs and the monitoring of numerous scientific and technical contracts. At this same time, Jim was experimenting with saturation diving and the development of seafloor habitats. Following the completion of Sealab I in 1964, during which four divers lived on the seafloor for 11 days at a depth of 200 ft, Jim was invited to develop and direct a program for measuring behavior, work performance and various physiological parameters as part of the more advanced Sealab II 600-foot saturation diving experiment schedule for 1969. Regrettably, this program was cancelled because of the death of a Navy diver attempting to enter the habitat at the 600 foot depth.


In the spring of 1966, about six months following the completion of Sealab II, Jim decided that if he was going to continue in the underwater field he had better learn to dive. At age 39, he went through the Navy Diving School in Washington, D.C., and became a certified Navy diver to a depth of 130 feet. Diving in the Anacostia River was an experience in itself. On a sunny day at a depth of 12-15 feet, it was pitch black. Considering what probably was in the water, it was just as well.


Later in 1966, while presenting the results of Sealab II at a NASA meeting on "The Effects of Confinement On Long Duration Manned Space Flight," Jim suggested that, with the recent advances in saturation diving, "prolonged living under the sea is more feasible and cheaper than prolonged spaceflight from an experimental standpoint" and that NASA and the Navy should get together and discuss possible joint programs. Meetings began the following week and they eventually spawned the Tektite I and II programs I (in 1969 and 1970), during which over 50 aquanauts spent two to eight weeks living continuously on the seafloor at a depth of about 50 feet. Jim served as deputy Program Manager of Tektite I and as Program Manager of Tektite II.


Convinced that seafloor habitation had a great future, Jim left the Office of Naval Research in 1969 and joined the Department of the Interior as "Director of Ocean Technology," with the initial assignment of managing the Tektite II program. At the time, NOAA was expected to become part of the Department of the Interior in 1970. For many reasons, NOAA ended up in the Commerce Department and in the fall of 1970, following the completion of Tektite II, Jim was transferred to NOAA with other personnel in the Department of the Interior.


During his 12 years with NOAA, Jim served as Manager and Scientific Director on numerous undersea projects involving experimental diving, diving medicine, seafloor habitats and research submersibles. These wide-ranging projects included diving with NOGI Recipient Bob Wicklund in the tropics and with NOGI Recipient Joe Macinnis near the North Pole.


In addition to managing projects at NOAA, Jim published numerous articles on undersea topics, wrote and edited the first two editions of the NOAA Diving Manual and served as a consultant on the 3rd and 4th editions.


In 1980, Jim was assigned as Associate Director of the Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) (a part of the State University System) in St. Petersburg for a two-year period. His activities and interests branched out there, and in addition to developing a diving program for training marine scientists in undersea data collection techniques, he led an extensive study of offshore oil and gas regulations in use by nine states. In 1982, Jim retired from NOAA and stayed on at the FIO as Associate Director and as an Adjunct Professor in the Marine Science Department at the University of South Florida.


Jim set up his own consulting firm, "Woodell Enterprises, Inc." in 1982 and consulted in areas such as human factors, engineering, undersea science and technology and aquaculture. The corporation was active for 10 years.


In 1984, Jim, together with longtime friend and co-author, Ian Koblick, published a book entitled Living and Working in the Sea. This book details the development and history of all the underwater habitats in the world up to that time. A 2nd updated edition was published in 1995.


In 1985, Jim moved to the Florida Keys where he lived for the next nine years. He remained an employee of the Florida Institute of Oceanography and coordinated and developed joint research projects with the State of Florida and with Seaworld of Florida. As part of these programs, he became thoroughly involved with developing an expanded aquaculture industry in Florida serving as chairman of Florida's "Aquaculture Review Council" and the "Aquaculture Interagency Coordinating Council."


While in the Keys, Jim also became heavily involved in civic and county organizations and served as the Deputy Chairman of the Presidential appointed Advisory Council of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary for five years, and as Chairman and member of the Monroe County Planning Commission for four years. In addition to recreational diving in the Keys, Jim, on occasion assisted NOAA Marine Sanctuary personnel in removing cores from coral reefs and implanting anchoring "I" bolts in their place to attach buoys for boaters to tie up to instead of wrecking the reefs with their anchors.


In 1994, Jim and Ardeth, his wife for over 55 years, moved to Melbourne, Florida, where they continue to reside in a community called "the Indian River Colony Club." Jim continues his participation in musical groups and currently plays clarinet and sax in fours different bands in the Melbourne area.


           During his career, Jim Miller has received several awards and honors including:

  • 1965-1967 Three separate awards for "Outstanding Performance" from the Office of Naval Research

  • 1966 Department of the Navy "Superior Civilian Service Award"

  • 1967 The "Arthur S. Fleming Award"; and also that year Jim was chosen by the Junior Chamber of commerce as "One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men in the Federal Government"

  • 1969- Department of Navy's Highest Civilian Award, "The Distinguished Civilian Service Award"

  • 1973 The "Distinguished Alumni Award" from Michigan State University

  • 1987 NOGI Award for Science

  • 1989 "Charles Shilling Award" for Overall Contributions to Undersea Medicine from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society


Morgan, Bev

:: Bev Morgan - Arts - 1990, Sports/Education 1995

Bev Morgan is the only person to be inducted into the Surfing Hall of Fame, Commercial Diving Hall of Fame and the Scuba Diving Hall of Fame.   He started out as a surfer in Southern California.  One day around 1946 while in San Diego, he saw 3 scuba divers come out of the water: Conrad Limbaugh, Jim Stewart and Andy Rechnitzer from Scripps Institute of Oceanography.  They had caught abalone and lobster.  They soon became lifelong friends and helped to establish the first training programs for all recreational and scientific divers.


As an early surfer, learned fiberglassing techniques by making surfboards.  One of his first jobs was grinding metal at a factory in Torrance, working under German rocket scientist Dr. Wehrner Von Braun.  Bev was able to convince Wehner to start using fiberglass in the production process because it was quicker and easier to grind.  


Bev learned to scuba dive using a WWII tilt valve regulator from a B-29 bomber.  Around 1951, he bought an Aqua-Lung.  He was working as a Lifeguard for Los Angeles County and ran the original Baywatch boat.  One of his jobs was body recovery.  Scuba Divers were dying on a regular basis because they could buy or rent gear, but there was no training other than “Don’t Hold Your Breath.”  The L.A. County Board of Supervisors was seeking to make scuba diving illegal because of the high accident rate.  Bev along with Conrad Limbaugh and E.R. Cross proposed creating a board of advisors, to keep diving self regulated by dive shops, clubs and agencies and free from governmental intervention.  Bev wrote the first diving training book: Underwater Safety.  He partnered with Al Tillman and Ramsey Parks and created the L.A. County dive instruction program.  Tillman later left and formed NAUI using the L.A. program as a template.


Around 1955, Bev and surfers Hap Jacobs and Dale Velzy opened a combined diving and surfing shop in Redondo Beach: Dive n’ Surf.  Later on, Bill and Bob Meistrell came in as partners.  At that time, the only dive shop in the area was Mel’s Aqua Shop, owned by Mel Fisher.  The new competition made it more difficult for Mel, so he decided to sell the shop to go hunt from sunken treasure off the coast of Florida.  On July 20, 1985, Mel Fisher found the wreck of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha, a Spanish galleon with 47 tons of gold and silver on board.


Bev was making wetsuits for divers using Hugh Bradner’s technique of using neoprene rubber.  He changed the name from “thermo cline” to “Body Glove” because it fit the body like a glove.  It worked well for both divers and surfers, but the surfers refused to wear them because they considered it “chicken.”  Bev approached the top 10 surf teams in convinced them to wear his wetsuit during a surf contest.   Shortly after the meet, he had orders for over 1000 surf suits.  Soon it was 2000.  Bev sold the business to the Meistrell brothers and went sailing thoughtout the Pacific: Cocos Island, Galapagos, Pitcairn and other islands.  He collected fish specimens for Scripps and wrote articles for Surfer Magazine.

Mount, Tom

:: Tom Mount - Sports / Education - 2000


Tom Mount is the Founder of IAND, Inc., the first certification agency to offer a full array of Nitrox, mixed gas and technical diving programs. His entire life has been devoted to development of safer diving programs for divers ranging from novice to the most extreme of exploration divers. He is one of the world’s most experienced technical divers. He started teaching cave diving courses in 1963. He became one of the founding members of the first cave (technical) diving training agencies, America's oldest cave diving organizations, the NACD (1968). He is one of the most experienced and active rebreather divers teaching today, having made his first Rebreather dive in 1958. Since that time he has dived almost every Rebreather to be produced acquiring thousands of hours on them. Tom Mount first started diving in 1958.


Even now he continues to log an average of over 300 dives annually. In 1991 he joined IAND with its founder Dick Rutkowski and was instrumental in restructuring of the organization to include all levels of mixed gas and technical diving. Later in 1994 he led the BOD and BOA to expand the IAND, Inc./IANTD Training Programs to include recreational diving programs as well as technical courses. Tom Mount's background includes, former

dive shop and commercial dive service owner, former Dive Officer University of Miami RSMAS, Training Director of the YMCA SCUBA Program, NAUI Course Director, NAUI IT, Hyperbaric Chamber operator / supervisor, photojournalist, videographer, off-shore power boat race driver, martial arts Grand Master (8th Dan), twin engine airplane pilot, licensed USCG/Merchant Marine Master (Captain), and diving consultant. Tom has been honored in Who's Who, Who’s Who in Diving, Pioneers In Diving as well as in he is a 1993 SSI Platinum Pro Award recipient. Tom has been fortunate enough to work on numerous saturation diving projects in the capacity of aquanaut and dive supervisor. Tom is a recipient of the diving’s most prestigious award, the NOGI, in 2001. The award was for his contributions in Sports Education. He has written over a dozen technical textbooks and has contributed over 400 articles to magazines and technical diving publications throughout the world. Tom is known as a world-class underwater photographer. His photos have appeared in Skin Diver, Scuba Times, Underwater USA, Florida Scuba News, Sport Diver, Ocean Realm, Diver Magazine, Discover Diving, Dive Magazine of Israel, Fisheye View and Ocean Fantasy.

Murphy, Geri

:: Geri Murphy - Arts - 2001


Geri Murphy is a prolific photojournalist with an impressive record of more than 1,000 published articles, photos and books. Beginning in 1977, Skin Diver Magazine published 170 of Geri’s cover shots and hundreds of her articles and photos. Geri has also done cover shots for: Aquarium, Texas Flyer, Sub-Aqua, Photographic and Sport Diver magazine. Geri has written more than 855 travel features, product reports and adventure articles.


As part of her quest for diving excellence, Murphy has spent the last 25 years touring and diving the magnificent islands of Micronesia. She is one of the few divers to have visited all ten island destinations in the Continental air route network. She has authored more than 75 articles and dive guides on the islands and dive sites of Micronesia. Today, she is regarded as one of the top authorities on diving this region of the Pacific.


Murphy launched her diving career in 1968, diving the shipwrecks off the New Jersey coast. In 1969 she became a certified scuba instructor with credentials from three national agencies: PADI, NAUI and YMCA. In the early 1970s she began making frequent dive trips to the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire where she became employed as the first female scuba instructor.


She eventually took over management of the photo lab and became the resort's underwater photographic technician.


In 1973, Murphy joined the production company for Cornell Wilde's theater release movie, Shark’s Treasure. She continued her Hollywood career in 1976, devoting six months to the filming of Columbia Pictures movie epic, The Deep. Working underwater at three separate locations in the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and Australia, Murphy served as Underwater Script Supervisor for the movie production, as well as Safety Diver for both Nick Nolte and Jackie Bissett.


After THE DEEP, Murphy moved to Los Angeles where she worked as an underwater stuntwoman in scenes for television network shows such as SWITCH and MAN FROM ATLANTIS - eventually earning her SAG (Screen Actors Guild) card.


In 2001, Murphy was inducted into the Woman's Hall of Fame at ceremonies held at Beneath The Sea in Secaucus, New Jersey. At the 2002 DEMA Gala Industry Dinner, Murphy received the NOGI Award for Arts.

:: Tom Neuman, M.D. - Science- 2019

Dr. Tom Neuman is one of the foremost diving medical experts and educators in the world. He graduated from U.S. Navy Diving School in 1973. He was then assigned as a diving medical officer to Submarine Development Group One (CSDG-1), where he conducted specialized research and retired from the Naval Reserves at the rank of Captain 

in 1996.

His non-military medical career began in 1980 as a member of the faculty of the University of California, San Diego. He developed a university based Diving Medicine Clinic at UCSD, not only to educate but also to provide care and advice to commercial and recreational divers. He serves as a member of the San Diego Coroner’s Committee for the investigation of diving fatalities. He is an advisor to NOAA on matters relating to “Fitness to Dive,” and served on committees for the DOD and NASA on matters related to diving.

Dr. Neuman has established a career advancing diving medical education and treatment of diving injuries. His research and practical experience as an educator and author now span over four decades of naval service and civilian medical practice. He has served as faculty on scores of workshops, conferences and research projects on all matters of diving medicine including USN, USAF, DAN, NOAA, NAS, and NASA. 

He served as the President of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Society, and edited the journal “Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine” for seven years. 

His career has centered on diving safety and his work has fundamentally advanced education and research in this area. Dr. Neuman has led the path for educating physicians, nurses, and medics in diving medicine. 

Neuman, Tom
Newbert, Chris

:: Chris Newbert - Arts - 2003

One day a lady on the boat inquired about my camera gear, as I was an early user of housed systems quite uncommon at the time, and I told her about my interest in photographing marine life as opposed to engaging in the sport of diving, and the advantages of housed cameras for this purpose. She then asked if I had any photos she could see, and so I presented some prints to her which I had had commercially enlarged.

>She asked the price. I had never sold a photo until then, so I simply doubled the cost of having the prints made. Sheselected a few, pressed a hundred or so dollars into my hand and walked away smiling. I, of course, was even happier! But far more meaningful than the financial windfall was the fact that this event demonstrated to me that people would pay for aesthetically beautiful images of marine life alone.

This then became the exclusive goal of my work: to create the most attractive and perfect pictures of the natural world underwater that I was capable of making. Inspired by this first sale, I began selling my work at local art fairs and private print showings and developed a style that was unique and distinctive for this era. I then dreamed of creating a portfolio book of my work, which was to become »Within a Rainbowed Sea« – an enormous success both critically and financially.

But Rainbowed Sea was nothing more than the logical extension of the career path I committed myself to the day that lady had bought my first prints. I now find myself in an odd relationship with photography, as I still love the challenge of striving for that perfect image on film, but digital technology has taken over the world of photography. Yet, I love film, and will never use anything else.

:: Dr. Wallace J. Nichols - Environment - 2019

Dr. Wallace ‘J’ Nichols is an entrepreneurial scientist, movement maker, voracious idea explorer, New York Times best-selling author of Blue Mind, loving Dad and a Strategic Advisor to many start-ups, businesses, non-profits and government agencies.
He works to inspire a deeper connection with nature through conservation expeditions and wildlife travel, sometimes simply by walking and talking, other times through writing or images. Science and knowledge can also stoke our fires. But he knows that what really moves people is feeling a part of—touching and connecting to—something bigger than ourselves.
J is a Research Associate at the California Academy of Sciences and a Senior Fellow at Middlebury Institute of International Studies’ Center for the Blue Economy. He earned a Masters degree in Environmental Economics & Policy from Duke University and a PhD in Wildlife Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona.
Dr. Nichols serves as an advisor to numerous non-profit boards and committees and also mentors a motivated group of international graduate students as part of his commitment to building a stronger, more progressive and connected environmental community.
He is driven to understand and share how big, game changing ideas become common knowledge that strengthen performance at every level and build strategic foresight to solve and prevent the biggest problems.
He founded Blue Mind Works to share the latest practical findings from the rapidly evolving worlds of neuroscience and psychology, co-creating new leading edge content and facilitating its delivery around the world. His goal is to ensure that the idea that “water is medicine” for those who need it most becomes widely applied common knowledge.

Nichols, Dr. Wallace J.
Nicklin, Chuck

:: Chuck Nicklin - Sports / Education - 1975 | Arts - 1986 


Award-winning Chuck Nicklin has filmmaking experience in Imax, Omnimax, Circlevision, 70mm, 35mm, 16mm, Panavision, digital film and video formats. Some of the feature film credits includeThe Abyss, The Deep, and the James Bond movies Never Say Never and For Your Eyes Only. Nicklin's numerous documentaries include Gentle Giants of the Pacific, "Behind the Scenes of The Abyss","Nomads of the Deep" and "In the Company of Whales".


Chuck began free diving and spearfishing in the La Jolla California area in 1947. In 1953, he began SCUBA diving. His diving training began with some of the earliest dive legends: Conrad Laugh, Jim Stewart and Ron Church. He was the owner of San Diego's Dive Locker, the first retail dive

business in San Diego. He owned the shop for 42 years. During the first scuba class being held in the back room, Jacques Cousteau walked in and introduced himself. Cousteau told the class “This is your introduction to the ocean.” The Diving Locker is where Chuck became interested in

underwater photography. Underwater videographers like Howard Hall and Marty Snyderman both worked at Chuck's dive shop. Bob Talbot also received encouragement as a teenage videographer from him.


During the 1960’s, there weren’t many talented and experienced underwater photographers around, so the assignments came easy for Chuck. One of his first assignments was to filmLockheed’s Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV). He was hired on by National Geographic

when a friend became ill and recommended Chuck as his replacement. His filming career continued upward when he met legendary filmmaker Al Giddings. He filmed side by side with Giddings. The two quickly earned the reputation of first-class cinematographers. Nicklin also

worked with Stan Waterman in Peter Benchley’s 1977 blockbuster movie “The Deep.” Truly one of the pioneers of underwater cinematography, Chuck Nicklin has worked hard at his art, while putting much time and energy into encouraging and assisting new videographers. Over the years, Chuck has dived all over the world. 


Chuck is one of the founders and organizers of the San Diego Underwater Photographic Society and the UnderSea Film Exhibition held each year presenting a juried international showcase of underwater films submitted from talented videographers worldwide. His son Flip Nicklin has also made a name for himself as an underwater photographer and videographer for National Geographic for the past 30 years, as many others have under his direction. In 2016, with the assistance of Cathryn Castle, Chuck wrote a book on his life’s adventures: Camera Man.

Nicklin, Flip

:: Flip Nicklin - Arts - 1994


Widely regarded as the premier whale photographer of the world, Flip Nicklin, a National Geographic photographer, has more than 5,500 dives under his belt. His ability to free dive to depths of up to 90 feet allows him to swim near enough to record whale behavior without interrupting it.


Flip Nicklin was born with both diving and photography in his blood. His father, Chuck, is a diver and underwater cinematographer, who taught his sons to become scuba divers. At the age of fourteen, he was helping his father teach people to dive off of the coast of Southern California, in La Jolla.


His first contact with National Geographic Society came in 1976 when he was signed on as a deck hank and diving assistant for a three-month shoot with photographers Bates Littlehales and Jonathan Blair. Everyday he shot with the photographers, a life-long dream for him. With the help of his mentors, two of his images were published, along with theirs in the Geographic.


The publication of these two shots, began his career as an underwater photographer. He went on to shoot sharks and whales for the Geographic centennial issue. Eight years after his first publication, he had become the marine mammal photographer for the National Geographic.


Nicklin has written numerous articles and several books including With the Whales and Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises, published by the National Geographic Society; which he coordinated and to which he contributed many of the photographs. His most recent book Whales and Dolphins in Question / JAMES G. MEAD AND Flip Nicklin, published by Smithsonian.


Flip Nicklin first worked with Humpback Whales in Lahaina in 1979. With his father, Chuck, he was part of an Imax Movie crew filming "Nomads of the Deep". He returned in 1980 to help Jim Darling determine the sex of singing Humpbacks (male). His first National Geographic Magazine story on Maui Humpbacks was in 1982. He published a second National Geographic story about Darlings' work with Humpbacks in 1999.


Since 1996, Flip has worked with Jim Darling in a study of Humpback Whales off the coast of Maui. He is a co-investigator, along with Ph.D. candidate Meagan Jones.

Nuytten, Phil

:: Phil Nuytten, Ph.D. - Science - 1997


Dr. Phil Nuytten, the CEO of Nuytco, is world-renowned in undersea exploration and technology. He has logged many thousands of hours underwater throughout the world, working as a commercial diver, developing equipment and diving techniques for the commercial, scientific, military and technical diving industries. 


In the 1960s and 1970s, Dr. Nuytten was heavily involved in experimental deep diving and the development of mixed-gas decompression tables. He was a member of the team that completed the first 600fsw ocean "bounce" dives on Project Nesco, and in 1972, he wrote the protocol for "Deep Work 1,000," the first North Amercian thousand-foot saturation dive. These early projects helped set the international standards in use today. During this time, Dr. Nuytten was the co-founder of Oceaneering International, Inc., which went on to become one of the largest underwater skills company in the world and provided a vehicle for many early subsea development projects.


In 1984, Dr. Nuytten was featured on the cover of National Geographic Magazine for his record dives through ice-covered arctic waters on to the Breadalbane, the northernmost known shipwreck. His involvement in underwater activities in virtually all of the world's ocean's has resulted in articles on his work in numerous aerospace journals and popular magazines such as Time, Newsweek, Popular Science, Discovery, Fortune, Scientific American and Business Week. 


Dr. Nuytten has been a popular speaker at underwater conferences around the world and he has published many technical papers on his leading edge work in subsea technology. He has been instrumental in the development and current acceptance of Atmosphereic Diving System technology. In 1979, he began work on a revolutionary new one-atmosphere diving suit that resulted in a patented breakthrough in rotary joint design and formed the basis for the world-famous "Newtsuit." The "Newsuit is a thousand foot rated hard suit that completely protects the wearer from outside pressure and eliminates the need for decompression - a revolutionary deep diving system that has been called "an underwater sports car." In addition, he received a five-year contract from the National Geographic Society to provide Deepworkers and crews on Dr. Sylvia Earle's "Sustainable Seas Expeditions," a project to study deep ocean environment impact of underwater ecology, habitats and biodiversity through exploration and ongoing monitoring of national marine sanctuaries. The Deepworkers were also used to recover the space shuttle booster rockets during a recent flight to the U.S. space station. Nuytten is an award-winning member of the American association of Aeronautics and Astronautics and he has worked with NASA for over 25 years on space applications of undersea technology. 


In 2000, Dr. Nuytten introduced a new concept for an ultra lighweight swimming hardhat suit called the "Exosuit," which is being considered by the Canadian Department of Defense as a submarine escape device. Besides the NOGI, Dr. Nuytten has earned many international honors and awards, including commercial diving's highest award from the Diving Contractors International, induction into the Diving Hall of Fame and the Explorers Club Lowell Thomas award. In 1992, Dr. Nuytten was awarded the Order of British Columbia, his home province's highest honor, in recognition of his role in making British Columbia known as one of the world centers of underwater technology.

:: John C. Ogden, Ph.D. - Environment - 2018

John Ogden is Emeritus Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of South Florida (USF).  He was Director of the Florida Institute of Oceanography from 1988-2010.  Prior to joining the USF, Ogden was Director of the West Indies Laboratory of Fairleigh Dickinson University in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands and Director of the NOAA saturation diving facility Hydrolab. He has worked on coral reefs and reef-associated ecosystems all over the world and published more than 100 scientific papers, contributed to numerous books, and produced several television films. He was a founding member of the Advisory Council of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, the Marine Protected Area Federal Advisory Committee and the Florida Ocean and Coastal Council.  Ogden served on the national boards of SeaWeb, Ocean Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund and he is an advisor to the Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation.  Ogden received his A.B. from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Ogden, John
Orr, Dan

:: Dan Orr - Sports / Education - 1996


Dan has been involved in the diving industry for over 40 years and in 2013 was named President Emeritus of the Divers Alert Network (DAN) Foundation. Prior to that time, Orr was President/CEO of DAN. He came to Divers Alert Network in 1991 as Director of Training, responsible for developing and implementing DAN training programs including the internationally successful DAN Oxygen First Aid Course. Prior to coming to DAN, he was the Associate Diving Officer at Florida State University and, before that, he was Director of Diver Training Programs at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.


Dan has Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Biology and has authored and contributed to many books and magazine articles including co-author of Scuba Diving Safety and DAN's Pocket Guide for Diving Safety series. He has been a featured speaker at Beneath the Sea, Our World-Underwater, Underwater Canada, Divescapes, Boston Sea Rovers, International Conference on Underwater Education, SeaSpace, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) and many others. He has also been the recipient of many awards for diving safety including Diver of the Year from Beneath the Sea, the Leonard Greenstone Award for Diving Safety, the NOGI from the Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences in Sports/Education, the Our World-Underwater Award and the DEMA Reaching Out Award. He has been inducted into the Diving Industry Hall of Fame and the Hall of Fame for Divers with Disabilities. He has served the industry in many ways including being a member of the DEMA Board of Directors as well as Chairman of the Board of Directors (and Past President) of the Historical Diving Society (USA), and past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences.

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