We are honored to present the following

2018 Seminar Speakers

Mauritius Bell
Mauritius Bell

Mauritius Bell is the dive operations department manager and diving safety officer for the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, California. He and his team of dive officers are responsible for the institution’s occupational dive program, which spans both commercial and science fields. He is the dive safety lead and principal trainer for the academy’s deep diving team, which conducts expeditions worldwide, exploring and surveying mesophotic reefs. Bell was previously the unit diving coordinator at the University of Hawaii, and the assistant diving safety Officer at the Georgia Aquarium. An active diver since 1997, Bell has considerable experience with various diving modes, including surface supply, CCR and mixed-gas. He completed a saturation mission in Aquarius. He is president-elect of the Association of Dive Program Administrators, a NAUI Course Director Trainer, Technical Examiner, Cave Diving Instructor and former NAUI Territory Representative for Hawaii; a DAN Examiner; an instructor for UTD, PSI-PCI, and PFI; and a DMT and recently expired Paramedic. He is a passionate advocate of diving safety and quality instruction, and he enjoys sharing this passion with fellow divers.

Jonathan BirdJonathan Bird

Jonathan Bird is an Emmy Award-winning cinematographer specializing in underwater production. He is the host and producer of Jonathan Bird’s Blue World, an Emmy Award-winning educational family-friendly underwater adventure series airing on public television, YouTube and BlueWorldTV.com. Jonathan has shot and produced over 50 films for broadcast and education. His films have appeared all over the world, on networks such as National Geographic Channel, PBS, ABC, USA Network, Discovery and even the SciFi Channel. Bird is the president and founder of Oceanic Research Group, Inc. (oceanicresearch.org), a non-profit environmental organization founded in 1990 to promote conservation of the world’s oceans. He is the author of seven books of underwater photography with articles and images published in hundreds of magazines, calendars and books. He is currently in production on his first IMAX film Ancient Caves.

Jeffrey BozanicJeffrey Bozanic

Jeffrey Bozanic is the president of Next Generation Services, where he provides consulting and training services in the diving market. Clients include rebreather manufacturers, training agencies and legal agencies. Bozanic has participated in or led more than 70 diving expeditions in the past 30 years, to places like Palau, the Canary Islands and Antarctica. He was certified as a NAUI Instructor in 1978 and is active in teaching cave, rebreather, nitrox, decompression and trimix diving courses. He has published extensively on diving education topics, with a heavy emphasis on diving safety. Bozanic has edited and reviewed many diving textbooks and is the author of Mastering Rebreathers. He has served on several boards of directors in the diving community, including as Chairman of the NSS-CDS, Vice Chairman of NAUI and Treasurer of the AAUS. In 2007, he was honored as the DAN/Rolex Diver of the Year, and in 2015, he was the recipient of the AAUS Conrad Limbaugh Award for Scientific Diving Leadership.

Francois BurmanFrancois Burman, Pr Eng, MSc

Francois Burman is a Professional Engineer from Cape Town, South Africa. He serves as an international safety consultant in diving and hyperbaric medicine; conducts safety surveys of recompression and clinical hyperbaric facilities globally; and lectures on several hyperbaric safety programs. His professional portfolio includes: Director of Underwater & Hyperbaric Safety, Divers Alert Network (America), Chief Executive Officer of Divers Alert Network (Southern Africa), Technical Consultant for International Divers Alert Network

Peter BuzzacottPeter Buzzacott, MPH, PhD.

Peter Buzzacott is Director, Injury Monitoring and Prevention at Divers Alert Network (DAN). He has a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Western Australia, for researching risk factors for diving injuries. At DAN it is Dr Buzzacott’s role to design, implement and evaluate preventative interventions aimed at improving diver safety. He is a former recreational and technical diving instructor, life-member of the NSS Cave Diving Section, and advanced trimix diver.

Michael EmmermanMichael N. Emmerman

Michael Emmerman is an independent researcher who focuses on hypobaric and hyperbaric environments. His research papers have been published in the journals of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, the American Academy of Underwater Sciences, the Aerospace Medical Association and others. He is the recipient of the 2017 DAN Rolex Diver of the Year Award, the Dr. Charles Brown Memorial Award in Diving Safety, and the Beneath the Sea Diver of the Year Award for Education. Emmerman is the director of the Special Operations Support Group, a New York City-based not-for-profit research and advisory organization supporting the diving and law enforcement communities. He is a board certified forensic examiner, a diplomat of the American College of Forensic Examiners, an Honorary Deputy Chief of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and served as an advisor to the NYPD Harbor Unit Scuba Team. He is past-president of the northeast chapter of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society and a past-chairman of the board of the Divers Alert Network. He has held several instructor and instructor-trainer ratings within the diving community. Most of all, he just loves to dive!

Cathryn Castle Garcia and Capt. Gui GarciaCathryn Castle Garcia and Capt. Gui Garcia

Cathryn Castle Garcia and Capt. Gui Garcia are veteran scuba instructors and owners of C2G2 Productions, specializing in underwater and wildlife 8k film production, photography, editing and publishing. Cathryn has served as executive editor of Dive Training magazine for more than 20 years and is also the managing editor of California Diving News. She has published the memoirs of several notable scuba industry authors, including Chuck Nicklin and Stan Waterman. In addition to being a photographer and filmmaker, Gui works as a yacht captain. The couple recently completed a private yacht expedition from Ft. Lauderdale to Australia, covering more than 46,000 nautical miles over a three-year period.

Mark GreshamMark Gresham

Mark Gresham is the owner, President and CEO of PSI-PCI, Inc. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Gresham worked professionally in the dive industry for several years before joining Bill High’s PSI-PCI executive team in 1999. He apprenticed under High and became the owner of PSI-PCI in 2005. He has contributed directly to the development of scuba cylinder safety guidelines and training materials, and published cylinder safety bulletins. He is the co-author of the fifth edition of Inspecting Cylinders. Gresham provides technical training, information and consulting to cylinder manufacturers, USDOT, Compressed Gas Association, fire services, NOAA, NASA and many other entities that utilize high pressure cylinders as well as trained PSI-PCI inspectors worldwide. His leadership in development of the Oxygen Cylinder Cleaning course (the protocol adopted by NASA), and ongoing PSI-PCI Annual Updates keeps him at the forefront of the industry for knowledge and expertise. Seeing a need and requirements for valve service, he developed the Valve Repair Technician program. Additionally, the Eddy Current Technician program continues to be a source of invaluable information to hydrostatic testing requalifiers and other users. Today Gresham is considered by many to be the foremost authority on cylinder inspection and safety worldwide.

Eric HanauerEric Hanauer

Over the past 39 years, Eric Hanauer’s photos and articles have been published in magazines, books, posters, and DVDs worldwide. He has written guidebooks to the Red Sea and Micronesia, as well as an oral history of diving in America. For the past dozen years he has concentrated more on video. His work has been shown in festivals, on the internet, and in TV commercials. Eric is an emeritus professor of physical education at Cal State Fullerton, where he founded the scuba program and coached swimming and water polo.

Walter Butch HendrickWalter “Butch” Hendrick

Butch Hendrick has conducted training for thousands of sport, public safety and military divers as well as water rescuers in instructor training, public safety diving (PSD), rescue, and underwater movement programs in more than 20 countries for more than 50 years. A major innovator, equipment designer, standard setter and contributor to the dive and water rescue/recovery communities, Hendrick is considered “the father of diving rescue.” He introduced the first rescue diver certification card, the do-si-do tow, in-water rescue breathing, the rescue throw-rope bag, the 90 percent ready diver, the PSD contingency strap, and many other procedures, training programs and gear items commonly used today. Hendrick has received awards such as the first DAN Rolex for diving safety and education, Beneath the Sea Diver of the Year, NOGI, Leonard Greenstone Diving Safety Award and more. He has more than 150 publications, presented at more than 150 dive, rescue and forensic conferences, and started the “Take Back Our Industry” campaign for both recreational and PSD diving.

Gary HildGary Hild

Senior Lake Lifeguard Gary Hild has been on the Dive Team for the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation for 21 years, and has been the Director of the Underwater Unit for 5 years. He went through the County’s Underwater Instructor Certification Course in 1999 and has been teaching lifeguards ever since. In 2017 he became a NAUI instructor. He is dedicated to the sport of diving and keeping the rich history of the County of Los Angeles alive and growing.

Karl HugginsKarl Huggins

Karl Huggins has been the Director of the Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber Facility at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center since 1992. He is noted for his work in decompression theory and models, which resulted in the Michigan Sea Grant (HUGI) tables and his participation in the development of the EDGE dive computer.

Karl is the 1990 recipient of the Leonard Greenstone Diving Safety Award, the DAN/Rolex Diver of the Year for 1993, the 2004 Conrad Limbaugh Memorial Award for Scientific Diving Leadership and the 2008 California Scuba Service Award.

Lieutenant John KadesCapt. John Kades

Captain John Kades has been an investigator/deputy coroner for the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office since October 2000. He has been a member of the department’s Special Operations Response Team (SORT) and has specialized in disaster operations, aircraft fatalities, drowning/SCUBA cases, and skeletal/buried body cases. He is currently one of the managers of the operations division that includes 6 lieutenants, 38 investigators, and approximately 30 forensic support staff. He also directly oversees the department’s Notifications Section, searching for and notifying the legal next of kin of the deceased.

As a member of the California State Coroner’s Association (CSCA) Captain Kades serves on the Association’s coroner curriculum development committee that recommends training standards for death investigations. He has a BA in criminal justice from UC Santa Barbara. He has been an active scuba diver since 1981. Kades spent 14 years as a public safety diver for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Underwater Search and Recovery team.

Ken KnezickKen Knezick

Ken Knezick is owner of Island Dreams Travel in Houston, Texas. He has logged more than 3,500 scuba dives and many thousands of hours underwater, quite literally around the world. From the Caribbean to the Pacific, his travels include most of the world’s great diving destinations. Ken served as Executive Director of Houston’s SEASPACE Exposition for 22 years. He is past President of Houston International Diver’s Club, and is a founding member of both the Houston Underwater Photographic Society (HUPS), and G.R.E.A.T., the Gulf Reef Environmental Action Team. Ken is a recipient of the PADI Project Aware/SEASPACE Environmental Awareness Award, and at DEMA he was honored with induction into the SSI Platinum Pro 5000 Society. An accomplished underwater photographer, when not actually diving Ken enjoys writing short stories, travelogues, and presenting seminars and workshops at dive shows and dive clubs around the U.S.A.

Ken KurtisKen Kurtis

Ken Kurtis was kicked out of swim class twice by the time he was six (he didn’t like putting his face in the water). Hardly an auspicious start to a diving career. But Ken always loved being around the water, loved looking at fish, and in 1978 while running a radio station in Richmond, VA, was offered a chance to get certified and took advantage of it. Ken then became a NAUI Instructor (Top Candidate at his 1980 ITC) and has logged over 5,000 dives all over the world in such varied places as the Maldives, Indonesia, Yap, Tahiti, Bonaire, Easter Island, Alaska, and, of course, his beloved waters of Southern California. Ken is the owner of Reef Seekers Dive Co., speaks frequently to dive clubs about diving techniques and safety issues, has been chairman of Chamber Day/Eve since the early 90s, served for 10 years as a member of the Statewide Interests Group for the MLPA, and is a volunteer dive team leader at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Ken is an accomplished photographer whose photos & stories can be found in the pages of the California Diving News, Undercurrent, and other scuba publications, along with the monthly Reef Seekers newsletter. Since 2003, Ken has been a Forensic Consultant to the L.A. County Department of Medical-Examiner/Coroner. With all that, he still finds time to maintain an acting career (he was the voice of most of the hockey announcers in the 2015 documentary “Red Army”) and leads most of the local and foreign trips for Reef Seekers. He’s a very good cook, avid Scrabble & Boggle player, chases total solar eclipses, ran five L.A. Marathons, and is kind to animals and small children. Be sure to ask him his mantra about divers.

Walter MartiWalter Marti

Walter Marti has been diving since 1974 and an underwater video filmmaker since 1985. His films have been shown in many International Film Festivals and Contests. He is a featured presenter at the yearly Crystal Blue Resort, Anilao CritterFest Workshops. His work has been seen in various feature productions by BBC, PBS, etc. His films have been a regular feature of the Scuba Show Film Festival.

Amos NachoumAmos Nachoum

Amos is a wildlife photographer and expedition leader for over 35 years. In the underwater discipline, Amos developed a unique specialty, filming Ocean Giants across all oceans from the High Arctic to Antarctica.

Amos’ underwater camera has safely captured the behavior of Polar bears, Crocs, Orcas, Great White shark, Blue whale, Leopard seal, Anaconda and much more.

Amos’s photos and essays have appeared in publications including National Geographic, Time, Life, The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, Le Figaro, Terra Sauvage, Airone, Der Spiegel, Unterwasser, Explorer Journal and Fifty Fathoms. He won first place twice in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year in the Animal Behavior category, and first place in the USA national competition 2013.

Matias Nochetto

Matias Nochetto, MD

Dr. Nochetto is DAN’s Director of Medical Services and Programs where he assists with development and implementation of medical programs worldwide. He supervises the Spanish and Portuguese medical hotlines. He has served as faculty for several diving medicine courses and university programs over the past 15 years.

Brittany NovickBrittany Novick

Brittany Novick is a veterinary research technician and active member of the education and outreach team for the National Marine Mammal Foundation (NMMF) in San Diego. She is the current Miss Scuba International. Novick is a certified rescue diver who graduated from Bowling Green State University (Ohio) in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in biology with a specialization in marine/aquatic biology. She has a variety of experience in the field, from producing and hosting educational wildlife television to participating in research, to zoological animal care, to wildlife rehabilitation and rescue. Novick’s passion for education and outreach has come into the foreground in recent years. In addition to traveling around the world with the Miss Scuba International Organization – an organization that promotes ocean conservation and women in scuba diving, she spends a lot of her free time working with local school children, educating them about the oceans and marine mammals. Novick and her colleagues at the NMMF have recently began writing education curricula focused towards the San Diego Girl Scouts, inspiring young women to enter the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and educating them on ocean conservation topics, such as prevention of plastic pollution and protecting endangered species.

Betty OrrBetty Orr

Betty Orr is Vice-President of Dan Orr Consulting, providing a variety of services to the diving community and is Managing Editor for Dive Training magazine and Dive Center Business magazine. She retired from Divers Alert Network after 23 years where she was in charge of their insurance programs. Prior to coming to DAN, she worked with the Florida Department of Regulation as an agent and Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio as an Associate Professor of Biology. Betty has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Biology and has authored and contributed to many books and magazine articles in scuba diving, biology and general interest. She is an inaugural year member of The Women Divers Hall of Fame.

Dan OrrDan Orr

Dan Orr is President of Dan Orr Consulting providing a variety of services to the diving community. Recently retired from the position of President of Divers Alert Network (DAN) and Chairman of the Board of International DAN, he has helped DAN focus on its worldwide diving safety mission. Prior to coming to DAN, he worked and taught recreational diving in a retail store, developed and implemented course curricula in the academic environment, collected data and supervised research efforts in the field of science diving, tested diving equipment for military contractors and worked for or served on the Boards of not-for-profit organizations during his career including the Historical Diving Society, Diving Equipment & Marketing Association (DEMA), Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences, the Our World Underwater Scholarship Society, The Institute of Diving, Deptherapy and others.

He has published and co-authored over 200 articles and a dozen books and manuals including: Scuba Diving Safety, Pocket Guide to First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries; Pocket Guide for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries; and the DAN Oxygen First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries Training Manual.

Dan has been the recipient of many prestigious awards and honors including the NOGI Award in Sports/Education, the Leonard Greenstone Award for Diving Safety, the Our World-Underwater Award, Beneath the Sea’s Diver of the Year, the Wyland Foundation Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Hall of Fame for Divers with Disabilities, the 2012 DEMA Reaching Out Award, 2014 Inductee into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, the NAUI Hall of Honor and the 2017 NAUI Lifetime Achievement Award.

Zale ParryZale Parry

Zale Parry began scuba diving in the 1950s. In 1954, she set a deep diving record of 64 meters (209 feet). She attended the Los Angeles County Underwater Instructor Certification Course in 1955 and graduated as its third female instructor. In 1961, she became a NAUI member as NAUI A12. In the television series Kingdom of the Sea (1954-1959), she starred as a diver and presented a concluding segment of each show on diving safety. In Sea Hunt (1958-1961), Parry was co-star with Lloyd Bridges in several episodes, a stunt double and a technical director. (She also taught Bridges how to dive.) Her many recognitions include the NOGI Award (1973), DEMA Reaching Out Award (1993), Women Divers Hall of Fame (2000), NAUI Hall of Honor (2000), NAUI Ambassador of Scuba Diving Award (2010) and NAUI Lifetime Achievement Award (2017). In 2006, the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences honored her by creating a scholarship in her name. The Zale Parry Scholarship is awarded annually to an outstanding young diver who is enrolled in an academic program or engaged in accredited fieldwork in undersea exploration, marine conservation, hyperbaric medical research or equipment technology. The scholarship’s goal is to encourage and enable future generations of divers to carry on her legacy.

Brook PetersonBrook Peterson

Brook Peterson is an avid scuba diver and underwater photographer who enjoys capturing the beauty of the underwater environment throughout the world. She is an original member of the SEA&SEA Alpha program. Her work has been featured in both print and online magazines. She is the owner of Waterdog Photography and authors a blog on underwater photography and techniques. Her work can be found at waterdogphotography.com.

Jess RosasJess Rosas

Jess Rosas is an active County of Los Angeles SCUBA & Skin/Freedive Instructor. He has been involved with training and educating SCUBA divers, freedivers and dive leaders about local oceanographic patterns and processes for safe exploration of the coastal and offshore island waters of Los Angeles County for the past 21 years, through emphasis and practice of critical watermanship skills, repetitive acclimation and exposure to the differing seasonal turbulence patterns of the Los Angeles County nearshore coastal environment.

He has been an active volunteer with the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks & Recreation Underwater Unit Programs for the past 21 years as lead instructor trainer for the Underwater Instructor Certification Course (UICC), program director/lead instructor for the Rocks, Rips & Reefs (“3Rs”) program, and a lead instructor for the Advanced Diver Program (ADP).

His work with the Los Angeles County Underwater Unit programs has been profiled in California Diver and NAUI Sources magazines, and he is also an active speaker to various dive clubs and organizations.

Jess has also served as a Board Member of the Los Angeles County Underwater Instructors Association.

Jess has been recognized for his service to the County of Los Angeles Underwater Unit programs with the prestigious Conrad Limbaugh Award, and the “Outstanding Instructor” award, given by the Los Angeles County Instructor Association. Jess is also an NAUI instructor & Instructor Trainer and active SSI Instructor.

Andy Sallmon and Allison VitskyAndy Sallmon and Allison Vitsky Sallmon

Andy and Allison are a photojournalism/photography team that has been working together since 2010. Individually, their work has been recognized in numerous international underwater and nature photography competitions, featured on the walls of aquariums and museums, and published in books and magazines on diving, nature, and photography. Their images and articles are among the most published in North American diving media today. The two combined have over 53 years of recreational and technical diving experience with more than 11,000 dives all over the world, however, their favorite place to dive is the rich, temperate water of their home state: California. Andy and Allison live in San Diego.

Greg SandersGreg Sanders

Greg Sanders is the marine mammal specialist for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s Pacific Region (California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii). He graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1983. From there, Greg worked as a diving instructor, laboratory technician and as a diver harvesting mussels from offshore oil platforms before settling into a career in the federal government. After a short time as a Park Ranger with Channel Islands National Park he accepted a position with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service where his work with sea otters began. Greg served as a biologist, diver and law enforcement officer for sea otter research and management actions including the Fish and Wildlife Service’s southern sea otter translocation program. He helped refine and develop training programs for the use of closed-circuit oxygen rebreathers and underwater vehicles for sea otter captures from California to Russia. In his spare time, he focuses on capturing underwater video.

Dan SemradDaniel Semrad II

Born and raised in Oregon, Dan has always had a passion for the water. As a biologist and an educator by training and profession, Dan has always held freediving and spearfishing to be more than just sport. With a deep respect for the ocean and an appreciation for every experience it provides, Dan loves sharing his experience and training divers to experience the wonder of our aquatic environments and the thrill of diving! Dan holds professional level certifications with Performance Freediving International (PFI), NAUI, and SSI. In 2018, Dan was selected to lead NAUI’s global freediving program as its Freediving Coordinator.

Dale & Kim ShecklerDale and Kim Sheckler

Dale Sheckler has been actively diving California since 1973, Kim since 1982. The couple founded California Diving News in 1984 and published and edited the magazine until December of 2011. They are now contributing writers for the publication. They also founded the Scuba Show in 1987 and produced it successfully until 2011. Kim and Dale have authored many books including Southern California’s Best Beach Dives and Diving and Snorkeling Guide to the Channel Islands. In 2012 they were presented with the California Scuba Service Award for their many years of tremendous service to the California diving community.

Dr. Richard SmithDr. Richard Smith

Richard Smith, a British underwater photographer and writer, aspires to promote an appreciation for the ocean’s inhabitants and raise awareness of marine conservation issues through his images. A marine biologist by training, Richard’s pioneering research on the biology and conservation of pygmy seahorses, led to the first PhD on these enigmatic fishes. Over the past decade, Richard’s photographs and marine life focused features have appeared in a wide variety of publications around the world. Richard organizes and leads marine life expeditions where the aim is for participants to get more from their diving and photography by learning about the marine environment: www.OceanRealmImages.com.

Marty SnydermanMarty Snyderman

An inductee into DEMA’s SCUBA diving Hall of Fame, Marty Snyderman is a proud recipient of DEMA’s 2008 Reaching Out Award. He is also an EMMY Award winning cinematographer, still photographer, author and speaker specializing in the marine environment. Marty is being honored by the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences in the field of the Arts as the 2018 NOGI recipient. As he has been for many years, Marty serves as the Marine Life Editor and columnist for Dive Training magazine and as the Senior Editor and columnist for California Diving News.

Karen StrausKaren Straus

Karen Straus was born in Southern California and grew up in Kenya. She started diving in 1968 and was was among the first handful of women SCUBA instructors, earning her Los Angeles County instructor certification in 1970. For many years she taught swimming, life-saving, and skin and scuba diving in Orange County, California. She also began writing about and photographing marine life for dive magazines and books and worked for several years as a field producer for underwater and nature television documentaries. She was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2011.

Mark StricklandMark Strickland

Mark Strickland’s life-long connection with the sea has included 10,000+ dives and careers as ocean lifeguard, captain, scuba instructor, and live-aboard cruise director. An accomplished underwater photographer and passionate conservationist, his editorial credits include several books, periodicals like BBC Wildlife, Conde Nast, Geo, National Geographic World, Nature’s Best, Natural History, Outside and most major dive magazines. Mark is also co-author and primary photographer of Lonely Planet’s award-winning book, “Diving and Snorkeling Thailand”. His images have been displayed at the Smithsonian Institution, United Nations Visitor Center, and galleries including G2 in Venice, CA. Mark currently serves in various roles at Bluewater Photo, including leading international trips each year to his favorite dive destinations.

Tabby StoneTabby Stone

Dr. Stone is a retired pediatrician in the Los Angeles area. He has been an avid diver since his initial certification in 1979. Shortly after that, he developed an interest in diving medicine. He is a past president of the Pacific Chapter of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society and wrote the Medical Facts column for Discover Diving magazine from 1988 to 1999.

Cheryl ThackerCheryl Lynn Thacker

Cheryl Thacker was commissioned as a National Oceanic and Atmospheric (NOAA) corps officer in 1987. Over the next 10 years, she served aboard two NOAA vessels (MT Mitchell and the Rude) and on three shore-side tours (National Marine Fisheries Service in California, Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary in Georgia, and NOAA HAZMAT in Florida). As a NOAA diver, she has conducted underwater hull inspections to collect biological data. A highlight from Thacker’s NOAA career was participating in the 1993 NOAA Monitor Archeological Research and Structural Survey (MARSS). There she rode in the Harbor Branch submersible Johnson Sea Link II to visit the USS Monitor lying on the ocean floor in over 70 meters (230 feet) of water. In 1997, Thacker joined the staff at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History as their diving safety officer (DSO). This was also when she crossed over to become a NAUI Instructor. In 2000, Thacker moved to Florida as DSO for the University of Florida. During her first 10 years, she also wore the hat of Director of their Academic Diving Program. She currently holds a NAUI Course Director designation and is serving on the NAUI Board of Directors.

Devon TompkinsDevon Tompkins

Devon Tompkins is the owner/operator of Pacific Housing Repair and began shooting underwater photos in 1979. His diving experience encompasses recreational, commercial, and scientific diving. The preeminent underwater housing service and repair technician for the past 17 years, his company is the warranty repair facility for Aquatica and the Sea & Sea Service Center for North America. Devon’s underwater photographic interest concentrates on the realm of extreme light spectrum imaging, ultraviolet and infrared.

Bruce WatkinsBruce Watkins

Bruce Watkins is a photojournalist specializing in marine topics. Over five hundred of his articles and thousands of his photographs have appeared in national and international periodicals. He is a regular contributor to California Diving News and the author of “A Diver’s Guide to Monterey County,” “A Diver’s Guide to Northern California,” and “California Abalone Diving,” published by Saint Brendan Corp.

Andrea ZaferesAndrea Zaferes

After becoming certified as a NAUI diver at age 16 and taking a rescue diver class with Butch Hendrick (NAUI 1724), Andrea was a scientific diver with Dr. Lee Somers at the University of Michigan and Dr. Ethel Tobach at the American Museum of Natural History, resulting in three papers published on Aplysia before age 21. Today, with 32 years of teaching thousands of sport, public safety and military divers, Zaferes is vice president of Lifeguard Systems, an author, speaker, medicolegal death investigator, WDHOF charter member, NAUI Course Director, and award winner for contributions to diver safety and education (DAN Rolex and Beneath the Sea Diver of the Year awards). Starting in 1988 she developed ground-breaking programs with Hendrick and TeamLGS, including Oxygen Administration, Field Neurological Evaluation, Leadership-Level Diver Rescue and Ultimate Underwater Movement. She is considered a leading expert in aquatic death investigation, speaking at more than 80 forensic conferences and teaching thousands of law enforcement personnel, detectives and prosecutors. She assists with aquatic homicide cases, serves as an expert witness, and has been seen on such television venues as the Discovery Channel, 48 Hours, Dr. Phil and the BBC.

William ZiefleWilliam M. Ziefle

William Ziefle is president and CEO of Divers Alert Network (DAN). He first became associated with DAN in 1989 and served for 11 years as a volunteer before joining the board of directors. Since then, he has served as a director of various DAN companies, including DAN, The DAN Foundation (director emeritus), IDAN, DAN Services, Accident & General Insurance Co. and DAN Risk Retention Group. During his tenure on the DAN board, he was integral in the reorganization of DAN’s insurance operations and most recently spearheaded the launch of the DAN Risk Retention Group. He is an avid scuba diver associated with several prominent ocean conservation and nonprofit organizations.