We are honored to present the following
2017 Seminar Speakers
Gretchen M. Ashton, CFT, SFT, SFN, NBFE
Gretchen M. Ashton, CFT, SFT, SFN, SSC, NBFE, is an advanced scuba diver, nitrox diver, paddler, sailor and fitness professional. She is registered with the National Board of Fitness Examiners, is an International Sports Sciences Association Preferred Education Provider and Elite Trainer which includes credentials as a personal trainer, specialist in fitness therapy, fitness nutrition, and strength and conditioning. As a lifetime drug-free strength athlete Gretchen set 21 World and American records and is the second woman inducted into the AAU Power Lifting Hall of Fame. Gretchen is founder of ScubaFit LLC, and developed the ScubaFit®, FitDiver®, DiveFit® and SurfWalking™ exercise programs for divers, instructors and water sports enthusiasts. She co-authored the PADI ScubaFit® Diver Distinctive Specialty, designed FitDiver® mobile fitness apps and publishes FitDiver® Magazine. She shares her fitness message with the diving community as a mentor with Water Women Inc., an Expert Speaker for Los Angeles County Scuba Advanced Diver Program and Underwater Instructor Certification Course, on Scuba Radio and Dive Zone Radio, at the Scuba Show, U.S. Dive Shows, and dive medicine conferences. Her writing includes Fitness Editor or contributor for World’s Best Dives, Scuba Diver Life, Scuba Diving Resource, Unified Team Diving Journal, California Diver and Florida Diver Magazines, X-Ray Mag, Scuba Sport Magazine, Alert Diver United States and Asia-Pacific, Divetime.com, ScubaBoard, Scuba Fitness Examiner at Examiner.com and her FitDiver® blog. Gretchen has been featured as a guest on Jill Heinerth’s Into The Planet Blog, interviewed by PADI® as part of their Women in Diving series, recognized in the President’s Council of Physical Fitness and Sports newsletter for inspiring and innovative accomplishments in fitness and in the Margaritaville Key West website culinary column.
Jeff 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. Jeff has participated or lead over 70 diving expeditions during the past 30 years, to places like Palau, Canary Islands, and Antarctica. Jeff was certified as a NAUI Instructor in 1978, and is active in teaching cave diving, rebreather, nitrox, decompression, and trimix diving courses. He has published extensively on diving education topics, with heavy emphasis on diving safety.
Jeff has edited/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 and as Vice Chairman of NAUI, and as Treasurer on the AAUS Board. 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.
He recently returned from diving and testing rebreathers at McMurdo Station, Antarctica.
Scott and his team were the first to film a Giant Squid in the wild (which aired on History Channel in 2006, estimated to be 54 feet long) 5 years before any others.
Scott has developed an international project called the Undersea Voyager Project to privatize Ocean Science and empower the people to explore the current condition of the Ocean and give the data to the public for free.
Scott has accumulated over 14,000 hours of dive time
USCG Captain and qualified Submersible Pilot with approx. 2,100 dives
Qualified Advanced Diving Medical Technician Instructor (1 of 10 in the USA)
Commercial Diving Instructor
Hyperbaric Medical Technician Instructor
U.S. Navy qualified Diving Supervisor
Modular Amphibious Egress Trainer Instructor
Aircrew Breathing Device Instructor for the USMC
For years, Scott has served as a Private Military Contractor with duties ranging from being a sniper, perimeter security and combat diver doing very high risk reconnaissance missions in several war torn regions. He served in both the US Navy and Army, most recently as a MedEvac Helicopter Flight Instructor and is currently a Company Commander of a new Special Operations OPFOR unit in the reserve.
Scott has been a principal investigator on Dosidicus gigas (Humboldt Squid) for 15 years and done work with Discovery, Animal Planet, History Channel, MTV, National Geographic and Disney mostly as on screen contributor-science advisor-underwater camera.
Over the last ten years During the expeditions he found the endangered Totuaba, sharks, dolphin, sea turtles and sea lions so were being killed heavily by poachers so Scott began a campaign to hunt & film them using SpecOps Combat Dive and Sniper techniques to collect images of their illegal activities and turn the over the evidence-footage to officials. So far over a dozen poachers have been convicted. He has recently worked on a special project with Sea Shepard using his Combat Diver / Sniper skill sets for a special that will air in 2016.
In June 2010 he became a Fellow (#950809) with the Royal Geographical Society for his work with Giant Squid and Undersea Exploration and has been awarded a Laureate from Malaysia for his work with Ocean Conservation.
He has dedicated the remainder of his life to protecting the seas.
Walter Chin has been the Principal Investigator on a number of studies related to diving and clinical hyperbaric medicine. His most recent work includes a survey of hyperbaric programs across the U.S. to determine access to 24/7 emergent hyperbaric therapy nationwide, and the efficacy of U.S. Navy treatment tables on recreational scuba divers. In Yucatan, Mexico, he and his co-PI have collected over 5 years of dive, capture, and treatment data. They aim to reduce the incidence of decompression illness among artisanal diving fishermen in the Yucatan, where the disease has become an epidemic due to prevalent use of hookah dive systems. They are designing community-based interventions to reduce CO poisoning and high-risk diving behavior among this fishing population.
Walter has 7 years of experience directing the UCLA Hyperbaric Department, and now manages UCLA Radiation Oncology. He was the immediate past President of the UHMS Pacific Chapter.
Tec Clark is a diving industry expert who has held very elite positions in the dive industry including Managing Director of the University of Florida’s Academic Diving Program and National Director of the YMCA Scuba Program. He holds over 40 professional certifications with over 15 diving agencies. Tec has received numerous honors for his instructional abilities and has co-edited several diving texts. He also appeared as a diving expert on A&E, The Learning Channel, and Outdoor Life Network. Tec was Captain of the US Freediving Team, founder of Reef Ministries, and is the founder and host of ScubaGuru.com. He is also the host of the League of Extraordinary Divers podcast. Tec is the Associate Director for Aquatics and Scuba Diving at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is married to his bride Heather and has two children.
You recognize Trevor Cook in his role as the Scuba Chef for California Diving News. His monthly recipe column is a celebration of the bounty of sustainable California seafood. After graduating from the Le Cordon Bleu, Trevor began his career in Foodservice as the Banquet Chef at the Omni Hotel in San Diego, CA. From there he created and ran a small catering company in San Diego, and after five years took his career on another path as the Executive Chef of 21 Ocean Front. Trevor joined the Culinary Services Team of U.S. Foodservice as territory manager and Division Executive Chef, where among other things he played a key role in the innovation and marketing of US Foodservice signature brands. Today he works with restaurants at SYSCO Foodservice. Away from his day Job working with restaurants, you can find Chef Trevor Cook diving the coastal waters off Southern California in search of delicious seafood and developing new and exciting ways for you to prepare and cook the bounty of our waters. His motto, ‘Stay safe, stay legal and never take more than you’ll eat.’
Oswaldo Monteiro Del Cima
Oswaldo Monteiro Del Cimawas born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on November 13th, 1965. Del Cima is a Professor Doctor at the Department of Physics (DPF) of the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV) – Brazil. In 2012 he implemented the Scientific Diving Unit (SDU-NAUI) at DPF-UFV, and since then he coordinates diving and scientific activities of SDU-NAUI.
He received a B.Sc. (1989) in Physics from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) – Brazil, M.Sc. (1993) and Ph.D. (1996) in Quantum Field Theory from Brazilian Centre for Research in Physics (CBPF) – Brazil. From 1997 to 1999, he was Assistant Research Scientist at the Institut für Theoretische Physik (ITP) of the Technische Universität Wien (TU-Wien) – Austria.
Since before 1985, he already started skin diving, so that in 1985 he began his underwater activities in scuba diving.
In 2008, he was embraced by NAUI as, NAUI Instructor #48926.
William K. Dolen, MD
Dr. Bill Dolen is Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. He is Residency Program Director for allergy-immunology, and Director of the Allergy-Immunology Laboratory. He is a past president of the Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Society of Georgia, the Southeastern Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Society, and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. A NAUI Master Scuba Diver, his favorite place to dive is the West Palm Beach area, but he also enjoys diving the local river and lake, as well as México, Roatán, and Bali.
Ocean conservation and marine life expert, Jaclyn Friedlander is a certified scuba diver, the host of weekly videos, and the author of three ocean-themed children’s picture books. She created Friends with Fins because she saw a need for ocean specific educational content. Friends with Fins now provides educational materials in the form of books, YouTube videos, live presentations and games to school aged children with a strong focus on promoting STEM, literacy, ocean conservation, and keeping young women interested in science.
Jaclyn does author visits and conservation presentations at schools, aquariums and conferences across the country. The Friends with Fins videos are in the development process to make the move from short-form internet content to half-hour television.
Over the past 38 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.
Scuba diving for 43 years, Los Angeles County Lake Lifeguard for 30 years, with 20 years as a full-time Senior Lake Lifeguard. On the lifeguard dive team for 19 years and diving officer for 3 years. Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Underwater Instructor Certification Course (UICC 43) graduate in 1999 and received the outstanding teaching award. Currently the County’s Underwater Unit Director for the past 4 years.
Amie Hufton is an Instructional Associate Professor at Texas A&M University at Galveston, where she has served as faculty in the SCUBA diving program since 2006. She has been diving since 2000, worked at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab at NASA, and has over 15 years of experience in open water lifeguarding and water safety. Amie currently manages the academic Minor in Diving Technology and Methods at the university, with a focus on recruiting a diverse student base and offering transformative learning experiences. Her interests include understanding proactive cultural development within organizations, and developing leadership qualities in college-aged students. Besides SCUBA, she also teaches the science of health and fitness, swimming, and team sports.
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
Tom Ingram has been the Executive Director of the diving industry’s trade group, the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association, since 2002. He is a long-time diving instructor and instructor trainer, and the former marketing director for a major diving equipment manufacturer.
In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Ingram was employed through Barry University in Miami, Florida. As a faculty and department head, Ingram started and oversaw the first four-year degree program directly connected to the business aspects of the recreational diving industry, combining a business minor and liberal arts education with a diving education program leading to a certification as a diving instructor and baccalaureate degree. Ingram also served as a faculty and department head for the Sport Diving Operations degree program at Florida Institute of Technology.
In 2008 Tom was recognized by Scuba Schools International (SSI) as a Platinum Pro 5000 Diver. In 2011 he was a recipient of the Wyland Icon Award. He was Diver of the Year for Education for Beneath the Sea in 2015.
Captain 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 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 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.
Pasi Lammi may be a cloud architect, but he spends most of his time below the surface. An avid mine and wreck diver, he is a member of several research groups who document wrecks in the cold, dark waters of the Baltic Sea. He is also an active NAUI Technical instructor and the creator of the NAUI 3D Photogrammetry specialty course.
Michael A. Lang, Ph.D
Michael Lang is a marine biologist, environmental physiologist, author, and international lecturer. He holds appointments as UCSD Emergency Medicine Adjunct Faculty, Senior Research Fellow at The Ocean Foundation, served as director for nonprofit organizations, including AAUS, DAN, UHMS and AUAS and as expert consultant to the National Science Foundation, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Geological Survey, The Nature Conservancy, and Conservation International.
Former Marine Collector/Curator at San Diego State University, Director of the Smithsonian Marine Science Network, Smithsonian Scientific Diving Officer, and National Science Foundation Polar Diving Safety Officer, Lang holds a B.Sc. in Marine Biology from San Diego State University, and a PhD in Environmental Physiology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.
He is fluent in five languages, has published over 50 scientific papers and popular articles and presented over 350 seminars/papers on current marine science and diving topics. Honors include DAN/Rolex Diver of the Year, U.S. Antarctica Service Medal, NAUI Outstanding Instructor Award, Smithsonian Special Act Award, UHMS Craig Hoffmann Diving Award, AAUS Conrad Limbaugh Scientific Diving Leadership Award, DEMA Reaching Out Award, and the AUAS NOGI Award for Science.
Gareth Lock is an advanced trimix and rebreather diver who runs a niche training consultancy focusing on human performance and human error, taking the lessons learned from his 25-year career in the Royal Air Force and developing this further with current and established research in human factors. He has recognized that there is a knowledge and practice gap in the diving community, and as such he has developed a globally-unique class which teaches divers of all levels, from beginner to advanced technical diver to instructor and instructor trainer, that human error is normal and that we need to change our attitudes towards it and failure if we are to move forward. He actively promotes the fact that human error is a post-event classification, and that if we are to improve diving safety, we need to understand why it made sense to those involved and to be less judgmental when it comes to incidents and accidents. He has presented at numerous international diving conferences, many times to standing room only audiences, on human factors, human error and an improved safety culture in diving. He delivers thought-provoking presentations, training and coaching that will challenge any diver to reconsider how they have thought about ‘diver error’ and the ‘stupid divers’ that are out there.
President, Historical Diving Society, USA
Sid Macken is the President of the Historical Diving Society USA. He has been diving since 1957. His background includes recreational diving, professional underwater videography, and public Safety Diving for three agencies in his home state of Oregon.
Sid is a graduate of the Santa Barbara City College Marine Diving Technology program and maintains his commercial diving certification through the Association of Diving Contractors. He has also worked as a hyperbaric rescue technician on several tunnel boring projects in Oregon, Washington, and California.
DAN Medical Information Specialist Marty McCafferty, EMT-P, DMT-A has been both a dive instructor and a paramedic since 1995. He has worked as a paramedic in the field, in an ER and as an EMS supervisor at an Ohio theme park. He also has experience training students with disabilities to dive. Additionally he was certified as an AHA BLS and First Aid instructor as well as an EMT instructor. He has been with DAN since 2004.
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.
Tim O’Leary heads up NAUI Technical Diving Operations, having developed and co-authored training manuals, support material, tech diving tables, monographs, and related media, along with Tech Course Standards. He is a practicing commercial diver and CEO of American Diving & Marine Salvage on the Texas Gulf Coast. Tim obtained a BS in zoology from Texas A&M and a DMT and CHT from Jo Ellen Smith Medical Center at the Baromedical Research Institute. He was a Commercial Diving and Hyperbaric Chamber Instructor at the Ocean Corporation. Tim is a member of the UHMS, SNAME, and NADMT. He is an Admiral in the Texas Navy, a USCG 100 Ton Vessel Master, and a Consultant to Texas Parks & Wildlife, Canadian Coporation, Rimkus Group, and Offshore Oil Industry. He is a NAUI Tec/Rec Instructor Trainer, Course Director, and Workshop Director. Other interests include skiing, deep wreck diving, and dive travel.
Betty Orr is Vice-President of Dan Orr Consulting, providing a variety of services to the diving community. She recently 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 Orr is President of Dan Orr Consulting, LLC, which provides expertise to the global diving community. He retired as President of Divers Alert Network (DAN), the world’s largest diving safety organization and Chairman of the Board of DAN’s international organization. In his 23 years at DAN, he guided the development and implementation of a wide array of training and education programs and helped DAN focus on its worldwide diving safety mission. He currently serves on the Boards of non-profit and for-profit organizations including the Historical Diving Society, the WCH Media Group, the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences, and the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association.
He has published and co-authored over 100 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.
He has been honored by his peers by being 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 and the 2012 DEMA Reaching Out Award.
Formally trained in Marine Biology, Allison Randolph uses her knowledge of ocean science in addition to her skills in communications to educate and inspire people to care for our blue planet. To do so, Allison utilizes a wide range of digital media tools, including her Ocean Allison Podcast, her dynamic social media channels, her award-winning films, and her educational presentations. Born and raised in South Florida, practically underwater, Allison is an avid ocean-goer, spending as much time scuba diving, freediving, surfing, and open-water swimming as possible. Her work has taken her to the far corners of the world’s ocean; studying coral reefs in Indonesia, documenting deep-sea exploration in Antarctica, participating in film festivals in Monaco, and researching sharks in Southern California where she currently resides.
Jess Rosas is a County of Los Angeles SCUBA & Skin/Freedive Instructor who has been involved with training and educating SCUBA divers, freedivers and dive leaders in local oceanographic patterns and processes for safe exploration of the coastal and offshore island waters of Los Angeles County for the past 20 years. His emphasis is the 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 20 years as a lead instructor for the Advanced Diver Program (ADP), Skin/Freediver programs, lead instructor trainer for the Underwater Instructor Certification Course (UICC) and program director/lead instructor for the Rocks, Rips & Reefs (“3Rs”) program.
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, and has been recognized for his service to the County of Los Angeles Underwater Unit programs as
a recipient of the prestigious Conrad Limbaugh Award, and the “Outstanding Instructor” award, given by the Los Angeles County Instructor Association. Jess is also a NAUI instructor & Instructor Trainer.
Andy Sallmon and Allison Vitsky Sallmon
Andy Sallmon and Allison Vitsky Sallmon are a photojournalism/photography team that has been working together since 2010. Individually, their work has been recognized in 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 50 years of recreational and technical diving experience with more than 10,000 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.
See more of Andy’s work at www.seait.com and Allison’s work at www.avitsky.com
Dale 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.
Captain Patrick Smith
Captain Patrick Smith is a maritime historian and researcher who has been working in underwater archaeology for over a quarter century. He has authored many articles in such publications as California Diving News, California Diver, Skin Diver Magazine, Pacific Diver, Underwater USA, Los Angeles Times Magazine and Sub Aqua Journal. Co-author of the standard guide to local shipwrecks Shipwrecks of Southern California, he also works closely with The National Park Service and NOAA supporting shipwreck management within Channel Islands National Park and Marine Sanctuary. A NAUI instructor from 1979, he spends as much time underwater as he possibly can but he gives surface interval time to research and presentations to both general and academic audiences.
Marty Snyderman is one of 63 people inducted into the Dive Equipment and Marketing’s (DEMA) SCUBA diving Hall of Fame, and a proud recipient of the DEMA Reaching Out Award. Marty is an EMMY Award winning cinematographer, still photographer, author and speaker specializing in the marine environment. He is the Marine Life Editor of Dive Training magazine, authoring at least three columns a month in every issue, including the Marine Life column entitled What’s That? Marty serves as the Senior Editor for California Diving News and writes extensively about California Diving. He teaches underwater photography seminars in dive centers in North America and at destinations around the globe.
Dr. Tabby 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.
Karen Straus was born in Southern California and grew up in Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa.
She was certified as a SCUBA diver in 1968. In 1970 she became an L.A. County Underwater Instructor (19 U.I.C.C.), and cross-certified as an instructor with NAUI and PADI. For 10 years she taught swimming, life-saving, and skin and scuba diving in Orange County, California. During these years she traveled extensively in Baja California seeking out dive sites. She also began writing about and photographing marine life for diving publications.
Karen worked with several independent filmmakers as a producer, writer, and photographer on network nature documentaries. Her credits include “Forbidden Depths,” about assessing marine life stocks in post-Cold War Cuba; “Secrets of the Humpback Whale,” filmed in Hawaii and Alaska, and “First Dogs,” about presidential pets in the White House, all for Discovery Channel; “Moose on the Loose,” about man and moose interactions in urban Alaska; “WildLife Adventures: Truk Lagoon: Underwater Odyessey”; “Search for the Shinohara”, about the World War II Japanese submarine I-169, which the film team discovered in Truk Lagoon, Micronesia; and “Sea of Eden”, A short documentary about the first divers exploring Palau, Micronesia.
Karen is a freelance editor, writer and photographer, specializing in birds and marine life. She was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2011 and is a long-time board member and officer with the San Diego Undersea Film Exhibition. She and her husband, the writer and photographer Eric Hanauer, travel the world looking for marine life and birds to photograph in digital stills and 4K video.
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. An avid marine naturalist, he has discovered several nudibranch species, including his namesake, Halgerda stricklandi. Mark currently serves in various roles at Bluewater Photo, and leads international trips each year to his favorite dive destinations for their sister company, Bluewater Travel.
Michelle M. Thornton
Michelle Thornton is a Government Service employee supporting the US Coast Guard as a Search and Rescue (SAR) Specialist. A former active duty military in the US Coast Guard as Enlisted Quartermaster, Michelle is liaison between Government and civic organizations and Command representative for public speaking engagements, discussing the current activities of the US Coast Guard. Michelle is also a USCG licensed 100ton vessel Master, licensed SCUBA instructor trainer in course disciplines ranging from basic scuba instruction to leadership level courses, experienced and certified scuba equipment repair technician and active leader with volunteer community service organizations (USCG Auxiliary, Daughters of the American Revolution, US Daughters of the War of 1812).
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 u/w photographic interest concentrates on the realm of extreme light spectrum imaging, ultraviolet and infrared.
Karen Van Hoesen, M.D.
Karen B. Van Hoesen, M.D. is one of the leading authorities on diving medicine and physiology. She is Co-Director of the UCSD Center of Excellence in Diving. Dr. Van Hoesen is a Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at UC San Diego and is board certified in both Emergency Medicine and Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine. She received her BS degree in Zoology from UC Davis and her MD degree from Duke University Medical School in 1988. She has been on faculty at UCSD in the Department of Emergency Medicine and Division of Hyperbaric Medicine since 1993 and as Director of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Fellowship at UCSD since 1998. She is Director of the UCSD Diving Medicine Clinic working to improve diver health and fitness and keeping divers safe.
Dr. Van Hoesen has served on the board of directors of DAN and UHMS, and has published over 30 original research papers, book chapters, and abstracts and is a frequent speaker on diving medicine. She has been a NAUI diving instructor since 1983, 2014 DAN/Rolex Diver of the Year, 1988 Our World Underwater Scholarship Recipient, and inaugural member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame.
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.
Bruce Wienke is a Program Manager in the Weapons Technology/Simulation Office at LANL. He holds a PhD in particle physics from Northwestern University, authored 350+ articles in peer-reviewed journals, media outlets, trade magazines and published 12 books on diving science, physics, and decompression theory. He heads up the C&C Dive Team vested with worldwide underwater search, assessment, and disablement of nuclear, chemical and biological WMDs. He is a Fellow of the APS, Technical Committee Member of the ANS, and serves as a Consultant to the EPA, DHS, ADA, US Military, Commercial Oil Diving Operations and Dive Industry at large. Bruce is an Editor/Reviewer for CBM, PR, TTSP, NSE, JQSRT, and is CEO of Southwest Enterprises Consulting. He is a NAUI Tec/Rec Instructor Trainer and Course Director. Other interests include USSA Masters ski racing, USTA Seniors tennis, and windsurfing. Bruce is a certified Ski Instructor (PSIA) and Racing Coach (USSCA).