News & Announcements

8/30/2020
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John Pearse (1936-2020)

John Pearse, professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz, died on Friday, July 31, at his home in Pacific Grove, California.

A leading authority on marine invertebrates and intertidal ecology, Pearse was a beloved teacher and mentor to generations of marine biologists. He pioneered long-term studies of kelp forests and intertidal ecosystems on California’s Central Coast, was instrumental in establishing the marine science program at UC Santa Cruz, wrote and edited major textbooks and reference books in his field, and led several scientific organizations.

His most enduring legacy, however, is likely to be the many students he inspired, mentored, and helped launch on successful careers in science.

“John’s ability to draw in students, to convey the pure excitement of basic research, was unparalleled,” said James McClintock, who worked with Pearse as a UCSC undergraduate and later as a postdoctoral fellow, and is now an endowed professor of polar and marine biology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

Born in Boise, Idaho, Pearse attended high school in Tucson, Arizona, obtained his B.S. in zoology at the University of Chicago, and earned a Ph.D. in biology at Stanford University. He taught at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and studied invertebrates in the Red Sea, but had to leave abruptly when the 1967 Six-Day War erupted. After four years as a researcher at the California Institute of Technology, he joined the biology faculty at UC Santa Cruz in 1971.

After his retirement in 1994, Pearse continued to teach and conduct research as a professor emeritus. In 2000, he founded an educational program for high school students, initially run by UCSC’s Seymour Marine Discovery Center, to teach students about the intertidal zone and continue the monitoring of coastal ecosystems he had begun in the 1970s. Eventually, the program grew to become a statewide citizen science program, the Long-Term Monitoring Program and Experimental Training for Students (LiMPETS), monitoring the coastal ecosystems of California’s national marine sanctuaries.

Although Pearse’s research focused mostly on the California coast, his studies ranged from Antarctica to Japan. He was among the first biologists to work at McMurdo Station, overwintering in the Antarctic in 1961 and studying reproduction in an Antarctic sea star. Pearse Valley, an ice-free valley near McMurdo Sound, was named in recognition of his early contributions to Antarctic science.

Pearse is survived by his, wife Vicki, son Devon, daughter-in-law Louise, granddaughter Fiona, and brother Spencer. Donations in his memory may be made to support students in the marine sciences through UCSC’s Institute of Marine Sciences and Long Marine Laboratory, the Western Society of Naturalists, California Academy of Sciences, or Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology.

Editor’s note: John was the recipient of the 2017 AAUS Scientific Diving Lifetime Achievement Award.

Full article available at: https://news.ucsc.edu/2020/08/pearse-in-memoriam.html

8/30/2020
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2020 Conrad Limbaugh Award for Scientific Diving Leadership

The 2020 AAUS Conrad Limbaugh Award for Scientific Diving Leadership goes to Lloyd Austin. Lloyd was a pioneer in the world of diving who helped develop the field of underwater scientific research. He served as U.C. Berkeley’s Diving Safety Officer and Chair of the Division of Diving Control from 1967 through 1996 and helped usher in the modern era of underwater scientific research diving. At Berkeley, he trained 760 scientists and students to conduct underwater research safely. His students logged over 130,000 dives around the world.

In the early 1980’s Austin (along with peer DSO’s) helped protect scientific diving at universities from what would have become the crushing weight of proposed OSHA supervision. He was instrumental in defeating proposed legislation that would have classified research diving at universities as commercial diving – which was and is subject to costly and stringent OSHA supervision and monitoring. The legislation would have made it impossible to conduct research on budgets typical of most university research programs. In Washington D.C., Austin and fellow dive officers argued successfully that diving safety officers at universities could manage safety programs through the AAUS without OSHA supervision.

Austin designed and built U.C. Berkeley’s challenging research dive training program, the protocols and infrastructure for diving safety and training – which maintained an impeccable safety record. In over 130,000 dives by 760 UC divers, there were no deaths or known cases of decompression sickness. There was one broken leg and three ruptured eardrums – all of which healed quickly. Austin mentored countless marine biologists, assisted in designing safe research techniques, and guided marine scientists in their personal and professional development. Graduates of Austin’s coursework now lead multiple university, marine lab and national scientific programs. Austin gave scientific divers at Berkeley the capability and confidence needed to dive safely, lead Marine labs, and become diving safety officers themselves. Students became program managers, conducted research in places as far ranging as Europe, the Middle East and Antarctica, and uncovered 2000-year-old artifacts on underwater archeological sites in the Mediterranean. Some trainees became experts on California hydrocorals, reef ecosystems, and encrusting corals. Some work at NOAA and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. From biological research to sustainability to tracking sharks in the Pacific, Austin’s students contribute to scientific discovery around the world today.

Austin first entered and fell in love with the ocean as a 3-year-old in 1934. As a teenager in 1947, he draped an oxygen tank over his neck and walked into the ocean using the WWII surplus aviator’s tank and regulator to breathe underwater. Austinpassed away in 2018 at the age of 87. Along the way, he logged over 7,000 dives.

Austin’s enduring impact on diving safety and research began after he successfully pushed for U.C. Berkeley to train research divers. He lobbied for this after helping rescue many ill-trained and ill-equipped divers visiting Bodega Marine Lab in the 60s. Austin’s imprint on diving, marine sciences and on the AAUS will be felt for years to come as his disciples teach new generations of researchers to dive safely while conducting scientific research around the world.

Thank you to Steve Peletz for his contributions to this article.

8/1/2020
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2020 BOD Election Results

The 2020 AAUS Board of Directors (BOD) election results are tallied and the Board congratulates the new President-elect, Jim Hayward and Director-at-Large, Steve Sellers. Jim and Steve will begin their elected terms on January 01, 2021. On behalf of the Academy, we thank all the candidates for participating in the election; all are highly qualified individuals committed to the success of the AAUS. Finally, a reminder to membership--if you are interested in serving, many committees would welcome your help; contact BOD members for information.

7/30/2020
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Dr. Glen H. Egstrom’s Virtual Online Memorial

Sunday, July 12, 2020 the family of Dr. Glen H. Egstrom's held a beautiful online memorial to celebrate his life and contributions. If you were unable to participate, you can still celebrate his life by watching his movie tribute called, “A Life Well Lived” by Emmy award winning filmmaker Adam Ravetch.
https://youtu.be/NKUyZBOhY0o

7/30/2020
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Zale Perry Scholarship

The Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences offers the Zale Perry Scholarship for college students who are seeking to advance their knowledge or enter a professional career in the fields of underwater research, equipment technology or hyperbaric research. Candidates must be currently enrolled in a graduate program. The application and more information can be found at https://www.auas-nogi.org/applications. Applications close August 31.

7/1/2020
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2020 Conrad Limbaugh Award for Scientific Diving Leadership Elections

The AAUS Conrad Limbaugh Memorial Award is presented biannually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to diving safety and diving leadership on behalf of the scientific diving community. The 2020 nominees are Lloyd Austin, Greg McFall and Neal Pollock. Biographies can be found here .

Voting for this year's award will be open from July 01-30, 2020.

Full members can cast your vote for this year's nominees by following the instructions below.

Instructions for Online Voting:
1. Login at www.aaus.org. Your username is the email address on file with AAUS. Password can be reset with "forgot password" if needed.
2. Go to Members Tab then Members Profile
3. Click on blue Vote Now button below member info block on the left-hand side of the page.
4. Carefully follow onscreen instructions to submit vote.

5/31/2020
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COVID-19 Resources

AAUS is gathering online resources from trusted partners to share with our community concerning COVID-19. Links contain current information and recommendations from professional diving and medical organizations about issues like returning to diving after COVID-19 exposure, disinfecting equipment, animal care operations and more. We will continue to monitor, evaluate, and add pertinent new information and will keep the lines of communication open with the entire diving community. Resource links can be found at https://aaus.org/AAUS/Covid-19_Resources.aspx

Additionally, AAUS members can access a folder of COVID-19 SOPs, plans, cleaning protocols and more material collected from AAUS OMs and other sources in the Resource Library (under the members tab after login). If your AAUS organization would like to add to these resources, please send documents and/or links to admin@aaus.org

The AAUS Board of Directors and the Office are here to help; please do not hesitate to contact us directly if you need other assistance or support.

4/30/2020
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2020 AAUS Board of Directors Elections

The 2020 AAUS election is now open and closes June 30. The election is open to Full Voting Members (individual and OM Reps) in good standing. Below you will find the slate of candidates. Their bios and election questions are at https://aaus.org/News_Announcements and attached. All voting is to take place on the website. Please follow the directions below; be an active part of your Academy and VOTE!

To write in a candidate, email name of the write-in candidate to two of the election committee members:
• Marc Slattery, Chair (slattery@olemiss.edu)
• Mike Anghera (manghera@ucla.edu)
• Narineh Nazarian (narineh@bu.edu)
• Robbie Christian (robbie@miami.edu)
• Robert Reavis (robert.reavis@gccaz.edu)

Presidential Candidates:
Jim Hayward, University of California Diving and Boating Consortium
Elizabeth Kintzing, University of New Hampshire
Chris Ledford, Texas A&M Galveston
Doug Schleiger, Smithsonian Institute

Presidential Candidate Bios Found Here

Director-at-Large Candidates:
Joseph Grinnan, SEARCH
Jason Herum, University of California Davis
Andrew Morgan, California State University Monterey Bay
Steve Sellers, National Park Service

DAL Candidate Bios Found Here

Instructions for Online Voting:
1. Login at www.aaus.org. Your username is the email address on file with AAUS. Password can be reset with "forgot password" if needed.
2. Go to Members Tab then Members Profile
3. Blue Vote Now button below member info block on the left hand side of the page. (You may be required to sign in again)
4. Follow onscreen instructions to submit vote.

4/29/2020
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AAUS Student Scholarships 2020

The AAUS Foundation awards scholarships to graduate students engaged in, or planning to begin, research projects in which diving is used as an important research tool or studying diving science. The Foundation awards $3000 to each winning proposal from the Master’s and Doctoral level submissions. Additionally, the AAUS may award $1500 scholarships to the second ranked proposals in each category. Completed applications are due June 30. More information and the online application, can be found at www.aausfoundation.org/scholarships/apply now or send questions to the Scholarship Committee Chair at aaus@aaus.org

4/29/2020
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2021 AAUS Diving for Science Symposium

The 2021 AAUS Diving for Science symposium will be hosted by Texas A&M Galveston and Moody Gardens February 22-27, 2021 in Galveston, Texas. By hosting the first AAUS Symposium held on the western shores of the Gulf of Mexico, attendees will share in the rich history and unique resources endemic to this region. Workshops will benefit from local partners such as the NASA Neutral Buoyancy Lab, US Coast Guard, NOAA and more. Watch your E-Slate for an upcoming call for abstracts and more details about this exciting spring meeting.

3/30/2020
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USC Catalina Chamber Day 2020

Since 1989 Chamber Day has become not only the key fund-raising event for the USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber, but is also (as best we can tell) the largest single-day scuba charity event in the United States, and perhaps even the world. This year’s Chamber Day is May 06, but because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Chamber Day 2020 is a 100% virtual experience.

Here’s what’s happening and what you can do to help:
SIGN UP FOR THE FLYING DUTCHMAN –The Dutchman is a mythical boat, that’s normally for those who can’t take a day off to go dive. This year, for a donation of $95, Dutchman divers will get five raffle tickets plus a special limited-edition T-shirt available only to folks who sign up for the Dutchman. You also get to choose your “pirate” name which will be part of a skull mosaic on the front of the shirt.

DONATE TO THE CHAMBER CHALLENGE – Donate directly with all proceeds going directly to the Chamber. You can donate $100, $500 or more, and then you challenge your friends to match your generosity.

THE TABLE CHALLENGE – Join us for a virtual dinner event. “Seats” are $120 each and instead of dinner, you’ll get a Chamber Eve short-sleeved t-shirt, raffle tickets, a shot at the Grand Prize (a week of diving in Yap) and some other fun prizes. Sign up for a seat at a table and be sure to designate AAUS as the sponsor.

This event is critical to keeping the Chamber open and available 24/7/365 and we need YOUR help. Many AAUS organizations and individuals dive SoCal waters and, in the event of a diving accident, the Chamber can make the difference between life and death. Even for those that don’t dive in SoCal, the USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber, under the watchful eye of Director Karl Huggins, is involved in research that is shared with facilities around the world. To participate or for more information, visit the website www.chamberday.org or call Chamber Day HQ at 310-652-4990.

3/30/2020
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Steve Mercer

Steve died Monday 02 March 2020, after a very short battle with acute leukemia. He will be missed so much. He was a most loved husband and best friend of Liz Jones, wonderful dad of Dylan and Siân and their spouses Nicole Mercer and Matt Larcombe, and fun Grandad of tots Lily and Darcy and brand new granddaughter Lucy who he saw and held. Also best brother to twin Kerrie and husband Oriel Martin. He touched so many lives in his work in scientific diving and Antarctic research under the ice and in his many interests, more recently Wellington 4WD club, amateur radio and assisting in Land Search and Rescue. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Mary Potter Hospice, PO Box 7442, Newtown, Wellington 6242, or via their website http://www.marypotter.org.nzwto support a much needed hospice for the Kapiti Coast. Reprint from Legacy.com

3/30/2020
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Ecology and Conservation of Kelp Forest Communities Summer Course

Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, CA wil be offering a summer Kelp Forest Ecology class on Jun 22 through July 24, 2020. The course is aimed at upper division undergraduates / beginning graduate students interested in benthic ecology and kelp forests. Advanced SCUBA certification, 12 cold-water dives, and all personal diving gear is required. Summer tuition will be covered; class size is limited. Application deadline is April 15, 2020. Apply at https://hopkinsmarinestation.stanford.edu/webforms/hopkins-summer-undergrad-application-form

3/30/2020
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Bruce Wienke

Dr Bruce Wienke, a true pioneer in his field of dive specific algorithm design, passed away Saturday, February 15, 2020 leaving behind a great legacy. A keen diver, and downhill skier, Dr Wienke’s interest in diving was reflected in his achievements, and great success as seen in his accolades. His astonishing CV included Instructor Trainer and Technical Instructor with NAUI, a Master Instructor with PADI, Institute Director for YMCA, and an Instructor Trainer/Technical Instructor for SDI/TDI.

Dr Wienke joined Suunto in the late 90s, where he hit the ground running and didn’t stop. Employing his great expertise in the diving specific algorithm field, he joined Ari Nikkola in the development of the revolutionary Reduced Gradient Bubble Model (RGBM). Prior to joining the Suunto family, Dr Wienke was a Program Manager in the Nuclear Weapons Technology Simulation and Computing Office at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) where he completed research up until his death. As head of the LANL Nuclear Counter Measures Dive Team involving Special Warfare Units both above and below the water, he trained alongside the special forces well into his 70s.

Alongside his high achieving work life, he served actively as a consultant for decompression algorithms within the dive industry and he worked with Divers Alert Network, DAN, on applications of high performance computing and communications for diving.

Dr Bruce Wienke was a widely regarded and respected figure of the dive industry, and he will be by missed all his Suunto family. He is survived by his wife, Annie.

Excerpt from Suunto.com

3/30/2020
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Board of Directors Email Changes

AAUS BoD members now have position-specific email addresses. Please see the full list below, with the corresponding BOD member responding to these email addresses in parentheses. As new Board members are elected/appointed, these email addresses will stay with the Board position, providing continuity of communication with community members and a historical record.

Please use these email addresses when contacting AAUS BoD members concerning official AAUS business:
president@aaus.org (Derek Smith)
pastpresident@aaus.org (Marc Slattery)
presidentelect@aaus.org (This could be you in 2021! Apply!)
treasurer@aaus.org (Christopher Rigaud)
secretary@aaus.org (Jessica Keller)
standards@aaus.org (Ross Whippo)
statistics@aaus.org (Kevin Buch)
scholarships@aaus.org (Lizzie McNamee)
membership@aaus.org (Nicole Grinnan)
finance@aaus.org (Steve Clabuesch)
director1@aaus.org (Scott Chapman)
director2@aaus.org (Jenna Walker)

3/30/2020
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DSO Listserv Changes

In an effort to integrate all AAUS resources through our Office, we have moved the current AAUS DSO Google Group (aaus-dso@googlegoups.com) to dso@aaus.org beginning April 01, 2020. Discussion threads from the previous group cannot be ported over to the new group. If you wish to retain discussion threads, please be sure to save the original messages in your email client. After April 01, the previous group/threads will be available for Office reference only.

AAUS will use this opportunity to update the listserv and formalize the rules of engagement and participation. Please see the attached document outlining qualifications for subscribers and listserv rules, policies and expected behavior. If you no longer wish to participate or are not currently a participant and wish to be added as the list is migrated, please contact the AAUS office. A welcome message will be sent from the new group when it goes live.

DSO Listserv Rules, Policies, and Expected Behavior

1/29/2020
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AAUS BOD Call for Nominations

The 2020 AAUS Nominating Committee is now accepting for consideration nominations of individual members to stand for the President-elect and Director-at-large (1) positions on the AAUS Board of Directors. The elected Director-at-Large will serve a three-year term and the President-Elect will serve a one-year term followed by two years as President and one year as Past-President. An electronic poll will open on May 01 and close June 30, 2020. Qualified candidates must be full voting members in good standing with the AAUS. The nomination letter (not to exceed 300 words) is best focused on how a particular candidate can contribute to the Academy based on their academic or diving safety contributions, or previous development of not-for-profit organizational governance experience.

Please submit your nomination letter, no later than March 30, 2020, to any one of the five AAUS Nominating Committee members:
• Marc Slattery, Chair (slattery@olemiss.edu)
• Mike Anghera (manghera@ucla.edu)
• Narineh Nazarian (narineh@bu.edu)
• Robbie Christian (robbie@miami.edu)
•Robert Reavis (robert.reavis@gccaz.edu)

1/29/2020
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LUMCON AAUS Summer Field Course

The Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium will be offering a two-week scientific diver field course July 27- August 07, 2020. It has been developed to meet AAUS standards for scientific diver accreditation within research or academic programs. The course is open to the public and researchers needing scientific diver training. The course will meet 8-10 hours daily during the two week period and will include academic course work and testing, pool training in emergency response and diving techniques, and a least 12 dives aboard LUMCON research vessels in the Gulf of Mexico. Diving will be focused on techniques for diving in inshore low visibility conditions, and offshore open ocean structures in the Gulf of Mexico. Participants are required to reside at LUMCOM during the course and must complete all course prerequisites before arrival. Cost is $2500 all inclusive, except for transportation to and from LUMCON. An application and list of prerequisites can be requested by email to dmuncher@lumcon.edu or mconover@lumcon.edu or at https://lumcon.edu/scientific-diving/.

1/28/2020
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Sherry Anne Reed (1959-2019)

Sherry passed away gracefully and peacefully, December 16, 2019. Sherry landed her first marine science job at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., assisting with curating the octopus and mollusk collections. In 1983 Sherry was hired as a Research Assistant to help with the Visiting Scientist Program at the Smithsonian Marine Station in Fort Pierce, Florida (SMSFP). She headed field operations and served as Diving Officer for the Smithsonian Marine Station until her promotion to Station Manager in 2015. Sherry is known to many people for her work with countless scientists who conducted research at SMSFP over her 36-year career at the Smithsonian. She was a dedicated professional, always providing the best field and laboratory research support possible. As SMSFP Dive Officer, she worked for many years on the Smithsonian Diving Control Board and supervised hundreds if not thousands of scientific research dives throughout Florida, Belize and the Caribbean. Sherry was a member of a number of professional organizations. She served on the Board of Directors of both the American Academy of Underwater Sciences and the International Women Divers Hall of Fame (WDHOF), the latter of which she was inducted into in 2002. She has been described by her friends and coworkers as "the sweetest and most hard-working woman" and the "heart of the Smithsonian Marine Station." She will be greatly missed.

The family requests that donations to honor Sherry's memory and legacy may be made to continue the WDHOF "Sherry Reed Undergraduate Marine Conservation/Marine Biology Scholarship". Full obituary can be found here.

1/7/2020
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Northeast DSO Meeting

The NEDSOs will meet once again for an informal gathering on Sat., March 7, 2020 at the Boston SeaRovers show. This meeting is free for any NEDSOs and affiliates who wish to attend. Please contact Chris Rigaud at crigaud@maine.edu to 'register' and provide any agenda items. Please see the Boston SeaRovers website for venue and hotel information.

Latest News

John Pearse (1936-2020)

Posted on 8/30/2020

2020 Conrad Limbaugh Award Recipient

Posted on 8/30/2020
The 2020 AAUS Conrad Limbaugh Award for Scientific Diving Leadership goes to Lloyd Austin.

Zale Perry Scholarship 2020

Posted on 7/30/2020