News & Announcements

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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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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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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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

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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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

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/.

1/29/2020
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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)

1/28/2020
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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.

1/7/2020
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2020 AAUS OM Renewals

In 2020 our OM renewal process will consist of 3 processes; Dues payment, Code of Ethics agreement and Statistics submission. The OM will not be considered in compliance until all 3 steps have been completed. Full instructions can be found in the resource library under website instructionals.

OM Dues – OM DSOs and Company Admins can print an invoice and pay via credit card on the website. Instructions attached. Alternatively, OMs can print an invoice online and mail in a check to the address listed below. Note: You will not have full access to your OM profile until your dues are paid. PO Box 9067 Mobile, AL 36691-9067

Code of Ethics Agreement – In 2019 the AAUS BOD rolled out a Code of Ethics (COE) for AAUS DSOs. In 2020 AAUS is requiring that all DSOs agree to the COE. You can access the agreement portal and a link to the COE on the home page (top center) of the OM profile. Simply click the pencil tool and check the box agreeing to the COE.

Statistics Submission - Instructions on submitting statistics are attached and can also be found on the website under Members/ Resource Library/ Website Instructionals. It is strongly recommended that you fill in the blank template by hand and manually check your totals before attempting to submit your stats. Inputs are error checked and you may get a message that your totals do not agree if you do not put a value in EVERY box (zero where appropriate). Please do not include any dives that do not meet AAUS standards, i.e. recreational dives accepted by the DCB as proficiency dives. The blank template and the AAUS statistics collection criteria and definitions may be found on the Members menu/ Statistics/ Submission Info after login or in the DSO Community in the Statistics folder (see Communities instructions for access). Both accesses require member login. Please feel free to contact the Statistics Chair (kevin.buch@oregonstate.edu) with any questions concerning statistics or incident reporting. Statistical summaries are considered late on (and after) 01 April.

12/15/2019
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Code of Ethics Agreement

In 2019 the AAUS BOD rolled out a Code of Ethics (COE) for AAUS DSOs. In 2020 AAUS is requiring that all DSOs agree to this Code of Ethics. You can access the agreement portal and a link to the COE on the home page (top center) of the OM profile. Simply click the pencil tool and check the box agreeing to the COE.

12/2/2019
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Treasurer's Challenge

For many years, the AAUS operated as a collective of like-minded individuals and organizations whose most significant financial commitment was the annual symposium. Times have certainly changed. AAUS now needs to employ a full-time Operations Manager to meet the demands of everyday business, and we have been endeavoring to provide an ever-increasing array of products and services requested by our members.

In order to maintain and improve the services we provide in a world of ever-increasing expenses, AAUS must increase revenue. We began with an OM dues increase in 2019 which helped offset the expense of a new community database and website, and in 2020 we will embark on an Individual Membership drive to support future initiatives. It is our hope that all current Organizational and Individual members will rally their fellow scientific divers, diving students, and colleagues to begin and maintain Individual Memberships with the Academy. Remember that AAUS Individual Membership is independent of status as an AAUS Scientific Diver at an OM Program, and costs only $50/ year.

For those who are DSOs and/or DCB members, many have likely enjoyed 'sponsored' Individual Memberships in the Academy for the duration of their affiliation with our Organizational Member programs. If you are in that category, please take a moment to consider what you have gained from this community over those years, the personal and professional connections you have made during that time, and what it might mean to you in future years. Is that worth $50/year, or $1/week to you? If so, join me in paying back AAUS for those years and paying it forward for the future.

Beginning in January 2020, I challenge all Diving Safety Officers and Diving Control Board Members to join me in becoming not just Individual Members for a year but, Lifetime Members of the Academy. Let's lead by example and get the 2020 IM Membership Drive off to a running-start. Even if only 50 of you pledged alongside me, these one-time payments of $500 per Lifetime Membership would generate $25,000 in revenue for the Academy. Please join me in demonstrating your historical and ongoing commitment to our community and this profession and establish your legacy as a Lifetime Member and supporter of AAUS.

12/2/2019
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2021 AAUS Diving for Science Symposium Host

AAUS is now accepting proposals for spring 2021 symposium hosts! We have shifted our annual meeting schedule to the spring and therefore will not have an annual meeting in 2020. However, we will be choosing a host for our spring 2021 meeting in February 2020. If your organization is interested in hosting, please contact the AAUS office (aaus@aaus.org) for proposal guidelines. All proposals must be received by December 31, 2019.

12/2/2019
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2020 AAUS Scientific Diving Internship

2020 Dr. Lee H. Somers AAUS Scientific Diving Internship
OWUSS is currently taking applications for the 2020 Dr. Lee H. Somers AAUS Scientific Diving Internship. Intern applicants must be students from colleges and universities and must have an interest in science and diving. The program runs primarily from mid-May through August and will include training at one of several AAUS organizational member sites. This training will give the intern the necessary dive qualifications to allow participation on research projects requiring scientific diving and introduce the intern to careers that utilize scientific diving as a tool. Once trained as an AAUS-recognized diver-in-training, interns will participate in underwater field work at one or more locations and research facilities associated with the AAUS. The internship will be supported by funding for travel to/from site, room, board, and other internship-related expenses. The application deadline is January 15, 2020. For more information and to apply visit https://www.owuscholarship.org/internships.

2020 Mitchell Scientific Diving Research Internship
OWUSS is currently taking applications for the 2020 Mitchell Scientific Diving Research Internship. This internship is intended to be research-centric; therefore, training and certification as an AAUS Scientific Diver is a prerequisite and all applicants must be undergraduate students. The program runs primarily from mid-May through August and will be hosted at one of several AAUS organizational member sites. The internship will be supported by funding for travel to/from site, room, board, and other internship-related expenses. The application deadline is January 15, 2020. For more information and to apply visit: http://www.owuscholarship.org/internships.