Spring has sprung!
For many of us, the month of May has always been a transitional and busy one. Aquariums are bracing for summer crowds. Private projects are gearing up to take advantage of summer conditions and vacation schedules to get their divers in the water. Most years I would be finishing up a science diver course, administering final exams, calculating grades, etc. At the same time I would often be preparing for a trip to the Gump Research Station to make sure things were set for what was always a busy summer for visiting researchers. Cylinders needed visual inspections, oxygen and first aid kits needed inspections and service, and of course lots of reciprocity paperwork had to be reviewed. Depending on the year, I might even have had some UC Berkeley divers headed out for research of their own. Some programs or labs dive almost exclusively during their summer field season which means refreshers or additional training for experienced divers. While my summer to-do list was always long, it was made up of the best parts of the job, helping to prepare divers and our facilities for the busy summer field season.
I’m sure you’re all pouring over to-do lists of your own. Before you start checking things off, let’s add one more item. Vote in the 2022 AAUS election!
Our Academy is a democratic organization. All voting members have a voice in how AAUS operates and what aspects the Board of Directors should focus on. That said, if I can be honest, we have a fairly dismal record of participation. While the precise numbers are not reported, after 7 years on the Board of Directors, I can tell you that the number of votes cast in each election is generally disappointing.
I was reflecting on this recently and it made me ask, why don’t more members exercise their right to vote? Is it because in general the Academy is meeting your needs, so it’s not worth the time and effort to log in and vote? Or is it because May and June are busy times for many of us? Whatever the reason in the past, I’d ask you to take the time to cast a vote for the candidate you think best represents your goals for the Academy, or the needs of your institution. As I mentioned in Galveston, the size and scope of our operations are growing every year and we need your help to guide us into the future. Voting is one way for you to help steer the Academy into the future.
The Academy is much more than a standards promulgating organization. We are now a training agency, an accrediting body, and at the very heart of it, we are a community that strives “to advance and facilitate safe and productive scientific diving” as our predecessors stated. Let’s honor the efforts of that first generation of DSOs who fought for the Scientific Diving Exemption over 40 years ago. Log in and vote for the future of AAUS.
I’ll close with a big round of thanks for all those that have opted in and are running for the open offices, along with the Election Committee members who assembled this year’s slate of candidates. The Academy appreciates your efforts and willingness to serve.
Enjoy this busy time, appreciate how amazing your job is, and start crossing those tasks off your list.
Bring on Summer!
University of California