It’s hard to believe that we’re down to the last two months of the year already.
Fall and early winter can mean great diving here in California. Warmer water still lingers, but shorter days means fewer and less severe plankton blooms. Before the winter swells start rolling through, our calm waters welcome dive classes and researchers trying to get their experiments wrapped up before the weather turns and makes things difficult or left undone. I was lucky enough to catch a stellar day of diving a couple of weeks ago, made only better by running into one of our AAUS colleagues and incoming board member, Andrew Morgan from California State University Monterey Bay. One of the few downsides to being a DSO, especially for many smaller programs like my own, is not having the opportunity to interact with other DSOs in the field. Andrew and I were only able to say a brief hello as we swam past each other, but I got to see his students having a spectacular dive, his Divemasters doing a great job looking out for said students, and a big, satisfied grin on his face as he headed back to shore.
At AAUS we’re trying to squeeze as much as possible out of the remaining weeks of 2022. We have at least one more town hall (Nov. 15th), and then we’ll acknowledge the origins of our scientific diving exemption with a weeklong celebration of science diving. See “Upcoming Events” on page 3 for more details.
Our last town hall was about emerging programs. We have a lot of irons in the fire at the moment and we shared updates on the new eLearning course for Nitrox diving, the Accreditation Program, Snorkeling and Freediving guidelines (still open for comments), AAUS’s diver management and dive logging program upgrades, and new Lead Diver training to name a few. After the presentations we have been taking the opportunity provided by the Floor platform to join members in the “lounge” and chat and catch up, as well as hear feedback and answer additional questions. We appreciate everyone who has taken the time to listen and reflect and recommend changes or additions to the efforts that have been made so far. The town halls are recorded and available for viewing on the website, see the links in the “News / Announcements” section on page 2, and please join us if you can for the next one.
Behind the scenes the Board is working on the perpetual list of things to do including vetting and welcoming new members, reviewing standards and statistics, and supporting our scholarships programs. But we’re also looking at developing additional training programs for DSOs, reviewing and updating our Bylaws, continuing our discussions with OSHA, and much, much, more.
Finally, the new year will bring some changes to our Board of Directors. Jessica Keller will transition from her role as Secretary to that of President-elect. We will welcome Andrew Morgan as the new Director-at-Large, taking the DAL position being vacated by Scott Chapman as he rotates off the board. It should be noted that Scott is the first person to hit the “Science Diving Community Service Trifecta” sitting on the Boards for AAUS, the AAUS Foundation, and the ADPA all at the same time. Kerry Nickols will also be stepping down from her role as Chair of the Scholarships Committee. Thank you all for all of your efforts. And if you’ve read this far and you might be interested in serving as an interim Secretary for AAUS, please reach out to me directly before Nov. 10th.
Hope to see you soon, “in the lounge” or in the water.
University of California