2014 AAUS/OWUSS Internship

Katy Newcomer, Williams College, has been awarded the 2014 AAUS/OWUSS Scientific diving internship.  The University of Maine, Darling Marine Center will host this year’s intern.

 

1
2014 AAUS Symposium – Call for Abstracts and Registration

Register now for the 2014 AAUS Diving for Science Symposium to be hosted by the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and held September 9-13, 2014 in Sitka, AK!  Also check out our lodging and airline discounts.

2
2014 SDLA Award

Nominations are now open for the 2014 Scientific Diving Lifetime Achievement Award. Submit at www.aaus.org/lifetime_achivement_award

3
2014 AAUS Foundation Scholarship Applications

AAUS Foundation is now accepting scholarship applications for 2014.  More information available at http://www.aausfoundation.org/#!scholarships

4
Nautilus, Shearwater, Oceanic and Hollis Institutional Pricing

Nautilus, Shearwater, Oceanic and Hollis have gratiously extended their institutional pricing to all AAUS organizations.  Follow the link for more information and access to the price lists.

5
AAUS Certification Program

AAUS Certification program information and registration forms can be found here.

6
Current E-Slate

Current E-Slate is available on the first of every month.  You can access older editions in the resource library under "publications".

7
Scientific Freediver Course

AAUS is sponsoring a Scientific Freediver course.  While AAUS has no intention of regulating or promulgating standards for Scientific Freediving, the program will be designed specifically for AAUS Scientific Divers.  

8


Event Calendar View All

2014 AAUS SDLA Award Nominations Due
    04/30/14

Scientific Diving Lifetime Achievement Award - 2014

Nominations are now open for the 2014 Scientific Diving Lifetime Achievement Award.  This award is presented annually to an individual from the scientific diving community who has made a significant contribution in advancing underwater science and technology. It is open to anyone in the scientific diving community.  Nominations are sought from the AAUS general membership, and selected candidates are voted for by the AAUS past presidents and previous award recipients.

 Please submit the names and contact information for nominees, along with a one-paragraph justification atwww.aaus.org/lifetime_achievement_award  or to John Heine, AAUS Awards Committee (jheine@ucsd.edu).    Nominations close April 31, 2014.

TEKDive USA 2014
    05/17/14 - 05/18/14

TEKDiveUSA will take place May 17-18, 2014 at the Roz & Cal Kovens Conference Center, North Miami, FL. Forty different talks will be delivered during this two-day advanced and technical diving conference. A number of presentations will be of interest to scientific divers, and are pertinent to scientific diving operations. Presenters include personnel from NEDU, NPS, the University of Auckland and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. For more information on the speakers, topics, official accommodations and registration, visit  www.tekdiveusa.com

First Asia Pacific Underwater Sciences Symposium
    05/28/14 - 06/06/14

Details about the symposium

 

First Asia Pacific Underwater Sciences Symposium (2014)

 

Hosted by: State Key Laboratory in Marine Pollution, City University of Hong Kong

Venue: City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong Hong Kong

 

Tentative Date:

Symposium: 25-27 May, 2014

Workshop: 28 May to 6 June, 2014.

 

The purpose of this symposium:

 

(1)    To facilitate development of underwater scientific research,

(2)    To promote professional education in scientific diving,

(3)    To raise public awareness of marine conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, and

(4)    To protect public safety in diving.

 

The expected Outcome of this symposium:

 

(1)    To consolidate partnership and collaboration among marine environmental scientists and engineers to design, build, and use innovative instruments and systems for underwater monitoring and exploration;

(2)    To raise awareness and gain further understanding of the ocean via the development of underwater monitoring instruments, scientific diving and diving safety protocols.

 

Information about organizer:

 

City University of Hong Kong takes scientific research of marine environment as a predominant research area and focuses to support its development. Some of the research outputs are leading in Hong Kong or even Asia Pacific regions. Since there is a common interest in marine environmental protection, pollution control, ecotoxicology and seafood safety, City University of Hong Kong united Hong Kong Baptist University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the University of Hong Kong to form the State Key Laboratory in Marine Pollution (SKLMP), approved by Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) in 2009. The SKLMP is also partnered with the State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science (MEL) at Xiamen University.

 

In addition to researches related to marine pollution, SKLMP discovered that scuba diving is playing an increasingly important role in underwater scientific researches, and is treated equally as a kind of research method like molecular biotechnology. Diving enables students and scientists to directly observe marine organisms (especially the morphology, behaviors and interactions) and ecosystem in natural environments. Presently, Hong Kong and Mainland China do not have any specialized training system for scientific diving. Most of scientific divers learn diving skills from the training in recreational diving system only. Despite the fact that scientific diving is an exciting, fascinating and challenging adventure, it could be dangerous and fatal when lacks proper specialized training and suitable equipment. SKLMP wishes to enhance professional diving standard, work out professional diving certification and operational specifications, by developing underwater science and research techniques, and initiating professional diving practices. Eventually, a safe and highly efficient diving education system will be established for China and all Asia-Pacific regions.

 

Besides scientific researches, SKLMP does not forget the responsibilities on community service and public education. Diving is trending nowadays, turning the whole diving industry and scuba enthusiasts into the best mediums for marine science popularization. SKLMP is willing to adopt a method supported by citizens, in order to collectively make greater contribution on marine environment protection and economic sustainability. In 30th August 2013 Shenzhen rainstorm and 21st January 2012 Beijing drowning events, firemen were powerless to save victims trapped in vehicles because the lack of specialized underwater training. This revealed the weakness of our country in dealing with underwater accidents and criminal investigations, and the need to promote and develop public safety divers. Public safety diver means a lot to law enforcement agencies and the public. They usually operate under dangerous environments, saving lives, retrieving bodies, recovering crime evidences, etc. Promoting such a career with sacred duties can raise the social responsibilities and consciousness of citizenship among our next generation.

 

To catch the strategic opportunity of marine economic development, and bring unique advantages of SKLMP into full play, SKLMP aims to carry out professional diving education through Development of Scientific Safety Diver (SSD) training program (please see attached program). From the view of marine science and public safety demand, development and promotion of professional diving education can provide teenagers a platform to find their strengths and inner-self to face the continuous challenges ahead. Finally these ocean lovers would create an excellent army for marine pollution research, marine conservation and public safety. It is expected that these youngsters will pass their passion and responsibilities to others, keep pushing sport diving forward. The ultimate target is to spread the oceanic culture to every corner in our society and make every single citizen to be an “Oceanographer” that loves and respect our ocean.

 

Thank you and Best regards,

 

Leo

 

Chan Lai, Leo

 

State Key Laboratory in Marine Pollution (SKLMP)

 

B1705 (Lift 3, 1/F), Academic Building

City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue

Kowloon, Hong Kong

 

Tel. 852-34424125  Fax: 852-21942281

Latest News View All

First Asia Pacific Underwater Sciences Symposium (2014)
    02/26/14

First Asia Pacific Underwater Sciences Symposium (2014)

 

Hosted by: State Key Laboratory in Marine Pollution, City University of Hong Kong

Venue: City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong Hong Kong

 

Tentative Date:

Symposium: 25-27 May, 2014

Workshop: 28 May to 6 June, 2014.

The purpose of this symposium:

(1)    To facilitate development of underwater scientific research,

(2)    To promote professional education in scientific diving,

(3)    To raise public awareness of marine conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, and

(4)    To protect public safety in diving.

The expected Outcome of this symposium:

(1)    To consolidate partnership and collaboration among marine environmental scientists and engineers to design, build, and use innovative instruments and systems for underwater monitoring and exploration;

(2)    To raise awareness and gain further understanding of the ocean via the development of underwater monitoring instruments, scientific diving and diving safety protocols.

Information about organizer:

City University of Hong Kong takes scientific research of marine environment as a predominant research area and focuses to support its development. Some of the research outputs are leading in Hong Kong or even Asia Pacific regions. Since there is a common interest in marine environmental protection, pollution control, ecotoxicology and seafood safety, City University of Hong Kong united Hong Kong Baptist University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the University of Hong Kong to form the State Key Laboratory in Marine Pollution (SKLMP), approved by Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) in 2009. The SKLMP is also partnered with the State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science (MEL) at Xiamen University.

In addition to researches related to marine pollution, SKLMP discovered that scuba diving is playing an increasingly important role in underwater scientific researches, and is treated equally as a kind of research method like molecular biotechnology. Diving enables students and scientists to directly observe marine organisms (especially the morphology, behaviors and interactions) and ecosystem in natural environments. Presently, Hong Kong and Mainland China do not have any specialized training system for scientific diving. Most of scientific divers learn diving skills from the training in recreational diving system only. Despite the fact that scientific diving is an exciting, fascinating and challenging adventure, it could be dangerous and fatal when lacks proper specialized training and suitable equipment. SKLMP wishes to enhance professional diving standard, work out professional diving certification and operational specifications, by developing underwater science and research techniques, and initiating professional diving practices. Eventually, a safe and highly efficient diving education system will be established for China and all Asia-Pacific regions.

Besides scientific researches, SKLMP does not forget the responsibilities on community service and public education. Diving is trending nowadays, turning the whole diving industry and scuba enthusiasts into the best mediums for marine science popularization. SKLMP is willing to adopt a method supported by citizens, in order to collectively make greater contribution on marine environment protection and economic sustainability. In 30th August 2013 Shenzhen rainstorm and 21st January 2012 Beijing drowning events, firemen were powerless to save victims trapped in vehicles because the lack of specialized underwater training. This revealed the weakness of our country in dealing with underwater accidents and criminal investigations, and the need to promote and develop public safety divers. Public safety diver means a lot to law enforcement agencies and the public. They usually operate under dangerous environments, saving lives, retrieving bodies, recovering crime evidences, etc. Promoting such a career with sacred duties can raise the social responsibilities and consciousness of citizenship among our next generation.

To catch the strategic opportunity of marine economic development, and bring unique advantages of SKLMP into full play, SKLMP aims to carry out professional diving education through Development of Scientific Safety Diver (SSD) training program (please see attached program). From the view of marine science and public safety demand, development and promotion of professional diving education can provide teenagers a platform to find their strengths and inner-self to face the continuous challenges ahead. Finally these ocean lovers would create an excellent army for marine pollution research, marine conservation and public safety. It is expected that these youngsters will pass their passion and responsibilities to others, keep pushing sport diving forward. The ultimate target is to spread the oceanic culture to every corner in our society and make every single citizen to be an “Oceanographer” that loves and respect our ocean.

Thank you and Best regards,

Leo

Chan Lai, Leo

State Key Laboratory in Marine Pollution (SKLMP)

B1705 (Lift 3, 1/F), Academic Building

City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue

Kowloon, Hong Kong

Tel. 852-34424125  Fax: 852-21942281

2013 AAUS Foundation Scholarship Recipients
    09/30/13

 

Lillian Tuttle
2013 Kathy Johnston English Scholar

I am a PhD. student starting my fourth year in the Department of Zoology at Oregon State University, under the direction of Dr. Mark Hixon.  I was born and raised along the Kentucky River, where I first learned to appreciate living things both above and below the water.  At sixteen I became scuba-certified in a filled rock quarry, and got hooked on diving.  I stayed close to home for college by attending Centre College, a small (but mighty!) liberal arts school in Kentucky.  As an undergraduate I made my way to the ocean with internships in coastal Oregon and the Virgin Islands, during which I studied the fascinating world of fish-parasite ecology.  After college, I spent a year as a Fulbright Advanced Student in southern France at the Université Montpellier 2, where I studied fish “eco-immunology,” and I volunteered as a tutor for three months at an elementary school for orphans in rural Kenya.  I was honored to receive a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in 2010, when I began my career as a graduate student at OSU.

            My ecological love affair is with species interactions, and how these interactions both affect and are affected by invasive species.  My dissertation has focused on lionfish, an invasive species on Atlantic coral reefs that pose a major threat to native fish communities.  My research has discovered that lionfish have extremely few parasites infecting them compared to other fish in the Caribbean, perhaps allowing lionfish to divert more energy toward feeding and reproduction.  I’m also investigating whether or not lionfish eat or alter the behavior of cleaning gobies, little fish that pick parasites off the skin of larger fishes.  Ultimately, if lionfish change cleaning behavior they could indirectly alter parasite transmission, and native fish health and diversity on coral reefs.  I’ve conducted my research at three locations: the Central Caribbean Marine Institute on Little Cayman, the Perry Institute for Marine Science in the Bahamas, and the Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI) in the Bahamas.  I’m looking forward to another summer of intensive fieldwork at CEI, thanks to the Kathy Johnston English Scholarship!

 
Darcy Bradley
2013 Kathy Johnston English Scholar

Darcy Bradley is a PhD student at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara where she studies interactions between humans and large marine predators in structuring coral reef ecosystems.  Darcy is particularly concerned with the precipitous decline in shark populations that has accelerated in recent decades; while declines in pelagic shark species are well documented, similar population depletions are thought to exist for previously untargeted coral reef associated sharks. Yet, to date the majority of reef shark abundance estimates are derived from visual survey data that are plagued by a lack of comparability and reproducibility.Crucially, these estimates also fail to account for shark behavior, which may significantly bias results.

In the spring of 2013, Darcy was invited to collaborate with The Nature Conservancy and the Palmyra Atoll Research Consortium in mark-recapture reef shark population study at Palmyra, a remote U.S. National Wildlife Refuge in the central Pacific Ocean. Over the next year, Darcy will make several site visits to Palmyra with the goal of establishing a baseline measure of grey reef shark (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) and blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus)population size without the biases inherent in visual survey estimates. However, as much of the world’s reef shark abundance assessments rely on data collected in underwater diver surveys, Darcy is further working to quantify a behavioral response by reef sharks to human SCUBA diver presence. Reef shark behavior will then be incorporated into a bias correction factor that will be used to update and reevaluate abundance estimates throughout the central Pacific.

 

Scott Gabara
2013 Kevin Gurr Scholar

Scott Gabara is pursuing his M.S. degree at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML) and is conducting research on the ecology of rhodolith beds around Santa Catalina Island.   Scott received his B.S. from University of California Santa Cruz in 2007 while volunteering for the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO).  He completed his AAUS scientific diving training at UCSC.  Scott was employed by PISCO for three years and developed his diving skills through subtidal surveys and oceanographic instrument maintenance and boating skills by operating inflatables and small boats.  Scott became a NAUI Instructor which led to employment at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories where he currently helps teach marine science diving during the summer and fall, and helps run the MLML diving program.  At almost 900 dives and 24 hours underwater, Scott believes his strong foundation in diving has lead to a lifelong pursuit of conducting his own marine research and teaching science diving.  His research on understanding energy flow through rhodolith beds, an understudied habitat, has suggested that rhodolith beds around Santa Catalina Island benefit from giant kelp drift, which subsidizes the base of the rhodolith bed food web.

 
Danielle Claar
2013 Kevin Gurr Scholar
 
I am a first year graduate student at the University of Victoria under the direction of Dr. Julia Baum. Our lab seeks to understand how human activities are altering marine ecosystems, and my dissertation focuses on how human impact can affect interactions between corals and their algal symbionts (Symbiodinium). The goal of my AAUS funded research is to evaluate the dynamics of Symbiodinium diversity on Kiritimati atoll (Christmas Island). Symbiodinium diversity is important because it can indicate the overall health of a coral, and provide insight into the history of coral bleaching. This past summer, I traveled to Kiritimati for a month to collect baseline ecological research and coral-Symbiodinium samples. My research is conducted in collaboration with Dr. Ruth Gates at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, where I will travel to conduct training and genetic analyses of coral-Symbiodinium samples from Kiritimati. Ultimately, my goal is to further our knowledge of coral-Symbiodinium interactions in order to better understand the fate of coral reefs in a changing environment. 
 
Melanie Garate
2013 Hollis Gear Award Recipient

I received my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Environmental, Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Boston in August of 2012 where as an undergraduate I examined the land use effects of the Neponset River watershed and the microbial composition of the Dorchester Bay to determine the water quality at these two sites. For two and a half years, throughout undergraduate and conducting research, I volunteered over one-thousand hours in several departments of the New England Aquarium in Boston, MA, which mainly focused on educating the public about the marine environment as well as ensuring all exhibit animals were getting the best care. I am currently pursuing my Ph.D. at the University of Rhode Island under Dr. Serena Moseman-Valtierra examining how anthropogenic nutrient pollution and benthic invertebrates are affecting the biogeochemistry of intertidal and subtidal coastal zones. 

Emily Aiken
2013 Hollis Gear Award Recipient

Emily Aiken grew up in the desert in southern California, where she obtained her AA in Liberal Arts at a local community college.  At this point in her life, SCUBA diving was foreign and intangible to her because she was land-locked and did not personally know a single diver. Three years ago, she transferred to CSU Monterey Bay as a first generation college student and switched her major to Marine Science. The handful of times she did visit the beach, filtering the sand for sand crabs and exploring the abundant life in tidepools, is what kindled her passion to pursue her adventures in the many unique outlets ocean science has to offer.

During her college career, Emily enrolled in the SCUBA open water course taught by Frank Degnan and shortly after, she completed her advanced, rescue, master, drysuit, and AAUS scientific diving certifications. In the meantime, she volunteered as a cleanup diver for Monterey Harbor, a maintenance diver for the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Animal Research and Care Center, a TA for CSUMB’s SCUBA program, and was elected as the undergraduate representative on the Dive Control Board. She was one of the two students at CSUMB to conduct an underwater research project as her Honors Thesis, studying the interaction between invasive and native organisms in Monterey Harbor in collaboration with NOAA. Apart from her Honors Thesis, she works with Marine Protected Areas as a research assistant at the Institute for Applied Marine Ecology. She broadened her role in the marine science community by establishing CSUMB’s first Marine Science Club as the club president. This past summer, she brokered a research diving experience through Florida International University, where she studied how the grazing rates of different-sized herbivorous fishes impacted coral reefs off the Florida Keys. Through all of these experiences, Emily has defined her passion for marine science and underwater research. She plans to pursue her research through getting a Ph.D. to contribute knowledge about marine ecology so that decision makers, managers, and the public have a better understanding about how to conserve our ocean. 

 

2012 AAUS Scholarship Recipients Updates
    05/15/13

Julia Stevens
2012 Kathy Johnston Scholar

I am a doctoral candidate finishing my fourth year of Ph.D. work at the University of Alabama under the direction of Julie B. Olson, Ph.D. The graduate program here has a broad focus in biological sciences reaching from molecular and cell biology to ecology and evolution. Our lab is a marine microbial ecology lab, and my dissertation focuses on the bacterial communities associated with the invasive lionfish in the Caribbean and Western Atlantic and in their native Indo-Pacific region. The funds I received through the Kathy Johnston Scholarship Fund awarded by AAUS are allowing me to travel to the Smithsonian research island of Carrie Bow Cay, Belize in June. The work I will complete while there, will allow me to analyze the chemical composition of lionfish mucus for antimicrobial activity as a potential chemical defense mechanism against disease. I am also testing the lionfish-associated bacteria for antimicrobial activity against known fish pathogens. Results could have implications for explaining the success of lionfish in the invaded range as well as potential host-microbe interactions. This project stemmed from previous work of ours, which showed that lionfish harbor a significantly different bacterial community than native Caribbean fishes.

 Photo of Julia Stevens and a lion fish by Cheih-wen Wang

 

Alexander Modys
2012 Kevin Gurr Scholar

My name is Alexander Modys, and I'm from Fort Myers, Florida. My interests are freediving, SCUBA diving, spearfishing, and surfing. I am currently a graduate student at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, where I am working on an MS degree in Geology in the Department of Geosciences. My degree focuses on Marine Geology and Paleoceanography. I became interested in marine science at a very early age, exploring the estuary and Gulf of Mexico waters where I grew up and snorkeling the reefs of the Florida Keys. 

My AAUS funded research focuses on a relict Holocene reef system off the coast of Boynton Beach, Florida, constructed from Acropora palmataand Acropora cervicorniscorals. Using a combination of reef coring, stable isotope analysis, and remote sensing, I am working to reconstruct the Holocene reef environment at its northermost termination during the Holocene. Specifically, I am working on determining Holocene reef zonation patterns, paleo-temperatures, and exact age of the reef termination. Using this crucial new data, I will compare Holocene shelf-edge acroporid reef growth at this site to modern shelf-edge acroporid reef growth throughout the Florida Keys. Ultimately, our findings will reveal information on the long-term ecological stability of shelf-edge acroporid reefs in the southeastern Florida.

 

Jennifer Hellmann
2012 Kathy Johnston Scholar

I am a second year PhD student in the Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology department at The Ohio State University. My laboratory studies the evolution of sociality and my research focuseson the formation, structure, and fitness benefits of social networks. Being well connected within a social network provides several advantages, including increased offspring survival, greater mating opportunities, and higher social rank. However, social networking has not been widely explored outside of primates, and we do not know to what extent individuals in other taxa make decisions on the basis of networking opportunities. My research uses Neolamprologus pulcher, a species of African cichlid with a highly complex social system, to better understand how social networks function in fish. This past spring, I traveled to Lake Tanganyika to examine how colony density affects the ability of individuals to interact with their neighbors. Specifically, I explored how density affects how often males are able to mate with females on other territories and how easily subordinates are able to move between groups in the colony. Social network structure has important implications for information flow, disease spread, mate choice, and social stability, and this project will help elucidate the extent to which spatial patterns and social interactions align, which will provide valuable insight into the evolution of social structures and group organization.

 Photos by Susan Marsh-Rollo

 



This site designed by Lunar Cow.