Home / 2018 Conrad Limbaugh Award

Conrad Limbaugh Memorial Award for Scientific Diving Leadership


The Conrad Limbaugh Memorial Award is presented annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution in diving safety and diving leadership on behalf of the scientific diving community. Conrad Limbaugh was an underwater naturalist and Chief Diving Officer for of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where he directed the diving program.  He was killed in a scuba diving accident in the Mediterranean on March 20, 1960.  Limbaugh graduated from Whittier College in 1948 and did graduate work at the University of California at Los Angeles before going to Scripps Institution in 1950.  He was largely responsible for developing the diver-training program at Scripps, as well as many research techniques used by marine scientists.

Presented bi-annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution in diving safety and diving leadership on behalf of the scientific diving community. Open to any past or present member of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences.  Nominations come from the AAUS general membership.  Voted and approved by the AAUS general membership. Current BOD Members are not eligible during their term of office. 


The AAUS General Membership has elected 

Mike Dardeau


Beginning as a sport diver in NW Florida in 1970, I qualified as a scientific diver in 1978, shortly after becoming a graduate student at Dauphin Island Sea Lab.  Operationally, I have served as a dive team leader since the early 1980’s and Diving Safety Officer for the DISL Diving Control Board since the early 1990’s.  I oversaw most day to day diving operations, equipment purchase and maintenance, scientific diver training, small boat training and operations and ensured compliance with American Academy of Underwater Sciences standards.  Appointed to the AAUS board of directors in 2004, I served under six presidents as Statistics Chair and Treasurer.  Before retiring in 2015, I spent most of my 33 years at DISL as supervisor of technical support and vessel operations.

 First licensed as an EMT-Basic in 1981, I served as Emergency Medical Coordinator for Dauphin Island Fire and Rescue for 2 years and as a volunteer medic for another 10 years.  I also worked part-time for 2 years as a Flight Paramedic for Southflite, USA and for another 10 years as an Industrial Paramedic. The part-time positions helped to maintain certification as a Diving Medical Technician Paramedic between 1984 and 2014.

During my career as a marine scientist, I contributed to over 40 publications including a taxonomic monograph on coral reef shrimp, characterizations of hard bottom communities in the Gulf of Mexico, natural history studies of temperate gorgonians and analyses of AAUS annual statistics. I also chaired Technical Advisory Committees for the local National Estuarine Research Reserve and National Estuary Program and received over $1 million in extramural funding to construct and support coastal observing systems in Alabama.

This site designed by Lunar Cow.