Alexandra Rose

Founder/ Owner of Blue Ring Foundation

Alex Rose holds a B.S. in Biology, M.S. in Aquatic Biology, and has a wide variety of experience in the biological sciences including but not limited to bioacoustics research, science writing, teaching, public presentation, and aquatic animal husbandry and breeding. Alex is also a professional violinist, photographer, PADI Divemaster, and lover of all things aquatic. Her driving goal is to find ways to protect our world’s precious marine habits through diving, writing, education, and research.

Alessandra Figari

Owner/ Instructor at Cave Training Mexico and Enjoy Diving, PADI Course Director and Trainer

Alessandra Figari is one of the owners of Cave Training Mexico. Born in Milan, Italy in 1960. She moved to Mexico in 1999 when she decided to dedicate her life and experience to teaching diving, leaving behind my manager position in a non profit organization. Ale can speak and teach in fours languages: Italian, English, French and Spanish and is an IANTD Tec Instructor and Tec Full Cave Instructor, TDI Tec and Cave Instructor, NASE Worldwide Cave Instructor and Trainer, PADI and RAID MK6 CCR instructor, APSA Certified Cavern and Cave Guide. A PADI Course Director, PADI/DSAT Technical and Trimix Trainer and EFR Trainer, MKVI Poseidon Instructor.

Annie Crawley

Artist, Filmmaker, Writer, Photographer

While creating a successful business, Dive Into Your Imagination, Annie Crawley, aka Ocean Annie, continues to travel and document the world focusing on life in our Ocean. She is uniquely qualified to speak about obtaining success by taking risks, living your dreams and creating your greatest life. Originally from Chicago and trained as a photo and broadcast journalist, Annie Crawley spent the past two decades living and working around the world. After learning to scuba dive and sail, she became a PADI Master Scuba Diving Instructor and a 100 ton US Coast Guard Boat Captain. She was named an SSI 5000 Platinum Pro Diver and inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame. Annie Crawley specializes in the Underwater Realm as an underwater photographer, filmmaker, and has created an award winning series of products for the next generation. Dive Into Your Imagination under Annie’s leadership will be releasing another series of programs at Our World Underwater on ocean education and leadership including books, educator/parent lesson plans and DVDS to change the way a new generation views the ocean, themselves and our environment. Annie relates the lessons learned growing up and traveling in a way that will empower, inspire and motivate you to go beyond what they believe they are capable. Annie Crawley believes in the principals of Conscious Leadership, you want to make sure you meet this dynamic woman.

Antonio Moncada

Director of Mayan Princess Beach & Dive Resort

Responsibility, hard work and passion are words that clearly describe Antonio. Born to work and excel in the hotel business, he is one of the most well known, proactive and influential hoteliers in Honduras. As the general director of the Mayan Princess Beach & Dive Resort in West Bay, Roatan, located on one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, Antonio has overseen it rise from under construction to being a PADI 5 Start Dive Resort.

Barbara Buchanan

Owner of Scuba Planners Dive Travel, Underwater Videographer

Responsibility, hard work and passion are words that clearly describe Antonio. Born to work and excel in the hotel business, he is one of the most well known, proactive and influential hoteliers in Honduras. As the general director of the Mayan Princess Beach & Dive Resort in West Bay, Roatan, located on one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, Antonio has overseen it rise from under construction to being a PADI 5 Start Dive Resort.

Brady Hale

Founder, Texas Lionfish Control Unit

Brady Hale founded Texas Lionfish Control Unit in 2014 after traveling to Pensacola, Florida and seeing the lionfish problem for the first time. Brady has been a certified diver since 1989, and has worked in the dive industry in various capacities including General Manager in a dive shop environment and working the boats as divemaster. He has been leading Eco-tourism trips to Pensacola, Florida to hunt lionfish since 2015, and enjoys teaching people how they can help solve the lionfish invasion. Brady also runs Beyond 130 Marketing, a full service digital marketing firm that specializes in small to medium sized business. When not in the water, he lives out his dreams of becoming Mark Grace on the softball fields.

Charles George

Founder of George Law Firm LLC – Maritime Law Group-

Charles George is the founder of the George Law Firm LLC – Maritime Law Group – concentrating in Maritime, Corporate, and Criminal Law and specializing in civil litigation regarding maritime and diving accidents and criminal defense. Charles is the Chief Corporate Counsel for Wreck Diving Magazine, The Shipwreck Exploration Society and the TransGlobal Logistics Group of Companies and is a U.S Merchant Marine Officer and a Technical Diving Instructor.

Christopher Weaver

Underwater Photographer

Christopher Weaver has been diving the waters of Long Island and the world since 1978 and has spent hundreds of hours underwater accumulating a large and varied library of photographic images. With Michael Salvarezza, he has presented his work in hundreds of multi-media slide presentations and have appeared at Beneath the Sea and The Boston Sea Rovers Underwater Clinic. Their work has been published in various magazines such as: Skin Diver, Sport Diver, Asian Diver, Diver, Advanced Diver Magazine, Sport Diving Magazine, Dive Journal, World War ll, Immersed and Lighthouse Digest.

David Mekker & Durrell Martin

Cave/ Wreck Divers

David Mekker and Durrell Martin met in 1994 while diving in Kingston, Ontario. While David had already been diving since 1989 and was fully Cave certified, Durrell was new to the sport with just 60 dives in his logbook. The two of them discovered that weekend that they shared a passion for both shipwrecks and photography. Over the next 23 years, they have done over 1,000 dives together exploring the history of the great lakes.

Danielle Alary & Michel Gilbert

Producers, Photographers, Writers

Michel Gilbert & Danielle Alary. Award-winning, lecturers, photography and multimedia producers, Michel and Danielle have been “at sea” for over 35 years. Authors of more than 1000 articles related to diving, travel and sailing, they are underwater photography columnists for Diver and En Profondeur (Into the Depths) magazines. Their work is sold worldwide. Recipients of the Canadian Diving Achievement Award in 1991 and the Diver of the Year Award for the Arts at Beneath the Sea in New-York, in 1995, in 1997, they won the coveted Silver Diver Award at the Antibes World Festival of Underwater Images. Their multimedia production about the seals of the Gulf of St-Lawrence won a Grand Prize from the Ministry of Tourism of Québec. Danielle and Michel were honoured during the 37th edition of Our World Underwater in Chicago in 2007. Danielle is a member of the Women Divers Hall Of Fame. They have produced over 100 multimedia presentations featured at various events and venues, including museums and aquariums. They are working on two books.

Faith Ortins

Dive Master, Teacher, Sales Director for DUI

Faith has spent her life educating people about diving through her love and enthusiasm for the ocean. Whether as a biology teacher, Dive Master, dive store retailer, charter operator, equipment manufacturer and distributor, she inspires people and instills in them a passion for local diving. Twenty years ago she worked with DUI to develop the first women’s drysuits and now leads DUI’s Sales Team worldwide. She created the DUI DOG Rally and Demo Tour Program which promotes local diving facilities across the US, teaming dive retailers together while divers test dive DUI products. Certified in 1979, she has over 2500 divers including 700 technical dives. Faith was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame at the 10th Anniversary Celebration at the Beneath the Sea Show in Secaucus, NJ March 26-28, 2010.

Jennifer Idol

Tech Diver and Underwater Photographer

Jennifer Idol helps others understand the underwater world through her photography, design, and by sharing her exploration. She created the Love Our Waters Campaign to help raise awareness. A technical diver and underwater photographer, she has been published in Sport Diver, Texas Aquatic Science, Outdoor Oklahoma, and Underwater Speleology. Large installations of her work are at the Lake Murray Wildlife Museum and Texas Association of REALTORS. Her design firm, The Underwater Designer, services clients in the water-related industries.

Jill Heinerth

Underwater Explorer, Filmmaker, Cave Diver

A pioneering underwater explorer and filmmaker, Jill Heinerth has dived deeper into caves than any woman in history. With a collection of magnificent images, from Antarctic iceberg caves to the Floridan Aquifer and subterranean Siberia, Jill shares a glimpse of a breathtaking world few will experience. Her accolades include being inducted to the Women Diver’s Hall of Fame and the Explorer’s Club as well as scores of photography and filmmaking awards. Recognized as a leading technical diver, she is one of the world’s experts on rebreather technology. An engaging speaker, Jill’s multimedia presentations stir audiences with life’s lessons learned during expeditions above, below and inside the earth. An award-winning filmmaker, Jill wrote, produced, and appeared in Water’s Journey, the PBS documentary series that takes viewers on travels through the world’s greatest water systems. Hollywood filmmakers, including Lakeshore Productions (The Cave) and James Cameron, have called on her to produce difficult underwater scenes, and international magazines and new media companies look to her to document extreme environments. Her accolades include being named a “Living Legend” by Sport Diver Magazine, induction into the exclusive New York Explorer’s Club and the inaugural class of the Women Diver’s Hall of Fame, as well as scores of photography and filmmaking awards. Dozens of stories lauding Jill’s career, have appeared in the New York Post, London Telegraph, Wired Magazine, Sport’s Illustrated Women and most recently a 21-page photo feature in Deep, China’s most prestigious outdoor adventure publication. Jill is known as an industry expert in the use of closed-circuit rebreathers. Her multi-media blog attracts a large international audience. She is also a popular presenter at international diving events from Australia to Central America, Russia, Europe and Canada. Jill’s photography and writing have been featured in prominent magazines and major newspapers around the world. She contributed to the development of training materials for international organizations and is the author of three books on cave diving and underwater photography. Born in Canada, Jill lives with her husband Robert, in North Florida, where she starts most days with a refreshing swim in the clear water of her local spring.

Jim & Pat Stayer

Underwater Explorers& Filmmakers

Jim and Pat are explorers and well-known underwater filmmakers. They co-authored 3 books and produced 30 DVDs. The couple has been referred to as the one of the best animal behavior videographers, according to Ernie Brooks. Jim & Pat served as President and Secretary of the Michigan Underwater Preserve Council and were founders of the Sanilac Shores Preserve. Together they ran a dive charter boat in the Great Lakes and discovered 8 shipwrecks. The Stayers were underwater cameramen for History Channel. Pat is a member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame and Jim is a Licensed Captain.

John Janzen

Instructor, Chemist, Videographer

John Janzen is a rebreather and technical diving instructor as well as a Chemist and Chemical Engineer. His career has spanned a broad range of projects with NOAA, WHOI, National Geographic, The History Channel, NASA, JPL, DARPA, the Trident Missile Program, Cray Research, US Army and Coast Guard and many others. John’s diving focus includes deep shipwrecks in the Great Lakes, exploration of submerged mines and underwater videography.

Kala Martin

Photographer, presenter

Kayla Martin made her first dive trip at six weeks old and could swim before she could walk. This naturally lead to a love of the underwater world. In 2013, at just 13 years old she got certified and has since logged 150 dives. Her passion for photography and exploring, has resulted in a desire to share these experiences. These last 3 years has seen her presenting at dive shows in Canada and the USA.

Kevin Magee

Deputy Director, Cleveland Underwater Explorers (CLUE)

Kevin Magee was certified for scuba in 1984, moved to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1993, and discovered shipwreck diving in the Great Lakes shortly afterwards. He enthusiastically practices diving shipwrecks in the Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes. Kevin is the co-founder and Deputy Director of the Cleveland Underwater Explorers (CLUE), an organization that searches for shipwrecks in Lake Erie and has found more than 20 shipwrecks since its creation in 2001.

Mathias Nochetto, MD

Director of Medical Programs, Divers Alert Network (DAN)

Dr. Nochetto is DAN’s Director of Medical Programs where he assists with development and implementation of medical programs worldwide. He supervises the Spanish and Portuguese medical hotlines. He has served as faculty for several diving medicine courses and university programs over the past 15 years. His particular interest and expertise is in marine toxinology.

Dr. Larry Mckenna

Author, Adventurer, Photographer and Filmmaker

Filmmaker, photographer, author and adventurer; both under the oceans and on top of mountains in remote places (and locations in between). This is the biographical definition of Larry McKenna; doing what he does best; recording life, cultures; history and events so that others may see the World through his eyes, voice, pen and cameras. Larry is a former United States Air Force aviator with a chest full of combat decorations. He served for 26 years in uniform while flying and designing new planes and helicopters before going onward to enter the commercial sectors of business, as an International banker and real estate developer and hotel/resorts operator, in the USA, in Central America and the Pacific region of islands. He is now a dedicated environmentalist to save the Leatherback Sea Turtle from its rapid spiral into extinction. He founded his independent production studio in 1984 after several frustrations in hiring documentary crews to make his promotional films. Larry resolved that HE could make a better quality film than those he paid – and went on to do just that. Larry’s base of operations is Kingwood, Texas (close to Houston); but is rarely there because of travels, mainly in the Pacific/Asia regions. He is currently involved with conservation efforts to save the Pacific Leatherback turtles from a rapid extinction. More can be learned about Larry’s activities by visiting web sites: www.happycatproductions.com and www.leatherbackturtles.org

Leandro Blanco

Underwater Filmmaker, Producer

Leandro Blanco is an internationally acclaimed film maker with a background in music composition, recording and production. His passion for nature and underwater imaging combined with his film editing and compositing techniques distinguish his work. He is the only filmmaker that has won Antibes film festival during eight consecutive years in different categories. In 2004 he was named diver of the year at BTS (Beneath the sea NY) for his contribution to the art of film making. He is currently working with National Geographic on the Oceans Now project.

Lynn Funkhouser

Member, Women Diver’s Hall of Fame, Society of Women Geographers

Lynn Funkhouser was inducted into the inaugural Women Divers Hall of Fame (WDHOF). She is an internationally published photographer, author, lecturer, environmentalist, adventuress, and leader in dive travel. She specializes in underwater, nature, travel, and environmental images. In 2008, Lynn was inducted into the Society of Women Geographers. SWG members are women who love adventure and have added to the world’s knowledge. Members include Amelia Earhart, Eugenie Clark, Sylvia Earle, Jane Goodall, Margaret Mead, and Pearl Buck. As an environmentalist, Lynn is committed to making a difference on this planet through her images and lectures.

Mark Walker

Villa on Dunbar Rock

Michael Salvarezza

Underwater Photographer & Public Speaker

Michael Salvarezza has been diving the waters of Long Island and the world since 1978 and has spent hundreds of hours underwater accumulating a large and varied library of photographic images. With Christopher Weaver, he has presented his work in hundreds of multi-media slide presentations and have appeared at Beneath the Sea and the Boston Sea Rovers Underwater Clinic. Their work has been published in various magazines such as: Skin Diver, Sport Diver, Asian Diver, Diver, Advanced Diver Magazine, Sport Diving Magazine, Dive Journal, World War II, Immersed and Lighthouse Digest.

Michael Aw

Founder, OceanNEnvironment, Photographer

Michael’s saturated colour imageries have earn him more than 60 international awards; his work have been featured in BBC Wildlife, National Geographic, the Smithsonian, GEO, Ocean GEOGRAPHIC, Asian Geographic, Action Asia, Nature Focus to name but a few. In 2010, he was a recipient of the WYLAND ICON award for Conservation. His most glorious achievement is a Palme D’or for “Philippines- Heart of the Ocean”, won at the World Underwater Pictures Festival, France 2009. He is also a recipient of three awards from the Natural History Museum BBC Photographer of the Year Wildlife Competition in 2000, 2010 and in 2006 he won the Best Winner award in the underwater category. Michael AW is the founder of OceanNEnvironment’s a charity organization registered with Environment Australia. In 2008 Stan Waterman conferred Michael with the Peter Benchley Shark Conservation Award by Sharks Research Institute in recognition of his highly-effective and unrelenting campaign against shark fin soup consumption in the Asia Pacific region. Michael is also the founder of Asian Geographic.

Michel Labrecque & Julie Ouimet

Founders of the Turquoise Bay Underwater Film Festival, Photojournalists, Film Producers

Canadians Michel Labrecque and Julie Ouimet are co-owners of N2Pix. Julie and Michel decided to go off the beaten path in 2007, leaving the corporate world behind and choosing the ocean. They are the previous owners of an award-winning PADI 5-Star IDC. Their intense passion for scuba diving and the underwater world has led them to the four corners of the world and into underwater photography and filmmaking. N2Pix specializes in underwater imagery and scuba expeditions. They are the Founders of the Turquoise Bay Underwater Film Festival, published photojournalists, guest speakers at major dive conferences and short film producers.

Nancy McGee

Expedition Leader, Hall of Fame Inductee, Expert Dive Instructor

Explorer and filmmaker Nancy McGee has lived a life of adventure and diversity. Known as Ms. Exosuit, AKA the Pachyderm Princess, she is the first female Exosuit pilot as well as a magazine centerfold (next to a 3000 lb. swimming elephant). The Explorers Club recognized her with a Fellowship for contributions to scientific knowledge in the field of geographical exploration, which include filming in locations so remote that local natives have never before seen Western people. Nancy produces, edits and films her own documentaries with a unique historical spin on culture and the marine ecosystem. Her credits include NBC, Universal Studios and Discovery. She also preserved several of Stan Waterman’s vintage films documenting the early days of scuba diving. She is a frequent contributor to dive journals and is a featured speaker and emcee for national and international shows and film festivals. Nancy is a member of the Ocean Artists Society, Platinum Pro 5000, and the Women Divers Hall of Fame. Nancy has achieved these many goals while at the same time working full time in public education, personally touching the lives of thousands of children.

Paul Ehorn

Shipwreck Hunter, photographer

Paul started diving in 1960. Shipwreck researcher, hunter, underwater photographer and explorer. Located and been involved in locating 13 wrecks. Involved in raising WWII airplanes from Lake Michigan with A & T Recovery. Graduated University of Whitewater Wisconsin, where he majored in math and physics. Retired code enforcement officer with the City of Elgin, Illinois

Paul Cater Deaton

Writer, Producer, Director and Cinematographer.

Paul Cater Deaton is an award-winning Writer, Producer, Director and Cinematographer. He is based in the Virgin Islands, and has filmed on six continents over a career spanning four decades. As an underwater filmmaker, he has spent more time underwater than most people spend in high school. He was recently certified in Shark Biology, Biodiversity and Conservation through Cornell University and the University of Queensland, Australia. Deaton was one of the original three filmmakers attached to Ocean in Google Earth to produce mini-documentaries. Recent credits include Director of Photography for HBO Documentaries, Principal Underwater Cinematographer for The Amazing Race, and Field Producer, Director of Photography and Underwater Cinematographer for The Discovery Channel. In 2015, he helped make history by filming from a helicopter for a record-smashing speedboat run from Key West to Havana, Cuba. His “Showdown at Tiger Beach” was an official selection at 10 international film festivals, and won Best Documentary Short at two of them. Paul engages in productions ranging from commercials, music videos and documentaries to TV programs and full-length motion pictures. His work has appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, BBC, MTV, CMT, HBO, VH1, ESPN, Fox, Showtime, HBO Documentaries, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Nickelodeon, TV2 Caribbean, Austin Music Network, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Tri-Star, Veronica Broadcasting (The Netherlands), ARD German Television, Planete TV (Poland), Beatty Satellite (Saudi Arabia), Proxima (Bulgaria), Caribbean Broadcasting Union (Barbados), the Travel Channel, DirecTV, Comedy Central, E! Entertainment TV, Bravo, Ocean in Google Earth, The New York Times, and the United Nations. PCD is highly sought-after as a guest speaker and Master of Ceremonies at events all over the world. He has presented hundreds of seminars and workshops on underwater filmmaking, foreign expeditions, and other topics of high adventure. In 2017, he will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the prestigious Our World Underwater Film Festival, in Chicago, for an unprecedented fifth consecutive year. Paul is a National Fellow in The Explorers Club, and a member of the Television Academy, Boston Sea Rovers, Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago, Historical Diving Society, and the Rotary Club of St. Thomas East. He was honored by Rotary International with a Paul Harris Fellowship in 2004.

Peter Hunt

Author, Explorer

Peter Hunt, a diver since 1978, participated in four Andrea Doria expeditions before leaving New York to fly for the Navy in 1985. During 10 years of active duty, Hunt accumulated 450 carrier arrested landings and made three deployments, including 45 combat missions during Operation Desert Storm. Trimix and Technical diving certified, he is the author of Angles of Attack, Setting the Hook, and most recently The Lost Intruder. Hunt still dives despite Parkinson’s disease.

Peter Venoutsous

Commercial Diver, Founder of American Scuba Adventures

Peter Venoutsos has been a certified diver since 1976 and a commercial diver since 1983. His experience includes working with private underwater engineering firms, the Federal Government and the US Navy. He is an active member of the Connecticut Underwater Archeology Committee and his interests include underwater photography, shipwrecks & cave diving. He is the founder of American Scuba Adventures a underwater video companywith the goal of promoting diving in the United States and around the world.

Richard Bennett

Author, Explorer

Recipient: PADI Diving Excellence Award in 1989. * Recipient: SSI Platinum Pro 5000 Award from Scuba Schools International 1994. * Recipient: PADI 50th year of his leadership in diver training and aquatic exploration 2016. * Recipient: ‘Our World Underwater’ Middle Coast Award for his contributions to Midwest diving 2017. * Original Advisory Instructor Board member of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. * Owner/operator of Bennett Academy of Ski and Scuba Inc. 1973-1999 * Coordinated with Jacques Cousteau’s promotional tour to Milwaukee for “Involvement Day” * Member of the Advisory Board for the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee Great Lakes Sea Grant program. * Founding member of the Cousteau Society. * Founding member of the Underwater Explorers Society 1966. * One of the Top 12 MDA fund raisers in Wisconsin for three consecutive years. In coordination with PADI and MDA raised $250,000. * Sponsored & organized the first state-wide Certified Dive/Rescue program for police and fire-fighting personal 1978. * Founder and Promoter of the Wisconsin Marine Awareness Day 1978- 79-80. * Awarded a Certificate of Excellence in 1980 by the Artists of Chicago and the Art Directors Club for underwater photography work. Author three books: ‘Deep Quest-The Entry’, ‘The Sunken Treasure of Poverty Island Brief’, ‘Island of Bones’ (spring 2018)

Richard Woulfe

World Traveler, Marketing Expert, SCUBA Instructor

Richard has over 32 years of dive travel experience. He was certified as an Open Water Scuba Instructor when he was 20 and has logged more than 5000 dives in over 50 destinations around the world. These destinations include the Maldives, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, Cocos Island, Galapagos, Indonesia, Philippines, Sipadan/Mabul, Palau, Japan, Colombia, Cozumel, Bonaire, and Belize.Richard is an expert on marketing and selling adventure trips to remote dive and snorkel locations. He travels an average of 150 days a year. In 2012, he started full time travel around the World and has dived extensively in Maldives, Thailand, Indonesia, Oman and Cuba Rich is an avid water sports fan and fitness/wellness enthusiast. He lives on the road and spends time in Thailand, Texas, California and Chicago. Contact him at richtravelsadvice@gmail.com

Rudy Whitworth

President, Seahorse Productions and Photographer

Rudy Whitworth has been an active scuba diver since 1978 and has been an avid UW photographer since 1983. He has been a winner in many world wide UW photo contests. As President of Seahorse Productions, LLC, Rudy has been an entertaining speaker at Our World Underwater, Beneath The Sea, SCUBAFEST and at the Great Lakes Shipwreck festival as well as many presentations to scuba clubs, marine organizations and schools. He has taught UW photography classes and his images have been printed in SKIN DIVER, Dive Travel and Dive Chronicles magazines as well as being showcased in 4 of Coral Reef Alliance calendars. He has done extensive Great Lakes diving and has honed his photographic skills in many exotic locations. His images are included in “Fishes of the Caribbean” fish ID CD/DVD marketed by ReefNet. Recently, his image was showcased in a scientific paper on Toadfish and also in Dec/09, a coral reef restoration slide show created by Rudy was shown at the Conference for Global Warming in Denmark.

Samantha Whitcraft

Director of Conservation & Outreach, Aggressor Fleet

Samantha Whitcraft – Director, Conservation & Outreach, Aggressor Fleet PADI Dive Master NAUI, Scuba Instructor Platinum Pro 5000 Diver Over the past 20 years, as a marine conservation biologist, Samantha has worked from the field, lab, and office to protect the oceans’ ecosystems. Researching biodiversity, sustainable fisheries, and the illegal wildlife trade has taken her to the Amazon with National Geographic, to the Mesoamerican reef with NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program, and to some of the most remote islands of the Pacific to promote sustainable eco-tourism emphasizing ocean advocacy and adventure. She is a published nature writer, photographer, and educator. Samantha holds a Bachelor’s in Natural Sciences from Harvard University and earned her Masters of Marine Affairs and Policy at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. She served as Adjunct Faculty in Natural Sciences at Miami-Dade College and lives on her family’s certified, sustainable tree farm in rural Florida.

Stephanie Gandulla

Maritime Archeologist, NOAA’s Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Stephanie is a maritime archeologist with NOAA’s Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the only freshwater marine sanctuary in the United States. Growing up in southwestern Montana, Stephanie has always loved the outdoors, whether underwater or in the mountains. Prior to her training as a maritime archaeologist, she worked as a freelance writer and photographer, a newspaper columnist, and as a member of the exhibits team at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana. She has been a member of archaeological expeditions and research in the Great Lakes, Sweden, Jamaica, American Samoa, and throughout the southeastern United States. These projects have ranged from seventeenth-century European shipboard life to Civil War shipbuilding and armament. Stephanie currently resides in Alpena, Michigan…otherwise known as Shipwreck Alley.

Steve Arnam


Steve Arnam began his water career with a love for the ocean and all aquatic environments. This love turned into a bachelors in marine biology and a masters in science education. In 1983 he became a PADI scuba instructor, which enabled him to teach his passion and by taking dive groups on eco-dive trips wide. After teaching K – 12 science for 25 years. He is back full time to enhancing marine and aquatic awareness through conservation programs. “After all, we are all students of the water planet.”

Tamara Thomsen

Maritime Archaeologist, Wisconsin Historical Society

Tamara Thomsen is a Maritime Archaeologist with Wisconsin Historical Society’s Maritime Preservation and Archaeology program. Her research has resulted in the nomination of forty-nine Great Lakes shipwrecks to the National Register of Historic Places. For her dedicated work, she has received awards from the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society, and in 2014, she was inducted into the Women Diver’s Hall of Fame. Tamara has worked as a photographer, researcher, and research diver on projects including the USS Monitor with NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries, and RMS Titanic with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Tony Gramer

PADI Divemaster, Photographer

Tony Gramer has been diving since 1977 and is a certified PADI Divemaster. He is the president of Silent World Information Masters, Inc. (SWIM). He is presently of the board and Divemaster of Dossins Museum in Detroit, Michigan. His images have taken best in show and first place in photo contests throughout the United States, Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Mexico. His images have been included in Skin Diver magazine, Dive Boat Calendar & Travel magazine, Michigan Living magazine, Great Lakes Diving magazine, Michigan Underwater Preserve pamphlets, advertising catalogs, Nikon Calendar and CD covers.

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