News & Announcements

Home Page /images/AAUS/Headers/News_Articles.jpg

2021 AAUS OM Renewals

In 2021 our OM renewal process will consist of 3 processes: dues payment, Code of Ethics agreement and statistics submission. OMs will not be considered in compliance until all 3 steps have been completed.

OM Dues – OM DSOs and Company Admins can print an invoice and pay via credit card on the website. Instructions attached. Alternatively, OMs can print an invoice online and mail in a check to the address listed below. Note: You will not have full access to your OM profile until your dues are paid. PO Box 9067 Mobile, AL 36691-9067

Code of Ethics Agreement – In 2019 the AAUS BOD rolled out a Code of Ethics (COE) for AAUS DSOs. In 2021 AAUS is requiring that all DSOs agree to the COE. You can access the agreement portal and a link to the COE on the home page (top center) of the OM profile. Simply click the pencil tool and check the box agreeing to the COE.

Statistics Submission - Instructions on submitting statistics are attached and can also be found on the website under Members/ Resource Library/ Website Instructionals. It is strongly recommended that you fill in the blank template by hand and manually check your totals before attempting to submit your stats. Inputs are error checked and you may get a message that your totals do not agree if you do not put a value in EVERY box (zero where appropriate). Please do not include any dives that do not meet AAUS standards, e.g., recreational dives accepted by the DCB as proficiency dives. The blank template and the AAUS statistics collection criteria and definitions may be found on the Members menu/ Statistics/ Submission Info after login or in the DSO Community in the Statistics folder (see Communities instructions for access). Both accesses require member login. Please feel free to contact the Statistics Chair ( with any questions concerning statistics or incident reporting. Statistics summaries are considered late on (and after) 01 April.

Home Page /images/AAUS/Headers/News_Articles.jpg

2021 AAUS Diving for Science Symposium

Given the uncertainty surrounding potential travel and logistics due to COVID-19, the Board has voted to shorten our annual science symposium to a one-day, Virtual Business and DSO Meeting on Thursday, February 25th. The cost of this meeting is $75. Please register at, News and Events, Event list. Members must be logged in to register. Any proposed agenda items should be sent to by January 30th.

Home Page /images/AAUS/Headers/News_Articles.jpg

Spring 2021 AAUS DSO Orientation

Given the uncertainty surrounding potential travel and logistics due to COVID-19, AAUS is offering the Spring DSO Orientation virtually Wednesday, February 24th. This program is designed to provide an orientation for new Diving Safety Officers and for existing DSOs who would like more information and an update on particulars of running a Diving Safety Program at their respective institutions or organizations. This program is required for DSOs at new AAUS Organizational Members and DSOs participating in the AAUS Certification Program. The program is also open to non-AAUS organizations/DSOs who would like more information about AAUS. The cost for this one-day workshop is $100. Please register at, News and Events, Event list. Members will need to log in. Once participants register, more information will be sent about the virtual platform closer to the date of the meeting.


AAUS Foundation Scholarship Awards 2020

The AAUS Foundation offers competitive research scholarships to both doctoral-level students and master’s-level students who utilize scientific diving as a principal research tool or study scientific diving.

First place awards for both program levels are $3000; second place awards are $1500. A total of 45 proposals were reviewed. Proposals included research in ecosystems from kelp forests to coral reefs and spanned disciplines from genetics to archaeological resource management. Special thanks to the 15 reviewers, and best wishes to all who participated. If you know of a student who could benefit from an AAUS graduate scholarship, direct them to the Foundation website for more details. Next year's round of proposals will be due on June 30, 2021.

Doctoral-level Awards

1st place Kira Turnham, Penn State University

Examining thermal tolerance in Palauan coral reefs

2nd place Bobbi Renfro, Florida State University

The effects of anthropogenic nutrient enrichment on coral reef sponges

Honorable Mention

Ethan Cissell, Florida State University


Master-level Awards

1st place William Nassif, East Carolina University

Documenting World War II-era submerged archaeological sites in the lagoon at Kwajalein Atoll (Republic of the Marshall Islands)

2nd place Nika Blank, Florida State University

Investigating latitudinal changes in hardbottom communities of the West Florida Shelf

Honorable Mention

Bryant Grady, Arizona State University


Find out more about the AAUS Foundation Scholars at

Home Page /images/AAUS/Headers/News_Articles.jpg

WDHOF Scholarships and Training Grants

The Women Divers Hall of Fame ™ (WDHOF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring and raising awareness of the contributions of outstanding women divers. WDHOF provides educational, mentorship, financial, and career opportunities to the diving community throughout the world. Each year, WDHOF awards scholarships and training grants that provide financial and educational support to individuals of all ages, particularly those who are preparing for professional careers that involve diving. Applications close on October 31, 2020 at midnight EDT. More information at

Home Page /images/AAUS/Headers/News_Articles.jpg

Spring 2021 REEF Marine Conservation Interns

Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) in Key Largo, FL is now accepting applications for Spring 2021 Marine Conservation Interns. REEF’s Marine Conservation Internship provides an in-depth look into REEF's Volunteer Fish Survey Project and Invasive Lionfish Program. The internship provides diverse experiences including non-profit operations, outreach and education, field experience, data collection and management, public speaking, event planning and advertising. During the four-month internship, you will have many opportunities to dive and volunteer with partner organizations in the Florida Keys and South Florida. Application deadline is November 01. More info at

Home Page /images/AAUS/Headers/News_Articles.jpg

John Pearse (1936-2020)

John Pearse, professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz, died on Friday, July 31, at his home in Pacific Grove, California.

A leading authority on marine invertebrates and intertidal ecology, Pearse was a beloved teacher and mentor to generations of marine biologists. He pioneered long-term studies of kelp forests and intertidal ecosystems on California’s Central Coast, was instrumental in establishing the marine science program at UC Santa Cruz, wrote and edited major textbooks and reference books in his field, and led several scientific organizations.

His most enduring legacy, however, is likely to be the many students he inspired, mentored, and helped launch on successful careers in science.

“John’s ability to draw in students, to convey the pure excitement of basic research, was unparalleled,” said James McClintock, who worked with Pearse as a UCSC undergraduate and later as a postdoctoral fellow, and is now an endowed professor of polar and marine biology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

Born in Boise, Idaho, Pearse attended high school in Tucson, Arizona, obtained his B.S. in zoology at the University of Chicago, and earned a Ph.D. in biology at Stanford University. He taught at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and studied invertebrates in the Red Sea, but had to leave abruptly when the 1967 Six-Day War erupted. After four years as a researcher at the California Institute of Technology, he joined the biology faculty at UC Santa Cruz in 1971.

After his retirement in 1994, Pearse continued to teach and conduct research as a professor emeritus. In 2000, he founded an educational program for high school students, initially run by UCSC’s Seymour Marine Discovery Center, to teach students about the intertidal zone and continue the monitoring of coastal ecosystems he had begun in the 1970s. Eventually, the program grew to become a statewide citizen science program, the Long-Term Monitoring Program and Experimental Training for Students (LiMPETS), monitoring the coastal ecosystems of California’s national marine sanctuaries.

Although Pearse’s research focused mostly on the California coast, his studies ranged from Antarctica to Japan. He was among the first biologists to work at McMurdo Station, overwintering in the Antarctic in 1961 and studying reproduction in an Antarctic sea star. Pearse Valley, an ice-free valley near McMurdo Sound, was named in recognition of his early contributions to Antarctic science.

Pearse is survived by his, wife Vicki, son Devon, daughter-in-law Louise, granddaughter Fiona, and brother Spencer. Donations in his memory may be made to support students in the marine sciences through UCSC’s Institute of Marine Sciences and Long Marine Laboratory, the Western Society of Naturalists, California Academy of Sciences, or Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology.

Editor’s note: John was the recipient of the 2017 AAUS Scientific Diving Lifetime Achievement Award.

Full article available at:

Home Page /images/AAUS/Headers/News_Articles.jpg

2020 Conrad Limbaugh Award for Scientific Diving Leadership

The 2020 AAUS Conrad Limbaugh Award for Scientific Diving Leadership goes to Lloyd Austin. Lloyd was a pioneer in the world of diving who helped develop the field of underwater scientific research. He served as U.C. Berkeley’s Diving Safety Officer and Chair of the Division of Diving Control from 1967 through 1996 and helped usher in the modern era of underwater scientific research diving. At Berkeley, he trained 760 scientists and students to conduct underwater research safely. His students logged over 130,000 dives around the world.

In the early 1980’s Austin (along with peer DSO’s) helped protect scientific diving at universities from what would have become the crushing weight of proposed OSHA supervision. He was instrumental in defeating proposed legislation that would have classified research diving at universities as commercial diving – which was and is subject to costly and stringent OSHA supervision and monitoring. The legislation would have made it impossible to conduct research on budgets typical of most university research programs. In Washington D.C., Austin and fellow dive officers argued successfully that diving safety officers at universities could manage safety programs through the AAUS without OSHA supervision.

Austin designed and built U.C. Berkeley’s challenging research dive training program, the protocols and infrastructure for diving safety and training – which maintained an impeccable safety record. In over 130,000 dives by 760 UC divers, there were no deaths or known cases of decompression sickness. There was one broken leg and three ruptured eardrums – all of which healed quickly. Austin mentored countless marine biologists, assisted in designing safe research techniques, and guided marine scientists in their personal and professional development. Graduates of Austin’s coursework now lead multiple university, marine lab and national scientific programs. Austin gave scientific divers at Berkeley the capability and confidence needed to dive safely, lead Marine labs, and become diving safety officers themselves. Students became program managers, conducted research in places as far ranging as Europe, the Middle East and Antarctica, and uncovered 2000-year-old artifacts on underwater archeological sites in the Mediterranean. Some trainees became experts on California hydrocorals, reef ecosystems, and encrusting corals. Some work at NOAA and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. From biological research to sustainability to tracking sharks in the Pacific, Austin’s students contribute to scientific discovery around the world today.

Austin first entered and fell in love with the ocean as a 3-year-old in 1934. As a teenager in 1947, he draped an oxygen tank over his neck and walked into the ocean using the WWII surplus aviator’s tank and regulator to breathe underwater. Austinpassed away in 2018 at the age of 87. Along the way, he logged over 7,000 dives.

Austin’s enduring impact on diving safety and research began after he successfully pushed for U.C. Berkeley to train research divers. He lobbied for this after helping rescue many ill-trained and ill-equipped divers visiting Bodega Marine Lab in the 60s. Austin’s imprint on diving, marine sciences and on the AAUS will be felt for years to come as his disciples teach new generations of researchers to dive safely while conducting scientific research around the world.

Thank you to Steve Peletz for his contributions to this article.

Home Page /images/AAUS/Headers/News_Articles.jpg

2020 BOD Election Results

The 2020 AAUS Board of Directors (BOD) election results are tallied and the Board congratulates the new President-elect, Jim Hayward and Director-at-Large, Steve Sellers. Jim and Steve will begin their elected terms on January 01, 2021. On behalf of the Academy, we thank all the candidates for participating in the election; all are highly qualified individuals committed to the success of the AAUS. Finally, a reminder to membership--if you are interested in serving, many committees would welcome your help; contact BOD members for information.

Home Page /images/AAUS/Headers/News_Articles.jpg

Dr. Glen H. Egstrom’s Virtual Online Memorial

Sunday, July 12, 2020 the family of Dr. Glen H. Egstrom's held a beautiful online memorial to celebrate his life and contributions. If you were unable to participate, you can still celebrate his life by watching his movie tribute called, “A Life Well Lived” by Emmy award winning filmmaker Adam Ravetch.

Home Page /images/AAUS/Headers/News_Articles.jpg

Zale Perry Scholarship

The Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences offers the Zale Perry Scholarship for college students who are seeking to advance their knowledge or enter a professional career in the fields of underwater research, equipment technology or hyperbaric research. Candidates must be currently enrolled in a graduate program. The application and more information can be found at Applications close August 31.

Home Page /images/AAUS/Headers/News_Articles.jpg

2020 Conrad Limbaugh Award for Scientific Diving Leadership Elections

The AAUS Conrad Limbaugh Memorial Award is presented biannually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to diving safety and diving leadership on behalf of the scientific diving community. The 2020 nominees are Lloyd Austin, Greg McFall and Neal Pollock. Biographies can be found here .

Voting for this year's award will be open from July 01-30, 2020.

Full members can cast your vote for this year's nominees by following the instructions below.

Instructions for Online Voting:
1. Login at Your username is the email address on file with AAUS. Password can be reset with "forgot password" if needed.
2. Go to Members Tab then Members Profile
3. Click on blue Vote Now button below member info block on the left-hand side of the page.
4. Carefully follow onscreen instructions to submit vote.

Home Page /images/AAUS/Headers/News_Articles.jpg

COVID-19 Resources

AAUS is gathering online resources from trusted partners to share with our community concerning COVID-19. Links contain current information and recommendations from professional diving and medical organizations about issues like returning to diving after COVID-19 exposure, disinfecting equipment, animal care operations and more. We will continue to monitor, evaluate, and add pertinent new information and will keep the lines of communication open with the entire diving community. Resource links can be found at

Additionally, AAUS members can access a folder of COVID-19 SOPs, plans, cleaning protocols and more material collected from AAUS OMs and other sources in the Resource Library (under the members tab after login). If your AAUS organization would like to add to these resources, please send documents and/or links to

The AAUS Board of Directors and the Office are here to help; please do not hesitate to contact us directly if you need other assistance or support.

Home Page /images/AAUS/Headers/News_Articles.jpg

2020 AAUS Board of Directors Elections

The 2020 AAUS election is now open and closes June 30. The election is open to Full Voting Members (individual and OM Reps) in good standing. Below you will find the slate of candidates. Their bios and election questions are at and attached. All voting is to take place on the website. Please follow the directions below; be an active part of your Academy and VOTE!

To write in a candidate, email name of the write-in candidate to two of the election committee members:
• Marc Slattery, Chair (
• Mike Anghera (
• Narineh Nazarian (
• Robbie Christian (
• Robert Reavis (

Presidential Candidates:
Jim Hayward, University of California Diving and Boating Consortium
Elizabeth Kintzing, University of New Hampshire
Chris Ledford, Texas A&M Galveston
Doug Schleiger, Smithsonian Institute

Presidential Candidate Bios Found Here

Director-at-Large Candidates:
Joseph Grinnan, SEARCH
Jason Herum, University of California Davis
Andrew Morgan, California State University Monterey Bay
Steve Sellers, National Park Service

DAL Candidate Bios Found Here

Instructions for Online Voting:
1. Login at Your username is the email address on file with AAUS. Password can be reset with "forgot password" if needed.
2. Go to Members Tab then Members Profile
3. Blue Vote Now button below member info block on the left hand side of the page. (You may be required to sign in again)
4. Follow onscreen instructions to submit vote.

Home Page /images/AAUS/Headers/News_Articles.jpg

AAUS Student Scholarships 2020

The AAUS Foundation awards scholarships to graduate students engaged in, or planning to begin, research projects in which diving is used as an important research tool or studying diving science. The Foundation awards $3000 to each winning proposal from the Master’s and Doctoral level submissions. Additionally, the AAUS may award $1500 scholarships to the second ranked proposals in each category. Completed applications are due June 30. More information and the online application, can be found at now or send questions to the Scholarship Committee Chair at

Home Page /images/AAUS/Headers/News_Articles.jpg

2021 AAUS Diving for Science Symposium

The 2021 AAUS Diving for Science symposium will be hosted by Texas A&M Galveston and Moody Gardens February 22-27, 2021 in Galveston, Texas. By hosting the first AAUS Symposium held on the western shores of the Gulf of Mexico, attendees will share in the rich history and unique resources endemic to this region. Workshops will benefit from local partners such as the NASA Neutral Buoyancy Lab, US Coast Guard, NOAA and more. Watch your E-Slate for an upcoming call for abstracts and more details about this exciting spring meeting.

Home Page /images/AAUS/Headers/News_Articles.jpg

USC Catalina Chamber Day 2020

Since 1989 Chamber Day has become not only the key fund-raising event for the USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber, but is also (as best we can tell) the largest single-day scuba charity event in the United States, and perhaps even the world. This year’s Chamber Day is May 06, but because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Chamber Day 2020 is a 100% virtual experience.

Here’s what’s happening and what you can do to help:
SIGN UP FOR THE FLYING DUTCHMAN –The Dutchman is a mythical boat, that’s normally for those who can’t take a day off to go dive. This year, for a donation of $95, Dutchman divers will get five raffle tickets plus a special limited-edition T-shirt available only to folks who sign up for the Dutchman. You also get to choose your “pirate” name which will be part of a skull mosaic on the front of the shirt.

DONATE TO THE CHAMBER CHALLENGE – Donate directly with all proceeds going directly to the Chamber. You can donate $100, $500 or more, and then you challenge your friends to match your generosity.

THE TABLE CHALLENGE – Join us for a virtual dinner event. “Seats” are $120 each and instead of dinner, you’ll get a Chamber Eve short-sleeved t-shirt, raffle tickets, a shot at the Grand Prize (a week of diving in Yap) and some other fun prizes. Sign up for a seat at a table and be sure to designate AAUS as the sponsor.

This event is critical to keeping the Chamber open and available 24/7/365 and we need YOUR help. Many AAUS organizations and individuals dive SoCal waters and, in the event of a diving accident, the Chamber can make the difference between life and death. Even for those that don’t dive in SoCal, the USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber, under the watchful eye of Director Karl Huggins, is involved in research that is shared with facilities around the world. To participate or for more information, visit the website or call Chamber Day HQ at 310-652-4990.

Home Page /images/AAUS/Headers/News_Articles.jpg

Steve Mercer

Steve died Monday 02 March 2020, after a very short battle with acute leukemia. He will be missed so much. He was a most loved husband and best friend of Liz Jones, wonderful dad of Dylan and Siân and their spouses Nicole Mercer and Matt Larcombe, and fun Grandad of tots Lily and Darcy and brand new granddaughter Lucy who he saw and held. Also best brother to twin Kerrie and husband Oriel Martin. He touched so many lives in his work in scientific diving and Antarctic research under the ice and in his many interests, more recently Wellington 4WD club, amateur radio and assisting in Land Search and Rescue. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Mary Potter Hospice, PO Box 7442, Newtown, Wellington 6242, or via their website support a much needed hospice for the Kapiti Coast. Reprint from

Home Page /images/AAUS/Headers/News_Articles.jpg

Ecology and Conservation of Kelp Forest Communities Summer Course

Hopkins Marine Station, Pacific Grove, CA wil be offering a summer Kelp Forest Ecology class on Jun 22 through July 24, 2020. The course is aimed at upper division undergraduates / beginning graduate students interested in benthic ecology and kelp forests. Advanced SCUBA certification, 12 cold-water dives, and all personal diving gear is required. Summer tuition will be covered; class size is limited. Application deadline is April 15, 2020. Apply at

Home Page /images/AAUS/Headers/News_Articles.jpg

Bruce Wienke

Dr Bruce Wienke, a true pioneer in his field of dive specific algorithm design, passed away Saturday, February 15, 2020 leaving behind a great legacy. A keen diver, and downhill skier, Dr Wienke’s interest in diving was reflected in his achievements, and great success as seen in his accolades. His astonishing CV included Instructor Trainer and Technical Instructor with NAUI, a Master Instructor with PADI, Institute Director for YMCA, and an Instructor Trainer/Technical Instructor for SDI/TDI.

Dr Wienke joined Suunto in the late 90s, where he hit the ground running and didn’t stop. Employing his great expertise in the diving specific algorithm field, he joined Ari Nikkola in the development of the revolutionary Reduced Gradient Bubble Model (RGBM). Prior to joining the Suunto family, Dr Wienke was a Program Manager in the Nuclear Weapons Technology Simulation and Computing Office at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) where he completed research up until his death. As head of the LANL Nuclear Counter Measures Dive Team involving Special Warfare Units both above and below the water, he trained alongside the special forces well into his 70s.

Alongside his high achieving work life, he served actively as a consultant for decompression algorithms within the dive industry and he worked with Divers Alert Network, DAN, on applications of high performance computing and communications for diving.

Dr Bruce Wienke was a widely regarded and respected figure of the dive industry, and he will be by missed all his Suunto family. He is survived by his wife, Annie.

Excerpt from