SECONN 2020 Webinar Series
The webinars are free to view and share with your dive friends! If you would like to make a donation and help us cover hosting costs, please visit our online store. To view more about each presenter, visit our Webinar Home Page. We are working hard to get the webinars up to date; please check back for more webinars as they are made available!
*Please note that Dr. Charash’s presentation was not recorded due to technical difficulties.
Follow the Tentacles: Epipelagic Cephalopods and the Animals that Eat Them.
Dr. Jason Krumholz
Artificial Reefs for Diving, Fishing, and Conservation: A Scientific Perspective
Richie Kohler’s diving experiences may have began in the waters surrounding his Brooklyn NY, roots, but for over thirty years his passion for diving and exploring shipwrecks has taken him to all corners of the globe.
He has explored and documented well-known shipwrecks such as the Andera Doria, RMS Titanic, and the HMHS Britannic, but it was the identification of the WWII German submarine, U-869, which catapulted his diving career into the world of television and underwater documentary filmmaking. That six-year effort has been the subject of several television documentaries and a best-selling book, Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson. The New York Times bestseller is soon to be a major motion picture by 20th Century Fox. Alongside diving partner John Chatterton, Kohler co-hosted 57 episodes of the History Channel series, Deep Sea Detectives, multiple documentary specials and continues to work on underwater projects for the film and television industry.
Currently residing with his wife Carrie Kohler in Sutton, MA, Kohler has two children, Richie III and Nikki. Currently, Kohler is conducting technical dive training, lecturing and leading expeditions to explore shipwrecks worldwide.
Does Scuba Diving Have a Retirement Age?
Dan Orr is President of Dan Orr Consulting providing a variety of services to the diving community. Dan retired from the position of President of Divers Alert Network (DAN) and Chairman of the Board of International DAN, where he helped DAN focus on its worldwide diving safety mission. Prior to coming to DAN, he worked and taught recreational diving in a retail store, developed and implemented course curricula in the academic environment, collected data and supervised research efforts in the field of science diving, tested diving equipment for military contractors and worked for or served on the Boards of various not-for-profit organizations during his career.
He has published and co-authored over 200 articles and a dozen books and manuals including: Scuba Diving Safety, Pocket Guide to First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries; Pocket Guide for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries; and the DAN Oxygen First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries Training Manual.
He has also been honored by his peers by being the recipient of many prestigious awards and honors including the NOGI Award in Sports/Education, the Leonard Greenstone Award for Diving Safety, the Our World-Underwater Award, Beneath the Sea’s Diver of the Year, the Wyland Foundation Award for Lifetime Achievement, the DEMA Reaching Out Award and is an inductee into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame.
Presentation 1 Abstract
This presentation is a review of the published diving accident and fatality data identifying risks and discussing ways to reduce accidents through risk mitigation.
Presentation 2 Abstract
This presentation is a review of the published diving accident and fatality data identifying risks and discussing ways to reduce accidents through risk mitigation.
Exploring the Polar Regions: Above and Below the Water
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Faith has spent most of her adult life in the ocean. Starting as a scientific diver and volunteering for public safety diving operations in the 1980’s, Faith became a technical diver and divemaster and has thousands of dives over her 41 year diving career. She worked with DUI to develop some of the first women’s drysuits while still a dive retailer in MA. She created the DUI DEMOTOUR, which promoted local diving while allowing divers to test dive DUI products, and the DIVEOPS program which promotes education about the risks of diving in contaminated water.
She has led expeditions around the world- many to the most remote places on Earth including multiple expeditions to both poles. Recently, she co-founded Blue Green Expeditions and now runs expeditions full time as she continues to share her passion for diving with divers from around the world. A frequent presenter at dive shows and conferences, she is a 2010 inductee into the Women Divers Hall of Fame and a member of the Boston Sea Rovers.
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica. 200 years later, there are still so much waiting to be discovered in our polar regions. During this presentation, we will take you from the polar ice cap in the north to the frozen continent in the south- giving you a small taste of these unique environments and the ecosystems that depend on them.
Lens of Adventure
Jennifer Idol is a designer, author, and underwater photographer recognized as a PADI® Ambassadiver (2017 and 2018) and a member of the Ocean Artists Society. Her photography and articles have been published in periodicals such as DIVER, SCUBA Diving, and Alert Diver. She earned more than 29 certifications. She began a quest to document American waters in her book An American Immersion and became the first woman to dive in all 50 states.
What stories do we tell through our images? Where do they lead us? And what isn’t told through our images? Now, more than ever, our lens is changing. Join Jennifer Idol on a journey of exploration through photography as she shares how one journey leads to the next. From helping people connect to our local waters to helping divers engage personally with wildlife on expeditions, Jennifer will share the raw story of getting the shot and how it relates to the world around us.
Caves and Cave Diving in the Yucatan Peninsula – Past, Present, and Future
Erik Rosenstein has been a diver for over 30 years, and a professional member of several diving agencies since 1997. He is a TDI technical and cave diving instructor with over3500 cave and/or technical/decompression dives and over 9,000 lifetime dives. Erik has a master’s degree in Environmental Science/Toxicology, a master’s in Environmental Law and a PhD in Environmental Toxicology.
This presentation will go over such topics as cave formation and geomorphology, the biological importance of cenotes and their underwater cave ecosystems, the historical importance of cenotes, cave exploration in the Yucatan Peninsula, and some considerations for cave diving (including training and requirements).
Neal W. Pollock, PhD.
Thoughtful Management of Decompression Stress
The Octavian Project
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On July 4th 2018 the RV Explorer crew identified a recently discovered wreck. The Wreck of the D/S Octavian has been positively identified and confirmed through the recovery of the Engine & Boiler builders plaque. This was further confirmed by Jorgan Johannassan of the Maritime Museum on Oslo Norway. The wreck lies 70 miles from Cape May in 227’ of water. The Octavian was owned by Hjalmar Reksten Rederi of Bergen, Norway and was a 250’ Norwegian Freighter carrying Sulfur and Wood Resin.
Octavian left Galveston Texas on January 9, 1942 headed to St. John New Brunswick. The freighter never arrived in St. John and all 17 crewmembers perished without a trace. Due to an error, some history books have the Octavian located off Nova Scotia which is north of New Brunswick but there would be no reason for the ship to be in this location. It’s possible that St. John New Brunswick and St. John Newfoundland were confused and the coincidence of U-203 sinking an unknown vessel in the vicinity credited the 203 with the sinking.
Interestingly there are footnotes in multiple locations including, War Sailors.com, U-Boat War against the Americas and Researcher Edward R. Rumpf, that suggest that U-123 commanded by Hardegen sank the Octavian.
U-123 is also credited with sinking the Cyclops, Norness, Coimbra prior to the Octavian. U 123 then headed to Cape Hatteras to sink 4 more ships and damage a 5th .
The deck logs of the U-123 7th war patrol indicate that Hardegen sunk an unidentified freighter in the location of the now identified Octavian on January 17, 1942. The location given by Hardegen in his deck log is less than 700 yards from the ships current location. The ship sank in a plume of black smoke in less than a minute as Hardegen used his last stern torpedo. The U-123 then departed at maximum speed toward cape Hatteras.
This is exciting news and we hope to bring closure to the families of 16 Norwegian Sailors and 1 Canadian sailor.
Credit to this project and research should go to the RV Explorer team Rustin Cassway, Brian Sullivan, Michael Dudas and Tom Packer. Others who helped in this research effort were Gary Gentile, Hildrun Sommer (our assistant in Oslo and former Evie Dudas Employee) The Maritime Museum in Oslo Norway, Richie Kohler for providing the grid chart and explain how to use it, Bob Cope of Full Ahead Sport Fishing and Bob Duckenfield of Jim’s Bait and Tackle.
Becky Kagan Schott
Stories Behind the Shot
There is always a story behind an image whether it’s a behind the scenes story of an amazing wildlife interaction. Becky specializes in capturing images in extreme environments around the world from underwater caves to ghostly shipwrecks and even under ice in Antarctica! Her passion is bringing shipwrecks back to life through photography and she’ll explain how she captures that feeling in her work and stories that will ignite your imagination.
Becky is a 5 time Emmy award winning underwater cameraman and photographer who’s work appears on major networks including National Geographic, Discovery Channel and Red Bull. She specializes in capturing images in extreme underwater environments including caves, under ice and deep shipwrecks. Her projects have taken her all over the world from the Arctic to Antarctic and many exciting locations in between. She’s filmed new wrecks discoveries to cave exploration and even diving cage-less with great white sharks. She’s earned a reputation for being able to bring back quality imagery from harsh conditions. Her biggest passion is shooting haunting images of deep shipwrecks in the Great Lakes. She combines her artistic style with powerful stories of tragedy, mystery and survival to ignite the viewers imagination. She’s constantly pushing the limits and trying new techniques to capture the beauty of the underwater world. She’s a frequent contributor to several Dive Magazines and her photography has been used in books, museums, and advertising. Becky has been actively diving for 26 years and technical diving for 22 of them. She has been an Instructor for 2 decades and is currently an active TDI Mixed Gas CCR Instructor. She leads expeditions all over the world to capture unique images that inspire others to explore our planet!
Diving in Bermuda
Weldon Wade has been extremely active in the Bermuda diving community for over ten years and is unapologetically dedicated to its growth and continues a unique and exciting journey. Wade is the first and only Bermudian certified freediver, SCUBA diver and closed-circult rebreather diver and founder of an ocean conservation organization called Guardians of the Reef.
The mission of Guardians of the Reef includes getting new divers excited to explore and protect the ocean, keep divers diving and to encourage more young Bermudians to put on a pair of fins, mask and snorkel and see for themselves what the healthiest reef in the region looks like. Ocean protection is at the core of Guardians and hunting invasive lionfish and removing plastic pollution from land and the sea floor are two main goals.
Wade hosts clean-up events and works with Project AWARE, 5 Gyres and Ocean Conservancy to remove trash and plastic pollution from beaches and bays locally and overseas. He also hosts invasive lionfish tournaments. Community engagement is key to Wade and he believes hosting events helps give divers purpose and the chance to use skills to help the environment and have fun. These events also open up countless opportunities to collaborate with businesses and other organizations and present information to students in schools and at various kids’ camps.
Wade presently serves on the Board of Directors of the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, the Bermuda Historic Wrecks Authority, the Bermuda Lionfish Taskforce and the Bermuda Marine Debris Taskforce. He is also a 2020 PADI AmbassaDiver, an ambassador for 5 Gyres, One Ocean, Sea Hive, Pathwater and was a speaker at TEDxBermuda in 2014 sharing his journey on a world stage. If you are ever in Bermuda or planning to visit, be sure to contact him and plan a dive!
Dr. John Littlefield
Underwater Archaeology in Turkey
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The first scientific excavation of an ancient shipwreck took place in the summer in 1960 at Cape Gelidonya, Turkey. For the last six decades, Turkey has been a hotbed of archaeological excavations, with three of the world’s oldest excavated shipwrecks coming from Turkish waters. A plethora of other important wrecks have also been excavated giving vital and novel information about the evolution of ship construction, maritime trade, and seafaring cultures of the Mediterranean region.
This talk highlights some of the work done in Turkish waters, with discussion of diving safety methods incorporated to allow work at depths not easily assessable by recreational divers.
Dr. Littlefield majored in Anthropology and Archaeology at College of Charleston before gaining both a Master’s degree and doctorate from Texas &AM University. He is AAUS trained, a PADI Dive Instructor, a DAN Europe instructor, and the Diving Safety Officer for the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, as well as a member of the Archaeological Diving Control Board of Texas A&M University. He has worked on excavations in the United States, Europe, and Asia for the last decade, and enjoys recreational diving whenever possible.
The Curious World of Seaweed
The Curious World of Seaweed is Josie’s newly released book. Marine algae are the supreme eco-engineers of life: they oxygenate the oceans, create habitat for countless other organisms, and form the base of a food chain that keeps our planet unique in the universe as we know it. In this visually stunning presentation Josie Iselin explores both the artistic and the biological presence of some of the seaweeds and kelps that live in the thin region along our Pacific Coast and beyond. Historical botanical illustrations and Iselin’s signature portraits of each specimen reveal their vibrant colors—whether rosy, “olivaceous,” or grass-green—and whimsical shapes. Iselin posits that we can learn not only about the seaweeds but also from them: their resilience, their resourcefulness, their poetry and magic. Josie will describe her path as an artist into the science of seaweed and share a few seaweed stories, introducing a few women scientists who were crucial in broadening our understanding of the oceans. Projections of Josie’s spectacular imagery of seaweeds—collected from her constant wanderings along our California coastline and beaches—will help explain the science and impart the wonder of this ocean universe.
Josie Iselin is the photographer, author and designer of many books exploring our coastal universe. Her newest book, The Curious World of Seaweed (Heyday Books, August 2019), is an ambitious combination of essays and historical as well as contemporary imagery that explores the algal world just beyond the beach. Josie holds a BA in visual and environmental studies from Harvard and an MFA from San Francisco State University. For over twenty-five years she has used her flatbed scanner and computer for generating imagery. Iselin exhibits large-scale fine art prints at select galleries and museums, advocates for ocean health through education and speaks widely on the confluence of art and science.
The Explorer’s Mindset
Jill Heinerth is a Canadian cave diver, underwater explorer, writer, photographer, and filmmaker. More people have walked on the moon than have been to some of the places Jill Heinerth has explored right here on Earth. She has made TV series for the CBC, the National Geographic Channel, and the BBC, consulted on movies for directors including James Cameron, and produced documentary films. Jill’s accolades include receiving Canada’s prestigious Polar Medal and the diving world’s highest award from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences. She is the inaugural Explorer-in-Residence for The Royal Canadian Geographic Society, and will be inducted into the International Scuba Divers Hall of Fame in 2020.
Jill’s book INTO THE PLANET – My Life as a Cave Diver has drawn wide acclaim from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, NPR, and Oprah Magazine. The adventure memoir describes Heinerth’s personal journey into the extreme world of underwater cave exploration, where she has had to acknowledge and overcome her fears, and the prejudices of the male-dominated sport, in order to go where no one has gone before.
Exploration and Ecology of Twilight Zone Fishes
Fifteen minutes. That’s all the time they have to collect their data at 500 feet. Dressed like “aquanauts,” they’re the first divers to ever visit these deep coral reefs. After documenting the habitat, conducting fish surveys, and collecting potential new species, they begin their ascent. It will take six hours of decompression before being able to surface. Diving to these depths took years of preparation for Ichthyology Graduate Student, Tyler Phelps. Each dive takes hours of preparation and extensive safety precautions to mitigate the risks in conducting their research. Take a “dive” with Tyler as he shares what it’s like to explore the Twilight Zone, and the latest discoveries their team has found from these remarkable communities.
When his parents took him for stroller walks along the Long Beach peninsula (in California), they had no idea someday he would be diving deep below the surface. Inspired by family trips to the aquarium and his elementary school teachers, he has dreamed of becoming a marine biologist since he was eight years old.
In high school, Tyler captained the Marine Decathlon team and volunteered at the Aquarium of the Pacific. After attending Soka University of America (Aliso Viejo, CA) for two years for Environmental Studies and a swimming scholarship, he transferred to the University of Hawaii at Hilo to earn his Bachelor of Science in Marine Science.
During Tyler’s college career, he has balanced his love for diving and love of science. This harmony inspired the formation of his training company, Balanced Divers, to offer private instruction as a NAUI Course Director, Technical Diving/Rebreather Instructor, and has won several awards serving on NAUI’s Training Committee. As an undergrad, he learned about the research his idols were conducting at the California Academy of Sciences and the new species they were finding in this “twilight zone” of coral reefs. Tyler realized this would be a perfect avenue for his research and spent the next six years advancing towards that goal.
Today, Tyler is earning his Master of Science from San Francisco State University while serving as their Assistant Diving Safety Officer. He is a Graduate Student in the Ichthyology Department at Cal Academy and serves as one of their On-Call Dive Officers. Tyler researches how fish assemblages change across depth gradients, mechanisms that drive community structure of fish communities, and understanding the role deep reef ecosystems could play in the conservation of threatened shallow coral reefs.