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JOIN US VIA ZOOM FOR SOME INTERESTING CONVERSATIONS . . .
When we had a physical store location, we'd occasionally try to get a Reef Seeker Dive Cub going. But it always seemed hit or miss.
Lots of work for little return. But Zoom has changed all of that. (Perhaps this is the one good thing to come out of the pandemic.)
What we do now is host a monthly "Zoom Seekers" meeting with notable speakers from around the country. Each meeting starts
at 7:30PM Pacific time on the second Tuesday of the month and goes for about an hour with a Q&A session at the end.

Each speaker has their own unique Zoom link which will be posted on the home page of this website a day or two before each talk.

Scroll down to see who we've got scheduled and what they'll talk about. Hope you can join us.

IF YOU MISSED A PREVIOUS TALK, CLICK HERE
TO ACCESS OUR ARCHIVES AND WATCH WHAT YOU MISSED

  FEBRUARY 8 • DR. DOUG EBERSOLE • "DIVING & COVID UPDATE"                                                 

Douglas Ebersole, MD, is an interventional cardiologist at the Watson Clinic LLP in Lakeland, Florida and is the Director of the Structural Heart Program at Lakeland Regional Health, an 850-bed tertiary referral hospital in Lakeland.  He has been diving since 1974 and is an avid recreational diver, technical diver, rebreather diver, and cave diver.  He is also a recreational, technical, rebreather, and cave diving instructor for several training agencies, and is a cardiology consultant to Divers Alert Network. In other words, Doug's experience and interest touch all aspects of the diving community. He's also a COVID survivor so brings both a medical and personal perspective to this topic.

 

DIVING & COVID UPDATE 

In 2021, Doug gave us some advice about COVID and diving. But in the ensuing year, we've learned more about this disease. Doug will not only give some practical advice, but also let us know what we know now that we didn't know a year ago, and what the diving angle to all of this is. He'll provide an overview of the disease, as well as discussing what has worked and what hasn't worked in terms of how the diving industry has dealt with this pandemic. Finally, Doug will provide an updated framework for divers who have contracted the virus to safely return to diving.

  MARCH 8 • MIKE LEVER • "SECRETS OF GRAY WHALES"                                                               

Mike Lever is the founder and owner of Nautilus Liveaboards and they also now own the old Baja Expeditions. Although based in Vancouver, Canada, Nautilus runs trips all over Baja with their five liveaboards and other day boats. Most notably they go to Guadalupe and Socorro, but they've also upgraded their operations at San Ignacio Lagoon and the up-close-and-personal Gray Whale encounters there have really gotten Mike excited.

SECRETS OF GRAY WHALES
Baja is the only place in the world where Gray Whales swim up to pangas to be stroked, petted, kissed, and even hugged. Mama whales even push their calves against the side of the boats to interact with the humans. Because of all of this and his frequent trips to San Ignacio Lagoon, Mike became aware of part of the marine environment that had not been on his radar previously. He'
s not only become fascinated with Gray Whales, but has also learned some of their secrets. And he'll share those with you in this lively talk.

  APRIL 12 • SEAN ECKLEY • "DIVING AT THE CALIFORNIA SCIENCE CENTER"                     

Sean Eckley is an Assistant Dive Safety Officer in the Living Collection Department at the California Science Center. He's got a passion for marine ecology and our oceans. During his undergraduate career at UC Santa Cruz, Sean got certified and worked his way up to Divemaster through the university's scuba club, as well as received training to become an AAUS (American Academy of Underwater Scientists) Scientific Diver for UCSC. He has had many exciting opportunities to work on an array of projects, from annual monitoring programs, to working on California Moray Eel study on Catalina Island. After graduating, Sean completed his NAUI Scuba Instructor course while living and working in Monterey, CA.  Now, as an Assistant Dive Safety Officer at CSC, Sean enjoys being able to share his passion for the ocean and skills as an instructor to keep divers safe and expand the CA Science Center Volunteer Diver Program to enrich the lives of local divers and the greater LA community.

 

DIVING AT THE CALIFORNIA SCIENCE CENTER
The CA Science Center has both aquatic and terrestrial animals as a part of their Ecosystems Exhibits, specifically their 188,000 gallon Kelp Forest Exhibit featuring over 45 different species of fish, as well as live kelp growth. In order for them to maintain the exhibits and promote conservation and knowledge about our oceans, they have a dedicated team of volunteer divers who come in throughout the week to clean, feed, and give daily dive show presentations. CSC would like to get more interested volunteer divers to join the program and this talk will tell you about the work they do as well as how you can apply to join their program.

  MAY 10 • MARK GIBELLO, XS SCUBA • "DIVING FROM A MANUFACTURER'S POV"                     

XS Scuba is a privately-held company, located in Santa Ana, CA. XS started in 2002 and their first product was a patented weight belt. XS quickly grew to become a full-line supplier of diving and snorkeling products. They are the largest supplier of scuba cylinders and Thermo valves in the world. Through the Sea Pearls brand, they manufacture and supply lead weights to most U.S. dive stores. Using strategic acquisitions of other diving companies, they have been able to expand their product offering to include regulators, buoyancy compensators and instrumentation that are recognized for performance and reliability. They continually bring innovation and new technologies to the diving industry. The reputation of XS Scuba is built upon the products that are produced, the relationships that are developed and the customer service provided.

DIVING FROM A MANUFACTURER'S POINT-OF-VIEW
It's one thing to see this industry as a diver, it's another to see it as an instructor, and yet another to see it as a dive shop. But it's a wholly different viewpoint when you're a manufacturer. For this talk, the XS Scuba folks will provide us with that perspective and deal with such things as finding new products and bringing them to market, supply chain issues, dealing with retailers, returns, and other aspects of this wonderful business that may sometimes escape the purview of the recreational diver.

  JUNE 14 • NANCY CARUSO • "ABALONE & KELP RESTORATION"                                                  

Get Inspired Inc. is a registered non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Orange County, and founded and run by Nancy Caruso. Before ever even seeing the ocean, Nancy was inspired to become a marine biologist in the 4th grade. “It just took one lesson on oceanography”, she explains, “and an amazing, caring teacher, and I was set on my path for life. I knew exactly what I was meant to do.” The integration of STEAM programming into our schools has created the perfect environment for Get Inspired’s programs to continue to inspire students through the exploration of science. Their programs are designed to inspire stewardship and curiosity for the natural world through the exploration of science. They continue to be recognized for our efforts and successes in the classroom and in the field.

ABALONE & KELP RESTORATION
In this talk, Nancy will explain how they're
working to restore the kelp forest ecosystem (kelp, White Seabass, Green Abalone, and Pismo Clams) by getting the community involved in hands-on science and restoration. They've successfully restored Orange County’s kelp forests which were gone for more than 20 years. Now, they're working to restore the species that once thrived in them. By involving the community in the restoration work, it ensures that the participants will have a stake in the health of the restored species and take ownership to conserve them in the future. Get Inspired currently has 5,000 growing abalone which will be out-planted starting in 2023.

  JULY 12 • KURT LIEBER • "OCEAN DEFENDERS ALLIANCE"                                                          

Ocean Defenders Alliance (ODA) fills a huge void in the world of marine conservation by taking on the role of “cleanup crew” for the seas. Kurt Lieber, is an avid diver and underwater photographer, and while enjoying recreational dives recognized through his own experiences the need for this important work. On dives all over the world, he saw human trash and commercial fishing gear that had been discarded…often wrapped around beautiful reefs, trapping and killing helpless marine life in an endless cycle. The more he learned, the more Kurt felt a compelling urgency to "dive in" and help the ecosystem survive this onslaught of man-made debris and pollution. So, in 2000, he took action by creating Ocean Defenders Alliance. Since then, Kurt’s leadership and vision has translated into tangible results for ocean life: hundreds of volunteer divers have removed tons of deadly man-made debris, presentations have helped educate thousands of school children, business/civic groups, and dive club members, and the “Alliance” of concerned citizens and organizations is growing. While others are talking, ODA is “diving in” to save lives as often as our resources permit. To date, ODA has completed hundreds of results-oriented excursions, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

THE WORK OF OCEAN DEFENDERS ALLIANCE
Ocean Defenders Alliance works to clean and protect marine ecosystems through documentation, education, and meaningful action. Working with affected communities, they focus primarily on the reduction and removal of man-made debris which poses serious threats to ocean wildlife and habitats. ODA envisions a world in which they educate communities and involve them in solutions that help ensure marine ecosystems can exist free from harm caused by human debris. Without abandoned fishing gear, trash, and improperly sunken vessels damaging their habitat, marine flora and fauna will be able to thrive.

  AUGUST 9 • SELENA McMILLAN • "REEF CHECK CALIFORNIA"                                       

Selena McMillan has been involved in marine ecology and research for over 14 years. While an undergrad at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Dr. McMillan began working for the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) as a subtidal technician, organizing and performing long-term subtidal monitoring efforts along the California coast. Selena left this position to pursue her master’s at Moss Landing Marine Laboratory (MLML) where she completed a subtidal thesis examining the trophic interactions between giant kelp and snails. While at MLML, she worked as a research assistant for Dr. Rick Starr at California Sea Grant where she was integral in organizing a Data-Poor Fisheries workshop that brought together scientists, policy makers and fishermen from all over the world. Recently, she completed her PhD at The University of Auckland in New Zealand examining herbivorous fishes in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia and the temperate reefs of New Zealand. She is excited to be returning back to her roots in California and diving back into ocean monitoring as the Director of Education Programs for Reef Check.

THE WORK OF REEF CHECK & HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED
Founded in 1996, the Reef Check Foundation is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of tropical coral reefs and temperate kelp forests. With offices in Los Angeles and Santa Cruz, California and volunteer teams in more than 40 countries and territories, Reef Check’s mission is to lead citizen scientists who promote stewardship of sustainable reef communities around the globe. In 1997, Reef Check conducted the first-ever global survey of coral reef health. The survey provided scientific evidence of a worldwide crisis- caused by overfishing and pollution- in the condition of our coral reefs. In 2005, Reef Check launched its first temperate reef program in California. Reef Check California has grown to be the largest citizen science monitoring group collecting data on California’s kelp forests and its statewide Marine Protected Area (MPA) network. In 2016, this program expanded into climate change monitoring and is now providing ocean temperature data from over 90 sites, and is monitoring ocean acidification at key sites in California’s MPAs.

  SEPTEMBER 13 • ADAM TUCKER • "THE CONCEPTION FIRE INVESTIGATION"                             

Adam Tucker has been an accident investigator for the NTSB since September, 2014, and was the lead investigator for the investigation of the Conception fire of September 2, 2019. In addition to the Conception fire, Adam has investigated numerous other vessel accidents, both domestically and internationally, ranging from large cruise vessels and tankers to commercial towing and fishing vessels.

THE CONCEPTION FIRE INVESTIGATION
Adam will talk about the process of the investigation, what challenges were faced, and what was different about this investigation compared to other ones he has done. This is NOT intended to be a finger-pointing or blame-assigning chat. But Adam will tell you what was (and what was not) found, the significance of the NTSB’s findings, and what changes their recommendations might produce in the overall small passenger vessel industry.

  OCTOBER 11 • DR. MARK LEGG • "UNDERWATER GEOLOGY AROUND CATALINA"                       

Dr. Mark Legg is recognized as one of the leading experts on faulting and seismotectonics of the Southern California offshore region based on more than 30 years experience. He has mapped the major active and ancient fault systems of the area offshore southern California and northern Baja California, compiled, analyzed, and mapped the offshore seismicity and earthquake character, and is the author of more than 35 publications in scientific journals, books, and maps resulting from offshore geological and geophysical research. mark has also worked with the NASA Extreme Environments Project and helped train astronauts as to what types of rock they might find on the moon or Mars. He also studies underwater geology and faults, starting on scuba and then moving on to using underwater submersibles for his research, including the famed Alvin submersible.

UNDERWATER GEOLOGY AROUND CATALINA ISLAND
We live in an earthquake-prone area and those fault lines also ruin out into the ocean and affect things both above and below the water. Dr. Legg will tell you about some of those, describe some fascinating underwater events that have happened in spots where we regularly dive, and will leave you with a slightly different impression of what's happening geologically in our ocean than you may currently think.

  NOVEMBER 8 • DR. SAM MILER III • "IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENED"                                

Dr. Sam came to California in 1951 at the ripe age of 19 and quickly became a teen-aged free-diver. Scuba diving had just arrived in Southern California and Sam made his first dive in Laguna Beach with no wetsuit and cheap equipment. It was just a tank and regulator, fins and a mask, no snorkel. Formal diving instruction didn't exist until 1954. When you bought your diving equipment, you got a little pamphlet of about six or eight pages that you read and that was the sum total of instruction. In those days, every time you put your head underwater it was a new experience. But Sam was enamored and quickly moved up the scuba hierarchy. His instructor credentials have impressive low numbers: L.A. County OWSI #11, NAUI Instructor #27, and PADI Instructor #241. Since 1962 he ha authored numerous articles in local, national, and international publications. And he maintains what is likely the world's largest library of scuba diving books and publications. Sam was (and is) a charter member of numerous dive organizations and he also provided diving support for water impact testing on the Apollo Command Module, which included helping recover it when it sank to the bottom of the test tank.

IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENED
Dr. Sam Miller III has been around diving for a looooong time. When he talks about the history of the sport, he can do so not because he read about it in a book or magazine, but because he was likely there when it happened and knows first-hand. In this talk, he share some of those stories with you and give you a better idea of how this industry came to be created and evolved. Sam will use his personal knowledge as well as his extensive library to enlighten you on some of the history of this sport that we all love so much.

  DECEMBER 13, 2022 • DOUG & LORENZA SLOSS • "TAKE BETTER PICTURES"                                

Doug and Lorenza Sloss have worked in the tourism and hospitality business for several years aboard the Aggressor liveaboards in Kona, Hawaii and Palau, Micronesia. There, they have taught hundreds of people how to dive and shoot photography. Their passion for teaching translated into the creation of a successful series of video tutorials that help photographers of all levels to effectively and professionally post-process their images. Their award-winning photography has appeared in Sport Diver, Scuba Diving, Scuba Diver Australasia, Islands, Asia Diver and many other magazines and books worldwide. Doug has been Field Editor and regular columnist for Scuba Diver Australasia magazine. They also lead photo workshops teaching photography and digital editing, both above and below the waterline.

TAKE BETTER PICTURES - IF SAM CAN DO IT, WHY NOT YOU?
Everyone who has ever held a camera in their hand wants to take better pictures than they currently do. And for those who are on that quest to be the next underwater Ansel Adams, Doug & Lorenza can help point you there. In this talk, they'll go through some of the basics and will share with you how they got their son, Sam, interested and involved in underwater photography.


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