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Member Roster K - O

To find a member's listing, click above on the first letter of her last name to jump to that section of this alphabetical roster.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q |R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z


Susan R. Kayar, Ph.D., 2001
Hooked on diving since the age of 16, Susan is a biologist, teacher, science writer, and life-long student of natural history. Her doctoral dissertation in 1978 was on the respiratory physiology of sabellid fanworms. She spent 11 years in the Environmental Physiology Department of the U.S. Naval Medical Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland where she performed research on the physiology of ultradeep diving, and was eventually the head of the decompression sickness research program. She is the patented inventor of biochemical decompression. Susan has also managed biomedical research programs for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the Office of Naval Research (ONR).
Sharon Lee Kegeles, 2006
Sharon is the developer and facilitator of the only academic Bachelor of Science degree in the world dedicated to the global diving industry: Barry University’s Sport Management-Diving Industry Program in Miami Shores, Florida. Sharon has trained professionals from the Nature Foundation of Sint Maarten, the Great White Shark Foundation in Cape Town, Africa, McGill University’s Marine Science Outpost in Barbados and other organizations in support of science and diving operations. She advises groups in the training and options for handicapped divers, including London’s Access to Marine Conservation for All Program.
Dawn Kernagis, 2016
Diving Biomedical Researcher, Educational Outreach Advocate, Cave/Technical Diver
Dr. Dawn Kernagis is a research scientist in the area of undersea human performance and protection. Dawn completed her Ph.D. at Duke University, where she studied the genetics of decompression sickness and mechanisms of oxygen toxicity in divers. Dawn has worked on diving physiology research projects through IHMC, Duke, DAN, and Karolinska Institute in Sweden, including studies focused on decompression sickness, immersion pulmonary edema, oxygen toxicity and carbon dioxide retention in divers. She founded Project Pink Tank in 2010, and is a Mentor and Grant Writer with Water Women, Inc. Certified to dive in 1993, Dawn has been a diver and leader of numerous underwater exploration, research, and community projects around the world.
June M. Kieser, 2001
June started diving in 1952 with her husband, became a volunteer scuba instructor at the YMCA in 1954; served on the CNCA scuba committee; first woman nationally certified instructor in 1959; first female member of the YMCA National Scuba Committee; founding member Underwater Society of America and the American Littoral Society. She pioneered setting standards for diver and instructor certification. June instructed sport divers, police, fire departments, US Merchant Marine Academy cadets, and lectured extensively on the importance of diver training.
Lise Kinahan, 2000
Lise is dedicated to safety, education and conservation as both a diver and an instructor. Her determination inspired hyperbaric chamber and diver safety programs, club diving safety standards, and first aid and CPR for divers courses and an annual harbor clean up. Lise has held positions with the Ontario Underwater Council, NAUI Canada, UHMS (Great Lakes), and the Our World Underwater Scholarship Society. For 23 years she has been an executive member and program director for Underwater Canada.
Jennifer King, 2000
Jennifer became certified in 1980 in Micronesia and is a NAUI, PADI and LA County instructor. After a year at UNEXSO (Bahamas), she served as the only woman president of the LA County UIA. In 1993 Jennifer formed the Women’s Scuba Association and WETT (Women’s Equipment Test Team). She has authored numerous articles on equipment, travel, and family issues. She’s currently working on a beach/boat diving book, tests and consults on equipment and is the niche markets director for DTRG.
Capt. Marie Knafelc, (MC, USN Ret), MD Ph.D., 2000
Marie entered the Navy in 1980. Since then she has been responsible for the diagnosis & treatment of diving related illnesses, evaluating diving and life support systems, planning compression and decompression schedules for saturation divers, and demonstrating a working knowledge of submarines and their related medical and psychological aspects. Marie was an Undersea Medical Officer with the Navy Experimental Diving Unit and qualified in scuba, mixed gas and saturation diving. Marie retired from the Navy in 2004 and spends her time volunteering at ZooWorld in Panama City Beach, FL.
CDR (Ret) Karen Kohanowich, USN, 2001
Karen has been a director and program officer for marine research and undersea technology at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research since 2005. Her activities have included oversight for the Aquarius undersea saturation laboratory, Hawaii’s Undersea Research Laboratory, and several other university marine research programs. She was the Marine Technology Society’s Vice President for Government Affairs from 2005-2010, and remains active as co-chair of the MTS Ocean Exploration Committee. Karen began her career as a U.S. Navy salvage diver, supporting 1000 FSW saturation dives at the Navy Experimental Diving Unit, and serving onboard USN and Canadian diving ships in the West Pacific, Caribbean, and North Atlantic. She became a NAUI instructor in 1989, and qualified as a pilot of the “Pisces IV” submersible in 1993. She completed her Navy service as Navy Oceanographer, specializing in international and environmental ocean policy and retiring in 2005. In addition to her NOAA activities, she is working towards a PhD in Environmental Science and Policy from George Mason University.
Dr. Ann H Kristovich, 2000
Ann is the co-leader of The Proyecto De Buceo Espeleologico Mexico Y America Central and has been involved in cave exploration since 1988 in Mexico, Belize and Central America. In 1993, she set a women’s cave diving depth record of 554 feet. Ann is an instructor for IANTD, NSS-CDS, NACD, NAUI, and TDI and teaches technical, deep, cave and mixed gas diving. Ann’s articles and photos have been published internationally. In addition, she is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
Barb Lander, 2000
After only 3 years of diving Barb was a veteran of the Andrea Doria, Wilkes Barre and the infamous mudhole wrecks of NJ. The following year she joined the Monitor team, led expeditions by 1993 and was key in opening that wreck to sport divers. Barb participated in the explorations of the U-869, Norness, Billy Mitchell, and Lusitania (1995). She is a PADI and IANTD instructor and certified as an NSS-CDS full cave diver and has published over 100 articles and photographs.
Grace Landers, USN, 2015
Diving Medical Officer, Submarine Medical Officer, Medical Pioneer and Innovator.Lieutenant Grace Landers was commissioned in the US Navy in 2007 and entered Uniformed Services University as a Medical Student. Always looking for the next challenge, she sought and succeeded in operational medicine opportunities setting herself apart. In 2011, Landers graduated with her medical doctorate and began her internship in Family Medicine. She was selected for Undersea Medical Officer Candidacy graduating in June of 2013. Landers' innovative thinking led to the creation of the first Authorized Medical Allowance List for specific undersea capabilities, reducing medical evacuation response time.
Dr. Landers consistently strives to increase the high level of medical support for the extremely hazardous diving conditions faced by her sailors. As part of her efforts to improve her support, Landers quickly attained the skills and qualifications to perform the same complex dive profiles required of her sailors, becoming the first female officer to do so. Grace continues to seek understanding of her environments, recently becoming an Intermediate Free Diver, a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine and qualifying as a Submarine Medical Officer, an honor only achieved by 30% of Navy Undersea Medical Officers.
Maureen Langevin, 2011
Maureen is a PADI instructor, technical diver, US Coast Guard licensed Captain, and videographer. She is the Founder and Co-Owner of Dive Voyager Expeditions, LLC. Her teaching and film-making focus on exploration, understanding, safety, enjoyment and preservation of our underwater world with productions like Diving with Sharks: Cocos Islands, Diving with Sharks in the Northeast, and the children's series Our Precious Oceans. Maureen has also captured the history of Northeast diving in her documentaries Pioneers and Women of Northeast Wreck Diving, A Shipwreck's Secret, Telly Award winning Search for the HMS Sylph and her latest production Lost at Sea: Texas Tower Disaster. Her work has been featured in television, radio, magazines, newspapers and dive expositions. Sample her work at the Youtube Dive Voyager Expeditions Channel.
Marie Levine, 2001
Marie was certified in 1969. Since then, she has promoted marine conservation through photographs, magazine articles, journal papers and books. She is Founder and Executive Director of the Shark Research Institute (SRI). SRI's focus is creating value for sharks as living economic resources for the dive tourism industry. In October 1999, as a direct result of SRI’s work in Honduras, that government declared the whale shark a protected species in their territorial waters, and SRI was successful in securing protection for sharks on CITES Appendix II -- Whale shark and basking shark (2002), white shark (2004), hammerhead sharks (great, smooth & scalloped), oceanic whitetip shark and manta rays (2013).
Mary Edith (Mel) Lillis, 2000
Mel is a founding member of the Underwater Society of America and co-author of the first international SCUBA triathlon rules. She was the first woman to receive a NOGI award in 1963 for her sports involvement, and in 1994 received a second NOGI (one of two women) for distinguished services. Since 1960, of the 166 award presentations, only nine women have been so honored. Mel is past president of the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences and has been their executive secretary for the past 30 years.
Dianne Scullion Littler, Ph.D., 2010
Diane is a Research Associate in the Department of Botany at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, and also Adjunct Senior Scientist at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University. She is a respected authority on marine biology, especially tropical-marine botany. Current research focuses on relative dominance theory, functional morphology, and complex top-down (predation) vs. bottom-up (eutrophication) interactions in coral-reef systems. Other active research includes: monographic and phylogenetic systematics; seaweed experimental taxonomy; biodiversity, ecology, and conservation of tropical marine ecosystems.
Susan Long, 2007
Susan is a dive industry leader. She is President & CEO of Diving Unlimited International, Inc., the world's leader in drysuits and diver thermal protection. She has earned industry respect through her many accomplishments including actively supporting California Ships to Reefs, a past Director for the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association (DEMA) and more. Her true passion is her business and what it enables her to do which is having a purposeful, positive impact on divers, her employees and their families and the underwater environment.
Deb Greenhalgh Lubas, 2010
Founder of Scuba Made Easy LLC NAUI Training Facility and NAUI Course Director and Instructor (nitrox, International Handicap Scuba Association and National Instructors Association of Divers with Disabilities), Deb is dedicated to teaching scuba to the general public, municipalities, scientific divers, and disabled/adaptive divers. As a Program Manager for the U.S. Department of Defense, she leads an international technical team producing products and systems for the U.S. Military. She is a WDHOF Trustee and a NAUI Board of Directors, Executive Board officer and Awards Committee Chairman.
Capt. Diann Karin Lynn, 2000
Karin is a former US Navy captain who retired from a 30-year career in civil and ocean engineering for the Navy in 2007. She has an MS in Ocean Engineering from the University of Hawaii, and she was honored to be among the first female graduates of the Navy’s deep-sea diving school in 1983. From there she went on to specialize in diving and underwater systems, and among other assignments was the head of the Navy’s Ocean Facilities Program, where she oversaw about 250 professional military divers and ocean engineers worldwide. She keeps her marine science credentials active as an energetic member of ocean-related professional associations and activities.
Robin MacFadden Parish, 2012
For many years Robin has served as the National Coordinator of the Rolex Scholarship of the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society® (OWUSS), an international educational non-profit organization which aims to develop the next generation of dive leaders and underwater researchers. She connects young people with the world’s experts in conservation, underwater photography, exploration, and marine technology. She has been diving since 1970 and an instructor since 1976. Robin was the first female recipient of the Rolex Scholarship, and went on to a career in marine biology, working in environmental consulting, researching crustacean behavioral ecology, and doing groundwork for the creation of marine sanctuaries. As VP of North American Operations and a member of the Board of Directors of OWUSS, she has been instrumental in the organization’s global expansion and establishing internships. An educator, speaker, and passionate advocate for marine conservation, Robin encourages young people of all ages to learn about the sea and become part of the key to its future.
Holly Martel Bourbon, 2007
Holly Martel Bourbon is currently the Curator of Fishes/Diving Safety Officer for the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD. In her current position, Bourbon manages the fish,invertebrates, and elasmobranchs in the Aquarium's collection. In order to do this, she works with 11 staff members and also oversees all of the Aquarium's diving programs. From 1/2006-5/2012, she was the Diving Safety Officer/Biologist at the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries primarily focusing on research diving in local waters. Holly began her career as a diving marine scientist on the New England Aquarium dive team in 1985. She was a Senior Aquarist/DSO at New England Aquarium from 1987-2005. Holly has a long history of public service, developing innovative marine conservation and education programs utilizing her underwater expertise. Her deep commitment to the environment is evident through her work with various conservation groups such as REEF, the New England Aquarium, and as a member of the Bahama Conservation Group. Holly’s diversity is also evidenced through her educational work with divers, from beginners through the most advanced.


Nancy McGee, 2008
Nancy McGee is an explorer and underwater filmmaker. She is an adrenaline junky, seeking opportunities to film the unusual and unique. Her film subjects include Humboldt squid, tiger sharks, an oceanic swimming elephant, and numerous species of whales.

In 2000, Nancy began a seven-year partnership with Stan Waterman, five-time Emmy-award winning filmmaker. She managed Stan Waterman Productions, organized exotic dive travel, and assisted in the filming and post production of documentaries. Nancy’s efforts preserved a number of Mr. Waterman’s vintage films, which documented the early days of recreational scuba diving and created a baseline for the study of coral reefs.

Nancy films and conducts group tours in many of the world’s most exotic locations; some so remote the local natives have never before seen Western people. She produces, edits and films her own documentaries, each with a unique historical spin on culture and the marine ecosystem. Nancy’s credits include work for NBC, Universal Studios, and Discovery. She has written for a variety of dive journals and publications. Nancy is a frequent presenter to schools, clubs, and community service groups. She is a featured speaker and emcee for national and international dive shows and film festivals. Nancy is a member of the Ocean Artists Society, Platinum Pro 5000, a 2008 inductee into the Women Divers’ Hall of Fame, and an Explorers Club Fellow.

  Audrey Mestre, 2002
Audrey was born to live in the water. At the age 2, she won a swimming competition. By the time she reached the age of 13, she began scuba diving. Audrey’s free-diving career started in 1997, after high school, with a dive to 80 meters, which was then followed by three world records: 115 meters in 1998, 125 meters in 2000, and 130 meters in 2001. Currently, Audrey has the honor of the 5th deepest descent, preceded only by 4 men.
  Kalli de Meyer, 2003
Kalli set up the now famous Bonaire Marine Park. As a result the park attained National Park status and has become a model for marine parks around the world.
Lisa A. Mitchell, 2001
Lisa became a certified diver in 1970 (age 12) and has made her love of the sea a life long pursuit. Since 1976 she has worked in and on the sea as a dolphin trainer, scuba instructor, boat captain, and resort operation manager/owner (in the Caribbean and the U.S.) Lisa is an inaugural recipient of SSI’s Platinum Pro 5000 award (1993) and a PADI Master Instructor. Recent career and educational pursuits include working for Sport Diver Magazine and an MBA from the University of Central Florida.
Valerie S. Moore, 2001
A diving instructor, Valerie has combined writing, production and expedition logistics to pioneer new underwater horizons. The first Western woman journalist invited onboard the Russian R/V Keldysh, she is one of the world’s deepest diving women in the Mir submersibles. She has worked many film, salvage, and scientific expeditions, including Jim Cameron’s deep dive unit for the film Titanic. Valerie served as director of marine operations for RMS Titanic Expedition 2000. She’s a member of the Explorers Club and the Deep Submersible Pilots Association
Connie Lyn Morgan, 2000
Connie grew up in the diving and surfing industry. Her father, Bev, opened one of the first dive shops in Southern California, Dive ‘N’ Surf, and was instrumental in the creation of diving certification programs. She is named after Conrad “Connie” Limbaugh, first diving officer at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She received her LA County underwater certification in 1971 and since then has worked various dive jobs from tour guide to her present position as president of Kirby Morgan Dive Systems, Inc.
Ella Jean Morgan, 2000
Ella Jean is an educator, lecturer, photographer and author who co-wrote the 1992 book When Women Dive with Erin O’Neill. She is a NAUI/Los Angeles County instructor-trainer, a cavern/cave diver, and co-owner of Morgan/O’Neill Underwater Company in Southern California. Her 40 years of diving experiences include underwater research, establishment of underwater trails, co-production of marine life audiovisual programs, training all levels of diving, writing for diving magazines and books, and developing specialized methods of training women. A former instructor, department chair and administrator at the College of Oceaneering, a commercial diving school in California, for almost 20 years, she is currently an active “retirement” diver.
Sue Morra, Ph.D., 2000
Sue learned to dive in 1969. She continued her training and ultimately became one of the first women PADI course directors in 1978. Sue has scuba-dived and trained divers throughout the world. She is currently Director of Marine Biology at Saint Francis College where she teaches coral reef ecology, aquaculture, and research diver methods along with general biology courses. Sue conducts coral reef research studying coral/algae dynamics in the Florida Keys and Caribbean.
Denise J. Morrissette, 2000
Denise is Vice President of Underwater Dynamics, Inc. and is a retired 100-Ton Master Captain, TDI/SDI Course Director, and NAUI Technical Instructor Trainer. She co-authored and/or provided graphics, artwork, and photography for many diver training manuals and several different diving magazines. She co-invented the NAUI OCEANx™ and also designed other innovative scuba diving products. As a musician and certified Bob Ross® art instructor, she is as enthusiastic about writing music and teaching oil painting as she was about underwater photography and scuba instruction.
Patti Mount, 2000
Patti began diving in 1975 and is certified as a rebreather, cave and trimix diver. She holds instructor status up to the level of Technical Nitrox. Patti is the author of The Complete Guide to Underwater Modeling and the NAUI Student Workbook for Underwater Modeling. She has co-authored numerous articles and her photos have been published in magazines worldwide. Patti was one of the first women to receive the SSI Pro 5000 card (1993), is in Who's Who in Business, Who's Who in Diving and is the CEO and on the BOD of IANTD.
Patty Newell Mortara, 2000
Patty’s quest is to inspire and promote the accomplishments of women divers. This is evident in her role as a journalist, as co-owner of WomenUnderwater and as a founder and honorary trustee of WDHOF. Patty is certified to the level of MSTD instructor (PADI), cave diver (NSS-CDS) and mixed gas “closed-circuit” rebreather diver (IANTD). Her notable dives have included the wrecks of the USS Monitor, USS Saratoga, USS Wilkes Barre, Andrea Doria and the caves of Wakulla Springs and Stargate. Patty volunteered on the 1998/99 USDCT Wakulla2 Expedition as a deep support diver and an operations manager.
Geri Murphy, 2001
Geri is a professional photo journalist with more than 30 years of diving experience. She was certified as an instructor in 1969. She was the first underwater script supervisor for the movie The Deep. Geri was the first to ever photograph and name Grand Cayman’s Stingray City. She has produced more than 180 magazine cover photographs and thousands of articles and photos on travel & photography. She authored two PADI books, Macro and Camera Basics. Geri is presently a contributing writer and photographer for Sport Diver magazine.
  Rusty Murray, 2003
Rusty’s interest in teaching person with disabilities started with the Easter Seals swimming program she moved on to co-found Moray Wheels Adaptive Scuba Association more than 20 years ago. Rusty advises on disabled diving instruction.
Jan Neal, 2000
Jan’s diving career has spanned more than a quarter century and has focused on education both as an instructor and author. She has a background in teaching with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida, a Master of Science degree in Aeronautics with specializations in Education and Safety, and a host of scuba agency ratings as a scuba instructor, course director, and workshop director with NAUI, PADI, TDI, SDI, ANDI, IANTD, and DAN. Jan has authored 13 scuba-related texts for both NAUI and TDI and has written for numerous magazines, including Dive Training magazine. She has also created several diving aids, including the original Enriched Air Nitrox and Partial Pressure of Oxygen Table (EAN/PO2 Table) sold by TDI and NAUI’s Oxygen Calculator for Enriched Air Nitrox (OceanX™). She is also the author of Thesis Editorial and Style Guide, a required textbook in a Master's program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where she is currently working on online course development and learning outcomes tracking.
Chantelle Newman, 2016
Educator, Publisher, Public Speaker
In South Africa Chantelle became the youngest female diver to be NAUI certified and qualified in 1985. She has brought together her passions for diving and medicine to increase diving safety awareness worldwide. She founded the Diver Medic Facebook Group and the magazine Diver Medic. She was the second female to develop a Diver Medic Technician (DMT) Course accredited by IMCA for commercial divers and DAN Europe for recreational divers, a course which Chantelle remains the only female able to teach. She is on the DAN Europe Training Committee and is a regular speaker at the UK dive shows. Chantelle continues to work on projects related to Dive Safety and Education.
  Adina S. Ochert, 2006
Adina Chief Biomedical Scientist in Immunology, supporting 4 hospitals in the UK. She was in the British Territorial Army Infantry as a Class One Medic with ALS certification. Her interest is researching wrecks of historical importance, many in adverse and extreme conditions. Adina has made hundreds of technical dives in the UK and around the world, including the noted expedition to the battle of Jutland in water temperatures of 6 degrees C while operating for many days 70 miles offshore and co-led the HMS Vandal project which involved working at a depth of 100 meters on a wreck covered in net and line in near zero visibility for several days. As expedition co-organizer, she successfully identified how the HMS Vandal sank. Adina’s record dive to 473ft on the HMS Victoria established her as the world’s deepest female diver. Adina has also earned outstanding recognition for her photography, journalism and feature articles and for presenting expedition findings to diverse groups including English Heritage and the Ministry of Defense.
Roseanne Oliveros, EAC (SCW/DV), USN, 2010
Roseanne became the third woman Seabee to graduate from Second Class Dive School in April 2000. She also attended First Class Dive School in 2004 and graduated at the head of her class. From there she went on to become the first and only enlisted woman in the U.S. Navy to become the Officer in Charge (OIC) of a Diving Detachment in May 2009 and led her 15 man team through a grueling 6 month deployment to the Pacific theater. Chief Engineering Aid (Seabee Combat Warfare/Diver) Oliveros has volunteered twice for duty in Iraq, deploying for six months at a time in 2003 and 2007.
Erin O'Neill, 2000
Erin grew up on the Gulf Coast as a competitive swimmer, life guard, swim instructor and waterfront manager. She is an alumnus of UCLA, and began serious diving in Southern California in the late 1970's. She is a Los Angeles County/NAUI instructor-trainer, certified cave-diver and co-owner of the Morgan/O'Neill Underwater Co. This multi-faceted partnership has produced multimedia educational marine life programs, trained all level of divers, photographed and written for several magazines, worked in the film industry doing training, adaptations and stunt work, lectured, conducted worldwide dive-travel tours and contributed to several books. While conducting research on Women in Training (1983) Erin gathered information that sparked her interest in gender-specific dive issues. As a columnist for several dive publications, Erin wrote of these topics, and the collaboration of these became the book she co-wrote with Ella Jean Morgan in 1992, When Women Dive.
Betty Orr, 2000
Betty was certified in 1975 while attending graduate school at Wright State University. Currently, and for the past 19 years, she has been a full time employee of Divers Alert Network, directing the growth and direction of its dive insurance programs as a Vice President and Director of Insurance Services. She has developed and introduced training programs, edited and co-authored periodicals, training manuals and textbooks, lectured at the most prestigious diving conventions on topics regarding diving fitness and specific to women in diving, and conducted workshops on dive accident statistics, dive safety, oxygen first aid and the diving environment.
Faith Ortins, 2010
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 dives including 700 technical dives.


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