Briefly describe your job and your area of expertise.
I am an Assistant Diving Safety Officer and also the Volunteer Dive Program Coordinator. I am responsible for recruiting, training, and managing volunteer divers who help clean exhibits, conduct dive shows. I also assist with scientific diver training and help with gear maintenance.
What got you interested in becoming an Assistant Diving Safety Officer?
When I was young I always wanted to work as a Marine Biologist. When I got older and started diving I wanted to become a Scuba Instructor. Eventually I received my degree in marine biology and also became a Scuba Instructor. Working as an Assistant Diving Safety Officer allows me to combine both jobs, I get to train divers to do science underwater.
What do you like most and least about your job?
The thing that I like most about my job is that I get paid to dive in some of the most beautiful places in the world, even if I never leave the building. What I dislike most is the really cold water I have to dive in sometimes…….BRRR!
What college did you go to and what degree did you receive?
I received a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
What is your diving experience/certifications?
I started diving in 2006. I got certified in Hawaii and became a scientific diver with the University of Hawaii. I worked as a scientific diver, then as a training assistant, and finally a scientific diver trainer for the UH Diving Safety Office over the course of five years. I also became a NAUI Dive Master and Scuba Instructor in Hawaii. I hold certifications in regulator repair, cylinder inspector, and rebreather diving.
What influenced your job choice and when?
After I graduated college I was working as a recreational scuba instructor. I really wanted to find a job where I could use both my degree and scuba diving experience. The California Academy of Sciences had an opening and when I had my interview I instantly knew that this was where I wanted to work.
Do you have pets at home? What and how many?
I do not have any pets here but before I moved to San Francisco from Hawaii I had an aquarium with my favorite fish, a frogfish.
Advice for someone wanting to go into your field.
Go out and get as much experience as you can. Experience in a broad range of subjects will allow you to discover what you do and do not like to do. This will be invaluable when you try to find a career. Get as much dive training as possible, never be satisfied or think you know everything; you can always improve your diving skills. There is always someone out there who is a better diver than you are, so listen and learn.