We’re working hard to provide you with another stellar speaker lineup for 2018.Erik Brown - Thailand Cave Rescue Team Member
Erik Brown, from Vancouver, BC, is an Instructor/Trainer/Technical Diving International and Owner/Instructor at Hydronauts Diving, island of Koh Tao, Thailand.
He was proud to be member of the volunteer cave diving team that successfully rescued the boys’ soccer team in Thailand recently. He will be sharing many stories about the unprecedented & amazing rescue!
Natalie Gibb is co-owner of Under the Jungle, a cave and technical diving center in Mexico's Riviera Maya. She is an active cave explorer, and a TDI Full Cave and Cave Specialty Instructor. A published author, Natalie was about.com's guide to scuba diving from 2009 to 2016. In 2018, she was invited to present her team's findings at the Explorers Club, and she has traveled extensively through North America speaking about her adventures.
A professional diver since 1994, Cristina is an ocean and cave explorer, a shark expert, a speaker and conservationist.
Her field of work with sharks is vast; a shark ambassador, she works with sharks in the wild and is known for the special relationship she has with them. Her work has reached places and helped change people's perception of sharks like China and Singapore. In her home in the Bahamas she has been the initiator of a movement that has convinced the government to protect all sharks since 2011.
Cristina has explored and mapped several cave systems She is the first woman to have connected an ocean blue hole with a land-based cave.
Cristina believes in the power of education and has dedicated countless time and energy in non-profit and educational work. She supports several organizations including Our World Underwater Scholarship Society and Women Divers Hall of Fame scholarships program.
Cristina is a PADI Course Director, a NSS-CDS full cave diving instructor and a TDI Technical Instructor and a member of the Explorers Club, The Women Divers Hall of Fame, Ocean Artists Society and A Platinum Pro 5000 recipient.
Richie Kohler is a filmmaker, author and shipwreck explorer whose diving experiences have taken him to all corners of the globe. Those exploits have been documented in newspapers, magazines, documentary films and in the NY Times best-selling book, Shadow Divers, by Robert Kurson. Kohler co-hosted and produced fifty-six episodes of the popular History Channel program “Deep Sea Detectives” and numerous other television programs detailing his explorations on some of the most famous shipwrecks in the world, including the Andrea Doria, RMS Titanic, and the HMHS Britannic.
A fellow in the Explorer’s Club, Kohler continues to lead expeditions worldwide in search of lost ships and the mysteries they hold. He has written dozens of articles about shipwrecks, deep diving and diver safety and published his first book, Mystery of the Last Olympian detailing a decade of work on Titanic’s sister ship Britannic. Over the years he has made numerous presentations at schools, libraries, diving conventions and symposiums promoting diving safety, education and awareness.
Sherri Ferguson is the current Director of the Environmental Medicine and Physiology Unit at Simon Fraser University. The lab houses Canada’s only civilian hyper/hypobaric research facility in an educational institution. Her current research investigates the effects of pressure and submersion, which a diver experiences on human performance. Her lab conducts biomedical research for the US Office of Naval Research, including the effects of gas mix and pressure on the divers ability to perform during narcosis, and the effects on the heart of diving, hyperbaric oxygen and submersion. Current projects include investigation into the effect of hypoxia on cerebral blood flow and connections in the brain.
Sherri has been a diver for the past 25 years. She is a certified Instructor Trainer for TDI/SDI and teaches recreational, technical, and commercial divers and instructors. She is a former Diving Safety Officer training scientists at both UBC and UVic. She has worked with some of the world’s top manufacturers of dive gear, diver training and submersible technologies. She is the current Chair of the CSA standard on Hyperbaric Facilities and a member of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Association and a member of the Safety Committee for the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society. She enjoys diving both open and closed circuit around the world and at home in BC.
Jared Hires is General Manager of Dive Rite, a premier technical dive gear manufacturer established in 1984. Having grown up surrounded by diving, Jared began his technical diving career early being both CCR and cave trained at the early age of 15. Becoming an open water SCUBA instructor at 18, Jared has progressed through the ranks to CCR instructor.
Having had many great diving opportunities afforded to him, Jared has had the chance to dive in many dream list destinations. Some of his most memorable dives include: Orda Cave, Russia; Molnar Janos Cave, Hungary; the Red Sea; and Giant Cave, Belize. Residing in "Cave Country," Jared has the ability to get wet almost every week and enjoys keeping skills up in multiple gear configurations.
Russell Clark and Trisha Stovel are two scuba diving filmmakers based out of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. You would have probably seen their work promoting BCs diving or one of their minimentaries, such as Exploring Bell Island.
A mutual love of both diving and filmmaking brought them together a number of years ago, and became the basis for their successful video company www.seaproof.tv
Russell was born and raised in England, moving to British Columbia in 2010 beginning a new life full of diving and underwater adventures. Trisha moved here from Ontario in 2003, began diving immediately, and never looked back. Since then, both have spent more time underwater than they could have ever imagined, re-discovering the vastness and beauty of BC.
In 2017, they were made Fellows of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Their goal now is to make British Columbia’s underwater world better known.
In addition, they produce video content for ocean related companies such as Shearwater Research, Destination BC, training agencies, live aboard charters, dive operations, manufacturers and dive stores.
Nick began his career in journalism in the 1980’s as a combat correspondent in the U.S. Marine Corps, attached to infantry and artillery units deployed throughout the western Pacific and Asia. He spent five years in the Corps, and finished his tour as a sergeant at Parris Island, S.C.
He then moved to nearby Savannah, Georgia, where he became a copy editor for the Savannah Morning News in late 1992. A year later, he began as an editorial assistant at Rodale’s Scuba Diving Magazine and worked his way up the ranks to become Editor at Large. While with the magazine, he also served as a territory sales manager and online sales and site manager for the magazine’s web properties, including ScubaDiving.com, for more than 15 years. Nick is among the world’s foremost scuba diving travel journalists and industry experts, and his assignments have taken him to all corners of the globe in search of articles and underwater and topside photos, including Australia, Baja, Borneo, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Hawaii, Japan, the Maldives, Micronesia, Tahiti, and nearly every island in the Caribbean. He’s logged thousands of dives in hundreds of dive destinations, and his articles and photographs have been published in magazines the world over.
In 2008 he co-founded LiquidAssets.tv, a video production company which has spent the last three years filming the scuba diving travel television show, "Into the Drink."" He is currently the host and writer for Seasons 2 and 3 of the show, which premiered on MAVTV in April 2014.
He is also an independent sales representative for BlueFocus Media, makers of the Tourist Assistance Portal (TAP), based in Savannah, Georgia.
In May 2014, he moved to Colorado, where he set up his office and studio in the heart of downtown Castle Rock, just south of Denver. Since then, he’s become active in the community, and he’s now a member of the Chamber of Commerce’s Government Initiatives Committee, Board of Directors of the Downtown Merchants Association, and is running for Castle Rock Town Council in District 4. Please visit his website at nicklucey4cr.com to learn more about that.
Aaron Faulls is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and writer. Across 37 countries and multiple mediums, he's gone where no one (and everyone) has gone before on assignment for countless publications and media outlets around the world.
No one thought a guy with such profound ADHD could successfully multitask (let alone find his way out of a paper bag) but that’s exactly what Aaron did balancing his roles as writer, director and host of the first season of the internationally-acclaimed travel TV series Into The Drink.
After a lengthy surface interval (5 years, to be exact) which included a professional and creative shift in focus away from stories about the marine environment to music-themed ones, Aaron felt the undeniable pull back towards the water. Perfect timing as it turned out …just perfect enough for him to be on the island of Taveuni, Fiji in February of 2016 when the second-most powerful storm to ever hit the Southern Hemisphere - Cyclone Winston - leveled the island and nearly cost him his life. Because, you know ...Aaron.
Aaron's latest documentary about singer/songwriter Colin Hay, Waiting For My Real Life, was released in 2017 and he will soon compete a piece about his experience in Taveuni called Thank You Winston. In 2018, Aaron began production on his most ambitious project yet: a docuseries for UNINTERRUPTED/Springhill Media entitled The Agony Of Victory, executive-produced by LeBron James.
Always in search of the next great story, Aaron’s equally at home surrounded by sharks as he is rock stars. He’s even been known to roadie for them from time to time.
The rock stars, that is. Hasn’t convinced the sharks ...yet.
For over the last 20+ years, Keith has been in a managerial role of Sunset House in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. He is an accomplished diver, strategist, hotelier & marketer. Offering a rare blend of creative and operational strengths, he is a former board member of the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA), the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) and the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame. Keith was one of the first to install coral farms in the Cayman Islands and co-founder of the island’s NGO "Save Cayman". He has been a guest speaker at numerous DEMA events and was named "Diver of the Year" in 2015 by Beneath the Sea for his role in promoting SCUBA recreation, training, safety and advocate for the seas. In 2016, he was runner up for the Cayman Islands Governor Tourism Industry Conservation Award for his dedication and outstanding service for his commitment to the environment and was honored with the Cayman Islands Tourism Association Diamond award .
In 2016, Keith co-founded the Non for Profit group called Force Blue. FORCE BLUE gives former military trained combat divers and veterans of Special Operations Forces an important new mission: to experience and explore one of the most critically endangered ecosystems on the planet–and to adapt their training and teamwork to rebuild the fragile ecosystem and aid in its protection. FORCE BLUE teaches veterans: their skills and training are transferable and can still make a positive difference, camaraderie does exist after combat and helping can be the antidote to harming.
FORCE BLUE is the only nonprofit organization in the world that provides "mission therapy" for former combat divers — individuals in whom governments around the world have invested millions to create the best possible underwater and maritime operators — by retraining, retooling and deploying them on missions of conservation, preservation and restoration.
By uniting the community of Special Operations veterans with the world of marine science and conservation in one, mission-focused program, FORCE BLUE has created a model of caring, cooperation and positive change with the power to restore lives and restore the planet.
Please note that Presenters announced early to speak at Divescapes Scuba Conference are subject to last minute travel and work emergencies. They are generously donating their time away from their busy schedules to share with us ... their stories, explorations, photos, videos - just for the cost of their travel, hotel, etc. So remember that Divescapes' Speaker list is subject to change (sometimes at the last moment) – please come back often for updates and additions to our exciting seminar & keynote speaker line up at Divescapes 2018.