2015 AAUS Symposium Print

Key West Paradise by Kathy English  will be raffled off October 03rd. Tickets ($10) available at www.aausfoundation.org in the online store. You do NOT need to be present to win.

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2015 AAUS Symposium- Final Registrations

The 2015 AAUS Diving for Science Symposium will be held September 28-October 03, 2015 in Key West, FL.  Late registration begins September 01st.  There area few spaces left in some workshops.  Register today!

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Kevin Flanagan Travel Award

Catie Mitchell and Marissa McMahan are the 2015 Kevin Flanagan Travel Award recipients. 

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Rebreather Standard Update

The AAUS Standards committee is working to update the AAUS Rebreather Standard and we want input from our membership. Your suggestions and comments can be submitted online.

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AAUS Standards Change 2013-Required Adoption

In October of 2013, AAUS implemented a change to Sections 4.0 and 5.0 of the AAUS Standards. As of January 2016, all AAUS OMs will be required to adopt and incorporate these changes into their manuals.  Please follow the link below for more information.

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AAUS Certification Program

It is time for your annual AAUS-ITI Instructor Renewal.  More information here.

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Current E-Slate

Current E-Slate is available on the first of every month.  You can access older editions in the resource library under "publications".

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Event Calendar View All

NSU Guy Harvey Oceanographic Center Lionfish Tournament
    09/26/15

The South Florida Association of Environmental Professionals (www.SFAEP.org) and University of Florida - Florida Master Naturalist Program (http://www.masternaturalist.ifas.ufl.edu) are hosting a Reef Environmental Education Foundation (www.reef.org) Sanctioned Lionfish Tournament, Saturday, September 26th, 2015, at John Lloyd State Park on Dania Beach (Greater Fort Lauderdale).  The Captain’s Meeting will be hosted by the Nova Southeastern University's Guy Harvey Oceanographic Center, and will include a tour of their facilities and a presentation about the lionfish research they are conducting.  The Captain’s Meeting, tour and presentation will be open to the general public, regardless of participation in the tournament.  SFAEP and FMNP are non-profit organizations and will donate the net proceeds of the tournament to lionfish research being conducted at the Guy Harvey Oceanographic Center.

For more information, please contact Erik Neugaard at
neugaard@yahoo.com.

2015 AAUS Diving for Science Symposium
    09/28/15 - 10/03/15

2015 AAUS Symposium
    09/28/15 - 10/03/15

2015 AAUS Symposium

The 2015 AAUS symposium will be hosted by Florida Keys Community College and will be held September 28-October 03, 2015 in Key West, FL.  If you are interested in teaching a workshop, submit a workshop summary to the AAUS office by December 31, 2015.  Watch for more information after the first of the year!

Latest News View All

2015 Scientific Diver Lifetime Achievement Award
    07/30/15

2015 Scientific Diver Lifetime Achievement Award

The 2015 American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) recipient of the Scientific Diver Lifetime Achievement Award is Charles Birkland.

Charles Birkeland earned his PhD at the University of Washington by determining how sea pen populations were able to persist despite the intense combined predation pressure from seven species of predators, some of which were specialists on sea pens. Also while a student, he dived from a Coast Guard buoy tender on Cobb Seamount 280 miles off Washington and found that the most common invertebrates on the top at 110 ft depth were ordinarily found in the intertidal and were brooding species that did not disperse larvae in the plankton.

In 1970, he spent a continuous three weeks on Tektite and in 1978 spent a week on Hydrolab and published the results from each. The science career of Charles Birkeland has always been underwater where he combined his ecological field experiments with natural history observations.

Birkeland was a post-doc at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute from 1970-1975 where he did the first experimental underwater field studies of coral recruitment and demonstrated the importance of nutrient input to the survival of coral recruits and that recruiting larvae often survive better in places they do not actually grow as rapidly. These studies on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Panama led to an understanding of how nutrient input affects ecological processes differently on a large scale on coral reefs among the geographic regions of the world.

Birkeland was a professor at the University of Guam Marine Laboratory from 1975 to 2000 and at the University of Hawaii from 2000-2010. He has done much of his field work in American Samoa since 1979. He established a research program to determine the capacity of corals to adapt (genetic changes in populations) or acclimatize (behavioral, physiological or morphological changes in individual colonies) to environmental change in pools on the small island of Ofu in American Samoa where the temperatures often fluctuate 6°C daily. He has guided and supported important field transplant experiments that have determined the changes in genes and proteins that come with stress from environmental change, indicating potential to successfully respond to climate change. He had also determined that nutrient input from terrestrial runoff into the coral-reef ecosystem leads to crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks through fertilization of phytoplankton blooms that feed the starfish larvae. This was controversial for a while because the loss of predation by over-collection of triton shells was the popular explanation, but recent laboratory and field studies on the Great Barrier Reef have proven Birkeland’s hypothesis correct.

Birkeland’s current interests are presented in his latest book “Coral Reefs in the Anthropocene” which is expected to be available from Springer Science this coming September. One of the messages of the book is that the trophic structure of the coral-reef ecosystem provides the greatest gross productivity and the least net productivity, perhaps of any natural system. To extract a substantial supply of food for humans, the net production is enhanced by reducing the upper trophic levels, and this had generally been happening widely before coral-reef science became active.  Some islanders harvest reef resources for subsistence and local market, yet maintain the integrity of the original coral-reef system, by harvesting the intermediate-sized individuals from fish populations. This maintains the stock because large fishes potentially produce exponentially more offspring and the juvenile fishes grow the fastest. The larger individual fishes of species such as parrotfishes fulfill their role in maintaining the ecosystem by clearing algae from the substrata and facilitating coral recruitment, while smaller parrotfishes have little effect even when common. Palauans have exemplified the favorable globalization of their economy while maintaining the integrity of their coral-reefs systems by keeping resource consumption local and having their international economy service-based (tourist) rather than export-based.

 

Birkeland has authored or edited four books, 70 papers in scientific journals, dozens of technical reports, and numerous other publications. He was the third President of the International Society for Reef Studies, organized the seventh International Coral Reef Symposium, was given the first Excellence in Research Award by the University of Guam, the award for "Outstanding Scientific Advancement of Knowledge" by the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, and was elected Honorary Fellow of the Pacific Science Association. 

AAUS Standards Change 2013-Required Adoption
    07/29/15

In October of 2013, AAUS implemented a change to Sections 4.0 and 5.0 of the AAUS Standards.  These changes coincided with the launch of the AAUS Certification Program and adoption of the new format was initially required only for OMs who chose to participate in the program. However having 2 manual templates that are essentially the same, but written in different formats has caused some issues and confusion. So as of January 2016, all AAUS OMs will be required to adopt and incorporate these changes into their manuals.  This should not affect how AAUS OMs conduct their diver training programs, as the standards and procedures have not changed. This does not mean that all OM’s are required to offer the AAUS/ITI certification program. This is a first step in streamlining and un-complicating the AAUS manual. Questions regarding these changes should be directed to Liz Kintzing (ek@cisunix.unh.edu), AAUS Standards Chair; questions regarding the AAUS Certification Program should be directed to Christopher Rigaud (crigaud@maine.edu).

AAUS Standards Change 2013-Required Adoption
    06/30/15

In October of 2013, AAUS implemented a change to Sections 4.0 and 5.0 of the AAUS Standards.  These changes coincided with the launch of the AAUS Certification Program and adoption of the new format was initially required only for OMs who chose to participate in the program. However having 2 manual templates that are essentially the same, but written in different formats has caused some issues and confusion. So as of January 2016, all AAUS OMs will be required to adopt and incorporate these changes into their manuals.  This should not affect how AAUS OMs conduct their diver training programs, as the standards and procedures have not changed. This does not mean that all OM’s are required to offer the AAUS/ITI certification program. This is a first step in streamlining and un-complicating the AAUS manual. Questions regarding these changes should be directed to Liz Kintzing (ek@cisunix.unh.edu), AAUS Standards Chair; questions regarding the AAUS Certification Program should be directed to Christopher Rigaud (crigaud@maine.edu).



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