President's Slate
November  2023

Happy Halloween!  I hope everybody had a great week being entertained, or frightened, or both. I love this time of year.  Not only is the weather usually awesome, or at least interesting, but it’s also my anniversary (27 years and counting!) and of course, it brings us All Hallows’ Eve.

Halloween has many facets which you may come to appreciate at different times in your life.  As a kid it was mostly about candy.  Later maybe it became more about the costume.  As an adult you may have been more focused on the festivities, until at some point it becomes about kids again, yours or those around you.  For the last three decades, Halloween has been more about scary movies than scary costumes for my wife and I.  We love to watch a good slasher flick, or demon or monster movies, but what really keeps me on the edge of my seat is a good suspense film.  Who is really the villain?  What’s going to happen next?  Who’s going to survive in the end?  Throw in a good jump scare now and then (not too many) and I’m hooked.  I hadn’t thought of it until I started poking around on the internet, but this might actually help explain my love of defines suspenseful as “anything that keeps you in a state of excitedly (or nervously) waiting for something to happen.”  And that’s something I love about diving.  I love not knowing what might be around the next bend in the reef, or what might come into my field of vision on a murky dive.  I like trying to anticipate what my students or a dive team are going to do next, hoping for the best, preparing for the worst.  And I’ve watched numerous situations unfold where I’ve said to myself “Oh boy, how’s this going to turn out?” as I position myself to intervene.  Anything from a loose line from a spool wrapping its way around a diver and their gear, to a curious harbor seal literally sticking its nose into a dive teams’ business when they weren’t expecting it to cause a plot twist.  In reality, the scene sometimes ends with a spectacular vista, a rare animal encounter, or as is all too often the case with modern horror movies, a somewhat anticlimactic end that we all knew was coming from the start.  Of course there is always the chance that the monster could still be alive…

This month I’m proud to announce that the Academy has become an official Strategic Partner with the Campus Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA).  CSHEMA is an organization whose mission is to “support and to educate campus-based EHS professionals to empower and to improve the EHS profession in campus environments”.  Through our partnership, AAUS will be able to network and interact with EH & S Directors and Managers at CSHEMA’s more than 400 member organizations to share information about the regulatory requirements for scientific diving and the benefits of membership in the Academy.  With the goal of fostering communication and productive relationships with other safety professionals we will welcome a CSHEMA representative to our annual Symposium each year and have the opportunity to send a representative to CSHEMA’s annual conference to network with and help guide their members that may be looking to establish safe, effective, and compliant scientific diving programs.  We look forward to many years of what I’m sure will be a highly synergistic relationship with our new Partners.

Until next month (and my final President’s Message!),


Jim Hayward
University of California



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