President's Slate

October 2022
After doing catastrophic damage in Cuba, Hurricane Ian has wreaked havoc over Florida in the last 24 hours, and is currently taking aim at South Carolina. We hope that our members, colleagues, and friends impacted by this storm make it through as safe, sound, and intact as possible.

Storm events can create big challenges for our Organizational and Individual Members. Beyond impacts in their personal lives, occupations and studies can be lost or indefinitely interrupted and delayed. Research facilities can be damaged and resources rendered inoperable. Long term research sites can be fundamentally changed or damaged in the space of a day or two of rain, wind, and swells. While we can then observe and chronicle nature’s recovery, it may be years before balance is returned, and your study sites may never look the same. But we are scientists. We will continue to observe and process data and track changes, draw conclusions, and make predictions. We will keep asking questions and trying to find the answers. That’s what our members do.

As the end of the year comes into view, there is still (always!) so much to do. This week we held the first of at least three AAUS Town Halls that will be taking place over the next two months. Future Town Halls will cover many of the initiatives we are currently working on, including developments in our training programs for AAUS Science Diving Instructors and Diving Safety Officers. If you would like to suggest a topic for a Town Hall, please email me directly or send your suggestions to the AAUS office ([email protected]). And of course we are working hard to organize a fantastic symposium for our members next April in Pensacola, Florida. .

Fall and winter are also a time for professional meetings in our community. The AAUS Board of Directors is holding our Fall Meeting next week, kindly hosted by San Francisco State University. The Association of Dive Program Administrators (ADPA) will hold their annual symposium in conjunction with the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association’s (DEMA) annual industry trade show in November. The Western Society of Naturalists (WSN) and the American Geophysical Union (AGU) will hold their annual meetings in November and December respectively. It’s fun to look forward to these opportunities to network with colleagues, to see the results of our efforts as new papers are presented by our divers, and who doesn’t appreciate the opportunity for some professional development?

One person who no longer needs to look for professional development (because he has officially retired!) is Steve Clabuesch. Steve is one of my oldest friends, with our friendship dating back to the early nineties. As I got to know him while working with the UC Santa Cruz recreational diving program, I learned that Steve had attended commercial diving school in Santa Barbara, and I would eventually follow his lead. Several years later I returned to northern California to work at UC Berkeley, and Steve was soon appointed DSO at UCSC. Over the last two decades Steve has trained hundreds of science divers, with his talented wife Cecilia bookending Steve’s training by providing excellent entry level diver certifications and then continuing education in Diver Leadership training all the way up to Instructor through the UCSC recreational diving program. Together they are true champions for safe diving in California. Steve has served AAUS as a board member, sat on numerous committees, and staffed several workshops. He helped with the formation of and is the current treasurer for the Scientific Boating Safety Association (SBSA). He’s been an inspiration to many of us for many years and, assuming we let him actually retire, his presence at our various gatherings will be sorely missed.

Please join me in thanking and congratulating Steve and Cecilia on their recent retirements. It’s been a joy and an honor to work with you both. We wish you calms seas and clear waters!

Jim Hayward
University of California



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