[Coral-List] Coral Diving Award

Jim Hendee jim.hendee at noaa.gov
Tue Dec 22 10:44:04 EST 2009

Greeting again...

    As the subject of a good story and for purposes of a follow-up
award, Dave Fuzzo has asked if he could query Coral-List subscribers to
determine who has dived longer and in more places than any coral
scientist.  He will follow-up in January, but for the time being, I
guess some of the qualifiers we can think of are:

    * Does "any coral scientist" include deceased divers?  Like, does
      Jacques Cousteau pass muster? 
    * Which leads to the next question:  How do we define "scientist?" 
      Peer-reviewed publications?  What about those folks who dive
      thousands of hours on, say, the GBR for the benefit of the
      science, but themselves don't publish?  I know guys who dive every
      single week of the year, and they have an education in marine
      biology or oceanography, but they don't publish.
    * When considering places dived, does that include repeat dives, or
      unique sites, and if so, what about spatial separation of said
      sites?  (Like, does a dive 100 m down the beach count?)
    * What constitutes the proof for purposes of the Award?  Logged
      dives in an official log for, say, PADI?
    * Should there be an official end date for the tally (say, June, 2010)?
    * What should the name of the Award be?

    Whoever "wins" almost doesn't matter, because the stories that will
come out of this would be accounts of some great adventures and some
nice chronicles in coral reef research.  The top head-soakers, whoever
they may be, certainly deserve recognition, that's for sure, and I hope
they get international recognition beyond what they might already have. 
After all, it's a significant risk with every dive, as TG could
certainly attest.

    Just some thoughts for the coming weeks...


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