Author Archives: Tina

About Tina

As a child, exploration of the oceans seemed like an unobtainable dream. Partly because I had parents who had an unnatural fear of any water other than that in a bathtub or mud puddle. Secondly, I grew up in land-locked Western Maryland. I still remember my first trip to the beach. To say it felt magical would be a gross understatement. The only thing that kept going through my mind was what is underneath the surface. I did not start diving until my adult life, taking a course as an undergraduate at WVU. However, it would not be until years later that I would get an advanced diving certification that would finally allow me to look under the sea. Recently, I have started diving dry in preparation for the GUE Fundamentals course this summer. If I had my way, I would dive every day. My hope is to one day participate in the Ghost Net removal project. Did I mention that I love sharks? I LOVE sharks! While not diving, or more correctly to pay for my diving addiction, I am an Anatomy & Physiology Professor at San Jacinto College in Houston, Texas. I also work freelance as a Reproductive Biologist.

Knowing When To Say When

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It’s inevitable, everybody has a bad day. If you are in the office or at home, most people shrug it off. Maybe try to relax when it’s over with a pint or glass of wine, and look forward knowing that tomorrow will be better. What if that bad day doesn’t involve meetings in the office or chores at home, but… Read more »

2016 Year In Review-A New Year Underwater and Underground

As we celebrate the New Year, Andy and I headed back to Wes Skiles Peacock Springs State Park in Live Oak, Florida. We decided to revisit the Orange Grove cave system as our first dives since our Cave 1 certification. The basin, with a surface-cover of duckweed, is just as beautiful as the caves that lie below. Our day began… Read more »

GUE Tech Upgrade

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  It is hard to believe that it has been a little more than a year since we completed the GUE Fundamentals course. So much has changed in and out of the water. Gear-related, I am now diving doubles. Honestly, I cannot remember what it was like to dive a single tank. Not gear-related, we moved to Florida to be… Read more »

Building a Better Diver: Gear Aware

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It is a little embarrassing to admit, but there was a time when I didn’t know very much about my gear. I didn’t know the name of the components, what they did, or why they did what they did, and I didn’t care to know. It was at that same time that diving seemed like more of a chore than a… Read more »

Building a Better Diver: Becoming One with the Water

Until just six months ago if someone would have asked me what was the one thing I was most reluctant to do underwater I would have said without hesitation removing my mask. I have been a certified diver since 2002. I have dived in a variety of environments, including several ocean dives. Why was removing my mask so frightening? The… Read more »

Diving Dry: A New Chapter in Diving

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After almost three long months of waiting, our Santi dry suits arrived! Having recently completed the coldest dive of my life, 49 °F in a 7 mm wetsuit, our oversized parcel from Extreme Exposure was a welcome sight.   As we first considered adding dry diving to our underwater repertoire, more than a few questions crossed our minds. Having heard… Read more »

Trip Report- In Search of Santi: High Springs, Florida

  Wanting to eliminate weather as the main determining factor to where and when we could dive, we decided on making the jump from wet to dry. After weighing pros and cons of all available dry suits on the market we chose Santi. Since dry suits are a big financial commitment and involve a bit of a learning curve, we… Read more »

Trip Report: Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

In August 2014, we were fortunate enough to dive in a hidden treasure within the Gulf of Mexico. The Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary is situated ~115 miles directly south of the Texas/Louisiana coast. Encompassing 56 sq. miles (36,000 acres), the sanctuary contains incredible reef systems that are absolutely teaming with life. After an overnight trip in calm seas… Read more »

Lionfish: Invasive Predators of the Deep

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  Native to reefs in the Indo-Pacific region, the lionfish is a member of the scorpion fish family. Growing upwards of 45 cm in length and 1.3 kg in weight, it is an aggressive, territorial species with very few predators likely due to the fact that they are venomous. Large spines located within the dorsal, anal, and pectoral fins are… Read more »

World Oceans Day: Why it Should Matter to All of Us

Did you know that 8 June is World Oceans Day? Like all days of designated observance, World Oceans Day was started to bring a yearly awareness, in this case to the state of our underwater world. Although water makes up ~70% of Earth’s surface, our seas remain one of the most unique, important, and yet unexplored parts of our world…. Read more »

Sea Otters: A Species Under Threat

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With the new challenges wildlife faces daily, it is no longer enough just to survive.  To ensure species longevity, individuals must learn to quickly adapt.  Although a lot of attention is given to the conservation of the large, iconic creatures of land and sea, it is often those species that reside in the middle of the food chain that play… Read more »

The Bottled Water Dilemma

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How many bottles of water do you drink every month?  What about in one week?  How much do you consume in a single day?  Did you know that in the United States alone, over 50 billion bottles of water are consumed annually?  And of those more than 50 billion bottles less than 20% are recycled?  But the bottled water dilemma… Read more »

The Ocean: Where Life Begins and Ends

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The ocean, for most, represents a great blue void.  It is sometimes hard to imagine that an incredible world, much larger than the space terrestrial beings inhabit, lies beyond the shoreline and below the surface.  The Censes of Marine Life, completed in 2010 by 2,700 scientists from 80 countries, identified more than 1 million species that call the ocean home. … Read more »

Shark Finning: The Global Attack on Sharks

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Used as a tasteless thickener in soup and an inconclusive cure all in Ancient Chinese Medicine, shark fin, or more specifically shark finning, claims the lives of more than 70 million sharks annually.  Think about that number for a moment; more than 70 million sharks.  Portrayed as mindless, blood-thirsty killers in Peter Benchley’s novel Jaws, sharks are persecuted not on… Read more »