As a young urbanite growing up in New York City, I never imagined scuba diving would be in my future. After moving to Southern California, I was thankful for my New York Public School education which included swimming lessons. I fell in love with the chill of the Pacific Ocean, especially on a hot sunny day. Despite having taken the “big chop,” I likened myself to a mermaid (sometimes a dolphin) in the ocean waves swimming out to waters far deeper than appropriate for the tide.

At the 2018 Washington DC Travel and Adventure Expo, my husband and I came across a booth for a dive shop offering wreck diving packages. No brainer. I was PADI(c) Open Water certified off the North Carolina coast in June 2018 itching to complete Advanced Open Water. Hurricane Florence alone delayed my progress until May 2019, and it was worth the wait to be certified in the wild. My first encounter with a shark was on a North Carolina wreck dive soon thereafter. The high pitched squeal through my regulator as the shark glided by provided lots of laughs topside; but, as far as I was concerned, with all the prior build up and fear of the unknown, I handled myself like a champ (thank you very much).

Days of drift diving in Cozumel and shore diving in Bonaire couldn’t compare to my 10 day, no frills, liveaboard adventure in the Bahamas. In my day job as a research program director at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), I waste not a single day of vacation earned to ensure I have time for my next diving adventure.

As I work to understand and reduce my carbon footprint, I look forward to diving in as many warm to cool, beautiful bodies of open water as my pockets can stand. I enjoy introducing others to the sport and addressing their fears and misconceptions. Through UAS, I’ve completed PADI Rescue Diver certification and hope to complete programs offered by Diving With A Purpose (DWP) in maritime archaeology and environmental restoration. As UAS Treasurer, I strive to track, analyze and share information the club can use to ensure its financial health and productivity for decades to come.

“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” Isak Dinesen