The Women Divers Hall of Fame (WDHOF) has just released the names of its 2009 Honorees: Dr. Melanie Clark, Mandy-Rae Cruickshank, Randi Eisen, Pauline Fiene, Dr. Anita George-Ares, and Margo Peyton.
The six women will be inducted into the WDHOF at the Beneath the Sea Awards Banquet on March 28, 2009 at the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel in Secaucus, New Jersey. As each woman is presented with her WDHOF gold membership pin and certificate by the WDHOF Board of Directors and Officers, she will20officially join the ranks of the most accomplished and outstanding women divers in the world.
WDHOF, Inc. was founded in 2000 by Beneath the Sea Inc., Women Underwater, the Underwater Society of America, The Women’s Scuba Association, Dr. Hillary Viders and Capt. Kathy Weydig. WDHOF is the world’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to recognizing and promoting women divers and to offering financial support to men and women seeking diving careers through the WDHOF Scholarship/Training Grant Program.
Since its inception, WDHOF has selected 156 Members from 38 US states and US Territories, Europe, Australia, the Caribbean, Canada and Mexico.
The 2009 WDHOF Honorees are:
Dr. Melanie A. Clark
A veteran diver with over 4,000 dives Dr. Clark is a high level Instructor Trainer of Technical Diving and Open and Closed Circuit Rebreather Diving. She has authored five rebreather training manuals and is also an accomplished underwater photographer and a staff photojournalist for Advanced Diver Magazine. She has been a volunteer firefighter and has provided other emergency medical services. Dr. Clark’s current role is a Doctor of Pharmacy and co-owner of Silent Scuba, LLC, which is a technical training facility in Seattle, WA.
Mandy-Rae Cruickshank is a world renowned free diver and a Scuba Instructor/ Course Director. She holds 7 world records in Freediving and teaches Performance Freediving. Three years ago, Cruiskank teamed up with the=2 0Oceanic Preservation Society to create a movie that brings awareness to our oceans, the captive dolphin industry and the slaughter of dolphins.
As a Technical Diving Instructor and Deep Diving, Mixed Gas expert, Randi Eisen earned a spot on the team mapping Bikini Atoll. Educated in Science, Eisen works as an Experimental Scientist. She also serves as the Senior Director and Trustee for Beneath the Sea, and as Vice President of the Long Island Dive Association (LIDA) in New York.
Pauline Fiene, a marine biologist, has studied Hawaiian marine life for over twenty years, discovering over 60 new species of opisthobranchs, two of which have been named for her. Through detailed annual monitoring she discovered the spawning pattern of Hawaii's most abundant species of coral – the first time spawning had been determined for this species worldwide – and now offers trips for divers to see this rare daylight spawning event. She is coauthor of several books including Molokini - Hawaii's Island Marine Sanctuary; and Diving Hawaii and Midway; and with Cory Pittman she has just launched the comprehensive Hawaiian nudibranch website, www.seaslugsofhawaii.com. Fiene has been a divemaster for 22 years and has logged over 7,500 dives. She owns and operates Mike Severns Diving, a dive boat operation on Maui with a reputation for safety and knowledge of marine animals and their behaviors.
Anita George-Ares has Masters and Doctoral degrees in Marine Biology. While conducting her Master’s thesis research at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Dr. Georges-Ares discovered five new species of fish. Her doctoral research focused on aquaculture and aquatic animal pathology. She conducted underwater studies on fish systematics and behavior with Dr. Eugenie Clark in Japan, Mexico, and the Red Sea. She participated as a research diver for National Geographic’s Sleeping Shark Expeditions and was featured in the April 1975 issue of National Geographic. Georges-Ares taught scuba diving as a NAUI and PADI Instructor for 26 years and she is a published marine scientist and underwater photographer. She has worked as a marine environmental consultant for the past 20 years. She is an industry representative for the United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre’s Proteus Partnership that serves to improve the quality and access of marine biodiversity data.
With a degree in Tourism, Margo owned and ran Caribbean Adventures & World Dive Adventures. As a mother of two, she realized a need for family dive travel and founded Kids Sea Camp in 2000. Margo’s camps certify 600 divers annually and she has created the world’s largest family dive program, with 1,600 participants each year. Margo is co-founder of Ocean Wishes Foundation, and besides her own initiatives, contributes to Oceans for Youth, Ocean Pals, and many others. She is a Dive Master with numerous specialties, who is committed to educating children about the ocean and ways to protect it.
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