CERTIFICATION: PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor; IANTD Ice Diver; TDI Advanced Wreck, TDI Advanced Nitrox, TDI Decompression Procedures
# OF DIVES: Somewhere between 500 and 1,000. I stopped logging local dives at about #300, after my second circumnavigation of Dutch Springs. That was ca. 2006.
AT PAN AQUA DIVING: I teach confined water courses, and conduct refreshers, PADI Reactivate, and Discover Scuba courses in the pool year round. During the local dive season, I certify Open Water, Advanced Open Water and specialty students at Dutch Springs. On Thursdays and Saturdays I enjoy helping novice and experienced divers in the store.
FIRST BREATH ON SCUBA: In the pool at Manhattan Plaza during a Pan Aqua scuba class in October 2000. There was the initial warning from my brain - “Remember, humans can’t breathe underwater” - followed by the all encompassing “This is so cool!” when I took that first breath. I’ve been part of the Pan Aqua community ever since.
BEST DIVE EVER: Cape Bernacchi, Antarctica. I’ve done two tours as a research diver in Antarctica. Traveling by snow mobile from our remote field camp, our research team once found a colony of Weddell seals reclining and cavorting on the ice around our dive hole, which had been dynamited into the 12-foot ice cap at the beginning of the field season. In contrast to the bleak topside landscape dominated by ice, black granite and merciless sky, Antarctic waters are alive with vivid color. Visibility is limited only by the amount of light penetrating the ice ceiling: no algae growth at water temperatures of 28-30 degrees F! I also recommend the Solomon Islands for the incredible variety and mind-bending color of corals and animals.
FAVORITE CRITTER: Humpback whales. Their long migrations, social dynamics, complex repertoire of feeding techniques, and songs that evolve over years have fascinated me for years.
WHEN I AM NOT DIVING: I am a scientist and oncology researcher by training. I now work as a healthcare investment banker providing strategic advisory, fundraising and M&A services to companies in the life sciences sector. At some of my clients’ firms, I have filled interim C-Suite roles. I focus on helping early stage companies bring credible, cost efficient solutions to market, shaping the future of healthcare innovation. In my not so ample free time, I enjoy running, good food, and classic movies.