As a kid growing up in Iowa, I wanted to be an astronaut. But when I grew in age and height, I learned that I was too tall to be an astronaut, requiring me to change goals.
While in college at Iowa State University studying Landscape Architecture and Environmental Science, I saw a scuba diving course in the catalog. I thought that this was the closest thing to being an astronaut that I could experience, so in the fall of 1999, I gave it a try. I was excited, apprehensive, and a bit scared as I was not a strong swimmer. It took me the entire semester before I was comfortable enough to pass all of the skills. The class challenged me in many ways but ultimately helped me develop a lot of self confidence. I signed up to help teach the class the following semester and have continued teaching ever since, eventually owning my own scuba shop in central Iowa with a focus on providing exceptional customer service in a safe and friendly environment. My scuba diving education progressed with Advanced Open Water Diver in 2003, Rescue Diver in 2006, Divemaster in 2010, Open Water Scuba Instructor in 2014, and Master Scuba Diver Trainer in 2016.
During my time in Iowa, my childhood dream of becoming an astronaut took one step closer to reality when I was approached by former astronaut, Clayton Anderson, to teach scuba diving as part of a new program at ISU, Spaceflight Operations. This was such an amazing experience and nearly a dream come true! Perhaps one day I will make the venture to the outer limits of Earth and beyond - or at least touch the lives of those who also dream of exploring other worlds through scuba.
Diving has taken me around the world from Iowa to Florida, Norway to Australia, and many places in the Caribbean. I absolutely love to teach scuba diving and can’t wait for my next adventure!
As a PADI Professional I have the opportunity to see:
• Fear changed to courage
• Faintheartedness converted into accomplishment
• Timidity transformed into confidence
• Anticipation turned into passion
As a PADI Professional I can:
• Open hearts and minds to the hidden beauty of nature’s creation and our obligation to protect it
• Foster self-esteem in another person
• Teach the value of character and integrity
• Transform another human being and change a life for the better and forever
John grew up in West Texas in a small town called Memphis. Growing up, one of his favorite shows was Sea Hunt. He always wanted to try SCUBA Diving but did not get the chance until he moved to Redondo Beach, Ca in 1980. The local dive shop was giving free Try SCUBA experience. Long story short, he was hooked and has been diving ever since. He has made over 6,000 dives. He first got certified in 1980 with NASDS Open Water One. Then went right into Los Angeles County Advanced Program where he earned his NAUI Dive Master Certification. In 1982 he became a YMCA and NAUI Instructor. In 1990 he was certified as a TDI Nitrox Instructor and then in 2002 a Public Safety Diving Instructor for PSDA.
From 1999 to 2002 he worked as a SCUBA Instructor or Safety Diver on various major motion picture and commercial projects. Some of the films he worked on are: Castaway, Men of Honor, What Lies Beneath, AI (Artificial Intelligence), Baby Boy, Triple X and a music video for Incubus. He also worked on commercials for Health Network, Pepsi, Visa, Atlantic Bell, Flintstones, & Oxygen Sports Drink.
From 2002 to 2004 he trained and worked with the Los Angeles Port Police in their Search and Rescue team. He trained and supported the team on search and recovery of drugs, explosives, weapons and bodies.
As for recreational diving he has made dives up and down the California coast, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. He has traveled and dove in Mexico, Philippines, Fiji, Australia and most of the Caribbean Islands.
In 2016 John and his wife of 47 years (Rebecca) moved from Los Angeles to Seminole, Florida to retire.
John loves to dive and looks for any reason to do so. He enjoys teaching, especially new students.
Jonathan began diving recreationally as a teenager with his father. He was immediately fascinated with exploring marine ecosystems and the desire to dive and learn shaped his future career choices. Jonathan took scuba diving from a recreational hobby to a professional pursuit during an internship in Mexico. He conducted coral reef fish research and studied to be a Divemaster on the beautiful Mesoamerican reef system. After working as a diver and educator at an aquarium in Tennessee, Jonathan moved up to Alaska to guide snorkel and free dive tours (It’s not as cold as you’d think!). The enormous sea stars and occasional humpback whale or orca made every tour a surprise and he loved to share that excitement with his guests.
Feeling motived to take his diving to the next step, Jonathan then ventured to Honduras to undergo training to become a PADI instructor. As a newly qualified instructor, he began working at a dive shop off the coast of Southern California on Catalina Island. There he worked for the local dive shop and ran his own dive program at a nearby Boy Scout Camp. The lush kelp forests, rocky walls, and playful sea lions made for an incredible classroom for his students.
While he had grown fond of the mighty Pacific, his roots back east motivated him to seek a new opportunity. Jonathan worked as a civilian diver for the Navy while pursuing a Master’s in Coastal and Marine Biology at the University of North Florida. With the new diploma fresh off the presses, he accepted a position with Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC) where he conducts research on mollusks and crustaceans all up and down the northwest coast of Florida. He loves to talk science and is excited about sharing marine life knowledge with his students. Jonathan brings ample diving experience from across the continent and will go out of his way to ensure that you become a confident and skilled diver.