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Speakers

Becky Schott

Becky Schott is a multiple Emmy Award-winning underwater cameraman, photographer, and accomplished technical diving Instructor whose work can be seen on major networks including National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and the Travel Channel. She is co-owner of Liquid Productions, Inc, specializing in capturing quality imagery in challenging environments. Her projects have taken her all over the globe from exploring virgin wrecks in over 300 feet of water in the Great Lakes, rappelling into caves in the jungle, filming under ice in the Arctic to diving cage-less with great white sharks.

Becky has dived in 4 of the Great Lakes and participated in projects helping to document shipwrecks in 3D for the National Park Service in Isle Royale National Park. She has also participated in several exploration projects searching for new wrecks in Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. In 2011 she was worked with NOAA on a documentary called “Project Shiphunt” searching for shipwrecks with a group of high school students. They found the Schooner M.F. MERRICK lost in 1889 and ETURA in over 300 feet of icy cold water off of Presque Isle Michigan. Becky was one of the first divers on both wrecks to film the exploration. The dives were cold, deep and very challenging. The use of Closed Circuit Rebreathers, mixed gases and experienced safety team were used to conduct the dives. In June of 2015 Becky was invited to assist in the exploration of the Alice E. Wilds found by Shipwreck Explorers off of Milwaukee Michigan. The wreck also sits in over 300 feet of water and was extremely intact. Becky’s passion for the Great Lakes has only grown fiercer in the past few years and visiting more incredible sites and learning the history of these wrecks.

Becky is extremely passionate about sharing the underwater world with others both through her imagery or teaching someone to dive. She's been teaching scuba since 2000 and is an active technical diving instructor and rebreather instructor. In her spare time she’s participated in several exploration projects around the world that have earned her a place as a Fellow in the Explorers Club and in 2013 she was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame.

www.LiquidProductions.com

Brian Kakuk

Founder/Director of the Bahamas Caves Research Foundation
Co-Owner/Operator of Bahamas Underground Cave and Technical Diving Facility

Brian is a former U.S. Navy Diver with over 30 years of professional diving experience.  His work has taken him beneath nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers, to jumping from helicopters into 10 foot seas to recover million dollar weapon systems, to record penetrations of underwater cave systems around the world.  His research diving work with various governmental and scientific institutions has revealed new species of cave adapted marine life, as well as the discovery of fossils that are now repainting the picture of the Bahamas past environment. 

His expertise in diving safety has been used widely in the feature film industry as a Diving Safety Officer and underwater stuntman. With more than 3000 exploration cave dives, Brian is considered one of the leading authorities on the underwater/underground environments of the Bahamas and is a veteran of multiple high profile underwater cave expeditions in the Bahamas, Mexico, Belize, Bermuda, Dominican Republic, Australia, Christmas Island and the U.S.

Though a seasoned underwater photographer, writer, explorer, cave diving instructor and conservationist, Brian’s primary efforts are in the pursuit of the protection of underwater caves in the Bahamas, with a current focus on the Crystal Caves of Abaco. Brian is working hand in hand with the Bahamian Government and local NGOs to preserve the world’s most highly decorated and scientifically significant underwater cave systems.

On the side, Brian assists several equipment manufacturers with the development of new side mount diving equipment and is currently working to produce side mount systems of his own design.

Brian serves on the International Advisory Board of the International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers (IANTD), an advisor on the National Association of Cave Divers (NACD) Training Committee, Diving Consultant for the National Museum of the Bahamas (Antiquities Monuments and Museums Corporation) and is a Fellow of the Explorer’s Club of New York.

Charles Dagneau

Charles was born in Québec City, Canada, where he studied archaeology at Université Laval (Québec), between 1996 and 1999. He completed a Master’s degree in archaeology at Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne in 1999-2001 and then a PhD degree in anthropology at Université de Montréal in 2003-2009. Since his very beginnings in the field in 1996, Charles has worked both as a land and as an underwater archaeologist on a variety of sites in Canada, in the USA and in France. He specialized in 17-18th Century post-medieval maritime archaeology, naval architecture, material culture studies and wood analysis, including dendrochronology. Charles was involved in multiple excavation projects, such as those of the Cavalaire Wreck (France, 16th c.), the Elizabeth and Mary (Quebec, 1690), Fort Saint-Louis (Texas, 1685), Lapérouse shipwrecks (Salomo Islands, 1788), Aber Wrack 2 (France, 18th c.). Charles most notably worked with Adramar association and the French ministry of Culture (Drassm) on La Natière shipwrecks (Dauphine, 1704 and Aimable-Grenot, 1749) between 1999 and 2007. He joined Parks Canada in 2008 and participated on a number of research and survey projects across the country since then.

Charles Dagneau, Parks Canada underwater archaeologist, was part of the team that found the now famous shipwreck, the HMS Erebus. The HMS Erebus was lost at sea over 150 years ago during the Franklin expedition. The ill-fated quest to map the North West Passage in 1845.

Contact
Charles Dagneau
Archéologue subaquatique | Underwater Archaeologist
Service d'archéologie subaquatique | Underwater Archaeology Service
Agence Parcs Canada | Parks Canada Agency
1800 Walkley, Ottawa (Ontario)
Canada K1A0M5
Charles.Dagneau@pc.gc.ca
Telephone | Téléphone 613-993-2125 p. 201
Facsimile | Télécopieur 613-993-9796

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/culture/franklin/index.aspx
Evan Kovacs

Evan works with the Advanced Imaging and Visualization Lab at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where he has been involved in and led numerous expeditions utilizing remotely operated vehicles (“ROVs”), submersibles and technical diving to survey and film everything from the R.M.S. Titanic to deep sea hydrothermal vents to underwater mountains off the New England coast.

Evan also owns and operates Marine Imaging Technologies, LLC, a company that specializes in imaging the underwater world for documentary, science, and survey purposes and he has worked in the marine environment for nearly two decades as an underwater director of photography, camera engineer and technical diver. Evan not only builds camera and lighting systems for these jobs, he is one of the few professional cinematographers qualified to use these systems at depths to 500 feet using scuba equipment and even deeper using manned submersibles, ROVs and AUV’s.

During the past 15 years, Evan has helped build and operate numerous imaging systems to film both above and below the water for broadcast television, museums, scientists and institutions across the world. His underwater and topside work can be seen on National Geographic, History Channel, Discovery Channel, PBS, CBC, BBC, NHK and elsewhere.

http://www.evankovacs.net/

Howie Robins

Howie Robins is the President and one of the founding members the Artificial Reef Society of BC.

He has been an active community diver for over 30 years and has extensive wreck diving experience throughout the world and assisted on the underwater video capture of the sinking of the USS Oriskany a distinguished WWII aircraft carrier sunk in Pensacola Florida in 2006.

Michael Pitts

Michael Pitts specializes in filming underwater and is regarded as one of Britain's foremost underwater cameramen. However, he is equally happy shooting on the surface or from the air. Amongst his many awards he has received Emmys for cinematography on two BBC landmark series: David Attenborough's 'Private Life of Plants' and 'Blue Planet'.

In 2012 he was responsible for the underwater filming of the Sir David Attenborough 3D series on the Galapagos produced by Sky/Colossus. Formatted for cinema the series was released as a film in selected UK cinemas in 2014. He has recently returned from the Falklands and Ascension Island after filming on the new BBC NHU series 'Atlantic'.

Currently he is working on his own production, which follows the changing seasons and the work of a landscape artist.

Michael has over 20 years experience of making wildlife and science documentaries for the BBC and Independent Companies. He works with a variety of camera systems including the RED Epic, the Arri Alexa and the Arri 435. He is now moving into the world of 3D acquisition.

Besides his filming work he also shoots stills and his work has appeared in numerous publications and books.

Faith Ortins

Faith has spent most of her adult life in the ocean. Starting as a scientific diver and volunteering for public safety diving operations in the 1980’s, Faith became a technical diver and divemaster and has thousands of dives over her 37 year diving career. She worked with DUI to develop some of the first women’s drysuits and now leads DUI’s sales team worldwide. She created the DUI DEMOTOUR, which promotes local diving while allowing divers to test dive DUI products, and the DIVEOPS program which promotes education about the risks of diving in contaminated water. She has led expeditions around the world including many to the most remote places on Earth. A frequent presenter at dive shows and conferences, she is a 2010 inductee into the Women Divers Hall of Fame and a member of the Boston Sea Rovers.

Steve Lewis

Steve Lewis is a technical diving instructor trainer, prolific author, and an adventure travel, marketing, and training consultant for various clients in the public and private sectors. He is an avid cave diver, but also has a particular interest in WWII shipwrecks.

Lewis was elected to The Explorers Club in May 2005 for his work on deep wrecks in North America’s Great Lakes, and he is a member of the College of Fellows of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS). Lewis is also a recipient of the Sheck Exley International Safety Award for cave diving. He has been a member of several expeditions, and in 2007 led a team that assessed the Bell Island iron ore mine for "condition, safety and feasibility" of future research. Their report provided the Bell Island Heritage Society with important information on artifacts left when mining operations ended in the 1940s. In 2016, he was part of the team that successfully revisited the mine to continue the work begun nine years before. This recent project carried flags from the Explorers Club and RCGS, and was voted project of the year by the RCGS.

He has published dozens of articles about diving and diver training for various publications and has written several textbooks and instructor guides. He is a popular speaker and has made presentations focussed on diver safety at many dive shows and seminars across North America and Europe. His published books on diving include: The Six Skills and Other Discussions, a guide for technical divers and the very popular: Staying Alive: Applying Risk Management to Advanced Scuba Diving.

Visit Steve’s "BLOG": https://decodoppler.wordpress.com/

"In more than 20 years of doing this stuff, I have logged 2,000 plus staged decompression dives, 1,000 plus cave dives, and approximately 880 deep trimix dives. The cool thing is, I can still get enthusiastic about a bimble on a wreck or a reef in 20 meters because being underwater is way more fun than anything else. Take care and dive safe."

Lawrence Tulissi

Lawrence is an avid local SCUBA diver with almost 20 years of experience including technical diving and most recently certifying as a PADI Openwater instructor. He became involved in underwater photography in an effort to share his love of the underwater world with family and friends.

Lawrence has had photos appear in several publications including issues of Sport Diver, SCUBA Diving and Diver Magazine. Several of his photos were on display after being selected to be part of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History's, Portraits of Planet Ocean exhibit. When not underwater taking photos Lawrence works as an Environmental Consultant.

Underwater photography requires the use of specialized equipment and techniques, in addition to presenting a number of unique challenges. However, the photographer is rewarded with the ability to share a part of the world few have the opportunity to see firsthand. Join Lawrence as he describes the challenges involved and highlights some of his favorite encounters and experiences underwater.

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