One of the world's most accomplished and well known wreck divers, John Chatterton was one of the co-hosts for the History Channel's Deep Sea Detectives. Prior to his career in television, John spent twenty years working as a commercial diver in and around New York City, and was actually working on a project in the waters underneath the World Financial Center, across the street from the Tower #1, on September 11, 2001.
Researching,locating, and diving the world's shipwrecks has been John's passion. The discovery and six year quest to identify the German submarine U-869, off the coast of New Jersey, has been the subject of several television documentaries including a two hour special for the popular NOVA series on PBS. This same story became the subject of a Random House bestseller by Rob Kurson, Shadow Divers.
In August of 2005, John and his partners put together an expedition to the most famous shipwreck in the world, Titanic. Diving to a depth of 12,500 feet in the MIR submersibles from the Russian Research Ship Keldysh, they made discoveries about the wreck that were featured in two History Channel specials and a book. Author Brad Matsen brought the story to bookshelves with his bestseller, Titanic's Last Secrets.
Currently John and his partners are working in an ongoing relationship with the government of the Dominican Republic in a multi faceted commercial project that involves locating, surveying and identifying colonial era shipwreck sites in the waters around the island of Hispañola.
Learn more about John Chatterton at www.johnchatterton.com
Cody's First Step Foundation
Since being paralyzed in the 6th grade by a spinal cord inflammation, Transverse Myelitis (TM), Cody has raced nonstop to raise awareness and find a cure. As the daughter of Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr., she dreams of walking on the racetrack one day. When she was just 14, she and her mother, Shelley, formed the Cody Unser First Step Foundation, which is dedicated to providing quality–of–life programs for those suffering from paralysis. These programs include a TM research consortium spearheaded by Johns Hopkins Hospital; Cody's Great Scuba Adventure, created to share her new found freedom for all disabilities; and "Operation Deep Down", a military diving program that introduces wounded veterans to scuba as a way to rehabilitate through recreation. Cody is a political activist who has testified before Congress and lobbied nationwide for stem cell research, following in the foot steps of her friend, late actor Christopher Reeve.
Learn more about Cody and her foundation by visiting www.codysfirststep.org.
Our World – Underwater Scholarship Society in North America
2013 North American Rolex Scholar
Jeff Hester, 24, was born in Anaheim, California, and moved to Portland, Oregon, when he was 10 years old. He developed a love for the water early on and would dive for keys, coins or other trinkets at the local pool at the ripe age of 2. A yearning for exploration of the underwater world fueled his desire to learn how to SCUBA dive after moving to sunny San Diego to attend Point Loma Nazarene University. During his college career, Jeff interned with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, was selected for an AAUS diving internship with the Shannon Point Marine Center in Anacortes, Washington, and completed his senior thesis research with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC). Jeff also added nitrox, drysuit, AAUS scientific, wreck and divemaster certifications to his credentials. After graduating with a BS in Biology he was hired by NOAA as a lab technician in a marine mammal genetics lab where he used genetic techniques to study Gray Whale and Beaked Whale population structure.
Throughout these experiences, Jeff has cultivated his passion for diving and marine biology and is eager to work with leaders in these fields in order to better understand the current ecological issues that threaten our marine ecosystems and gain the knowledge to help find solutions. He feels that he has the responsibility and privilege to share what he has been taught so that others may understand, love, and in turn, conserve.
Jeff is thrilled to be representing Aqua Lung and OWUSS as the 2013 North American Scholar.
Follow Jeff's travels and training at Our World–Underwater Scholarship Society