Tag

women

National Geographic Recognizes Jill Heinerth’s Edgy Photography

By | All Posts, Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Underwater Photo and Video, We Are Water, Women Underwater | No Comments

National Geographic Photo Editor Sadie Quarrier recently recognized 9 remarkable women for their skills as adventure photographers.

For female adventure photographers, it can also be a challenge to break into this male-dominated niche.”

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Sexism Feature Article

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This is the most difficult article I have even written. I can’t thank Phil Nyutten, Peter Golding and Russell Clark enough for getting this into print. Hopefully it will help bring light to the issue and enhance the sensitivity in our community towards issues that put barriers in front of capable and enthusiastic people. Read the Article

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To Pee or Not to Pee

By | All Posts, Cave Diving, Rebreather Diving, Sidemount Diving, Women Underwater | No Comments

Shirley Kasser wrote and excellent blog post on the realities of pee valves for women. Read here.

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Women Underwater on Planet Earth Diver

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Brian Hurricane Smith interviews Jill Heinerth about her new book, Women Underwater which she co-authored with Reneé Power. Heinerth describes  why they felt the need to write a gender specific scuba manual. Listen to the podcast here.

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Women Divers Hall of Fame 2015 Scholarships and Grants

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DEADLINE FOR 2015 WOMEN DIVERS HALL OF FAME SCHOLARSHIPS AND TRAINING GRANTS IS NOVEMBER 28, 2014
 
The Women Divers Hall of Fame™ (WDHOF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring and raising awareness of the contributions of outstanding women divers. WDHOF provides educational, mentorship, financial, and career opportunities to the diving community throughout the world. Each year, WDHOF awards scholarships and training grants that provide financial and educational support to individuals of all ages, particularly those who are preparing for professional careers that involve diving. 
 
Scholarships are offered in conservation, marine biology, underwater archaeology, and journalism, graphic arts, or photography. They are intended to support tuition and fees, independent research, and/or an internship program at an accredited university. Scholarships are paid directly to the recipient. 
 
Training grants provide funding for scuba training and, for some awards, scuba equipment. Funds are paid directly to the training facility and/or the equipment vendor upon WDHOF’s receipt of an invoice; they are NOT paid directly to the grantee.
 
 
SCHOLARSHIPS 
 
NEW THIS YEAR!!!  WDHOF SCHOLARSHIP IN MARINE OR UNDERWATER EDUCATION
A $2,000 scholarship will be awarded to a qualified woman of any age to plan and conduct an education project in marine or underwater STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) programs for students in grades K-12. The scholarship may also be used to support independent research by an educator in any underwater STEM area. Applicants should hold a degree (or equivalent certificate) in education, museum studies, or other relevant area, and have experience teaching marine science, technology, or engineering at any K-12 level.
 
NEW THIS YEAR!!!  WDHOF/LIFEGUARD SYSTEMS PUBLIC SAFETY DIVING SCHOLARSHIP
A scholarship to take an unlimited number of any Lifeguard Systems open, Levels 1-3, public safety and water rescue certification training programs for a duration of one year will be awarded to a woman 18 years of age or older, with a commitment to public safety diving and water rescue, and preferably some experience in public safety (e.g., EMT certification, volunteer firefighter, in law enforcement, forensics, etc.). The awardee might be able to stay in the host’s facility (e.g., fire department) at no cost, if such an option is available. Applicants must be certified to dive, have their own dive gear, and must be capable of getting to and from the training programs. The recipient will most likely also be able to take additional training programs from at least one other water rescue/recovery training agency.
 
WDHOF / AGGRESSOR AND DANCER FLEET GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP IN MARINE CONSERVATION
A $2,000 scholarship will be awarded to a qualified woman of any age who is enrolled in an accredited GRADUATE academic or research program in the field of marine conservation. The scholarship is intended to assist with college tuition/fees or may be used to support independent research or an internship program at an accredited university.
 
WDHOF / CECELIA CONNELLY MEMORIAL GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP IN UNDERWATER ARCHAEOLOGY, sponsored by the Connelly family
A $2,000 scholarship will be awarded to a deserving woman graduate student. Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited course of study in the field of underwater archaeology. The scholarship is intended to assist with college tuition/fees or field study costs and is open to candidates worldwide. A GPA of 3.0 or better is required, and the applicant must be in good standing with her academic institution. First year graduate students may submit verification of a minimum overall GPA of 2.5 from their final year as an undergraduate. There is no applicant age limit.
 
WDHOF / CECELIA CONNELLY MEMORIAL UNDERGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP IN UNDERWATER ARCHAEOLOGY, sponsored by the Connelly family
A $750 scholarship will be awarded to a deserving woman undergraduate student. Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited course of study in the field of underwater archaeology. The scholarship is intended to assist with college tuition/fees or field study costs and is open to candidates worldwide. An overall GPA of 2.5 or better is required and the applicant must be in good standing with her academic institution. There is no applicant age limit.
 
WDHOF / ELIZABETH GREENHALGH MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP IN JOURNALISM, GRAPHIC ARTS, OR PHOTOGRAPHY, sponsored by Deb Greenhalgh
A $1,500 scholarship will be awarded to a woman diver who is furthering her education beyond high school in the field of journalism, graphic arts, or photography to better serve the ocean environment or ocean community. The scholarship is intended to assist with college tuition/fees or may be used to support an internship program at an accredited university.
 
WDHOF UNDERGRADUATE MARINE RESEARCH INTERNSHIP IN MARINE BIOLOGY, sponsored by Sue Morra, Ph.D. and Kathleen Dudzinski, Ph.D.
A $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a woman UNDERGRADUATE student who is (or will be) participating in an internship program with a focus in marine biology. Students must have completed at least 60 credits or hold third year (junior) status prior to starting the internship.
 
WDHOF UNDERGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP IN MARINE CONSERVATION, sponsored by Sherry A. Reed
A $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a deserving UNDERGRADUATE woman who is enrolled in an accredited academic or research program in the field of marine conservation. Special consideration will be given to those women who are scuba certified. The scholarship is intended to assist with college tuition/fees or may be used to support independent research or an internship program at an accredited university.
 

TRAINING GRANTS 

WDHOF ADVANCED DIVE TRAINING GRANT sponsored by Bonnie Toth
A $1,000 training grant (up to $500 for training and up to $500 for dive equipment) will be awarded to a deserving woman diver of any age and background who wishes to further her dive education through an approved scuba diving program beyond the basic certification level. Up to $500 may be used for dive training, and up to $500 may be used for dive equipment. The recipient MUST use the funds for training BEFORE she uses the award to purchase dive equipment. When the recipient enrolls in an approved diving course/program and purchases dive equipment, the training facility/equipment vendor must send the invoice to WDHOF; funds are paid directly to the training facility/vendor, and not to the recipient.
 
WDHOF / AMELIA BEHRENS-FURNISS MEMORIAL HARDHAT TRAINING GRANT
A $1,000 grant will be awarded to a deserving woman diver of any age and background who wishes to begin or further her training in hardhat diving through an approved hardhat dive training program. The applicant should be enrolled in or attending a commercial dive school. Up to $1,000 may be used for dive training. When the recipient enrolls in an approved diving course/program, the training facility must send the invoice to WDHOF; funds are paid directly to the training facility, and not to the recipient.
 
NEW THIS YEAR!!!  WDHOF / CODE BLUE EDUCATION LTD DIVER MEDIC TRAINING GRANT
A $2000.00 training grant ($1275.00 for training and up to $725.00 for food and accommodations) will be awarded to a deserving male or female who wishes to further his/her diving training/education as a diver medic technician. The recipient must enroll in an approved Diver Medic Training facility with Code Blue Education Ltd in the United Kingdom. Upon successful completion of the Diver Medic Technician course, the recipient will be awarded a DAN or IMCA Diver Medical Technician certification. Applicants must be over the age of 18, have at least the recreational diver certification of Rescue Diver or equivalent, and should hold a current EFR/BLS/First Aid certification.

NEW THIS YEAR!!!  WDHOF / ELLA JEAN MORGAN MEMORIAL DIVE TRAINING GRANT
A $1,000 training grant will be awarded to a deserving young female, age 15-21, who wishes to begin her dive education/training. Up to $500 may be used for dive training, and up to $500 may be used for dive equipment. The recipient MUST use the funds for training BEFORE she uses the award to purchase dive equipment. An approved diving course must consist of at least 12 hours of classroom training, 12 hours of pool/confined-water training and at least 5 open-water dives and must culminate in a certification from a nationally recognized diver-training agency. When the recipient enrolls in an approved diving course/program and purchases dive equipment, the training facility/equipment vendor must send the invoice to WDHOF; funds are paid directly to the training facility/vendor, and not to the recipient.

WDHOF / HUGH FLETCHER MEMORIAL TRAINING GRANT TO ASSIST THE DISABLED TO DIVE
A $1,000 training grant (up to $500 for training and up to $500 for dive equipment) will be awarded to any disabled diver who wishes to pursue or further his/her dive education and purchase adaptive equipment, or to a dive master, assistant instructor, or instructor to gain the required education/training to assist or teach the disabled to dive. Candidates can be male or female. Up to $500 may be used for dive training, and up to $500 may be used for adaptive dive equipment. The recipient MUST use the funds for training BEFORE he/she uses the award to purchase adaptive dive equipment. When the recipient enrolls in an approved diving course/program and purchases adaptive dive equipment, the training facility/equipment vendor must send the invoice to WDHOF; funds are paid directly to the training facility/vendor, and not to the recipient.

WDHOF / KIDS SEA CAMP BASIC DIVE TRAINING GRANTS, sponsored by Margo Peyton
Two $500 training grants will be awarded to deserving women divers of any age and background who wish to begin their dive education through a PADI scuba certification course. Two awards will be given to novice divers to gain the fundamental knowledge, skills and ability to safely breathe underwater. The recipients must enroll in approved PADI diving courses/programs at a PADI training facility located closest to the home of the recipient. The training facility must send the invoice to WDHOF; funds are paid directly to the training facility, and not to the recipient.

NEW THIS YEAR!!!  WDHOF / MORGAN/O’NEILL UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY GRANT
A $2,000 grant will be awarded to a qualified female photographer of any age to continue her professional development in the field of underwater photography. Applicants must be certified divers with significant dive experience. The successful applicant will be a serious, career-minded woman with the intent to (continue to) develop her career in underwater photography. Applicants will be required to submit a photographic portfolio and an essay. The grant may be used to fund master digital workshops or other developmental classes in underwater photography, and funds will be paid directly to the instructional facility—not to the recipient. The grant may not be used to buy equipment.

WDHOF / OCEAN PALS JUNIOR DIVE TRAINING GRANT
A $1,000 training grant (up to $500 for training and up to $500 for dive equipment) will be awarded to a deserving young woman, ages 13-16, who wishes to begin or further her dive education/training. Up to $500 may be used for dive training, and up to $500 may be used for dive equipment. The recipient MUST use the funds for training BEFORE she uses the award to purchase dive equipment. When the recipient enrolls in an approved diving course/program and purchases dive equipment, the training facility/equipment vendor must send the invoice to WDHOF; funds are paid directly to the training facility/vendor, and not to the recipient.

WDHOF / SCUBA MADE EASY TRAINING GRANT IN MARINE SCIENCE, OCEANOGRAPHY OR OCEAN ENGINEERING
A $1,000 training grant (up to $500 for training and up to $500 for dive equipment) will be awarded to a deserving woman diver of any age, working in the areas of marine science, oceanography or ocean engineering. The training grant is to be used for the purpose of continuing diver education/training and is open to candidates worldwide. The recipient MUST use the funds for training BEFORE she uses the award to purchase dive equipment. When the recipient enrolls in an approved diving course/program and purchases dive equipment, the training facility/equipment vendor must send the invoice to WDHOF; funds are paid directly to the training facility/vendor, and not to the recipient.

WDHOF / WOMEN’S SCUBA ASSOCIATION TRAINING GRANT sponsored by Jennifer King
A $750 training grant (up to $500 for training and up to $250 for dive equipment) will be awarded to a deserving young male or female who wishes to begin or further his/her dive education/training. Candidates must be enrolled in an ROTC or JROTC program, military academy or be a Sea Cadet. Up to $500 may be used for dive training, and up to $250 may be used for dive equipment. The recipient MUST use the funds for training BEFORE he/she uses the award to purchase dive equipment. When the recipient enrolls in an approved diving course/program and purchases dive equipment, the training facility/equipment vendor must send the invoice to WDHOF; funds are paid directly to the training facility/vendor, and not to the recipient.
 
 
How to apply: 
 
Information on all scholarships/grants and the online application can be found at http://www.wdhof.org/scholarships/scholarships.shtml

You may only apply for one scholarship/grant per year. Applicants MUST complete the online application form. Please read the scholarship/grant descriptions and application instructions carefully. All scholarships/grants require the applicant to submit a biography/resume/curriculum vitae, an essay, and two letters of recommendation. Some of the scholarships/training grants require additional information, or are for specific purposes. Incomplete and/or late applications will not be accepted for further consideration. If you have questions after you’ve carefully read the application instructions, please email: scholarships@wdhof.org
 
The deadline for receipt of applications is November 28, 2014 at midnight U.S. Eastern Standard Time. Applicants will be notified of award status by February 1, 2015. Only online submissions will be accepted.
 
To learn more about The Women Divers Hall of Fame, visit: www.wdhof.org

 

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Tekkie La Femme

By | All Posts, Women Underwater | No Comments

Finding the Right Gear for Women Technical Divers

Close3697lI recall being angry when I looked at the seminar listings at the AquaCorps Tek Conference in the early 1990s. There was a session called “Tekkie la Femme” designed  for women to gather together and talk about the potential of getting involved in technical diving. There was also a session about DPVs. Why wasn’t it called “Tekkie La Scoot Scoot?” It was hard to be taken seriously as a diver when we were always separated from men and deemed as “cute” in our efforts to be involved in the extreme end of the sport. In retrospect, I should thank Michael Menduno, the conference organizer, for getting me off my butt. I knew there were plenty of women tech divers doing remarkable things around the world. So I focussed my anger on creating new relationships with those women and telling their stories. Not long after that conference, my dear friend Patty Mortara and I launched a magazine called Women Underwater. Though we only ran it for a few years until our bank accounts ran dry, it set me on a course that will finally bear the fruit of a book by the same name, co-authored with Renee Power. We’ll release that in 2014, but in the interim, I want to offer a blog post to answer a few of the challenges that women face in technical diving.

To begin, I think that women are better suited for the extreme challenges of expeditionary and technical diving than men. There. I said it. To be frank, I find that my female students are extremely careful. They work patiently and meticulously to achieve their goals and they are very honest about risk assessment. Those are great traits for a division of the sport that carries very real risks of injury or death.

One of the greatest challenges to women tech divers therefore is generally not the attitude, but the very real issues that come with getting gear that fits. It takes a sensitive and thoughtful instructor or salesperson to help you navigate the issues of fit. Through ignorance or lack of patience, women are often steered to what’s available on the shelf rather than taken through a custom-fitted experience that gets them into perfectly fitted equipment. In addition to my diving efforts, I am an avid cyclist. It is easy to buy an off-the-rack bike and adjust the pedals, seat and handlebars to come close to a reasonable fit, but a cyclist involved in racing or long-range touring needs more attention. There are actually professional bike fitters that can measure your body and design the best bike with custom components that will optimize your ergonomics and increase your speed potential. Cyclists often pay hundreds of dollars for that service. Somehow, we lack that job description in the diving industry. So it will be incumbent on you to be aware of the issues and ask for solutions rather than accepting compromises in your large investment in equipment.

Women come in all shapes and size and that variation means, there are a lot of different fit issues. My friend and co-author Renee Power and I are great examples. I am closer to a man’s stature at 5’10” but my curves are all different. She is diminutive in height and has to look hard for tiny fins with real power and tanks that don’t exceed her body weight. When you are looking for a good fit, these are a few factors to take into consideration:

  • Torso – no matter how tall you are, your torso is likely shorter than a man’s. Ensure your backplate does not feel like it is too long. Make sure the waist and crotch straps are comfortable and situated correctly on your body.
  • Chest – Women come in all breast sizes. Make sure your harness isn’t digging into your boobs. The chest strap should help keep the rig on your shoulders but it should not dig into you or interfere with the dry suit inflation valve. This means the shoulder straps might need some adjustment. They may need to be attached further back on the waist band to clear your breasts. The chest strap may need to be raised or lowered to avoid discomfort.
  • Shoulders – Women’s shoulder slope downward and are narrower than men’s. If you have ever had a harness or BCD that feels like it is slipping off the shoulder, it is because the straps are too far down your shoulders. A chest strap can help correct this as can weaving the harness to cross in the back behind the shoulders.
  • Arms – Your arm length may be shorter than men. You might have more flexibility, but determine if you can reach all the standard attachment points for gear or whether you will need to make some adjustments to find places you can reach. Your arms have less “real estate” for multiple computers, wrist slates and compasses. You may need to find alternative attachments for that gear.
  • Waist – Your waist may also have limited space for d-rings, knives or lighting attachments. Get creative and check to see if you can reach around all that equipment to get to your rear D-ring or other attachment point.

There are many other factors that will enhance fit. (In fact, we are literally writing an entire book about it!) The bottom line, is that you need to be very demonstrative about finding comfortable gear and locating the right attachment points for you. It may mean renting some gear and trying it out. It may mean using less conventional solutions that don’t prescribe to somebody else’s idea about how you should be diving. Be confident in your efforts. If you can show an instructor that your way works and does not create any safety issues for the team, then there is no reason why that is not a viable solution. Be strong. You know what feels right and you are capable of innovating and sharing your unique solutions with others!

Women Underwater Cover Shoot

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Surface0310lSanti and Halcyon Support the Photo Shoot for Women Underwater

I spent two days shooting photos for the cover of my new book, co-authored with Renee Power, my most excellent model! Ken Charlesworth from Halcyon joined us for a day of shooting at Ginnie Springs while Renee enjoyed her new custom dry suit from Santi. The Women’s First line is a brand new product series from Santi designed to specifically meet the needs of women recreational and technical divers.