May 2010: SMDI Majors Complete Instructor Training in Bonaire.
Barry University SMDI Instructor Brett Scaglione (Right) takes some time to pose with research volunteer Bo Ong (Left) and show off the pulse oxymeter and housing used for the SMDI Data collection.
A NAUI Instructor Training Course was conducted in Delray Beach Florida and Bonaire, with Dr. Michael Brady (NAUI # 20729) as Course Director. The ITC was staffed by Sharon Kegeles (NAUI # 16512), with Jan Eckle (NAUI # 38224) joining the ITC during the Bonaire activities. The ITC activities in Delray Beach included preparatory work, classroom delivery and demonstrations, confined water lessons, evaluations, individual counseling, and water demonstrations. For the open water training and concluding activities, the ITC shifted to the beautiful island of Bonaire.
Candidates Mark Wallerstein and Roberto Carlos Santini came to the ITC with solid preparation as a result of participating in the Barry University program in Sport Management - Diving Industry Program, coordinated by faculty member Sharon Kegeles. Both came to the ITC as active NAUI DMs. Both were attracted to NAUI's values allowing instructors the "freedom to teach" and to customize courses for different types of settings and students. Both also showed the advantages that active scuba assistants in a college atmosphere bring to a scuba class. For example, Mark, a working DM on a dive boat in south Florida, delivered a lesson to leadership candidates on how to jump and tie into a wreck – a lesson that stole the after-dinner show during an evening class in Bonaire. Mark completed the ITC as a NAUI Instructor. Carlos, an active DM at Barry who regularly assists with dive operations there, showed remarkable skill in supporting student divers with differing ability levels during water entries, dives, and rescues and assists. Carlos completed the course as a NAUI Associate Instructor.
Highlights of the course included surprise observations of the candidates during unscheduled fly-overs – by two hawks in Delray, and a family of green parrots in Bonaire. The Bonaire activities also included attention to teaching divers with disabilities and other life challenges. This included teaching divers with mobility and vision impairments as well as aging divers. Water conditions in both Florida and Bonaire were ideal for training, although the candidates remarked that the abundant sea life in Bonaire posed instructional rewards and challenges when working with staff and students. Still, the opportunity to deliver briefings, open water beach dives, rescue demonstrations, and de-briefings on a bluff overlooking the Caribbean was a highlight of the final days of the ITC.
We welcome new NAUI instructor Mark Wallerstein and Associate Instructor Roberto Carlos Santini.