EPISODE 18: Manuel Bergmann
Global Team Leader, Bye Bye Plastic Bags
Manuel is a 21 year old sustainability activist who is the Global Team Leader of Bye Bye Plastic Bags, a youth-driven NGO that educates & shows solutions on how people can say NO to plastic bags.
Bye Bye Plastic Bags envisions a world free of plastic bags and where the young generation are empowered to take action. Our mission is to empower people to do what is right through education, campaigns, and political meetings. Start making a difference one bag at a time.
EPISODE 17: Dune Ives
Executive Director, Lonely Whale
Dune Ives is the Executive Director of award-winning Lonely Whale, an incubator for courageous ideas that drive impactful, market-based change on behalf of our ocean. Ives designs and leads initiatives that address environmental degradation and species decline. Under Ives’ leadership, efforts by Lonely Whale to reduce ocean-bound plastic have earned recognition as one of Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas, Huffington Post’s Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Environmental Sustainability in 2017, the P4G 2018 Circular Economy Award sponsored by the Danish Government, the SEAL Awards in 2018, and highest honors from the Effy, Shorty, and ADDY Awards.
Ives’ expertise in sustainability and environmental business issues across industries, coupled with a Ph.D. in Psychology, allow for her innovative yet practical approach to resolving challenges for our environment. Notably, Ives designed and oversaw Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Philanthropy, co-founded The Green Sports Alliance and was chosen as one of four “Environmental Champions of 2017” by InsideHook. Ives’ contributions include global speaking engagements at conferences such as 6IMDC, GLOBE 2018, Plastics Recycling Conference, Washington Post LIVE, Milken Institute of Philanthropy Expert Convening and Dell Technologies World. Ives also served as a Plenary Speaker at the 2018 Our Ocean Conference in Bali, Indonesia. She’s been featured in Fast Company, NPR, CNN, CBS Sunday Morning, Grist, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, and Washington Post, to name a few.
EPISODE 16: Cristina Zenato
Shark Conservationist & Cave Diver
A professional diver since 1994, Cristina Zenato is an ocean and cave explorer, a shark expert, a speaker, writer and conservationist. Her field of work with sharks is vast; a shark ambassador, she works with sharks in the wild and is known for the special relationship she has with them. Her work has reached places and helped change people’s perception of sharks like China and Singapore. In her home in the Bahamas she has been the initiator of a movement that has convinced the government to protect all sharks since 2011.
Cristina has explored and mapped several cave systems She is the first woman to have connected an ocean blue hole with a land-based cave. Cristina believes in the power of education and has dedicated countless time and energy in non-profit and educational work. She supports several organizations including Our World Underwater Scholarship Society and Women Divers Hall of Fame scholarships program.
Cristina is a PADI Course Director, a NSS-CDS full cave diving instructor and a TDI Technical Instructor and a member of the Explorers Club, the Women Divers Hall of Fame, Ocean Artists Society and a Platinum Pro 5000 recipient.
EPISODE 15: Brandi Mueller
Underwater Photographer & Author
Brandi Mueller is an award-winning underwater photographer and freelance writer. She has been scuba diving for 18 years and instructing for 12, diving all around the world both teaching and taking photos. Brandi is also a USCG Merchant Mariner captain and she worked as a captain in Kwajalein Atoll for over three years while photographing the Airplane Graveyard. Her diving and travels have taken her to six continents and she has dived in the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Southern Ocean. Her photos and writing have appeared in many print articles and online.
About The Airplane Graveyard
At the end of WWII, around 150 American airplanes, all veterans of the Pacific war, were dumped in the lagoon of Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands. A master diver and superb underwater photographer, Brandi Mueller has dived to depths of 120 feet to capture rare images of these forgotten warbirds, many looking as if they could still take off and return to the war-torn skies at any moment. In The Airplane Graveyard, Brandi takes you below the ocean’s surface to discover the forgotten remains of Douglas SBD Dauntless, Vought F4U Corsair, Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, Curtiss C-46 Commando, Grumman F4F Wildcats, Grumman TBF Avengers, and an astounding eleven PBJ-1 Mitchell Medium Bombers. The haunting images are accompanied by a text that includes a historical account of the aircraft by military historian Alan Axelrod.
EPISODE 14: Carole Robert
PADI Scuba Instructor
I grew up in the suburbs of Paris, and it was not the best place for scuba diving, but I was lucky enough to spend the summers of my childhood on my grandfather's little sailboat, down the French Riviera. It's probably where the ocean grew in me.
Later on, at the age of 13, I had the opportunity to join a diving club in the Paris suburb. For 6 years, I had weekly training in the pool, doing some swimming, free diving, and of course scuba diving activities. Then I started university and I didn't dive much. I was in a real Parisian lifestyle, and thought that was going to be my life. At the end of my masters, I went to Australia, and I had a revelation. I didn't want to go back to Paris, I didn't want to live an "office" life. I wanted more. I wanted to travel and live a thousand lives. I met an awesome German guy that put me back on the path of diving, and went professional. Four years and six countries later, here I am in New Zealand, still living the dream and a full time instructor!
EPISODE 13: Stefanie Brendl
Founder & President, Shark Allies
Stefanie has been working in Shark Conservation, media production, and shark diving operations for more than 30 years. She was born and raised in Germany and started diving when she moved to Guam. For the years to follow, her work and life was focused on spending as much time in and under the water as possible, working on a range of projects from dive magazines and TV shows to underwater archaeological excavations.
Her political work has put Stefanie on the forefront of the shark conservation movement. She was a driving force behind the first shark fin trade ban in the Nation in Hawaii in 2010 and many of the subsequent fin bans in US States and Pacific Island Nations. For her accomplishments, she was awarded the "Shark Guardian" Award in 2011 in Germany.
Stefanie has worked with many large and small foundations and charities over the years. She also founded the non-profit, Shark Allies, in 2007 in Hawaii, and in 2014 in California and leads the group as Executive Director. Shark Allies focuses on shark conservation, education, and advocacy. Stefanie is a PADI instructor but doesn’t get much time to teach due to the conservation work she is pursuing.
EPISODE 12: Susan R. Eaton
Team Leader & Geoscientist, Sedna Epic Expedition
The multiyear Sedna Epic Expedition is comprised of a volunteer team of women ocean explorers, scientists, photographers, videographers, artists, historians, educators and scuba divers from Canada, the USA and Mexico. The Sedna Epic’s mandate is to scout, record and document disappearing sea ice in the Arctic (Labrador, Nunavut and Greenland). Sedna’s dive and snorkel expeditions to the Arctic (in the summers of 2014, 2016 and 2018) involved bringing the ocean to eye level for Inuit youth, girls and Elders living in remote northern communities. Sedna’s ocean knowledge mobilization program also engages K12 students—through school visits and via Google Hangouts—in Canada, the USA and Mexico.
Through its unique ocean mentorship program, the Sedna Epic aims to inspire and empower Inuit girls and young women of the Arctic—the next generation of leaders in this matriarchal Indigenous society—who will combat not only climate change but societal change in Canada’s remote northern communities. Leading by doing, Team Sedna introduces Inuit girls and young women to potential careers in ocean science and technology, conservation, fisheries management, underwater videography and photography, and polar diving, an emerging form of ecotourism in the Arctic.
A Canadian geologist, geophysicist, journalist and conservationist, Susan R. Eaton explores the world’s oceans—from Antarctica to the Arctic—in the snorkel zone, a unique land-sea-ice-air interface where charismatic animals and snorkelers co-mingle. Ten years ago, Susan suffered a scuba diving trauma that landed her in a hyperbaric chamber and ended her 30-year diving career. Undaunted, her up-close-and-personal relationship with the ocean (which had included teaching diving) didn’t end in the hyperbaric chamber. She’s snorkeled with chatty belugas Hudson Bay, migrating salmon in Haida Gwaii, and with darting penguins and charging leopard seals in Antarctica.
EPISODE 9: Zackery Rago
Coral Nerd, Chasing Coral
Zackery Rago is the Youth Outreach Manger for Exposure Labs' Chasing Coral Impact Campaign and is thrilled to engage youth around the globe through science, art, and passion.
Zack is a passionate science communicator interested in developing the next generation of stewards for the natural world. He has been working in the ocean space for most of his career. Recently, he was with the non-profit Teens4Oceans and underwater camera company, View Into The Blue, where he became involved with the production of Chasing Coral. He, also has experience working in the aquarium world, where he followed his love for corals. He holds a B.A. in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology from the University of Colorado.
EPISODE 8: Oleg Baranovsky
SDI & PADI Scuba Instructor
As many other fellow divers here, I grew up watching Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his Odyssey series back in the day. Now, growing up in the USSR, even in our wildest dreams we didn't think we would be traveling and diving at all these exotic places. Nevertheless, I still managed to bribe some local commercial divers in Crimea to take us for some local diving there and was amazed with it.
Years later I found myself living in Los Angeles. Here I was reintroduced to scuba diving again and got hooked. My childhood dreams came true big time and I was fascinated to rediscover the whole underwater world. I also met a lot of wonderful fellow divers in the process. Later I was inspired to become a scuba instructor and love to share my passion with others.
EPISODE 10: Snow McCormick & Cy Scammell
Co-Founders, PNW Protectors
PNW Protectors is a non-profit (501c3 pending) based in Washington State formed by Snow McCormick and Cy Scammell in the fall of 2017 after witnessing a string of losses from the Southern Resident Orca family. Cy & Snow launched PNW Protectors as a way to reach out and help these whales before they disappear forever through empowering the public to make a difference through every day actions. Since its inception, the advocacy group has expanded its reach, will be part of two films being released in Spring 2019, has been featured in local newspapers, and led over 100 people underwater to show them the magic of the Salish Sea.
Snow McCormick has been in water from the pools when she was a toddler, to crossing big lakes in her single digit years, to Open Water Scuba certification in the cold waters of Horsetooth Reservoir in Colorado, to advanced in Monterey Bay, to rescue back in Horsetooth Rervoir, to Diver Master and then Instructor in Guam.....all in all logging well over 5K dives. From just a wee 6 year old, Snow was already writing the President to save the whales and from that point she has been a huge whale advocate using her art to raise awareness for whales. She is now a world renowned artist and her work can be viewed on or on Instagram at @swimming_in_moonlight.
Cy Scammell's love affair with the ocean started at the age of 17 learning how to surf in Charleston, SC. Following a newfound passion in surfing, he moved to Maui after graduating from The Citadel at 21. Within 3 months I met Snow and we have been together ever since... that was 19 years ago and most days have been in the water together since. Cy and Snow began to freedive in Santa Cruz, CA about 10 years ago and fell in love with it, making all sorts of underwater friends.
EPISODE 7: Frank Popovich
Former Treasure Diver
At a young age, I loved watching Jacques Cousteau (the godfather of scuba diving). Growing up in Ohio, I was a long way from the ocean but always loved the water. When I was about 21, I moved to Virginia Beach, VA. Living at the beach I knew it was time to become a certified Diver and I did!
I ended up in the Florida Keys as Treasure Hunter! I learned a lot about the ocean and how to hunt for treasure. I didn’t find any treasure but had a lot of fun and met a lot of great people. Now years later I get the pleasure to dive with my youngest daughter, Sara. We had a great dive trip to Belize this summer and I hope to have more in the future.
EPISODE 6: Saoirse Pottie
PADI Divemaster & Marine Biologist
I grew up in a farming community in a land locked county in Northern Ireland but I have always been captivated by the ocean. In 2013, I completing my first scuba diving qualification and was officially hooked.
I now work as a marine biologist and currently I am working on a project on the endangered zebra/leopard shark in Mozambique. I am founder of the citizen science program ‘ID the Leopard Shark,’ which aims to collect photographs and sightings information in Africa. This information is vital to inform national legislation and conserve critical habitats. The ocean has provided me with so many incredible experiences, I hope by sharing these I will help inspire people to get out and experience it too.
EPISODE 5: Fred Haemker
SDI & PADI Scuba Instructor
Growing up in LA has afforded me the opportunity to be the biggest kid in the world. I've taught just about anything that has to do with the water. I've been a Lifeguard for LA City for about 6 years now, as well as a surf instructor for 3 years. What was simply a conversation with a few fellow lifeguards led to back to back certifications all the way to Instructor.
With such a love for all things in the water, and the ability to teach many of the skills, I decided why not do one more? If there are no waves for me to surf, I'm down below as much as I can be. I am fascinated by sharks and deep diving and am making it my goal to further my knowledge and skills in these aspects of SCUBA.
EPISODE 5: Ian Wells
SDI & PADI Scuba Instructor
My dad is a retired navy diver so I was in the water at an early age; you could say diving is in my blood. I was thirteen when I had my first dive experience. The warm waters of Florida Keys allowed me to see an amazing underwater world and gave me a newfound clarity.
I started my professional diving career in 2015 and progressed through the ranks quickly to gain my Instructor status. I was lucky to be trained by the best instructors in Southern California and now I'm inspired to teach others the same crucial skills that allow me to dive with ease and confidence. I am here to get more divers in the water and gain a better understanding of our oceans.
EPISODE 4: Shannon Crosby
Dive Travel Agent & Scuba Instructor
Shannon grew up surrounded by land in the middle of the continent--Missouri. Planning to study marine biology, scuba was always on her radar of things she must achieve. In college, she took a scuba diving course and did her first 40 dives over two weeks in Cozumel, Mexico. It is safe to say that after that trip, biology was no longer the focus of her diving experiences.
After moving to Los Angeles in 2014, Shannon finally lived by the ocean. She became a PADI and SDI scuba instructor, and so her interests slowly became focused on being a dive professional. After teaching scuba for a few years, it only made sense to also become involved in helping her dive students and other divers travel to explore their newfound hobby!
When she's not working, you'll find Shannon reading/hiking in Griffith Park near her home, attending a movie, eating and cooking lots of good food, or hanging with her dog, Milo.