Derek Burkholder, Ph.D., Nova Southeastern University
Derek has been working in the world of shark and sea turtle ecology and conservation for the last 12 years. He received his Bachelors degree from Albion College in Albion, Michigan and during that time was first introduced to the amazing world of shark research. After graduation he moved to Florida as a Research Scientist at MOTE Marine Lab for a year before starting his graduate studies. Derek travelled to Shark Bay, Western Australia for his PhD research investigating the top down control of seagrass ecosystems and learning how the behaviors and predator-prey interactions of tiger sharks and sea turtles help to shape the seagrass landscape in Shark Bay. He received his PhD from Florida International University in 2012 and is currently working as a Research Scientist as part of the Guy Harvey Research Institute and Save Our Seas Shark Center at Nova Southeastern University. He serves as the Vice President of Sharks4Kids Inc, an educational non-profit organization working to bring shark education and conservation to kids of all ages around the world. Derek is also the Primary Investigator with the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program at Nova monitoring 24 miles of sea turtle nesting habitat in Broward County.
His work at Nova is focused around building a local shark tagging program in South Florida where he is studying shark movements, shark diets, genetic population structure, and will also provide an opportunity for local residents and school kids to participate in the research, and to tag and learn about sharks in the field.
We’re told we should move outside our comfort zone occasionally, I forget why, but . . .
For me, that meant moving off the reef by about 10 feet! I usually cruise along on top of the reef because that’s where the prettiest fish hang out. But Saturday, we got dropped a little west of the reef and so we just worked our way over some patch reefs and sand. Is this a batfish, just hanging out waiting for a paparazzi like me to come along?
I also saw some tile fish making some home repairs and a blue dartfish, don’t remember seeing one of those in this area. Remember, you can see lots of different things just by varying your dive a little. If you’re one of those hunters always looking under the ledges, take some time to see what’s on top of the reef. And, as I relearned this past dive, there’s interesting things out in the sand if you take the time to look for them. Of course, I’ll never be the one to see the shark, my focus is just too short.
The season is here, and so are signups! The 2017 schedule is out on the website, hope to see you all out on a boat this year! I've already seen a Lemon Shark and an Atlantic Guitar fish this year, along with a few dolphins, spotted drum, and a few Morays out and hunting. You know, the usual stuff! So show up, who knows what we'll see next.
On March 31, 2017, Under Sea Adventurers fielded a team in Force-E’s “Bowling for Turtles” event. Sponsored by our friends at Force-E, this event raises funds for the Florida Hawksbill Project. Fortunately for some of us, the point of the evening was to raise money for this worthy project, not to injure all those innocent bowling pins! Fun, food and a worthy cause more than made up for the lack of points.
Upcoming events include:
May 13 - Movie and Lunch - Time and Movie to be determined
AMC Pompano Beach 18, 2315 N Federal Hwy, Pompano Beach, FL
33062, Lunch at J Marks, 1490 NE 23rd St., Pompano Beach, FL 33062
Flagler Museum and Breakers Hotel - Postponed until fall due to tour unavailability
USA Dive Club Camping Trip, April 7-10, 2017
We are all back from Koreshan Historic Camp Site in Estero, Florida and the weather was great with the exception the first night was cold for those who didn’t bring extra blankets. Unfortunately John was unable to be with us this trip to set up and anchor down the “Girls” site but after a few refreshments, Claire and I were unstoppable setting up two tents and two dining screens (which held up the whole weekend). Saturday was spent with some of us kayaking on the Estero River with plenty of Manatee sightings and others rode in Dr. Brohammer’s 14 ft. boat on the river out to the Bay. The rest of the group hiked trails and took the guided tour of the Historical Village located within the campground. After an exciting day adventuring around the area everyone arrived at the group campsite for the “4pm Challenge”. This year’s challenge “Top Chef” with three teams creating their own appetizer giving a wild story why they created it and the ingredients had to be gathered up in a scavenger hunt. All the Teams put their talents to work creating delightful tasting appetizers. Even though the Green Team presented the most impressive dish, because of the overall judging in different categories, Our Pink Team took 1st place trophies and prizes. Green Team took 2nd and Red Team took 3rd. The evening was followed by our Pot Luck Dinner which we had plenty to share while members brought their steaks, chickens, and burgers for the charcoal fire. Special thanks to Ryan who made enough spicy jambalaya for everyone. Evenings were filled with laughter around the campfire. Sunday we all went to Sanibel Island whereas a group biked approximately 12 miles throughout the island while others drove through J. N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge or collected shells on Bowman’s Beach. We all somehow meet on time for a late lunch a Doc Ford’s Grill in the middle of the Island, where a private table was set up for us. After lunch while some of us had to cycle back to our cars, others continued to explore the Island. Sunday evening around the campfire was much quieter, a time to just relax among good friends. Check out all the wonderful pictures taken by Ewa in the “Photos” on our Web Site.
The Whistle Lady
Greetings From the Hospitality Hut,
At the April general meeting of the Under Sea Adventurers Dive Club, I am happy to report three first-time guests and one returning guest.
Sandy Stoddard returned with a completed application and check in hand. Sandy found us on the Internet. She was certified in 1994 and plans to take a refresher course and get back in the water.
Stephanie Voris came to us via Force-E. Thank You Force-E! Stephanie was certified in Cherry Hill, NJ and has over 560 logged dives.
It was a pleasure to meet Michele Brandjes, the niece of member Eunice Hamblen. Michele is not a diver however she is a camper. She came with the club on our recent camping trip to Koreshan State Historic Site.
Hannes Ziegler saw the USA Dive Club on Meet Up. Hannes was certified with the Sea Scouts in 2014. His favorite dive site is “anywhere”.
Thank you to all our guests who attended to see our monthly program.
Until then, I encourage you to visit our home page www.usadiveclub.com. Please click on the calendar and keep up to date on all the diving and non-diving scheduled activities. You may also take a look at the photo gallery and take a peek at past events.
Spring has sprung and we are back in the water! Membership would like to congratulate Kathy Ficarra on a great turn out for the Koreshan Camping trip. What a great time and great weather! We have one new application for membership from Sandy Stoddard who has her open water certification. She is looking to re-certify and refresh her skills.
If you are a first time visiter and certified diver and interested in joining our club, please find the Membership application at the bottom of the home page. Download & print, fill it out with a photo copy of your C-card and Insurance card, a check for the prorated amount on the application plus the initial fee of $10 and mail to the membership chair. If you are a returning member, please do the same.
Encourage friends and fellow divers to join USAer’s for all club activities. Guests are not required to be USA Dive Club members to participate in USA functions. Guests are always welcome when accompanied by a member.
We are currently working on two trips - one for Key Largo, and another for Islamorada (Alligator Reef - over 500 species of fish!). Looking forward to a new season of diving with you. We will sea you in the Atlantic!
Place an ad to buy or sell gear, or promote a dive related event that will be of general interest to club membership. Email your ad to firstname.lastname@example.org
Elected Board Position Opening for 2017
We are looking for a member to assume the role of VP of Social Events beginning in May of 2017. If you are interested in giving back to the club and have interest in doing this job, please contact any current board member.
Safety Recall Notice
Aqua Lung announces recall of Powerline inflators with a date code of “H”
Hazard: The inflation button can remain depressed and cause the buoyancy compensators to continue inflating, resulting in an uncontrolled ascent. This poses injury and drowning hazards to the diver.
Recalled Product: Select Powerline inflators with a date code of “H” found on Aqua Lung and Apeks buoyancy compensators sold from January 2015 to September 2016.
Remedy: Consumers should bring their buoyancy compensator to their local Aqua Lung dealer for inspection and repair.