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JUSTIN HARTMANN

OPEN WATER SCUBA INSTRUCTOR

TRAINER #331123

I received my open water certification at 14 years old.  Since then, I've been diving off and on for almost 30 years.  In that time, I've been in a position to watch the oceans change.  I've seen the introduction and rapid growth of invasive species, like lionfish in the southeast US; I've witnessed the overall loss of fish from overfishing/fishing and I've noticed the replacement of stony and branched corals with sea fans and various types of algae.  Because of both an interest and concern, I chose Chemical Oceanography in graduate school at the University of Georgia.  I studied the physics of gas transport between the ocean and atmosphere.  I spent about half my time on research vessels where I was very fortunate to work on several long-term studies in both ocean acidification and the dynamics of the Mississippi River hypoxic zone.

My favorite dive spots are the fresh water springs and caverns in Florida.  The water there is so clear you feel like you're flying.  I've been working with Under Water Works as a Divemaster since 2013 and became PADI Scuba Instructor in 2021.  These days the thing I enjoy most about diving is working with students.  I very much enjoy watching the quick development as students go from learning how to breathe underwater in the pool to exploring the ocean on open water weekends.