Colorado WaterWise interviews Graham Casden Graham sits down with Leslie Martien of Aquacraft Inc., to discuss his role in creating Ocean First Mar 26, 2013
Colorado WaterWise recently sat down for an interview with our very own Graham Casden! The topics under discussion were his role in creating Ocean First Divers, Boulder's most environmentally friendly, progressive dive shop. Also included in the spring edition of WaterWise, (www.coloradowaterwise.org) is an article discussing all of the changes OFD has made to become a leader in the Boulder green business community.
April 2012 Social: Sea Turtles, Mysteries of the Sea
Apr 18, 2012
OFD welcomed Brad Nayhill of SEEtheWild and SEEturtles. Brad shared his experiences working for more than a decade on sea turtle conservation. The presentation included turtle ecology, threats, and inspiring conservation efforts from around the world. Brad also discussed the power of conservation travel and offer ways to get involved in wildlife conservation programs.
March 2012 Social: Sharks: What do we really know about them?
Mar 8, 2012
Sharks are a vital component of marine ecosystems. As apex predators they control their prey populations, stabilizing population fluctuations and removing diseased or genetically flawed individuals. Their disappearance can be extremely damaging. Nevertheless, sharks are being subjected to intense fishing pressure as a result of the high demand for shark fins and cartilage. Since many sharks travel long distances, crossing oceans and national boundaries, they are susceptible to the unregulated fishing efforts of multiple nations. Consequently, shark populations have plummeted worldwide to less than 30 percent of their numbers two decades ago. This decline, coupled with the slow reproductive rate of most sharks has meant that there is now considerable concern about the health of shark populations and an urgent need for effective conservation and management. Fins Attached, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is actively engaged in shark research and conservation efforts in numerous regions of the world. This presentation highlighted their research activities through dramatic video and images as they try to understand shark behavior and movements.
February 2012 Social: Steve Chappell presents NASA's NEEMO Project
Feb 23, 2012
Steve Chappell, a Research Specialist on NASA's Exploration Analogs and Mission Development team, presented the NEEMO project (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations). NEEMO is one of NASA's exploration "analogs," extreme environments in which you can simulate aspects of the human exploration of space. The NEEMO project is a partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and utilizes the Aquarius undersea habitat that they operate off the coast of Key Largo, FL. Teams of astronauts and scientists have gone to live in the habitat for up to two weeks during the 15 NEEMO missions that have taken place over the last 10 years. During their stay in Aquarius, the "aquanuats" perform experiments both inside and outside the habitat to help NASA answer questions that will guide the next steps for humans in the exploration of space. Steve currently helps to manage and execute the NEEMO missions and was an aquanaut on the NEEMO 14 mission in May 2010. He presented an overview of Aquarius and the NEEMO project, provided a first-hand account of what it was like to live and work in Aquarius during NEEMO 14, and a look at what NASA is currently trying learn from their exploration analogs.
Environmental dive shop introduces The Swim School of Boulder
Boulder, Colorado (Feb 8, 2012) - Ocean First Divers, one of the industry’s premier full-service dive operators, announced today the launch of The Swim School of Boulder, a comprehensive, international standards based swim program for children and adults.
The Swim School of Boulder bases their training program on a set of training standards developed by Swim Schools International (SSI), which begin with ethical standards and move towards specifics of teaching. These standards are a product of over forty years of experience developing and implementing certifications. The founders ported over the strong underpinnings of the scuba certification process and applied it to swim teaching to create the most prepared and capable swim teachers in the world. The training initiatives and certification requirements ensure that teachers are capable of meeting the needs and abilities of swimmers of all ages- from six months through adulthood. Simply put, using standards means piece of mind for you.
All classes are held at Ocean First Divers, the premier aquatic training facility in Boulder County. Their private, indoor heated dive pool is kept at a comfortable 88 degrees and the ambient air temperature at a balmy 80 degrees, perfect for both swim lessons and scuba training. They also offer private locker rooms, deck showers and an impressive pool layout replete with marine animal stickers, retrofitted scuba tanks that serve as recognition bells and ample seating.
The Swim School of Boulder tailors classes to the individual swimmer based on their ability, not on a time-frame for completion. If a swimmer is ready to move up to the next level, the flexible lesson plan allows for that to occur on an individualized basis instead of waiting for the entire class to complete their goals. Classes are open enrollment, allowing for a "Start Today" approach to beginning your training. With open enrollment, a student progresses from level to level, advancing through the lesson plans at their own pace without concern for an end date to a particular session, season or semester.
The benefits don’t stop there. After you improve your swimming, there's often a natural desire to transition into snorkeling and diving, two programs that are also taught at Ocean First Divers. Children as young as seven can begin the SSI Scuba Rangers program and snorkeling can be learned at any age.
Ocean First Divers is inviting, comfortable and offers something for everyone. It's a family environment with a focus on training, education and an overall appreciation for all things aquatic. Take the plunge— you'll be glad you did. www.swimschoolboulder.com303.440.7946
Ocean First Divers was founded in 2005 to be an advocate for ocean ecosystems in the dive industry by stressing education, conservation and sustainability.
The company’s environmental initiatives developed as a grassroots approach to scuba diving, striving to take ocean conservation and marine biology education to new levels to establish an industry precedent for accountability and preservation. In the early stages of moving towards energy independence, we derived our energy from wind power and adopted a carbon-offset program, allowing us to become the world’s first carbon neutral dive shop! At the same time we were also offsetting all dive travel by investing in renewable energies through the purchase of carbon and forestry credits. We have since embraced the audacious goal of retrofitting our facility to become as green as the existing building will permit. We installed solar PV and thermal systems, variable speed pool pumps, high-efficiency boilers and a regenerative heat exchanger. Thanks to Colorado’s abundance of sunny days, we are often producing a surplus of electricity! You can read more about our building upgrades HERE.
Our steadfast commitment to sustainable business practices has earned us PADI’s Environmental Achievement Award every year since its inception—an honor that no other dive business on the planet has achieved. We received a second, equally prestigious accolade once we switched to Scuba Schools International, gaining their highly acclaimed Diamond Dealer rating.
Due to our deep familiarity with the Environmental Achievement Award, we felt that it did not adequately address the plight of the oceans. We decided to push further, creating the Green Star Award, an eco-certification program that further addressed sustainability and operator accountability within the industry. While we were excited that PADI supported and eventually released
January 2012 Social: DYNAMO Project at NCAR's Earth Observing Laboratory
Jan 25, 2012
As the global climate changes, it becomes more urgent to understand how the oceans and atmosphere work together to regulate the Earth’s temperature and respond to long-term variation. The study of climate aims to quantify the degree of global temperature changes and their consequences, such as sea-level rise, with increasing detail. This information can be used by national/local governments and society to plan mitigation and adaptation strategies. Such quantitative information requires detailed knowledge of the structures and evolution of the atmosphere and ocean in the tropics.
From 1 October 2011 - 31 March 2012, a group of meteorologists, oceanographers, and climate scientists from 13 countries will gather in the equatorial Indian Ocean for a major scientific project to observe the development of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) at its source. The DYANMO project is managed through the National Center for Atmospheric Research's Earth Observing Laboratory (NCAR/EOL).
Thank you to Alison and Jim from NCAR's Earth Observing Laboratory for an awesome presentation Wednesday night. By combining a slide presentation with Google Earth imagery, these scientists gave an informative presentation on the Madden-Julain Oscillation while discussing their upcoming expedition to the Indian Ocean this spring to observe the phenomenon at its source.
All-time. That's the best way to describe last night's event. Over 130 people filled Ocean First Divers for the Holiday Party and Customer Appreciation Night, making it the highest attended event in almost four years. Doug McNeese provided insight into Ocean First Divers' crossover to SS1 and Graham shared over 100 images from Micronesia, which were very well received by the animated crowd. The night concluded with a huge raffle, highlighted by an Atomic regulator and a trip to the Galapagos Islands! Thanks to everyone for an amazing 2011. We look forward to many more fantastic evenings in 2012. Happy Diving!
After Graham kicked off the night with an introductory joke on why sharks circle their prey before moving in for the kill, Amy took over and thrilled the crowd with charming tales and stunning imagery from the Galapagos. The November social was all about big animals and the amazing diving in these special islands. Amy Christopher from Ocean First Divers shared her fondest memories from an epic trip she led in August this year. Amy presented her exciting video and a slideshow from a longtime friend and fabulous photographer, Cindy Fiorillo. Highlights from the trip included huge schools of hammerhead sharks, curious Galapagos sharks, playful dolphins and sea lions, majestic whale sharks and more! Every trip to the Galapagos is memorable for one reason or another, but Amy's was an epic journey. A packed house enjoyed the beautiful presentation depicting the amazing brilliance of "The Enchanted Islands." Great job, Ami! And the lasagna was delicious ;)
October 2011 Social: Atmosphere Resort in the Philippines
Oct 26, 2011
Thanks to everyone who braved the snow and cold weather to come join us for a wonderful evening with Bigs Eggert, Rich Woulfe and Shawn Heinrichs. Bigs kicked things off with a colorful and passionate presentation on Atmosphere Resorts in the Philippines (www.atmosphereresorts.com), a beautiful new five star resort will some of the areas top diving, including internationally acclaimed Apo Island. Shawn Heinrichs then provided the halftime entertainment with breathtaking footage of sailfish from Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Rich Woulfe concluded the evening with travel insights for every diver, from avoiding baggage fees to working the carry-on system. Thanks to all our presenters for fabulous October social!
I think we can all agree that the Poseidon Rebreather Demonstration was a unique experience for us all. Almost everyone who tried one was breathing on a Closed Circuit Rebreather for the first time; it was easily the most amazing and surreal feeling, hearing nothing but the occasional sound of air being fed into the breathing loop. Using the rebreather made me feel like I was relearning how to dive and can only lead to bigger and better adventures from here on out. Stay tuned for more information on rebreather certification courses and rebreather-friendly trips in the coming months...
Thanks to everyone who came by our booth at the Colorado Dive Show. It was an absolute blast talking with all of you about your dive travels and where your foray into the world of scuba diving has led you. We had a great turnout, met some new friends, and reminisced with old ones.
Lincoln Shaw and the folks at the Denver Chapter of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society did a fantastic job of presenting their conservation efforts to our friends and family at Ocean First Divers Thursday evening! Thanks to everyone who came out and made the evening a success.
Founder of Teens4Oceans, Trevor Mendelow, and five student ambassadors, Emily Griffith, Nate Newman, Annalise Downey, Katie Umphlette and Addy Wagner, gave an inspiring and informative presentation on this quickly growing non-profit. After Trevor walked the attendees through the history of Teens4Oceans, the students shared insightful stories of projects, trips and events they've attended over the last three years. A short video from the recent underwater webcam installation on NOAA's Aquarius habitat followed and then Nate concluded with CAD drawings of the webcam technology and recent development of a sophisticated offshore buoy system that will be deployed in Santa Cruz later this year. Thanks to all the members of Teens4Oceans!!
OFD, SSI, and STI Create New Industry Standard One pioneering dive center and two global organizations join forces to design and implement a new ec Jul 28, 2011
For Immediate Release
3 ORGANIZATIONS ONE GOAL – PRESERVE THE WORLD’S OCEANS
“One pioneering dive center, one global certification agency and one sustainable tourism developer join forces to implement standards that protect the marine environment.”
Boulder, CO – Ocean First Divers (OFD), Scuba Schools International (SSI) and Sustainable Travel International (STI) support a commitment to preserve the world’s oceans. One pioneering dive center and two global organizations join forces to design and implement a new eco-certification standard specific to the diving industry, promoting businesses that protect the marine environment.
Graham Casden, founder of Ocean First Divers (OFD), has been working in earnest for the last five years to shift the paradigm in the dive industry and establish a new precedent for accountability and preservation. OFD has long been an advocate for ocean ecosystems by stressing marine science education, ocean conservation and sustainable tourism. In just a few short years, Ocean First Divers has emerged at the forefront of the environmental movement within the dive industry and is a pioneer of “innovative environmental programs.” Among OFD’s most noteworthy developments are a wetsuit reclamation program and carbon calculator for liveaboards, which for the first time assesses the footprint of these highly desired dive vacations. Additionally, Ocean First Divers has invested over $200,000 in renewable energy retrofits that include solar PV and thermal, high-efficiency boilers, variable speed pool pumps and a heat exchanger. Through these efforts and more, Mr. Casden is helping pave the way for a sustainable industry for years to come.
July 2011 Social: 5 Gyres Project Plastic Pollution in the World's Oceans Jul 20, 2011
We are proud to present Sara Close of the 5 Gyres Project for our July social. The 5 Gyres Project travels the world's oceans studying the effect of plastic pollution. Sara recently returned from an expedition to Tahiti and will be sharing her stories and discoveries. Our oceans are in great peril from thoughtless discarding of plastic by nations all over the world. Please join us for this interesting and eye-opening presentation. You will be amazed how vast and wide-spread this problem is.
OFD's 5th Annual Kick-Off to Summer Party & Storewide Sale
Jun 11, 2011
Ocean First Divers' 5th Annual Summer Party turned out to be our biggest and most successful party to date. Over one hundred people came to celebrate the arrival of summer and take advantage of the killer deals at the dive shop. This year included live Latin jazz by ONDA, a BBQ cookout, intense, competitive games of volleyball and culminated with a huge raffle. Thanks to everyone who came and made this the biggest bash to date!
May 2011 Social: Deep Cave Exploration in the Yucatan George Watson has been exploring underwater caves along the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. May 18, 2011
George Watson was unfortunately stranded at DIA for the better part of Wednesday night and consequently was unable to deliver his presentation on Deep Cave Exploration in the Yucatan. Fortunately, we had our very own UTD instructor, Sacha Greene, available to queue up some movies from the UTD website and fill in for George. Sacha fielded a lot of questions on tech and cave diving and turned the evening into an informative and entertaining social. Thanks Sachoo!!
On this 20th day of April, we've thought long and hard what to post. After much deliberation, we decided what better story than the remarkable discovery that humpback whale songs spread "like Chinese whispers" across thousands of miles to other whale species? This is analogous to the grassroots movement in diving that is percolating to the far corners of the industry. Happy 4/20!
April 2011 Social: Graham Casden and Amy Christopher Present Magical Borneo
Mar 30, 2011
Ocean First Divers is proud to present our very own Graham Casden and Amy Christopher as they share their fantastic stories, photographs and videos from their recent trip to the beautiful island of Borneo. Amy traveled through Vietnam and Cambodia prior to spending 2 weeks diving in Mabul and Sipadan, Malaysia with Graham and friends. Graham then continued to the ethereal rainforests of the Danum Valley. We are always thrilled to the OFD family as presenters for our socials and these memorable evenings are often some of the most popular presentations throughout the year. We look forward to seeing everyone on April 25th!!!
Ocean First Divers welcomes Dr. Patrick Ryan of Johnson & Wales University to our March 24 Social. Dr. Ryan has extensive dive and travel experience in Fiji, having logged over 1000 dives in this magical island nation. He authored Fiji's Natural Heritage and taught at the University of the South Pacific for 10 years. Our March 24 social will focus on the incredible diving found around the numerous islands. Soft corals, jewel-toned reef fish, sharks, manta rays, and several endemic species can be found in these gorgeous waters.
Ocean First Divers welcomes Ed Sauer and Sandra Scroth for our February social. Their latest presentation highlights one of the ocean's most majestic creatures, the Humpback whales of Niue in the South Pacific. Many unique behaviors such as bubble blowing for evasive manuevers, sleeping and newborn whales learning survival tactics are captured on this engaging feature film. Niue is east of Tonga and Fiji and south of Samoa. It is a nation in free association with New Zealand. This presentation will also highlight the beautiful rainforests and cave systems found on this small tropical island.
January 2011 Social: BBC Life Documentary on the lives of Fish
Jan 13, 2011
Our January 13 social will be the first showing of the BBC Life documentary series. This fascinating series depicts the lengths living creatures go through to evade predators, secure their next meal, and ensure the survival of their species. We will be showing a selection from this series throughout the year, the first episode being on the amazing lives of fish, of course! Please join us for a relaxing and fun start to the new year! Start time 6:30pm.
December 2010 Social: Andrew Georgitis of Unified Team Diving UTD Dive Team explores the cenote known as "The Pit" in Tulum, MX. Dec 9, 2010
Ocean First Divers is proud to present Andrew Georgitis of Unified Team Diving to our December 9 Social. In November 2009, the UTD Cave Diving Team explored the cenote known as “The Pit” located in Tulum, Mexico; part of the Yucatan Peninsula.
The Pit is comprised of break-down rooms with 100’ / 30m high ceilings and walls that are 100’+ /30m+ away from the line. These rooms are actually more like massive chambers that are connected by narrow, tight passageways (known as restrictions) which then open up to even more chambers of enormous proportions. The entirety of “the Pit” is a collection of these gargantuan rooms and restrictions linking them together.
The mission of the UTD Cave Diving Team was to (1) survey “the Pit”, (2) collect data for a 3D map, and (3) ultimately document scientific data regarding the water quality and flow systems throughout the area.
In order to meet these objectives, the team worked at depths well over 300 ft / 90m, with bottom times in excess of 2.5 hours, followed by more than seven hours of decompression obligation.
Click HERE to watch a video from this awesome dive!
Please join us for this exciting and interesting presentation!
November 2010 Social: Graham Casden Graham Casden shares his amazing white shark photographs! Nov 9, 2010
Please join us for an incredible photographic display of grace, power, and evolutionary genius as Ocean First Divers owner, Graham Casden, shares his white shark pictures from OFD's recent trip to Guadalupe Island, Mexico. The formidable white shark is a highly intelligent and selective creature that has the unfortunate reputation as a frightening menace. This graceful animal does not attack without careful planning and strategy.
This is guaranteed to be an exciting evening of stunning images and video!
October 2010 Social: Mehgan Heaney-Grier Freediver Mehgan Heaney-Grier will be our special guest at the October 19 social event. Oct 19, 2010
Please join Ocean First Divers in welcoming freediver Mehgan Heaney-Grier to our October 19 social. Mehgan is the ultimate water-woman and adventurer extraordinaire. She is an accomplished athlete, model, actress, TV host and spokeswoman for several major companies. In 1996 at the age of only 18, she achieved worldwide recognition when she established the first ever United States freedive record for both men and women by diving unassisted, to a depth of 155 ft on a single breath of air. Less than a year later she took the plunge again breaking her own record with a successful dive to 165 ft.
September 2010 Social: Ken Scarborough Ocean First Divers welcomes Ken Scarborough of Ultimate Dive Travel to our September 23 social. Sep 23, 2010
Please join us for an evening of virtual diving as we host Ken Scarborough of Ultimate Dive Travel to our September social. Ken will be sharing his expertise on two of the world's most sought after dive destinations: the Galapagos Islands and Raja Ampat. Both destinations encompass a huge variety of marine creatures, from the massive whale shark to the exquisite mandarinfish! The Galapagos is famous for schooling hammerhead sharks, sea lions, whale sharks and penguins. Raja Ampat is the center of marine biodiversity and contains some of the world's richest ocean treasures! Don't miss this exciting presentation!
August 2010 Social: Last Journey for the Leatherback? The Last Journey for the Leatherback? documents the incredible life of the leatherbacks – the larges Aug 19, 2010
The Last Journey for the Leatherback? documents the incredible life of the leatherbacks – the largest species of sea turtle -- which can dive as deep as whales and migrate across entire ocean basins. Much of the story is told through interviews with leading marine scientists, including Dr. Sylvia Earle, explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society and named Time magazine's first "hero for the planet."
This 30 minute documentary is sponsored in part by the Sea Turtle Restoration Project. This project fights to protect endangered sea turtles in ways that make cultural and economic sense to the communities that share the beaches and waters with these gentle creatures. Please join us for this informative film and to learn more about these open ocean travelers!
Date: August 19 Time: 6:30pm
Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to email@example.com
Nitrox Special Deal! Enroll in the Nitrox course online and receive a $50 credit towards a new dive computer! Aug 9, 2010
Earning your Nitrox certification has never been easier! The entire course can now be conducted online via the PADI website, making the certification process efficient and convenient. Diving on Nitrox gives you more bottom time and shortens your surface interval, giving you more time to spend diving! Click HERE to start working towards PADI's most popular continuing education course!
Ocean First Divers will give you $50 towards the purchase of a new dive computer or a new regulator!
Aqualung Travel Light Package! Check out this awesome, lightweight travel package from Aqualung! Get a FREE iPod NANO with your pur Jul 28, 2010
Why rent when you can own your very own dive gear and still carry it on board with you? The new Travel Light package from Aqualung provides the perfect solution for the travel-savvy diver who understands the benefit of equipment ownership. Package includes the Zuma BCD, Micron regulator, Micramask OR Look 2 mask, Flex Impluse snorkel and Hotshot fins. Ocean First Divers and Aqualung are also giving you a FREE Depature Travel Bag to put your new gear in AND a FREE iPod Nano! No way, you say? Yes, way! This special promotion is while supplies last so hurry in and score your ticket to dive today!
July 2010 Social George Watson and Technical Diving Ocean First Divers is pleased to have our own George Watson for our July Social. Jul 22, 2010
George will describe technical diving, what it is and why you might be interested. He will provide an introduction into Unified Team Diving and their technical and recreational programs. This will include a quick introduction into gas planning and decompression. George will also touch on rebreather diving and what UTD programs are offered through Ocean First Divers.
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2010 Summer Kick Off Party & Sale! Ocean First Divers' Annual Summer Kick Off Party and Summer Sale is on June 12! May 28, 2010
2010 Summer Kick Off Party & Summer Sale!
Party: June 12 Sale: June 12 & 13
It's that time of year again at OFD! Join us on Saturday, June 12 for an all day party and for the start of our Summer Sale! We'll have live music from ONDA, food from Illegal Pete's, beach volleyball, cornhole, gear demos, and the best raffle in OFD history!
This year's grand prize is a trip to Maluku Dive Resort in Ambon, Indonesia courtesy of our travel partner, Ultimate Dive Travel. There will be tons of other prizes from Aqualung, Atomic, Deep See, Henderson, Mares, and Scubapro so don't miss out! The raffle will be held at the end of the day on Saturday the 12th.
Everything in the store will be at least 10% off, with most items marked down even further. This is a great opportunity to gear up for summer diving fun and get yourself the dive equipment you've been after! Pick up the new Zuma travel BCD from Aqualung, or the snazzy D4 dive computer with a wrist strap to match your dive gear! The sale only lasts for 2 days so make sure you stop by!
David gave an informative and entertaining presentation at Ocean First Divers last week. He has a personable demeanor and wonderful storytelling ability. David read excerpts from his book "Saved by the Sea: A Love Story with Fish" and his accounts of body surfing in a war zone, getting bumped by a Minke whale in the Antarctic and the loss of his lifelong love gave everyone in the audience chills as we vicariously relived his most memorable experiences.
David had a strong environmental message in his presentation and everyone left feeling empowered that each one of us can make the difference we wish to see in the world. The Dive Club was very grateful to have such an experienced and insightful presenter and we look forward to having him back again in the coming months.
Dr. Alex Antoniou's passion and dedication for sharks was clearly evident in his informative, compelling and sobering presentation on white sharks. Alex works at the Shark Research Institute and his knowledge and enthusiasm for white sharks created quite a buzz with the guests. Some were intrigued by their venerable history, others by their highly evolved senses, but everyone was inspired by the breath-taking footage of white sharks. The Dive Shop was a packed house, standing room only, and the presentation was exceptionally well received. Alex showed off a receiver that Ocean First Divers purchased for deployment this week in Socorro Island and discussed the amazing trip scheduled for this September where guests will have the opportunity to not only dive with white sharks, but also personally tag them with receivers throughout the week. We can't wait for this trip!!! Thanks again to Alex Antoniou ;)
March 2010 Social Dr. Mel Cundiff Dr. Mel Cundiff Presents Echinoderms Mar 18, 2010
As always, Mel's presentation was informative and entertaining. The spiny skinned Echinoderms are often overlooked by divers and snorkelers alike, but they are truly remarkable creatures. And as Mel showed us with great humor, so much for their five-fold radial symmetry!
February 2010 Social Dr. Bill Clem Dr. Bill Cleam of Colorado Hyperbaric Physicians Feb 17, 2010
On Thursday, Feb. 11th, The Dive Club chalked up another wonderful event hosted at Ocean First Divers. Dr. Bill Clem of Colorado Hyperbaric Medicine gave a very entertaining and informative presentation on diving at altitude, the effects on a diver's physiology, hyperbaric medicine and recompression treatment. It was another great turnout and well-received. We were also excited to have Boulder Fire Rescue attend the event. Next month Professor Mel Cundiff from CU will be giving one of his brilliant presentations on Echinoderms. We hope to see you there!
January 2010 Social Graham Casden and Amy Christopher Join Graham Casden and Amy Christopher for a Presentation on Indonesia Jan 20, 2010
The Dive Club kicked off 20 10 with one of, if not the largest, socials to date. Seventy-three people attended this presentation on Indonesia. Ocean First Divers' fearless leader, Graham Casden, began the evening with a recount of his five week trip to the Philippines and Indonesia this past October. Graham shared his photographs and most memorable experiences with an enthusiastic crowd. Amy Christopher followed with her best video production to date- a fifteen minute visual and auditory delight that highlighted her two week fam trip to Misool Resort in Raja Ampat. This was a fantastic start to the new year and a tremendous turn out for an event that has gained popularity month after month. We will see you next time!
2009 Environmental Achievement Award Global Dive Operators Receive Environmental Honors Jan 1, 2010
Project AWARE Foundation honors dive operators around the world who display commitment and excellence in their efforts to protect underwater environments within business operations and their community.
"The Environment Achievement Award is about rewarding vision, excellence and pursuit of conservation. More importantly, this award ensures the enjoyment of underwater environments for future generations," states Dr. Drew Richardson, Chairman, Project AWARE Foundation.
2009 recipients operate in an environmentally responsible manner, take part in protection of local ecosystems and demonstrate an outstanding commitment to underwater conservation in three primary areas; education, advocacy and action.
December 2009 Social Louis Psihoyos Oceanic Preservation Society Presents Louis Psihoyos Dec 16, 2009
We were very honored to close out 2009 with one of the best socials of the year. Louis Psihoyos came over to OFD from the Oceanic Preservation Society and talked for about an hour on his experiences leading up to, through the filming process and the post production of his award winning documentary THE COVE. Louis has a very natural story telling ability and kept the crowd enthralled with his tales of working for National Geographic, how he forged some of his more lasting relationships in the industry and the importance messages he hopes to convey through the film making process. Thanks to Louis and the rest of our presenters for 2009. What a fabulous year!!! We thank all Dive Club members for their continued support and look forward to a even more exciting year in 2010
National Geo Leopard Seal Footage Paul Nicklen's most recent trip to Antarctica proved more than he bargained for. Nov 19, 2009
On his last voyage to Antarctica, videographer Paul Nicklen quickly became companions with the largest leopard seal the dive team had ever seen. Over the course of four days, this often vicious predator attempted to feed Paul a number of penguins, only to find out that this unusual species wasn't there to eat bird. You have to see this to believe it!
November 2009 Social John Weller John Weller Presents Antarctica Nov 13, 2009
Packed house! This might have been our biggest meetup yet. John Weller drew a crowd of about 80 people, evident by the fact that we had standing room only for over twenty guests. What an amazing presentation! John has an incredibly contagious passion for diving, Antarctica and preserving the last few precious resources our oceans possess. With stunning imagery and narrative eloquence, John put on one of the best received presentations ever. Join his campaign to preserve the last untouched wilderness area left, the Ross Sea, at http://www.lastoc.... Next month is customer appreciation on Dec. 11th and Louie Psihoyos on Dec. 15th. Let's go diving!
October 2009 Social Mark Colin Thursday, October 22 at 6:30pm Oct 22, 2009
Join us as we welcome photographer Mark Conlin for our October social. Mark is very talented behind the camera and will be sharing his experiences working on the IMAX film “Island of the Sharks.” This popular IMAX feature was filmed in Cocos Island, Costa Rica, one of our favorite dive destinations. Please join us on October 22 at 6:30pm at Ocean First Divers for this jaw dropping presentation!
This presentation is FREE and all ages are welcome.
Refreshments will be provided.
Special Movie Screening at OFD Join us Sat, Oct 24 for a showing of 'A Sea Change' Oct 8, 2009
Ocean First Divers has the unique opportunity to share a special viewing of a new documentary film, A Sea Change, on October 24 here at Ocean First Divers.
A Sea Change is also a touching portrait of Sven’s relationship with his grandchild Elias, as he mulls over the world that he is leaving for future generations. A disturbing and essential companion piece to An Inconvenient Truth, A Sea Change brings home the indisputable fact that our lifestyle is changing the earth, despite our rhetoric or wishful thinking.
A Sea Change is the first documentary about ocean acidification. While emphasizing new scientific information, the feature-length film is also a beautiful paean to the ocean world and an intimate story of a Norwegian-American family whose heritage is bound up with the sea.
Please join Ocean First Divers on Saturday, October 24th at 6pm for a special screening of this beautiful, poignant film and help us celebrate the International Day of Climate Action.
September 2009 Socials Rich Wolfe and Dr. Alex Antoniou
Sep 10, 2009
When: Thursday, September 10 at 6:30pm
Where: Ocean First Divers
What: A great presentation along with snacks and beverages and raffle giveaways
Cost: FREE EVENT
Join us as we host Rich Woulfe with the Manthiri luxury liveaboard, which is based in the Maldives. A chain of about 1200 islands just south of India, the average elevation of these spectacular islands is a mere 7 feet above sea level. Rich will discuss diving with whale sharks, huge schools of manta rays, and hundreds of different species of fish which call the Maldives home. Don't miss this great presentation!
When: Wednesday, September 16 at 6:30pm
Where: Ocean First Divers
What: A great presentation along with snacks and beverages and raffle giveaways
Cost: FREE EVENT
For our second social in September, Ocean First Divers will host Dr. Alex Antoniou from the Shark Research Institute. Alex has led SRI field expeditions and filmed whale sharks in the Bay Islands (Honduras), Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), LaPaz (Mexico) and Cocos Island (Costa Rica), and Thailand, conducting both visual ID and satellite tagging of whale sharks. In October 1999, his presentation of SRI’s work in Honduras and quantifying the value of the species to the local economy directly resulted in protection of whale sharks in Honduran waters. Alex will also discuss his work tagging Great White sharks off of Isla Guadelupe near the Mexican Baja. Come find out how you can get involved in this important research project!
Whites Dry Suit Demo Day Try out the latest dry suits at Chatfield Reservoir Sep 8, 2009
Our sales representative from Whites Drysuits will be in town on Sunday, September 20 and, in conjuction with Ocean First Divers, will host a demo day at Chatfield Reservoir from 10am-2pm. This is a great opportunity to test out some of the newest drysuits available. It isn't often that we have this opportunity; please join us for comfortable diving in cooler water! Not dry suit certified? No problem! Our staff will be on hand to get you set up and in the water.
Tanks and weights will be provided out at the reservior, but if you need to rent other gear please stop by the shop on Saturday, Sept 19. Don't forget your certification card, $7 for the park entrance fee, and undergarments to wear under the dry suit.
August 2009 Social Boulder Emergency Squad Thursday, August 13 at 6:30pm Aug 13, 2009
Ocean First Divers is proud to invite Dan Goldan from South Metro Fire and the Boulder Emergency Squad to our August 13 social. OFD has a long history of working with our local rescue squads. Dan and his crew will be sharing information on Public Dive Safety and will have their rescue van and equipment on display. Kids are welcome to all OFD events!
For one dexterous octopus, an attempt at a great escape turned into a great flood Thursday at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium in California.
The female California two-spotted octopus swam to the top of her tank, disassembled a valve with her powerful arm, and released at least 200 gallons (757 liters) of seawater into nearby exhibits and offices.
The foot-long (0.3-meter) creature remained in her tank and survived her ordeal. But the aquarium's brand-new floors weren't so lucky.
Such high jinks are typical of the invertebrates' still unexplained smarts, experts say.
"Octopuses have a wonderful combination of intelligence, tremendous manipulative ability, curiosity, and strength," said Jennifer Mather, a psychology professor at Canada's University of Lethbridge who has studied cognition in octopuses.
"So the result is that everybody who has ever kept octopuses has a string of stories about how octopuses can go where they want in aquariums."
Many octopuses show behavior that suggests curiosity, consciousness, and even a sense of humor, said Eugene Linden, author of the 2002 book The Octopus and the Orangutan: More True Tales of Animal Intrigue, Intelligence, and Ingenuity.
In one instance, an octopus given a slightly spoiled shrimp stuffed it down the drain while maintaining eye contact with its keeper, Linden said.
Wild octopuses have also been found to maintain "homes" and can remember where they've been in their neighborhood, pointing to a sort of self-awareness, Lethbridge's Mather said.
But it's hard to directly prove that octopuses are intelligent.
A smart animal that has the lowly clam for a cousin already "flies in the face of conventional wisdom of where you look for intelligence," Linden said.
Also, many scientists believe that intelligent beings are social, learn from others, and need a long lifespan to accrue brainpower. Octopuses live only about a year and are solitary animals.
"It's enjoyable to think that nature doesn't always follow our rules [when] it decides to create an intelligent being," Linden said.
The University of Lethbridge's Mather suggests octopuses may have evolved braininess to cope with a highly complex environment—usually coral reefs—where they must make lightning-fast, life-or-death decisions.
For example, the animals are extremely flexible, able to fit their boneless bodies through tiny cracks. Some species can change color in a thirtieth of a second.
As for the crafty cephalopod in Santa Monica, aquarium staffers have rigged her tank with clamps and tape to thwart future getaways, the Los Angeles Times reported.
But, as Mather pointed out, there "isn't an awful lot [that will] stop them."
If you enjoyed this article, then come join us for our free monthly social on Wednesday, March 11 at 6:30pm at Ocean First Divers. Dr. Mel Cundiff from the University of Colorado will be giving a presentation on the mollusk (i.e. octopus, squid, snails, etc.). Refreshments will be served and prizes given away.
Undersea Journal article Going green doesn't cost you green Dec 1, 2007
Boulder, Colorado (Dec. 1, 2007)- Ocean First Divers has developed a business model that addresses the growing concern for the wellbeing of the oceans yet doesn’t hamper the bottom line or cut into profits. How is this accomplished? Through a series of green initiatives, community programs and an environmental philosophy that resonates in all business decisions and management policies.
OFD’s business policy of environmental advocacy means that minimizing our impact on the environment is a key objective in everything we do. “As an environmentally dependent business, it is our responsibility to take the lead, to set an example, to instigate policies, to be held accountable for our actions,” says Graham Casden, founder and executive officer of Ocean First Divers.
At Ocean First Diver’s “going green” is more than just a slogan. In the first six months of operations, OFD has gone to 100% wind power, offset all of their electricity and gas consumption through carbon credits, developed zero waste, canvas bag and carbon offset programs, completed a comprehensive energy audit to address usage concerns and adopted a highway. No other dive shop has accomplished so much in so little time. Why?
Cost is the primary reason business owners have yet to adopt many of the green initiatives available in the marketplace. It’s difficult for small businesses to see the benefit in paying a premium to have wind power or to offset their air, car and boat travel with carbon credits.
“The mentality is often ‘why would I want to do that if it’s going to cost me more?’ but that’s precisely what’s wrong with many businesses today. Two questions immediately come to mind when I hear that response. The first is ‘what good is a few extra bucks going to do if the world’s reefs have perished or our oxygen supply can’t support six billion people?’ The second is ‘have you at least explored all the possibilities to reduce your footprint?’ There are a number of alternatives that address environmental concerns while providing reasonable ROIs. Investments will certainly have to be made, but if you’re realizing cost savings in as little as three or four years, it’s a no brainer.”
In truth, certain improvements do have protracted ROIs that tend to discourage business owners from adopting them. Solar power for example. “At OFD, we’ve looked very closely at a number of solar systems and will be moving in that direction in the next two or three years, but at the end of the day, it’s still 15 to 20 years before you realize cost savings. That’s a pretty big deterrent. However, that isn’t the case with everything. Things like cheaper, longer lasting light bulbs, like the fluorescent T-8 bulbs which replaced the conventional T-12 bulbs, and more efficient pool pumps have ROIs between 4 and 5 years, making them much more attractive for most shop owners.”
Ocean First Divers has identified numerous ways to make a difference. We use a non-toxic dry cleaning service called Enviro Cleaners that refrains from using PERC, a common dry cleaning solvent that harms the ozone layer and is a known carcinogen. At the shop, a company called Clean Conscience uses environmentally safe, non-toxic cleaning products that contain no ammonia, chlorine or formaldehyde. These simple choices help protect their customers and the environment.
Ocean First Divers has also initiated a policy of asking our vendors to reconsider their packaging protocol. “Aqualung was sending us their Flex Impulse II snorkels in a large plastic box that isn’t recyclable. When we received their shipments and removed the snorkels, we were left with dozens of completely useless, unrecycable plastic boxes. We immediately contacted them and asked not to have their snorkels shipped in these boxes. If every retailer did something to reduce the unnecessary waste from shipments, we’d have literally millions of less plastic boxes in our landfills and that’s just one, small thing Back to top