Univ. of Miami Science Diver Course Dives Around Cat Cay, Bahamas

Broad Key divers (L -R) Marc Fruitema, Steve Saiontz, Christina Vilmar, Camila Alvarez, Kristen Mastrople, Jesse Alpert, Darbi Jones, Phalene Gowling, Melissa Lopes, Joy Middleton, Rachel Pausch, Rick Riera-Gomez. Credit: Robbie Christian

MIAMI — October 3, 2011 — The Fall scientific diver class at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science took a trip to Cat Cay, Bahamas on Sept. 25-26. The purpose of the trip was to provide the students with a unique experience by diving in a variety of different underwater environments.

The first dive was at a famous wreck, The Sapona. At The Sapona students practiced techniques they have been mastering during training. The divers experienced varying ocean currents and saw many local denizens such as southern stingrays, sergeant majors, and an enormous school of tomtates, among many other species of marine creatures.

The second dive was in a grass bed just off Cat Cay, where a training pattern was set up and divers were tasked with practicing various fining techniques on different sections of the pattern. Being that the weather was less cooperative than expected, the professors decided that it was best to head closer to home to make its third and final dive on Neptune’s Memorial in Miami. On this dive divers got a chance to see the Memorial and continue practicing and honing their skills.

The trip was put together by Steve Saiontz of the UM Rosenstiel School’s Master’s of Professional Science Program, and Rick Riera-Gomez, UM Diving Safety Officer, with special collaboration from the UM Risk Management team.

About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southeastern United States. The University’s mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit

bahamas •  marc fruitema •  steve saiontz •  christina vilmar •  camila alvarez •  kristen mastrople •  jesse alpert •  darbi jones •  phalene gowling •  melissa lopes •  joy middleton •  rachel pausch •  environmental •  diver •