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UM’S Dive Safety Officer, Rick Gomez, To Lead AAUS

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MIAMI- July 11, 2013 ---- The Board of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) announced that its membership has elected University of Miami Dive Safety Officer Rick Gomez to serve as the organization’s President. He will serve two years as President-Elect, beginning in 2014, and then two years as President.

“Scientific diving at the University of Miami dates back to the early 1940’s, when our students ventured into the water wearing surface supplied hard helmets,” said Dr. Roni Avissar, dean of UM’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. “This appointment is a great professional accomplishment for our Dive Safety Officer, Rick Gomez, and speaks volumes about the strong scientific diving program he has established. In the near future we expect to see this program continue to flourish and expand.”

The mission of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) is to facilitate the development of safe and productive scientific divers through education, research, advocacy, and the advancement of standards for scientific diving practices, certifications, and operations. The AAUS has 130 organizational members and over 1,100 individual members. Organizational membership includes colleges and universities, government agencies, museums and aquaria, environmental and archaeological consulting firms, and community science groups sharing a common thread of the use of diving as a research tool and a commitment to the health and safety of scientific divers.

“This is a very prestigious position for Rick and for the University of Miami because the AAUS is the recognized authority on scientific and educational diving programs nationwide,” said NOAA Rear Admiral (Ret.) Richard Behn, director of marine operations at UM’s Rosenstiel School. “This shows the respect that the broader diving community has for Rick, as well as the program he has built over the last 20 years.”

Gomez is a native of Coral Gables, Fla. He is a NAUI, GUE and Dan instructor and holds numerous professional certifications.

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
www.rsmas.miami.edu.

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