Technical diving itself has always been about adopting new technology [and/or techniques] to help safely and efficiently extend the range of any given diving endeavor. Things like nitrox, mixed-gas, staged decompression, and rebreathers of today have all run their course in becoming progressively more standardized tools of the trade.
Within the occupational setting of scientific diving, where diving is used as a tool to gather data for the advancement of science, adoption of progressive technology and techniques can be very, very slow given the bureaucracies of the institutional realm. This leaves the majority of progressive program development coming from the private sector. At the same time, private sector innovations are needed to take science to new depths, and even new frontiers. The gap that lies in this technology transfer is the bottleneck for future advancement in human intervention.
To make substantial advancements in ‘technical diving for science’ today, our community is in need of a massive paradigm shift that again puts humans at the center of underwater problem solving across the spectrum of depths, distances traveled, and within novel environments. While not a replacement for undersea robotics and autonomous vehicles or sensors, ‘the human element’ is forever needed to provide the value of experience, reaction time, situational and spatial awareness, and immediate problem-solving and response to change.
Ocean Opportunity Inc. was born in response to some of these challenges, and keeps ‘the human element’ central to its evolving programs. We engage in developing new policies, drafting standards, funding related R&D, and demonstrating new techniques through productive programs that advance scientific exploration and lead to the new discoveries that improve our quality of life.
Chan, LL, WU, JJ, Chan, LL, Lombardi, MR, Scherbatyuk, A. (2017) Development of key innovation technologies for genetic resources and natural products discovery of marine microperiphyton from mesophotic, disphotic or aphotic submarine environments within the euphotic zone and beyond. 2017 International Marine Drugs Symposium (IMDS 2017). China Ocean University. November 5‐9, 2017 in Qingdao, China.
Chan, LL, Mak, Maggie YL, Wu, JJ, Wartenberg, Chak, CK, Godfrey, J, Lombardi, MR., Jewell, M, Wong, PY, Lau, K.L. (2016) Advanced Scientific Diving: an essential tool in underwater scientific research. International Symposium on Marine Engineering Geology (ISMEG 2016). Qingdao, China Ocean University 23-24 October, 2016.
Lombardi, MR. (guest editor) (2013) Marine Technology Society Journal: Diving Technologies & Techniques for the 21st Century. Volume 47, Number 6. November/December 2013. 100pp.
Lombardi, MR. (2011) A Visual Profile of the Vertical Mesophotic Coral Ecosystem of the Tongue of the Ocean (TOTO), Andros, Bahamas to 100 meters. Proceedings of the 2011 American Academy of Underwater Sciences Annual Symposium, pp. 9-12.
Lombardi, MR. (2011) Redefining ‘Depth Perception’ for Scientific Diving Standards. Sea Technology Magazine, December 2011, pp 21-25. with cover photo.
Lombardi, MR. and Godfrey, J. (2011) In-water strategies for scientific diver based examinations of the vertical Mesophotic Coral Ecosystem (vMCE) from 50 to 150 meters. Proceedings of the 2011 American Academy of Underwater Sciences Annual Symposium, pp. 13-21.
Lombardi, MR. (2003) Considerations for scientific technical diving: An overview of logistics, procedures, and implications for program development. ‘Diving for Science 2003’ proceedings of the 22nd annual American Academy of Underwater Sciences symposium, pp. 43-58.
Lombardi, MR (editor) (2002). The Next Step: Mixed Gas Technical Diving ‘Science 300 feet deep’ Procedures for diving operations using mixed-gas, open-circuit SCUBA with staged, in-water decompression for conducting undersea science exploration. PIMS-CMRC/NOAA-NURC internal document. 33pp.
Lombardi, MR, Kakuk, BJ, Lesser, MP. (2002) Caribbean Marine Research Center Hosts First Technical Diving for Science Program. Journal of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences: AAUS’ ‘the SLATE’ October issue.
Lombardi, MR. (2004) New Technology, New Environments, New Diversity…Well Within Reach. 33rd Annual Benthic Ecology Meeting 2004.