Stories From Our World Underwater Scholarship Society

Stories from Our World-Underwater

Scholarship Society:

50 Years in the Making

Since 1974, the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society® has provided firsthand experiences in underwater-related disciplines to young people considering careers in the underwater world through scholarship and internship programs. Each selected scholar spends a year getting hands-on experience with leaders in aquatic and marine related fields including science, technology, engineering, hyperbaric medicine, archaeology, conservation, and underwater photography. Interns participate in shorter targeted experiences with hosts including Divers Alert Network, the United States National Park ServiceReef Environmental Education Foundation, and the American Academy of Underwater Sciences.
This year OWUSS is celebrating its 50 th year of supporting some incredible water people! As part of this EBTSOYP series you will hear from five OWUSS Alumni who have made significant
contributions to the underwater world.
This series will run monthly from January to May 2024, culminating in an in-person storytelling event in NYC in June! It is a collaborative initiative between OWUSS, EBTSOYP, and The Story Collider, and is made possible through Rolex’s Perpetual Planet Initiative.

Upcoming Events

Tales from Behind the Camera with Shaun Wolfe

April 17th @ 2:00pm eastern

Shaun Wolfe is an award-winning freelance filmmaker, cinematographer, and photographer based out of Hawai’i and California. He has worked across natural history, documentary, scripted, and branded content spaces shooting underwater, topside, and aerial images. Equally comfortable on a feature set working with a big crew or hauling specialist equipment deep into the mountains with a small wildlife crew, Shaun is versatile and enjoys the variety of work he’s able to do. You can find his work on Netflix, Disney+, AppleTV, Max, and PBS. His clients include National Geographic, The New Yorker, Meta, World Wildlife Fund, and many others. Shaun also holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science and Management from the University of California, Santa Barbara. When he’s not working, you can find him diving, surfing, backpacking, tending to his garden, or working the lo’i.


Sharks of the World with Arzucan Askin

April 19th @11:00am eastern

Arzucan Askin is a National Geographic Explorer, OWUSS Scholar and conservation scientist with a passion for the protection of endangered marine wildlife. The best thing about her job is to be in the water:  Her work has taken her across the world from studying blue whales in the Arctic, to removing ghost gear from shipwrecks in the Mediterranean, to monitoring coral reef ecosystems in Southeast Asia all the way to searching for deep sea sharks in the Indian Ocean.


Being Safe Underwater with Abbey Dias

May 1st @2:00pm eastern

Abbey Dias is a scientific diver and diving safety officer. Her research has taken her all over the Eastern Pacific coast studying kelp forests, and as far as Antarctica to study glacial lakes. Through training students in research diving, she is committed to sharing her love for the underwater world and empowering others to become responsible explorers.


Diving Deep for Coral Reefs with Mykle Hoban

May 15th @2:00pm eastern

Dr. Mykle Hoban is a molecular ecologist interested in fundamental questions about marine biodiversity: Why are there so many species? Where do they come from? Why are they found in the places that they are? He has become especially interested in how these questions may be answered in new and unexplored habitats in the sea, particularly the deepest parts of coral reefs, or mesophotic coral ecosystems. These ecosystems, which are found from approximately 30 to 150 m (100–500 ft) depth along tropical coastlines, may actually contain the majority of existing reef habitat, but they are still poorly understood. Mykle’s research applies both traditional (e.g., visual surveys and specimen collection) and molecular (DNA-based) approaches to try to understand these still mostly-unexplored habitats.


The Oceans from Outer Space with Joanna Smart

May 29th @ 2:00pm eastern

Joanna is a marine scientist with a special focus on using technology to safeguard our oceans. Joanna has spent thousands of hours underwater monitoring and mapping all different kinds of marine environments ranging from coral reefs to sewage plants. Currently, Joanna is studying how satellite imagery can be used to map coral reef and seagrass habitat all over the world. Working with data from NASA, the European Space Agency and global satellite networks, Joanna aims to develop new methods for mapping and monitoring the marine environment at large spatial scales.