Recent Articles

  • The Curious Reproduction Strategies of California Grunion

    The Curious Reproduction Strategies of California Grunion

    That a fish would leave the water and fling itself onto a beach at night in order to produce future generations seems preposterous. That it would need to factor in high tides and full/new moons when determining the right time to do so, stretches the limits of credibility. Yet California grunion do all these things. Reaching a maximum length of …Read More »

  • Fear and Fascination: Encountering the Great White Shark

    Fear and Fascination: Encountering the Great White Shark

    There is no fish in the sea more feared — or more fascinating — than the great white shark. In 1971, Peter Gimbel’s movie, Blue Water, White Death, focused public attention on this large animal. In 1974, Peter Benchley’s book, Jaws, and the movie of the same name released in 1975 caused general hysteria. People stayed out of the ocean. …Read More »

  • Going Pink in the Deep Blue: Scuba Divers Unite to Fund Breast Cancer Research

    Going Pink in the Deep Blue: Scuba Divers Unite to Fund Breast Cancer Research

    By Allison Vitsky Sallmon   In 2003, I was many things — 33 years old, a postdoctoral fellow at a Boston-area university, a veterinary researcher, a scuba diver, and a workout fanatic. What I wasn’t, was someone with a lot of free time. So on the October day that I placed my hand on my left breast and found a …Read More »

  • 42nd Annual USC Catalina Chamber Day May 4

    42nd Annual USC Catalina Chamber Day May 4

    In 1974 the Lockheed Corporation donated a hyperbaric chamber to the University of Southern California (USC) in an arrangement set up between USC and Los Angeles County, and the Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber officially opened for business, evaluating and treating injured divers. Fifteen years later, in 1989, the facility nearly closed due to a funding crisis. That’s when Roger Hess, then …Read More »

  • The “C” Word

    The “C” Word

    Want to make a room go hear-a-pin-drop silent, by simply uttering a single word? Unfortunately, I know how to do that. Just say the dreaded “C” word. Cancer. Not only will the room get quiet, but also people might look away — or even move away from you. The unfortunate truth is, all too often even people with the biggest …Read More »

  • Have You Seen a Sea Elephant? All About the Northern Elephant Seal

    Have You Seen a Sea Elephant? All About the Northern Elephant Seal

    This column is a departure from those I’ve done in the past because it features creatures I have never seen underwater. There are two species of elephant seals, northern and southern. Those found off the West Coast of North America are northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris). The three populations of southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonine) are found in the south …Read More »

  • El Niño, El Niño, El Niño ‘

    El Niño, El Niño, El Niño ‘

      The much-hyped El Niño season — one of the strongest in the past 60 years — is here. And it’s living up to the hype, ravaging the Southern California coastline with record-setting storms. The military is funding a coastline study to help determine how El Niño and climate change could impact its facilities and bases close to the ocean. …Read More »

  • Storms Uncover San Diego Shipwreck

    Thrashing El Niño storms, which stripped a great deal of sand from the shores of Coronado, California, have revealed an amazing glimpse into history. During low tide the rusted remains of SS Monte Carlo emerge from the beach, close to Avenida de las Arenas. Joe Ditler, who has been studying the shipwreck for 30 years, said wreckage appears from time …Read More »

  • On Ocean Stewardship

    On Ocean Stewardship

    In early January, California got hit with a series of storms. With no dive lined up on a Saturday morning I needed an “ocean fix” so I drove to the beach at Casa Cove in La Jolla to check out the colony of harbor seals that inhabits the controversial area known as the Children’s Pool. Their pupping season begins in …Read More »

  • Better Together: The Benefits of Being a Dive Club Member

    Better Together: The Benefits of Being a Dive Club Member

      A person with a wide circle of friends – one who’s always on the go, attending parties and events — is called a social butterfly. So, maybe a person who is always busy with dive club activities is a social butterflyfish? We’re not really sure. But one thing is for certain: Being a dive club member offers many advantages …Read More »

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