The Diving Equipment and Marketing Association announced during this year’s DEMA Show that it has honored Jessica Keller, an underwater archaeologist with the U.S. National Park Service’s Submerged Resources Center, as the newest DEMA Wave Maker.

The Wave Maker Award honors newer industry professionals who are employees or owners of DEMA-Member businesses. These are individuals who have been involved in the industry as a professional for 60 months or less and who should be recognized for their contributions to the industry, a dive business, and DEMA. Nominees can be recognized for their outstanding achievements and service in any of the following categories: Contribution to DEMA’s Mission, Providing Business or Community Service, or Contributing to Dive Industry Growth.

According to Keller:

“I believe the future of our diving industry lies in our younger generations and in the powerful role of mentorship.”

Via the National Park Service and a small start-up grant from the Women Divers Hall of Fame, Keller developed an educational outreach program called “Underwater Explorer,” designed to reach younger generations to create and foster an interest in the ocean.

The foundation of Keller’s program is a 36-page activity booklet that is now available for free in more than 60 National Parks in both English and Spanish. She says:

“Once someone is interested and passionate, we need to develop them into leaders and role models through mentorship.”

To learn more about Keller, check out her nomination video below.

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