NAUI announced this week the passing of diving legend and pioneer Dr. Morgan Wells on July 28, 2017, at the age of 77.
Morgan Wells’ career began in 1955 and spanned more than 50 illustrious years.
Over his career, Morgan Wells was involved in many National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) programs, where he contributed to high-profile projects like SeaLab II and Tektite II. Appointed as the director of the NOAA diving program in 1978, eleven years later, in 1989, he achieved one of his greatest ambitions in life when he founded the NOAA experimental diving unit.
Among Morgan Wells’ many contributions to the diving world is his development of a EAD (Equivalent Air Depth) formula in 1970, which was later instrumental in the development of the NOAA Nitrox I table in 1978, and the NOAA Nitrox II table in 1990. His pioneering work is what gives us Nitrox diving today.
Morgan Wells’ contributions did not stop in retirement; after 23 years with NOAA, he carried on working in retirement with the Undersea Research Foundation. Not surprisingly, he is the winner of many accolades and awards, including:
- The U.S. Navy Meritorious Public Service Citation
- The Society of American Military Engineers Colbert Medal
- The Underwater Society of America’s NOGI Award
Morgan Wells earned his B.S. from Randolph-Macon College in 1962, and later received his PhD from the University of California, San Diego.
You can read the full NAUI obituary for Dr. J. Morgan Wells here, and check out the footage from SeaLab II “Man In The Sea” below: