Patti Kirk Gross , 2016
Marine Conservation Educator, Ocean Advocate, Coral Ambassador -- A highly regarded conservation educator, Patti integrates science into marine conservation practices by developing diving specialty programs to educate, inspire, and cultivate passionate ocean stewards. She volunteers with the Coral Restoration Foundation training Coral Ambassadors, or diving in a nursery or transplanting nursery-raised corals. A member of the CRF International Team, she installs coral nurseries around the globe while training 'Citizen Scientists.' With 30 years of experience as an instructor for PADI, NAUI, SSI, and DAN, she has certified over 900 students and has more than 9,000 logged dives. She co-founded an endowment underwriting the only hospital-based hyperbaric chamber in the Florida Keys. Patti is an officer with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and serves on the Board of Directors for the History of Diving Museum and Coral Restoration Foundation.