2010 DEMA REACHING OUT AWARDS
DR. A JOSE JONES AND CHUCK NICKLIN TO RECEIVE 2010 REACHING OUT AWARDS
-Recipients to be Honored at 2010 DEMA Awards Party
Taking Place November 19, 2010 at the Las Vegas Hilton-
San Diego, CA – The Dive Industry will reunite on November 19, 2010 to honor Dr. A. Jose Jones and Chuck Nicklin, recipients of the 22nd Annual DEMA Reaching Out Awards (ROA). This year’s DEMA Awards Party will take place from 7:30pm to midnight in Ballrooms A-C of the Las Vegas Hilton in association with DEMA Show 2010. First awarded in 1989, the Reaching Out Award honors diving community leaders whose significant contributions to the sport have elevated the industry for all, and this year’s recipients, Dr. A. Jose Jones and Chuck Nicklin join an elite list of distinguished past recipients.
Dr. Jones has worked as a swimmer, marine scientist, scuba diver, and teacher. Over the past 50 years, his work both professionally and personally has reached the lives of thousands, having taught over 5,000 people, mostly children, how to swim. As a professor of marine biology and environmental science, he taught at the University of the District of Columbia, served as Chairman of the Department of Environmental Science, Dean for the College of Life Sciences and Provost and Vice President of the University. Dr. Jones holds a Masters Degree in Aquatic Biology from Howard University, a PhD in Marine Biology from Georgetown University, is a 3-time Fellow of the National Science Foundation and a Fulbright Scholar.
Dr. Jones’ scuba diving career began when he volunteered for a combat swimming course while serving in the U.S. Army. A Purple Heart recipient, he returned home from a tour of combat duty, enrolled in college and joined the Atlantic Skin Diving Council (ASDC) where he served as Vice President, training officer, spear fishing chairman and scuba rodeo director. In 1959, as a college senior, he formed the Underwater Adventure Seekers (UAS) of Washington, DC. UAS is one of the oldest dive clubs in the world, predating most national certifying organizations, and its mission is to promote safe diving. Dr. Jones established high standards for dive training and annual requirements for all members to complete checkout of their diving skills, including swimming, rescue and safety drills. For over 50 years, the annual checkout has kept the club strong and vibrant and focused on diving competence. In 1991, he co-founded the Science and Education Committee of the National Association of Black Scuba Divers (NABS). Former President of the Association, Dr. Jones now serves as the current Chair. To date, over 50 NABS dive clubs have formed throughout the world. Through UAS and NABS Dr. Jones and his teams have trained and certified over 2,000 divers for free. He continues to promote scuba diving by visiting schools and colleges to speak with students about the sport of scuba diving and careers in oceanography and environmental sciences.
Dr. Jones is a master scuba instructor and has amassed more than 6,000 dives in more than 50 countries. He is a spear fishing and scuba rodeo champion, underwater photographer and videographer, and a seventh degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. Dr. Jones’ accomplishments have been recognized worldwide; he was named the 2008 Sport Diver of the Year by Sport Diver Magazine, was selected as the DAN/Rolex International Diver of the Year in 2005, and a recipient of the SSI Platinum 5,000 Award. His vision, commitment to excellence, and dedicated leadership have enabled him to create opportunities for thousands of people to experience the wonders of the sea and have opened doors for future generations.
Chuck Nicklin, Emmy Award winning cinematographer, photographer, and dive business entrepreneur is recognized as one of the pioneers of underwater cinematography. Legendary for marine mammal photography, he is credited with the first major shots of blue and sperm whales. With over 40 years and thousands of underwater images to his credit, his work can be seen in an abundant collection of feature films and documentaries including The Abyss, The Deep, Never Say Never, For Your Eyes Only, and In the Company of Whales.
Chuck Nicklin began his love for scuba diving over 60 years ago when he went diving with a borrowed mask. His training began with the earliest of dive legends, Jim Stewart, Connie Limbaugh, and Ron Church. He began as a free-dive spear fisherman in the La Jolla area of California where he would dive for abalone and lobsters. In June of 1959, with the help and advice of Limbaugh, Stewart, Church, and Andreas Rechnitzer, Nicklin opened the Diving Locker in San Diego, CA, one of the west coast’s first dive shops. With equipment on credit from manufacturers such as Aqua Lung, he built the business on the reputations of the founding members which has been instrumental in the education and training of sport divers for four decades. Some of today’s leading underwater photographers, including Howard Hall, Marty Synderman, and Chuck’s son Flip Nicklin got their start working at the Diving Locker.
His true interest was in film making, and together with Ron Church, Nicklin started the Underwater Photographic Society (UPS) in The Diving Locker's back room. He acquired a 16mm Rolleimarine and soon turned his passion into a professional career as he began shooting a B-movie called Chubasco. Soon underwater photography assignments came easy to him, as there were very few experienced divers with photography proficiency in the early 60's. One of his first assignments was on the Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) built by Lockheed, before it was sold to the U.S. Navy. Nicklin followed with various assignments such as commercials and promotional video and grew to filming movies with legendary filmmaker Al Giddings always at his side, or in the lead. With Giddings serving as producer, director, editor, and promoter the two quickly earned reputations as first-class cinematographers. His first big movie was working with Stan Waterman in Peter Benchley's, The Deep, released in 1977 with Peter Yates directing. Nicklin is credited with saying he is most proud of his work on For Your Eyes Only because he did some special shots with his camera. The film was shot in the ocean rather than in a studio tank where Nicklin claims his best work was achieved. He also worked on the Ocean Quest television series where he traveled to locations in the Antarctic, Truk, Cuba, Baja, and Newfoundland. He worked on the IMAX film Nomads of the Deep, which chronicled the lives of humpback whales in their habitats off the islands of Hawaii and in the Red Sea.
Today Chuck is still active in filmmaking. He also leads diving adventures to exciting destinations around the world, and enjoys traveling with his wife, Roz. His son Flip is also an accomplished underwater photographer and free-diver.
We hope you'll join us as we take our hats off to the dive industry and our 2010 Reaching Out Award winners, Dr. A. Jose Jones and Chuck Nicklin. You can find more details about this year's DEMA Awards Party and purchase tickets online at www.demashow.com.