|COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College SCUBA Dive
Team (UCDT) and its members are improving underwater
Participating in service activities such
as underwater clean-ups and artificial reef construction, this
summer’s project involves the Ursinus Reef.
Kriegner, a current senior at Ursinus, started the SCUBA Club
in the fall of 2000 and it began activities during the spring
Last year the Dive Team sponsored the sinking of
30 reef balls for the construction of an artificial reef off
the coast of New Jersey. This summer, Kriegner and Ursinus
senior and UCDT member Nathan Uber are working with Professor
of Biology James M. Sidie on a research project involving the
artificial reef, which has been named the Ursinus Reef.
Kreigner and Uber dive once a week to inspect
artificial reef pieces that were cleaned and re-sunk at
different times. Since each has been in the water for a
different time period, the reefs are all different ages. On
each dive, a different reef is inspected, water samples and
geographic surveys are taken, and information is recorded
regarding the aquatic life that has moved in around the reefs.
The club undertook a water clean-up program late in
2002 and was located in Reading, Pa., where the club helped
clean out a water supply for the city. They worked in
conjunction with a land cleaning team while they cleaned
underwater in diving gear. Heather Nalesnik, an Ursinus
senior, said the divers found “a microwave, street signs,
street cones, cans, bottles, plastics, and even a kitchen
sink.” She added that “the visibility [in the water] was less
than four inches, so divers couldn’t see their gauges or the
trash.” The divers linked arms with a partner and combed the
bottom of the lake to find garbage.
underwater clean-up program was in 2001 in Belair, Md., where
the club participated in International Underwater Clean-up
Day, which is supported the Professional Association of Diving
Instructors. This event brought together UC Blueskies, the
Ursinus Environmental Club, and the Dive Team as they cleaned
on both land and underwater, respectively.
campus, the UC SCUBA Dive Team has become well known for its
classes, held so students can try scuba diving, and its
involvement in environmental issues. Last semester, the group
gave the Ursinus students, faculty, staff, and families the
opportunity to learn how to scuba dive and use diving
equipment, in the College’s swimming pool. Attendees were then
invited to complete their certification at Dutch Springs in
Other activities include working toward
additional certifications both at Ursinus and at Dutch
Springs, and taking trips to experience different water
conditions and locations such as Florida, Maryland, West
Virginia and North Carolina, and other non-diving activities.
For example, in Florida they dove in The Living Seas exhibit
at Epcot Center and in North Carolina they dove in the ocean
to see various shipwrecks. They also visit aquariums, attend
scuba equipment trade shows, and have participated in a three
day study at Duke where the effects of flying after diving
Each year the team hosts an open water
certification which results in a lifetime certification. In
addition, there are plans to introduce a class which will
encompass the open water certification along with in-depth
diving physiology, according to Kriegner.
are President, Chris Kriegner of Trenton, N.J.; Vice
President, Heather Nalesnik of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Secretary,
Erony Whyte of Brunswick, Me.; and Treasurer, Nathan Uber of
Haddonfield, N.J. Faculty sponsors are Dr. Sidie and Winfield
Guilmette, Vice President for Finance and Administration.
The UCDT is constructing a website which contains more
information on their activities both in and out of water.
Check it out at .