Women Divers Hall of Fame

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Women Divers Hall of Fame
Legal statusNonprofit tax-exempt 501C(3)[1]
PurposeTo honor the accomplishments of women divers
Region served
FieldsWomen in underwater diving
Membership (2023)
Robin Parish[2]
Susan Bangasser[2]
Vice President
Patti Kirk Gross[2]
Patty Seery[2]

The Women Divers Hall of Fame (WDHOF) is an international honor society. Its purpose is to honor the accomplishments of women divers,[3][4][5] and their contributions to various fields of underwater diving.[6][1] Full membership is restricted to nominees who have been found to meet the WDHOF's criteria, which include being an underwater diver and having contributed to diving in ways recognised as being significant.[7]


The WDHOF was founded in 1999 by a group of people and organizations, including the Underwater Society of America.[8][9] 72 women were inducted in 2000, followed by 26 new members the next year.[10]

Scholarships and grants[edit]

The WDHOF awards many scholarships and training grants[11] to support women of "all ages who are pursuing careers involving diving"[12] including the J. Berman Memorial Grant for Sea Turtle Conservation, the Sherry Reed Memorial Undergraduate Marine Conservation Scholarship, Laurel Clark Sea to Space Physiology Research Grant and the Amelia Behrens-Furniss Memorial Hardhat Dive Training Grant.[13][14][15]


As of 2023, there are 254 members.[16] They include:

Name Dates Induction Details
Pamela Balash-Webber 1953-2020 2022 Co-founder of the Virgin Islands Diving Association, PADI course director, and promoter of ocean conservation
Carole Baldwin 2022 Scientist, author, and educator. An authority on marine biology, especially tropical-marine fishes, conservation and sustainable seafood
Sally Bauer 2011 Diving museum founder and historian, aquaculturist, author, and public speaker[17]
Amelia Behrens-Furniss 1895-1970 2012 Pioneering American deep sea diver
Wendy Benchley 2015 Marine conservation leader, governmental policy advocate, and spokesperson on shark conservation[18]
Bette Bolivar 1962- 2005 US Navy Diving and Salvage Officer; commanding Officer of USS Salvor, and of the Navy Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit[19]
Mary Bonnin 2001 First woman US Navy Master Diver; US Navy diving instructor; naval diving safety advocate[20]
Cathy Church 1945- 2000 American marine biologist, SCUBA diver, underwater photographer and educator
Eugenie Clark 1922-2015 2022 An American ichthyologist known for both her research on shark behaviour and her study of fish in the order Tetraodontiformes; a pioneer in the field of scuba diving for research purposes
Laurel B. Clark 1961-2003 2003 Clark did active duty training with the Diving Medicine Department at the United States Navy Experimental Diving Unit; completed Navy undersea medical officer training at the Naval Undersea Medical Institute in Groton, Connecticut, and diving medical officer training at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center; she dove with Navy divers and Naval Special Warfare Unit Two SEALs and performed many medical evacuations from US submarines; designated as a Naval Submarine Medical Officer and Diving Medical Officer
Céline Cousteau 1972- 2011
Annie Crawley 1968- 2010 American underwater photographer,[21] filmmaker, speaker, educator, and ocean advocate.[22] In 2007, she founded Dive Into Your Imagination, a multimedia ocean inspiration, entertainment, and education series for youth.[23]
Mandy-Rae Cruickshank 1974- 2009 Canadian World champion free-diver and record-holder
Sylvia Earle 1935- 2000 Oceanographer and marine biologist (former Chief Scientist at NOAA), author and consultant
Dottie Frazier 1922-2022 2000 American diver and dive shop owner; the first female scuba instructor and the first female dive shop owner.[24]
Honor Frost 1917-2010 2019 Pioneer in the field of underwater archaeology, who led Mediterranean archaeological investigations and was noted for her typology of stone anchors and skills in archaeological illustration
Elsie Gabriel 2023 Indian environmentalist and underwater diver[6]
Lotte Hass 1928-2015 2000 Austrian underwater diver, model and actress
Hillary Hauser 1944- 2000 American photojournalist and environmental activist with a focus on the oceansunderwater diving adventure, politics, and conservation
Mehgan Heaney-Grier 1977- 2000 American champion free-diver
Jill Heinerth 1965- 2000 Canadian cave diver, underwater explorer, writer, photographer and film-maker
Denise Herzing 2021 Founder and Research Director of the Wild Dolphin Project[25]
Lauren Hutton 1943- 2007 Conservationist and scuba advocate
Darlene Iskra 1952- 2008 US Navy diving and salvage officer, first woman to command a commissioned US Navy ship, public speaker, and author
Karen Kohanowich 2001 Retired U.S. Naval officer and ocean research and technology program manager for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER)
Valerie Langstaff 2022
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo 2007
Dení Ramírez Macías 1978- 2021 Mexican marine biologist ocean scientist, and conservationist, and director of Whale Shark México (Tiburon Ballena Mexico)[26]
Andrea Marshall 2023 marine biologist known for wildlife conservation and research on large marine animals like manta rays & whale sharks; co-founder and a principal scientist of the Marine Megafauna Foundation
Simone Melchior-Cousteau[27] 1919-1990 2017 First woman scuba diver and aquanaut; wife and business partner of undersea explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Audrey Mestre 1974-2002 2002 French world record-setting freediver
Zale Parry 1933- 2000 American pioneer scuba diver, underwater photographer and actress
Lesley Rochat[28] 2010 South African marine and shark conservationist,[29] campaigner,[30] wildlife filmmaker, underwater photographer,[31][32] environmental writer,[33] author, speaker[34] and activist.[35] She founded the non-profit organisation AfriOceans Conservation Alliance
Dee Scarr 2000 American environmentalist, marine naturalist, and scuba diver
Claudia Serpieri 2002 Italian world-record technical diver and instructor
Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper 1963- 2007 American salvage officer. Projects include de-stranding the tanker Exxon Houston off the coast of Barbers Point, on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, and developing the plan for the Peruvian Navy salvage of the Peruvian submarine
Tanya Streeter 1973- 2000 British-Caymanian-American world champion freediver
Kathryn Sullivan 1951- 2008 American, first woman to dive into the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench
Valerie Taylor 1935- 2000 Australian diver, underwater photographer and film maker
Donna Tobias 1952-2010 2001 United States Navy's first female deep sea diver
Ruth Turner 1914-2000 2001 Pioneering U.S. marine biologist and malacologist
Michele Westmorland 2011 American photographer, specializing in underwater photography
Susan Williams 1951-2018 2019 American marine biologist
Cristina Zenato[36] 1971- 2011 Shark protection consultant; TDI and NSS-CDS technical and full cave instructor; explorer, surveyor and mapper of cave systems; and ocean advocate


  1. ^ a b "Women Divers Hall of Fame". www.wdhof.org. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d "Officers". www.wdhof.org. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  3. ^ "Women Veteran Divers Assist National Park Service in Underwater Surveys - Channel Islands National Park (U.S. National Park Service)". National Park Service. 22 November 2019. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  4. ^ "Women Divers Hall of Fame". Skin Diver. Petersen Publishing Company. 50 (9). September 2001.
  5. ^ "Women Divers Hall of Fame Inducts Six New Members for 2015". California Diver Magazine. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  6. ^ a b Singh, Vijay (25 June 2023). "Mumbai woman inducted in Women Divers Hall of Fame in USA". The Times of India. Retrieved 30 June 2023.
  7. ^ "Member Nominations". www.wdhof.org. Retrieved 20 June 2022.
  8. ^ "About". www.wdhof.org. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  9. ^ "Women Divers Hall of Fame Announces Scholarships". Ocean News & Technology. Vol. 10, no. 3. 2004. p. 63. ProQuest 199926226.
  10. ^ "New Inductees for Women's Diving Hall". Sport Diver. Vol. 9, no. 2. March 2001. p. 17.
  11. ^ "Women Divers Hall of Fame Announces 2015 Scholarship Program". californiadiver.com. Retrieved 2023-09-07.
  12. ^ Tanabe, Gen (2022). The Ultimate Scholarship Book 2022 Billions Of Dollars In Scholarships, Grants And Prizes. Belmont, California: SuperCollege. p. 390. ISBN 1-61760-164-0.
  13. ^ Laguardia-Kotite, Martha (25 May 2021). Changing the Rules of Engagement: Inspiring Stories of Courage and Leadership from Women in the Military. U of Nebraska Press. p. 241. ISBN 978-1-64012-473-8.
  14. ^ "Deadline for 2015 Women Divers Hall of Fame scholarships and training grants: 28 November". Ocean News & Technology. Vol. 20, no. 10. October 2014. p. 16. ProQuest 1615352472.
  15. ^ Durbin-Sherer, Erin (15 November 2019). "Women Divers Hall Of Fame Has Been Celebrating Extraordinary Divers For 20 Years! - DeeperBlue.com". www.deeperblue.com. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  16. ^ "Member Roster". www.wdhof.org. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  17. ^ Johnson, Kalie (20 June 2018). "BW biology alumna celebrates lifelong passion with growing diving museum". Baldwin Wallace University. Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  18. ^ "Women Divers Hall of Fame Inducts Six New Members for 2015". Florida Diver. March 24, 2015. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  19. ^ Cole, William (25 February 2017). "Naval region gets Hawaii-born leader". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. ProQuest 1871919931.
  20. ^ "Master Chief Mary Bonnin". www.navy.mil. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  21. ^ "Dive Into Your Imagination: Manta Encounter in Raja Ampat".
  22. ^ Weber, Katherine (June 13, 2010). "The Imagination of Ocean Annie". Santa Barbara Independent. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  23. ^ "Dive Into Your Imagination". Annie Crawley. Retrieved November 6, 2015.
  24. ^ Denny, Megan (2017-03-23). "7 Women in Diving Everyone Should Know". blog.padi.com. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  25. ^ "Wild Dolphin Project". Wild Dolphin Project.
  26. ^ "Dra. Dení Ramírez Macías - Articulando Conocimiento Global". Innovation Match MX (in Spanish). 2012-04-17.
  27. ^ Lunn, Rosemary E. (8 March 2021). "WDHOF announces new Simone Melchior Cousteau Grant". X-Ray International Dive Magazine. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  28. ^ Helen Bamford (20 Feb 2010) Hall of Fame for marine Conservationist. The Saturday Star. Retrieved 1 October 2014
  29. ^ Diving with sharks on Top Billing SABC3 (5 July 2013) Retrieved 14 February 2015
  30. ^ Swimming with Jaws: Campaigner does a bikini swim with sharks to help ban shark nets (23 August 2013) UK Daily Mirror
  31. ^ More Judges, Divesite Archived 17 February 2015 at archive.today
  32. ^ Underwater Photographer Lesley Rochat (16 March 2012) Underwater Photographers
  33. ^ Save our priceless oceans (10 October 2013)Cape Times Lesley Rochat
  34. ^ Speakers of Note Archived 12 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  35. ^ Activist entangles herself in sea net for campaign (11 May 2012)Cape Argus Lauren Manning
  36. ^ Kirkby, Sarah (4 May 2011). "Local diver is recognized at 'Women Divers Hall Of Fame'". www.thebahamasweekly.com. Retrieved 17 May 2022.

External links[edit]