2012 DAN Research Interns

The 2012 DAN Research Interns were assigned to work on a single study, "Common Recreational Diving Practices: A Randomized Control Trial Using Pre-Dive Checklist." The principal investigator and intern mentor for this project was Shabbar Ranapurwala, a research assistant at DAN and a doctoral student in Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Four interns spent a week at DAN headquarters where they were trained in study methods, research ethics, data collection and online data entry procedures. DAN Education staff certified them in Basic Life Support and First Aid, Oxygen First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries and First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries. Two of the training days were spent in data collection field training at Wilmington, N.C. The interns were then sent to host sites to collect data for the study. Our host sites this year were in Cozumel, Mexico, Grand Cayman and North Carolina.

Each intern was responsible to recruit study participants who were certified divers and at least 18-years-old. The interns would then brief the participants on the project, administer the study forms and questionnaires, and report the data to the principal investigator using an online data entry system. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the effect of using a pre-dive checklist of safety measures on the incidence of diving mishaps in recreational scuba divers.
Meet the Class of 2012
Patrick Dolezal is a junior at Indiana University majoring in Biology with plans to apply to medical school. Patrick has earned several diving certifications and is currently working on becoming a divemaster. He spent the duration of his internship working in Cozumel, Mexico with Aldora Divers, Aqua Safari and Aqua World.

"DAN has combined my greatest passions in an internship: science and diving," said Patrick.

Devon Donohue has worked as a commercial diver and dive medic and is in the process of pursuing a career in hyperbaric medicine. He is currently attending Mira Costa College in California majoring in human physiology with intentions for medical school. He spent his internship working at Sunset House in Grand Cayman where he had the opportunity to assist with the "Total Submersion" event, which hosted more than 90 divers and offered him a wealth of opportunity to gather survey data. Devon also worked with Ocean Frontiers and Don Foster's Dive Cayman.

"My commitment to diving has improved my life in more ways than I can count. It has provided me with a sport I love, a fulfilling career, and a bright future in which see myself involved in both diving and medicine for the rest of my life," said Devon.

Jonathon Samuel Hurley became a certified diver two years ago and is already starting to combine his love of diving with his planned career in science. He is presently a junior at University of North Carolina -Chapel Hill majoring in Biology. Prior to his DAN Research Internship, he completed an internship in emergency medicine and plans to apply for medical school. Samuel's internship at DAN took him to Cozumel, Mexico where he collected data from divers at Sand Dollar Sports.

"Overall, I cannot thank DAN enough for this amazing opportunity not only to further science and diving research, but also to explore the opportunities in the world of diving even further," said Samuel.

Mariclaire Joseph is the 2012 Our World Underwater Scholarship Society DAN Intern. She is an Environmental Science major at Prescott College in Arizona. Although she only recently became scuba certified, she already envisions how to utilize this new skill in her career. Mariclaire was assigned to work in Wilmington, N.C., with Aquatic Safaris & Diver's Emporium.

"I wish to put into action the concern and deeply rooted passion I have for the sea by combining my scientific education and experience and diving skill, with peer education and advocacy," said Mariclaire.

DAN Internships