OUR GUIDES

 

Amy Christopher

Amy Christopher

Amy has been swimming and snorkeling for as long as she can remember. Her first experience was snorkeling with her family at Playa de los Gatos in Mexico when she was 2. From that point on she was hooked. Amy has been fortunate to have spent the majority of her life traveling around the world with her family. She has lived in Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia and Singapore and has visited numerous other countries as well.

Amy earned her Open Water certification in 1991 and is now a SSI Master Instructor. She experienced her first open water dives in the Coral Sea off the coast of eastern Australia.

Amy is the Director of Retail & Travel Operations and videographer at Ocean First. She has been diving throughout SE Asia, Maldives, Micronesia, South & Central America, Australia and Egypt. Her favorite part about diving is coming across the unexpected, observing the behaviors of marine creatures, and exploring new countries. There is nothing more amazing than having a special encounter with an animal on a dive! Amy has been with the team since March of 2000.

Graham Casden

Graham Casden

Graham was born in Jackson Hole, WY but moved to California as a child. He soon developed an insatiable love for the ocean and quickly realized his life was intertwined with the sea. In 1995, Graham moved to Boulder to attend the University of Colorado and study marketing and entrepreneurship. His love for traveling and the ocean have led him to dive destinations all over the world. Graham wanted to find a way to continue exploring while also protecting the environment he loves. Over the course of the next 10 years, he’s worked diligently to create a community of ocean enthusiasts who are passionate about experiencing and preserving our marine environments. 

Kathy Gagliardo

Kathy Gagliardo

Kathy has always loved and been intrigued by the ocean, all from the first time she was "bitten" by a starfish (when she was 6 years old). She has since learned that starfish can not bite people. Luckily, that "terrifying" encounter didn't stop her from pursuing any class she could take at CU based on Marine Science.  After a final internship researching sea turtles in Puerto Rico, she found herself landlocked and desperate for the ocean. Thank goodness Scuba Joe/Ocean First was hiring!

Kathy loves learning about the behavior of creatures in the ocean and teaching fellow divers how to find/identify them. There is no better way to be an ambassador of the ocean than to pass your love of it on to the next generation and your peers.

Since being certified as a diver in 1993 she has been diving in the Florida Keys, Mona Island (Puerto Rico), Belize, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Utila and Roatan Honduras, Bonaire, Curacao, BVI, and Dominica in the Caribbean.  She has also been to Fiji, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Cocos Island, the Galapagos Islands, Palau, Wakatobi (Indonesia) and the Sea of Cortez in the Pacific. Most of her local diving took place at Carter Lake and Chattfield Reservoir here in Colorado. She has also traveled to the Silver Banks (Dominican Republic), Playa Del Carmen, Mazatlan, Cancun, Aruba, Oahu Hawaii and Cape Town Bahamas.

Bruce Goodwin

Bruce Goodwin

Bruce's love for the water started with snorkeling the lakes in New Jersey. Thirty years later he earned his certification and was hooked. He was a school teacher for thirty years and has been retired since 2006. Because of his love for teaching, it seemed a natural progression to teach scuba diving. He has been helping or teaching professionally since 1995 and is a Master Scuba Diver Trainer. Bruce also works a few days a week at Ocean First as a service technician.

He has escorted divers to Cozumel, Roatan, Dominica and to Key Largo in the Florida Keys. His many dive trips have taken him to Micronesia and Indonesia, Chuuk (Truk), Bali and the Banda Sea, Palau, Yap, the Channel Islands, Flower Gardens in the Gulf of Mexico, Tobago, Curacao, Cayman Brac, Costa Rica, The Socorro Islands, Egypt, the Red Sea, and Dominica.  Bruce enjoys sharing his love of the oceans with divers including the many interesting land excursions the islands have to offer, such as zip line tours, hot spring and waterfalls, hikes through the rainforest, interesting restaurants and meeting the locals.

Bruce Penner

Bruce Penner

Bruce grew up on Kansas and Colorado farms until moving to the Pacific Northwest for middle school. The ocean became a passionate reality for him while in college at Washington State. Ironically, even though his older brother was appearing in scuba diving videos back in high school, Bruce didn’t take up diving until after leaving the west coast and moving back to Colorado. Now it’s hard to keep him out of the water as he actively progresses through his diving “bucket list”. His favorite destinations so far are Hawaii, Cozumel, Curacao, the Caymans and Costa Rica. Both of his kids became certified divers through Ocean First and now they all look forward to a dive trip every year.

Bruce has lived in Boulder for 13 years and has received all his scuba certifications here. Through Ocean First he became a dive professional in 2010 and an assistant instructor in April of 2011. Besides diving and rocket science, Bruce enjoys cycling, running, hiking in the mountains, playing guitar, and flying (after the appropriate surface interval, of course).

Gary Boyer

Gary Boyer

Gary was raised in southwestern Montana where his family would spend summer weekends boating and water skiing on a nearby lake. He always had a strong desire to scuba dive; however Montana didn't offer many opportunities for discovering the sport. Gary moved to Colorado in mid-1982, and finally realized his dream of scuba diving by earning his Open Water Diver certification in late 1997. He has since earned many instructor and specialty ratings. When not teaching or diving, he enjoys boating, water skiing, snow skiing, motorcycle touring, underwater photography and taking and developing his own black & white photography using various antique cameras.

Gary has led Ocean First trips to the Alaska, Florida Keys, Bonaire, Cozumel, and North Carolina. He has traveled to many dive destinations around the world, including Akumal, Belize, Curacao, Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, Grand Cayman, Harbour Island Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Roatan, Utila, Saba, St. John, St. Lucia, Channel Islands, Big Island Hawaii, Kauai, Solomon Islands, Vancouver, and the Rowley Shoals off the West Coast of Australia.

Mark Duvall

Mark Duvall

Growing up on a ranch in the middle of Montana doesn’t afford many opportunities to spend time in the water, but as a teenager Mark would get out to Flathead Lake in northern Montana for a couple weeks every day. One day, while at a Value-Mart, he noticed a snorkel kit, the typical cheap pair of fins, a mask and a snorkel. The following week Mark spent hours underwater until his mother would literally drag him out of the lake. In 1985, Mark moved to Boulder and worked as the IT Director for the Geological Society of America. Later that year, while at a GSA meeting, a group of managers decided they would go diving in the Caribbean. Unable to resist the lure of the tropics, Mark followed suit and never looked back. Since then, he has been diving in the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Hawaii, New Zealand, Roatan, Mexico and all around the Caribbean.

Learn more about Mark here!

Roger Young

Roger Young

Roger first became interested in scuba diving while watching the 50's television program "Sea Hunt," however growing up on a small farm in Oklahoma didn't provide many opportunities to experience the sport. He never lost interest and in 1985, while on vacation in the Caribbean, he had the opportunity to take a resort course. From that point on he knew diving was the passion of his life.

While he enjoys all aspects of diving, Roger has a special interest in helping others learn this exciting sport. In addition to teaching scuba, Roger is also a certified Alpine Ski Instructor and avid high altitude mountaineer.

 

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