2020 Symposium

A Virtual Event, November 7 -13, 2020

Our annual Symposium and Training Week is a week-long professional gathering of Dive Program Administrators. This professional forum is the only gathering of Dive Program Administrators in the country. ADPA members present methods and techniques to run effective and safe dive programs. This year is unique as it will be our first virtual event and we are excited to experience what our members have to share!


Times listed are in Central Time (CT)


  Sat 11/7 Sun 11/8 Mon 11/9 Tue 11/10 Wed 11/11 Thu 11/12 Fri 11/13
10:00 am

Board of Directors Mtg

All Day

  PSI/PCI Refresher

Business Meeting



(Practice Sessions)

“How To” Sci Diving Exemption Q&A DPiC  
11:30 am

Rescue X

Web Mtg
Dial in:
+1 (646) 749-3122
Access Code:
Volunteer Motivation and Retention Admin/DO Staff Level Safety Drills Staff Development
1:00 pm Q&A: DSO Workshop Panel

Web Mtg.
Dial in:

United States: +1 (669) 224-3412
Access Code:

Q&A: BOD   Q&A: FFM and Communications Systems
2:30 pm   Q&A: Zoo and Aquarium Gear Configuration Programmatic Level Changes Due to COVID  


Saturday, Nov 7th – Board of Directors Meeting

Details for how to attend the virtual open session forthcoming

Monday, November 9th – Training Day

  • 10:00am – PSI/PCI Refresher (separate registration required)

Paul Boissinot, Le Musee du Fjord

This refresher is for already certified PSI/PCI inspectors. In accordance with the code of Federal Regulations Title 49 172.704© (ii) (2-4) recurrent training must be completed at least once every 3 years to be in compliance for HAZMAT handling and VIPs. Participants will receive a certification as a Visual Cylinder Inspector upon course completion. Participants will be contacted by the instructor once registered for course logistics.

How to Sign Up: Contact Paul Dimeo pdimeo@lbaop.org to register. The course fee is $75.00.

  • 11:30am – Rescue X

Brian Saxon, Rescue X

A DSO has the most important job in the facility by creating and maintaining a safe environment for the divers. A key element to the task is the rescue program. To help a DSO build a successful rescue program you typically turn to the resources in the ADPA but mostly rely on the training programs in the recreational dive industry. These programs provide great education and training but fall short of the specific needs of an aquarium or zoo facility. Rescue X™ is a new resource for the DSO by providing the necessary tools and training in proper rapid extrication and post-extrication care – all of this leading to a greater chance for a successful rescue. 

To better understand and appreciate the importance of what this means to you, the DSO, Rescue X™ will be hosting a free workshop to explain and demonstrate our tools for a successful rapid extrication, the Rapid Extrication Board™ and our training program for proper post-extrication care. This will also be an introduction and demonstration to the most unique and comprehensive dive team management tool in the industry – the Xverse™.

  • 1:00pm – Q&A: DSO Workshop Panel

Join our DSO Workshop presenters on a panel Q&A session for any inquiry from the pre-recorded training session.

DSO Workshop Info: This workshop offering is designed for DSO’s of every level. Topics include ADPA history, diving standards, diver training, volunteer programs, rescue drills, risk management, guest immersion programs, and an overview of DPiC. For 2020, we are pre-recording the training session which will be available to members a few weeks before the symposium.

Tuesday, November 10th – Webinar

Register Now!

Registration for the Symposium incorporates admission to most Training Week meetings and forums. Information will be sent to all registrants with more details on how to access these features after their registration is approved. Access to certain re-certification courses offered during Training Week will require separate registration and payment.

The Symposium is open to all active members and invited guests. We request that each individual ADPA member registers themselves using a unique email address, as this is what will be used to confirm your eligibility to attend. All sessions of the Symposium and Training week will be recorded, and by registering for the events you are consenting to be recorded.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns or difficulty registering, please contact Halle Minshall at ADPASymposium@gmail.com

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Preparing for the Webinar

Ensure your computer meets minimum System Requirements

Consider joining in on a Practice Session:


We are hosting three practice sessions so that everyone is familiar with the features and functions of the platform. Please try to attend one if you have any questions or concerns about how to attend the Symposium or if your system meets operational requirements. We will need 15 minutes of your time to get you up to speed.  The dates and times are as follows:

  • Monday November 2nd from 2:30-4PM EST
  • Wednesday November 4th from 10:30-12PM EST
  • Friday November 6th from 12:30-2PM EST

Wednesday, November 11th – Training Day

  • 10:00am – “How To” Sci Diving Exemption

Questions about claiming the scientific diving exemption for dives at your facility? This session aims to clarify how you can meet all exemption criteria for certain dives and also reiterates the importance of defining dives by task, not “organization type”. The implications for our industry are vast!

  • 11:30am – Volunteer Motivation and Retention

George Peterson, Monterey Bay Aquarium

In this informative and light-hearted session, we’ll discuss the nuances of what it means to be a volunteer diver at a zoo/aquarium, how to effectively motivate and engage volunteer divers, as well as share a few of the more memorable tales of volunteers in the lore of ADPA.

  • 1:00pm – Q&A: BOD

The ADPA Board will be online and ready to answer all questions regarding past, present, and future administration of the ADPA. All questions and suggestions you have are welcome!

  • 2:30pm – Q&A: Zoo and Aquarium Gear Configuration

Paul Dimeo, Aquarium of the Pacific

This session is for all DSO’s that have questions on aquarium and zoo specific gear configurations. Questions regarding Scuba, Surface-Supplied, and Hookah diving mode gear configurations will be answered and discussed here. What works, what’s compliant, and best vendors for parts and equipment will be on the agenda. 

Thursday, November 12th – Training Day

  • 10:00am – Q&A: DPiC

Scott Chapman, Monterey Bay Aquarium

Bring questions you have on the DPiC program and Scott will be available to help respond and problem-solve with you in real time!

  • 11:30am – Admin/DSO Staff Level Safety Drills

Jake Emmert, Moody Gardens and Andrew Solomon, California Science Center

This presentation will go into a dive fatality drill, where it is the Dive Officers that are tested. Learn how DSOs Jake Emmert, of Moody Gardens, and Andrew Solomon, of California Science Center, handled the administration, coordination, and post-dive incident response with local law enforcement following a dive drill.

  • 2:30pm – Programmatic Level Changes Due to COVID

Mark Craven, Tennessee Aquarium

COVID has changed all of our operations at the daily level, but how has it impacted our industry at a larger scale? This presentation focuses on scalable changes observed throughout the program-level during the past few months.

Friday, November 13th – Training Day

  • 11:30am – Staff Development

Rick Smith, St. Louis Zoo

Coordination of diver education between DSO’s and animal care staff is a unique challenge. Learn ways in which a zoo diving program was able to rise to the challenge and find creative solutions in which to offer staff development to program divers. Rescue training, specialty classes, and protocols surrounding both exhibits & field diving await!

  • 1:00pm – Q&A: FFM and Communication Systems

Jeff Christiansen and Joel Hollander, Seattle Aquarium

This session is for all DSO’s that have questions on FFM use and coms — it’s going to be “open season” on Jeff and Joel from the Seattle Aquarium. Instead of a pre-packaged session on this topic we will be available for this year’s participants’ needs. Come prepared with your questions on: system design, hardwire vs. wireless, brands, reliability, durability, repairs, costs and training. We’ll try to answer as much as we can live during this session.

Tell us about your organization!

This year we request that each facility provide a short video clip (not to exceed thirty seconds), where you creatively say “hello,” introduce your staff, and sharing your activities and statistics for 2020. We encourage you to be imaginative and show us your best! This is a unique opportunity to share your dive program with the ADPA and make it fun. 

Send your videos to the following:

  • To: adpadayinthelife@gmail.com
  • Subject: (your facility name)
  • Message Body: (your name)
  • Attachment: 1- 30 second or shorter video from each facility, where you introduce: 1) Facility Name, 2) Dive Officers, 3) Total number of diver staff and volunteers and 4) Total number of dives

Please submit videos no later than November 1st! Videos submitted after might not be included. If you have any issues sending the video due to file size contact cmiller@georgiaaquarium.org for a direct upload link.

Those choosing to opt-out of sending in a video will have their organization’s statistics read aloud by a Symposium facilitator following the compilation video


  1. A receipt will be emailed once your registration has been approved
  2. Credit card statement will read WWW ADPA ORG for the payment
  3. If someone cannot pay by credit card, they can contact Paul, pdimeo@lbaop.org and send in a check, once received they will be given a unique discount code for registration
  4. There is no option for a single payment for multiple registrations
  5. Each attendee must use a unique email address to register so that they have a unique link to log into the Symposium
  6. After their registration they will receive a confirmation email with a link to how to join the Symposium, this will have two additional follow up emails and reminders as the event gets closer