U.S. Antarctic program’s youngest diver, Danielle Woodward

Posted: 11/03/2011 in all marine news

Brian Lam –

At 23, Danielle Woodward is the youngest science diver at the U.S. Antarctic Program this season.

She’s aiding Dr. Samuel Bowers, Antarctic research veteran, by collecting samples of forams which could teach us how to create the types of biological “superglue” that sea life uses to create shells.

Earlier this month, she took her first dip under the ice. I was introduced to Danielle by musician and USAP science diver Henry Kaiser, who produced and composed scores for Werner Herzog’s Antarctica films.

Henry discovered her when he met with her to take over ownership of her dog while she moved to Hawaii for school.

In and interview with the Hawaii Tribune he described her rare affinity with the water that goes beyond that of even most veteran divers.

“When Danielle told me how she had been diving since age 12, and as I appreciated her love of diving and the ocean, I realized that she was that special kind of diver that I only saw every five years or so, in my 17 years of teaching underwater research at UC Berkeley,” he said.

Danielle shared her background and what it’s like to dive under the ice, where there are few currents and visibility goes on for hundreds of feet.

Who are you and where were you born ? My name is Danielle Woodward and I was born in a small town in northern California called Auburn.

How did you first start your relationship with the ocean and water ? My relationship started with the ocean long before I was technically in the picture. My parents, being the adventurous people they are, were living on a boat with my older brother, cruising the Hawaiian Islands when I came into the picture. Not many people can say they were conceived on a boat anchored off the west side of Maui.

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