Matthew Kavanagh, M.Ed. contact
Master Scuba Diver Trainer
Matt first got certified in San Diego where, after wading through the waves, he fell instantly in love with breathing under water. When he figured out there was more to see than just sand and grass he was hooked.
Over the last decade Matt has been diving throughout the world—from Zanzibar to Honduras to North Carolina. He completed his divemaster certification in Utila, Honduras and his Instructor courses with Blue Horizons Dive Center up in Philly. He is an educator with experience teaching people ages 4 to grandparent—covering issues in his non-diving life ranging from the environment and health to the law and the global economy.
Matt holds the rating of Master Scuba Diver Trainer with PADI (the Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and is a certified specialty instructor for Deep Diving, Wreck Diving, Night Diving, Underwater Naturalist, and Enriched Air.
He also has a Masters in Education from Harvard University. When he's not teaching scuba, Matt works on global health policy and spends far too much time planning trips to exotic destinations he cannot afford.
Heather Tallent contact
Master Scuba Diver Trainer
Outreach & Marketing Director
Heather started her dive adventure several years ago right here in Washington, DC. After completing her Open Water check out dives in New Zealand’s amazing Poor Knights Islands with her partner Jonas, she knew she had found her next calling. She and Jonas have been diving throughout the Caribbean and parts of the Pacific.
Besides exploring the underwater world and driving her friends crazy with dive stories, Heather is passionate about conserving our natural environment and the critters who call it home. She has worked with a number of local, national, and international nonprofit organizations over the years dedicated to animal protection and environmental sustainability. She holds a Masters in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University and most recently managed online communications, advocacy and fundraising for an international NGO.
Heather coordinates Blue Planet's outreach efforts to share the love of diving and appreciation for our marine environment with everyone -- especially those communities who aren't currently well-served by the dive industry.
Jonas Furberg contact
Open Water Scuba Instructor
Equipment & Service Director
Jonas first got a taste for diving on a Discover Scuba Diving trip with his brother in Puerto Rico. He took to it immediately. Shortly after meeting his wife Heather, they both got certified in Washington DC, and did their Open Water check out dive at The Poor Knights Islands in New Zealand. Needless to say, this sealed the deal and he's been diving and traveling ever since. Jonas and heather have been diving in several spots down along the Mayan Riviera in Mexico, where they can get away from the city grind and relax and dive. Bermuda is currently on the top of their list because of the quick flight and fantastic wreck diving. On dives, Jonas can usually be found with an underwater camera attached to his face, hovering over the reef.
He holds a Bachelors in Fine Art and a Masters in Industrial Design with a focus on Design Engineering, hence, Jonas is the go to guy for equipment maintenance and servicing. When he's not helping out with classes, or servicing gear, Jonas is managing high-end residential remodeling projects for A.R.T. Design Build in the DC Metro Area. His specialty is in Green Building Practices and is a certified NARI Green Building Professional.
Cindy Hall contact
IDC Staff Instructor
Cindy has been a professional diver in the Washington DC area since 1996. She currently holds an IDC Staff Instructor rating, has certified more than 550 students – from Open Water through professional levels, and has worked with well over 1000 referral students. Cindy is also certified to teach Emergency First Responder Courses and twelve PADI specialties. She has taught scuba at both American University and George Washington University. Cindy has more than 15 years of experience coordinating and leading group scuba and snorkeling trips throughout the Caribbean and beyond! She loves working with divers of all levels, but never gets tired of seeing brand new divers take those first few exciting breaths underwater as they set off on their own scuba journey.
Cindy grew up as a competitive swimmer and has always loved being near the ocean. She has logged more than 2000 dives and enjoys all diving environments. She is excited to be working closely with Colette Corbin, Blue Planet’s K-12 Education Specialist, creating programs for the youngest ocean lovers, and she firmly believes that inspiring the next generation to love and protect the ocean is our best hope of restoring this environment to health.
Cindy holds a Bachelors degree in Communications from American University and has more than 12 years of experience producing audio, video, computer graphics, and animations for interactive web-based training and spends her days at a software development company managing the development of instructor-led training, e-learning, and blended training solutions. Cindy’s media development experience made the transition to underwater photography and videography a natural one.
Paul Washington contact
Master Scuba Diver Trainer
Paul is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and a NOAA Scientific Diver and volunteer diver for Biscayne National Park.He is a DAN Diver Emergency Specialist, member of the Reef Environmental Education Fund (REEF) and is experienced in adult and adolescent education and training. A U.S. Army veteran, Paul has over 25 years of diving experience. In addition to underwater photography, his diving-related interests include Underwater Archaeological Survey, Coral Monitoring and Restoration and Fish Identification.
Paul holds a Masters of Science in Systems Management from Golden Gate University and a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from the United States Military Academy. His job as a Program Manager at Raytheon’s Intelligence and Information Systems funds is ever growing SCUBA habit. Additionally, Paul is looking for ways to apply the Doctor of Science in Computer Security from George Washington University that he is pursing towards a diving career.
Trained as Divemaster in Israel, Omri has dived in the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, the Philippines, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and most recently, Madagascar, where he was working as Program Manager and Expedition Leader for ReefDoctor, a marine conservation NGO.
Having promoted marine research, conservation and education in Africa, Omri continues to pursue his professional interests in international development, sustainability and conservation in DC. Holding a Masters degree in International Relations from the University of Chicago, Omri is committed to Blue Planet’s mission and goals to promote marine conservation and education through SCUBA exploration. He hopes to make the rest of the world appreciate our oceans, feel humbled by their greatness, and be touched by their fragility--simply because that’s how he feels... and also because people usually look cool in wetsuits.
Allison has been a dive addict since her certification in 2006 in Grand Cayman. The bliss of being underwater has prompted her to travel around the world in search of warm water and friendly fish. Trained as a Divemaster by Blue Planet, Allison loves working with students and being part of a team that's dedicated to environmental protection. She hopes to become an instructor so she can share the magic of scuba with more people. Allison's favorite dives have been in the Red Sea but she looks forward to discovering new favorites on Blue Planet trips. When Allison isn't underwater, she is at the Department of Justice working to end domestic violence and sexual assault.