Blue Planet Team

In the shop…

Jonas FurbergJonas Furberg Jeff Peterson Heather TallentHeather Tallent
Andrea WilliamsAndrea Williams

Instructors

 

David BarnardDavid Barnard Kat BlackwoodKat Blackwood Michael BrunettoMichael Brunetto
Jen DowneyJen Downey Ryan DowneyRyan Downey Derek FreresDerek Freres
Jonas FurbergJonas Furberg Marin HawkMarin Hawk Evan at RawlingsEvan Hollenshade
Matt KavanaghMatt Kavanagh Andy LeonardAndy Leonard Shane LewisShane Lewis
Jeff Peterson Allison RandallAllison Randall Bill SchulzWilliam Schulz
Heather TallentHeather Tallent Kim WalkerKim Walker Andrea Williams
Valerie and EverettValerie & Everett Robin and AdamRobin & Adam
Mindi Failing Sarah Pratt Walter Weiss

Assistant Instructors/Divemasters

Alberto BegueAlberto Begue John BuchananJohn Buchanan Jonathan Blair
Jesse Hanson Christina Hoenow Mickey MacIntyre
Emma Miller


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AlbertoAlberto Begue

Assistant Instructor

In 2008 Alberto began diving in Spain. He continued diving in the Mediterranean and Canary Islands where he received his PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Certification in 2009. With diving experience in the Caribbean (Belize, Bonaire, Cozumel and Roatan), he received his Divemaster Certification from Blue Planet in December 2014. He enjoys being a divemaster as much as diving among sharks! With over 20 years of experience in international development, Alberto is an expert in the field of education. He has worked in education programs in more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. A sociologist, Alberto has a Ph.D. in International Economics and Development. He is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Portuguese.

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Kat BlackwoodKat Blackwood

Open Water Scuba Instructor

A Virginia native, Kat owes her whole career to diving. After getting certified at age 19, she decided to pursue undergraduate studies in wildlife biology and ecology, and has enjoyed working both in the field and for several environmental nonprofits. When she isn’t teaching at Blue Planet, Kat manages grants and donor partnerships for IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Her favorite underwater sights have included bull sharks (Fiji), whale sharks (Honduras), and Vikings (Iceland).

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John BuchananJohn Buchanan

Divemaster

John first got certified in 2002 with the Underwater Adventure Seekers (UAS), the founding club of the National Association of Black Scuba Divers (NABS). Over the last decade John has been diving throughout the Caribbean and as far west as Hawaii, Mexico and Costa Rica. He is a recently-retired educator with DC Public Schools with 35 years of experience teaching science, computer technology and instrumental music. John holds the rating of PADI Divemaster and is a Blue-carded diver with the National Park Service with a concentration in underwater archaeology. He also has a Masters in Educational Technology Leadership from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Notre Dame. When he’s not diving, he is a performing musician and recording artist.

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Jen DowneyJen Downey

Master Scuba Diver Trainer

From that first underwater breath in 2011, Jen knew scuba was her passion, even her obsession. Coming from landlocked Oklahoma, any puddle was sufficient to wet her gills. In Texas, she gained experience, additional training, and became an instructor in 2015. Now calling Virginia home, she continues her scuba education and explores the world one more body of water at a time with her favorite dive buddy, Ryan. For now, a live-aboard in the Bahamas is her favorite scuba trip, but is up for another amazing destination to take its place, perhaps somewhere where the water is warm, the sun is shining, and the drinks are all served in pineapples or coconuts. When not underwater, Jen is a full time student at George Mason, pursuing degrees in forensic accounting to help prevent financial crime.

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Ryan DowneyRyan Downey

Master Scuba Diver Trainer

Texas born and raised and still a Texan at heart, Ryan first discovered scuba and got certified at Boy Scout camp. After spending many years as a recreational vacation diver, he became a divemaster in 2015 and instructor in 2016. He has worked at dive shops and university scuba programs in Texas, Georgia, and now the DC area. When he’s not diving, Ryan is a professor at Georgetown University where he teaches physiology to undergrads, grad students, and medical students. He earned his Ph.D. from UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas and has research interests in exercise physiology and improving science education. Ryan says that the best dive trip is the one that he’s currently on, but all of his current favorite scuba stories come from his animal encounters while diving in Hawai’i. He’s always looking for adventures that will create new stories for him to tell.

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Jonas FurbergJonas Furberg

Equipment & Service Director | IDC Staff Instructor

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 Heather, they both trained in Washington, DC and completed their Open Water Diver certifications in New Zealand. Needless to say, this sealed the deal and he’s been diving and traveling ever since. 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. Before starting Blue Planet, Jonas managed high-end residential remodeling projects in the DC Metro area, focusing on green building practices.

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Marin HawkMarin Hawk

Master Scuba Diver Trainer

Marin first fell in love with the ocean while doing a DSD class on the Great Barrier Reef. It was also where she met Wally, the Queensland grouper, and fell in love with fish, more specifically. Since then, Marin’s life has been dominated by the marine world as she pursued a career in fisheries biology with a heavy side of SCUBA diving. Marin looks forward to helping teach at Blue Planet and spread her passion for the underwater world.

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Evan HollenshadeEvan Hollenshade

IDC Staff Instructor

Evan grew up on the water near the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland and always enjoyed water sports and spending time on the water. After taking his first scuba diving class in the Spring of 2011, Evan found a passion for diving in the scuba parks of the east coast. Evan continued his exploration with diving trips off the coast of Ocean City, MD and North Carolina leading to his adventures with Blue Planet to Cozumel, and Bonaire. Evan currently is an Open Water Scuba Instructor and is looking forward to sharing his passion of traveling and diving with others all over the world. Outside of diving, Evan has completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree at Villanova University in Electrical Engineering and works as a systems engineer developing products for various applications.

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Andy Leonard

Andy Leonard

IDC Staff Instructor

A native of the Arizona desert, Andy fell in love with the ocean while diving on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. While living in Guatemala, he helped establish that country’s first marine reserve, in Amatique Bay. He has since joined the Blue Planet team; becoming an Instructor Development Course (IDC) Staff Instructor and an instructor of numerous Specialty Diver Courses. Andy is a Divers Alert Network (DAN) Diving First Aid for Professional Divers (DFA-Pro) and Diving Emergency Management Provider (DEMP) Instructor, as well as a Handicapped Scuba Association (HSA) Instructor and a PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty Diver. Andy is also a Boy Scouts of America (Scouts BSA) Scuba Merit Badge Counselor. Andy’s thirst to dive is equal to his desires to learn more about our oceans and help protect them.

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Shane LewisShane Lewis

IDC Staff Instructor

Shane first got acquainted with diving at an early age while riding on dive charters, watching his father dive the numerous historic shipwrecks in the St. Lawrence River. Fascinated by the stories the divers would share after returning to the surface, he wanted to see and experience what lied below. Since receiving his dive certification in 1995, he has dived up and down the East Coast from Canada to Key West, the Caribbean, and the Red Sea. Shane is also a Divers Alert Network (DAN) Instructor. His favorite underwater sights have included Spanish Dancers (Egypt), Whale Sharks (Mexico), Giant Pacific Octopus (Canada), and Wolf Eels (Iceland).

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Jeff Peterson

Master Instructor

Where are we diving next?

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Allison RandallAllison Randall

IDC Staff Instructor

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. Allison loves working with students and being part of a team that’s dedicated to environmental protection. 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.

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Bill SchulzBill Schulz

Open Water Scuba Instructor

Bill Schulz received his open water diver certification in 2010 and vowed, after his first ocean dive in Belize, “to take this scuba thing as far as I can go.” He became a PADI Divemaster in January 2015 and is also a Master Scuba Diver with many other diving specialties under his belt. Bill has been diving all over the world and his adventure continues. To support his passion for scuba diving, he is a science journalist/news editor for Chemical & Engineering News magazine in Washington, DC.

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Heather TallentHeather Tallent

Outreach & Marketing Director | Master Instructor

Heather started her dive adventure right here in Washington, DC. After completing her Open Water certification dives in New Zealand’s amazing Poor Knights Islands with Jonas, she knew she had found her next calling. She and Jonas have been diving all over the world and love sharing their love of diving as instructors. 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.

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Kim WalkerKim Walker

Master Instructor

Kim Walker first became interested in scuba diving in 1997 while stationed at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. He subsequently became a certified diver and his passion in diving took off in the years that followed. He pursued several dive opportunities that included joining a local scuba club, sought advanced certifications, and most importantly, became an avid diver with over 1000 logged dives. Kim strongly felt the need to give back to the sport and share his experiences with others by becoming a scuba instructor. From teaching introduction & advanced classes, to specialty skills and marine education, Kim takes personal pride in making everyone the best possible diver. In addition, Kim is a National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientific diver focusing on underwater archeology and a life member of the National Association of Black Scuba Divers (NABS). Domestically, Kim has been diving in Virginia, North & South Carolina, Florida, Georgia,and Nevada. He also has extensive experience throughout the Caribbean, Central America, Red Sea, Great Lakes, Mexico, as well as Galapagos, Guam, Hawaii, Philippines, Palau, Yap, Malaysia, Indonesia, Maldives, and Papua New Guinea. Kim holds a Masters in International Relations from Troy State University and Bachelors in Physical Education from Howard University. He retired from the US Air Force and worked for DC government for 10 yrs. Kim’s goal is to dive in all of the world’s top diving destinations at least once.

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Robin & Adam Watkins

Open Water Scuba Instructors

Adam began diving in 2009, completing his Open Water Certification in the Cayman Islands. Robin was inspired to start diving in 2010 after hearing Adam rave about the underwater world. They are both now addicted to diving and love sharing their adventures and passion for diving as part of the Blue Planet DC team. In 2015, Robin and Adam became Divemasters through Blue Planet. Robin and Adam love getting away for the quick weekend adventures and dive trips. When they are not diving, you are likely to find Robin and Adam running in the mountains, riding their bikes around town, or watching the Nationals!

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Andrea Williams

IDC Staff Instructor

Andrea needed a course to complete her hours in graduate school. So she took scuba diving. That was twenty + years ago! Her certifications include: IDC Staff Instructor, DEMP Instructor, CPR, Rescue, Enriched Air, Dry Suit, Equipment Specialist, AWARE Coral Reef Conservation, Digital Photography, Archaeology Survey Diver and Coral Restoration Team Leader. As a volunteer with the Coral Restoration Foundation, Andrea enjoys helping others learn to repair the damage done to the ocean’s coral reefs. Andrea’s love of teaching and scuba has led her to Blue Planet.

An avid traveler, Andrea has dived all over the US, Caribbean, Dubai, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Belize and the Philippines. She looks forward to adding new and exciting places to her dive log.

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Latest News

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Clearance Sale! Saturday, September 28, 2019

Mark your calendar and get ready to come on in to

AWARE Week 2019: Take Action for a Clean Ocean

In celebration of the ocean, the second annual AWA

Contact Us

Blue Planet Scuba
1755 S Street NW
Washington, DC 20009

(202) 527-9419
info@blueplanetdc.com

STORE HOURS:
Tuesday-Friday: 11 AM – 7 PM
Saturday: 10 AM – 5 PM
CLOSED Saturday, August 31 for Labor Day Weekend

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