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2018 LIDA Film Festival

Presenter Bios

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Rick Morris

Rick MorrisRick Morris working in broadcast television for more than 30 years, 3 years as the documentary producer/videographer for the Census of Marine Life and the Encyclopedia of Life Projects. Rick has shot and produced programming for many of the major networks and cable channels as well as for non-profits and NGOs like The Nature Conservancy, The International Fund For Animal Welfare, The New England Aquarium, Oceana and The Conservation Law Foundation and was the primary cameraman for the television show, "Countdown with Keith Olbermann".

During his tenure with the Census of Marine Life Mr. Morris produced and contributed to more than a dozen films and productions for National Geographic, PBS, BBC and Canadian Broadcasting. Rick's footage has been seen on programs from Nightline to "Late Night with David Letterman". Morris also appears as a guest lecturer at conventions and symposiums. His films can be seen on the Census website, Vimeo and the underwater imaging sites for Wetpixel and DivePhotoGuide as well as the Smithsonian’s Oceans Hall portal and in the United Nations Video Archives. In 2015 Rick was nominated as Scuba Diving Magazines Hero of the Sea for September/October.

Presenting: "The View Through My Mask"

Experience the worlds oceans through the eyes of Dr. Sylvia Earle as she presents her insights on the future of the sea and why we need to be pro-active in saving this incredible and necessary resource. Great visuals, music and narration make for an insightful and poignent presentation. Viewers are provided with imagery from the Arctic to Asia in a moving film that will raise the call to action.

See more of Rick's work at: and


Michael Salvarezza & Christopher Weaver

Chris WeaverMichael SalvarezzaMichael Salvarezza and Christopher Weaver have been diving the waters of the world since 1978. In that time, they have spent hundreds of hours underwater and have accumulated a large and varied library of photographic images.

In 1994, Salvarezza and Weaver formed a company called Eco-Photo Explorers, a New York based organization to help promote public interest in protecting the underwater environment through knowledge and awareness using underwater photography. Their photo and freelance writing are all utilized to achieve this goal.

They have presented their work in many multi-media presentations, and have appeared previously at Beneath the Sea, Boston Sea Rovers Underwater Clinic, Our World Underwater and the Long Island Divers Association Film Festival.

Mike and Chris have been published in numerous magazines, including National Geographic Adventure, and have authored many articles for the majority of the dive publications the world over. Their work has also been used to support a number of research and educational programs, including the Jason Project for Education, the Atlantis Marine World Aquarium in New York and the Cambridge University and the University of Groningen Arctic Centre work on monitoring the transformation of historic features in Antarctica and Svalbard.

Presenting: "Greenland: The Vanishing Frontier"

The rugged, glaciated coast of Greenland has long beckoned divers in search of new frontiers. This mysterious island north of the Arctic Circle is home to some of Earth's last true wilderness, with Musk Oxen and Polar Bears patrolling the interior and Whales, Seals and Narwhales swimming among the towering icebergs offshore. With the changes currently taking place with the world’s climate, Greenland's massive glaciers are fast melting and retreating. Join Eco-Photo Explorers as they travel across the Denmark Straight to explore this vanishing frontier both above and below the Arctic Ocean.

Visit Eco-Photo Explorers at:

Peter Venoutsos

Peter VenoutsosPeter Venoutsos has been a certified diver since 1976 and a commercial diver since 1983. His experience includes working with private underwater engineering firms, the Federal Government and the US Navy.

He is an active member of the Connecticut Underwater Archeology Committee and his interests include underwater photography, shipwrecks & cave diving. He is the founder of American Scuba Adventures a underwater video company with the goal of promoting diving in the United States and around the world.

Presenting: "Seals of Shoal Island"

In the past Seal were hunted here in the Northeast with a bounty on their heads or more accurately their snouts. Records show that in Maine and Massachusetts between the years of 1888 until 1962 up to 135 thousand seals where killed, this would account for the decline of their populations. Today the populations are on the increase which affords divers a unique firsthand experience. Join us we encounter and swim with these curious seals.

Visit Peter's website at:


Larry Cohen & Olga Torrey

Olga TorreyLarry CohenLarry Cohen started diving in 1989. Because of his background as a commercial and editorial photographer, he started taking photographs underwater right from the beginning. He is a past president of The NYC Sea Gypsies, co-founder of NYUPS and crews on the NJ dive boat John Jack. His photos have appeared in such magazines as X-Ray Magazine, Sport Diver, Scuba Diving, Alert Diver, Diver, Immersed, Advanced Diver, Sub Aqua Journal, InVertum and Northeast Dive News. Larry is also a technical writer for B&H Photo.

Originally from Russia Olga Torrey has been living in New York City for the past 20 years. She has a college honor degree in physical education and worked as a gym teacher, athletic director, and gym owner back in the former USSR. She is also a fine artist and Life member of the Art Students League of New York. Olga spends as much time underwater as possible. She has taken her talent as a fine artist and applied her skills to photography both above and below the water. Olga has taken underwater photographs from the warm waters of Bonaire to the green rich waters of Alaska. She crews on the NJ dive boat the John Jack. She has been published in InVertum, X-Ray Magazine, Dive, Northeast Dive News and The Ultimate Depth.

Presenting: "The Many Faces of Mexico"

Mexico offers a variety of underwater experiences for the adventurous scuba diver. From the reefs of Cozumel, cenotes in the Riviera Maya, the Sea lions of the Sea of Cortez or the Giant mantas around Socorro, Mexico is never mundane. Larry and Olga will show images from their travels on both the east and west coast of this compelling country.

See more of Larry's work at:
See more of Olga's work at:


John Moyer

John MoyerJohn Moyer began diving on shipwrecks in 1975 and has made thousands of dives on wrecks in the US, Canada, and Great Britain. He has worked as an Instructor for the Dive Shop of New Jersey and at Key West Divers in Florida. He first dove the ANDREA DORIA in 1982 with a small group of sport divers and was part of the team that recovered the ship’s bell in 1985. In 1993, he was granted an Admiralty Arrest in US Federal Court giving him exclusive salvage rights to the ANDREA DORIA and clear title to any artifacts he recovered from the wreck. Later that year, he led a team of divers that raised two Gambone Panels from the wreck.

Moyer is a member of the Atlantic Wreck Divers dive club. His dives have been written about in dozens of books, magazines, and newspapers. He is co-author of the paper 'The Decay of the ANDREA DORIA', published by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers and he appears in the film 'ANDREA DORIA: Are the Passengers Saved?'.

Presenting: "Art Treasures of the Andrea Doria"

The Italian liner ANDREA DORIA, one of the most luxurious ships to ever sail, began service in 1953. Built at a cost of 25 million dollars, the ship was equipped with the newest radar, navigation, and safety equipment. The 700 foot long ship had accommodations for 1825 passengers and crew. Filled with paintings, murals, and sculptures-the works of Italy's most prominent contemporary artists-she was described as a 'Floating Art Gallery'. On the night of July 25,1956, as she approached New York, the DORIA collided with the Swedish vessel STOCKHOLM.

The STOCKHOLM remained afloat and returned to New York, but eleven hours later the DORIA sank to the bottom. The wreck now rests on her starboard side in 250 feet of water approximately 50 miles south of Nantucket Island. This film contains archival footage of the disaster, underwater footage of the wreck and shows the recovery of the two 1000 lb. ceramic Gambone Panels from the ship's Wintergarden Lounge.


Soren Dahl, Ph.D., New York State Seagrass Coordinator

Soren DahlSoren Dahl grew up in Nassau County and currently resides with his family in Kings Park. Dahl studied Environmental Science and Biology at SUNY Oneonta and went on to obtain a Master's degree and Doctorate at Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS). His graduate research was conducted on hard clams in Raritan Bay and the Peconic Estuary as a New York Sea Grant Scholar with the Marine Animal Disease Lab at SoMAS.

Soren has worked aboard Stony Brook's R/V Seawolf on fisheries research and education programs in Long Island Sound, the Hudson River Estuary, and down the Atlantic coast to the Delmarva Peninsula. He has also worked as technical staff in Shellfish Management for New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC), Division of Marine Resources (DMR).

Dahl is currently assigned as a habitat specialist to DMR through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to develop seagrass conservation for NYS. As the State Seagrass Coordinator, he frequently collaborates with federal agencies, estuary programs, academics, county and municipal officials, as well as nonprofit and civic stakeholder groups. Soren also has an Adjunct Faculty position teaching Oceanography at Suffolk County Community College.

Most of his diving experience has been in the waters around Long Island.

Presenting: "Long Island Seagrass: Science and Conservation"

Provide some seagrass biology background and the problems facing eelgrass meadows in the waters around long Island. Describe some of the work being done to help conserve this valuable habitat, including mapping and restoration activities that concerned citizens, especially divers, could participate.

Learn more about NYS Seagrass conservation at:


Ashley Dacosta & Ryan Christie

Ryan Christie, Ashley DacostaAshley Dacosta 27 years old from Long Island, she was certified in 2016 with Tiedemann's diving center. Still new to scuba diving she quickly found her niche for being able to combine her love for diving and video editing. Scuba diving is not only her passion, but also a creative outlet to explore, continuously learn & improve filming techniques and editing skills. If a picture is worth a thousand words, than a video is worth a million.

Ryan Christie, 37 native Long Islander. Diving since 2004, Ryan took quite naturally to the underwater world. Cave Diver, Instructor with Tiedemann's Dive Shop and most recently a Mod3 certification in closed circuit rebreather diving, you could say he's really into diving. As a professional in the television industry he has an eye for the camera (even if most of his drone footage was overexposed). While he may enjoy filming with the camera and occasionally being in front of it, he's happy to leave the editing to his beloved girlfriend that he loves dearly, Ashley.

Presenting: "A Summer of Diving"

Video compilation of various marine life highlights from our summer trips to Roatan Honduras where we stayed at the Mayan Princess Dive Resort and Tiedemann's Diving Center's trip to The Scuba Club in Cozumel Mexico.

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Last modified: November 29 2019