SCUBAnaut Leadership

Florida

Laura Morris, Chapter President (Saint Petersburg)

Laura Morris, chapter president, has been an active parent within SNI since 2014.  She began diving while in college and has renewed her passion with an active role in SNI that has provided her the opportunity to share it with her son, Zack.  Currently, she is providing support within SNI as St. Petersburg Chapter President, dive professional and also as a grant writer.

She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a B.S. in biology and is currently working on a master’s in restoration ecology from the University of Florida.  She has worked as an ecologist throughout Florida for over 20 years and has a broad background in freshwater wetlands and wildlife.  Currently she is a reclamation supervisor with Mosaic.

Tim Riesen, PhD, Chapter President (Sarasota)

Chapter President Tim Riesen, PhD, and his daughter Sophia joined the Sarasota Chapter of SNI in 2017 and became certified divers that same year.  He is married to Jorie and has another daughter Addison – both of whom are planning to get certified once the latter is old enough.  His educational credentials include a doctorate and masters degree in international relations from the Claremont Graduate University. He also possesses masters degrees in international management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and in business administration from Arizona State University.  He completed his undergraduate studies at Valparaiso University where he majored in international economics and Spanish.  Dr. Riesen is the CEO of Madison Springfield, Inc. – an emerging markets consulting firm that specializes in providing research, advisory, and strategy solutions to multinational organizations.

Elaine Ziska, Chapter President (Tampa)

Elaine Ziska, chapter president, joined the Tampa Chapter of Scubanauts in 2015 with her husband David.  They were avid divers before their four children were born, and were happy to become active in the sport again as each child became certified.  As a homeschooling family, they are enthusiastic about the combination of academic work, immersion in nature, and physical exercise.  Emma and John are active Nauts while Katherine and Kyser are now adult college students.  Elaine and David are certified as  NAUI Advanced Open Water, PADI Nitrox (EANx), NAUI Cavern Diver, and NSS/CDS Intro Cave Divers.

Elaine is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a B.S. in accounting, and is self employed as an equities trader.  She has been an active volunteer with La Leche League for twenty years, helping mothers and coordinating regional conferences for medical providers and families in Mississippi and Florida.  She has also enjoyed opportunities to travel and volunteer with USA Volleyball and Boy Scouts during her children’s involvement.
Amira Ray, Chapter President (Tarpon Springs)

Amira Ray, chapter president, and her son Trevor joined SCUBAnauts in 2016. In addition to her leadership role, she has been the family and community liaison for the Pinellas County School system for the past five years. When not hauling SCUBA gear, Amira and her husband Derek are often loading robotics equipment and parts into her SUV for transport to robotics competitions for their other son, James.

North Carolina

Morehead City, NC (est. Jan 2019)

Dr. Jason Fleming, Chapter President (Morehead City, NC)

Dr. Jason Fleming serves as the chapter president for the new Morehead City, North Carolina Chapter. A mechanical engineer by training, he learned to SCUBA dive in 1996. He is a storm surge modeler with Seahorse Coastal Consulting and loves all things fluid.

Dr. Janelle Fleming

Dr. Janelle Fleming functions as the science coordinator for Morehead City. A physical/biological oceanographer by training, she learned to SCUBA dive in 1989. She has been an AAUS science diver since 1997 and a commercial diver with NIWA in New Zealand. She loves training divers and teaching them about how to conduct science underwater. Dr. Fleming discovered SCUBAnauts International at the 2018 DEMA Conference in Las Vegas and jumped in–fins first.

Neil Drysdale

Neil Drysdale acts as the DSO & education coordinator for Morehead City. Mr. Drysdale is a PADI Master Instructor that has been diving since 1986 when he learned to dive in Japan. He is a retired marine and loves teaching SCUBA methods and techniques to interested divers.

Management & Leadership Team

The diverse SNI corporate management team, SNI Board of Directors and youth mentors are deeply committed to the mission of SCUBAnauts International. The team is comprised of professional and inspirational volunteer leaders from major universities, government agencies, associations and military organizations.

Paul Foisy, President & Chief Executive Officer
Paul Foisy became involved in SNI in 2011 when his son and oldest daughter joined the Tarpon Springs chapter (all four children are now in the program).  He and his wife, Cyndi, soon became the chapter’s new member coordinators.  In 2013, he accepted the role as chapter vice-president, which he held for two years.  He was elected president of the Tarpon Springs Chapter in 2015. Prior to accepting the position as President, CEO and Chairman of the Board, Paul served as the organization’s recruiting officer in 2016. Paul also assists the organization as a DAN Instructor and dive professional.

A certified diver since 1995, Paul’s certifications include PADI Advanced Open Water and Nitrox, Rescue Diver, Master Diver, and Dive Master through NAUI.

Paul works as a design engineer for Jabil, based in St.Petersburg, Florida. He designs and develops products in a wide variety of industries including consumer electronics, computing and storage, and healthcare products. He is a graduate of Purdue University with a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering.

Katie Shoultz, Chief Operations Officer

Katie Shoultz is the chief operations officer and works within the dive safety and science education teams. She began volunteering with the St. Petersburg chapter in 2012 and helped launch the Tampa Chapter in 2014. She has a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Arizona State University where she focused on marine ecology and received her masters in business administration through the University of Florida. Katie fell in love with the ocean at a young age and began diving at the age of 12. She loves working with SCUBAnauts to build their diving and science skills and encouraging them to use their talents to mentor each other and improve their communities.

A certified diver since 1995, Paul’s certifications include PADI Advanced Open Water and Nitrox, Rescue Diver, Master Diver, and Dive Master through NAUI.

Paul works as a design engineer for Jabil, based in St.Petersburg, Florida. He designs and develops products in a wide variety of industries including consumer electronics, computing and storage, and healthcare products. He is a graduate of Purdue University with a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering.

Patricia Kramer , Chief Science Officer

Chief Education Officer
Keith Kolasa, Science/Education Outreach Coordinator

Keith Kolasa has served as volunteer scientist for SNI since 2009 and is currently a senior environmental scientist with the Southwest Florida Water Management District. He is a biologist with 26 years of experience in freshwater and marine resource management, including experience in water quality monitoring, water quality enhancement and lake restoration, natural system restoration, GIS mapping and establishment of minimum flows and levels. As a native to Hernando County and having managed the seagrass mapping project of Florida’s Nature Coast, he is knowledgeable of the marine systems of this region, providing guidance to SNI for selection of underwater monitoring sites. He serves as a USCG licensed boat captain and science advisor working on independent research projects for SNI.

Heather Hooper, Dive Safety Officer
Pam Hughes, Chief Financial Officer
Chief Compliance Officer
Cyndi Foisy, Organization Development

Cyndi Foisy and her husband Paul were tag-along additions to the Foisy children when they joined SCUBAnauts long, long ago, and earned her C-card alongside her oldest two children. As Paul took on larger and larger roles with the organization (He’s currently the CEO), Cyndi embraced the role of new member coordinator whole-heartedly in the hopes of making a very detailed and complex process as understandable as possible. Despite her diving certification, Cyndi stays dry around the nauts, still helping to recruit and assist new members, but also strives to serve where the need arises–currently, that means I’m typing these words onto this webpage!

Cyndi earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary English education from Kent State University, but she and Paul discovered early that the best classroom for the Foisy children exists within their own home. Cyndi has dedicated her passion and focus to this unparalleled cause.  

Website Content Manager

Board of Directors

The SCUBAnauts International Board of Directors is presently comprised of 9 distinguished members and is the final authority in the management of SNI.

Paul Foisy

Paul Foisy became involved in SNI in 2011 when his son and oldest daughter joined the Tarpon Springs chapter (all four children are now in the program).  He and his wife, Cyndi, soon became the chapter’s new member coordinators.  In 2013, he accepted the role as chapter vice-president, which he held for two years.  He was elected President of the Tarpon Springs Chapter in 2015.  Previous to accepting the position as President, CEO and Chairman of the Board, Paul served as the organization’s recruiting officer in 2016. Paul also assists the organization as a DAN Instructor and dive professional.

A certified diver since 1995, Paul’s certifications include PADI Advanced Open Water and Nitrox, Rescue Diver, Master Diver, and Dive Master through NAUI.

Paul works as a design engineer for Jabil, based in St.Petersburg, Florida. He designs and develops products in a wide variety of industries including consumer electronics, computing and storage, and healthcare products. He is a graduate of Purdue University with a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Dr. Michael P. Crosby

Dr. Michael P. Crosby came to Mote Marine Laboratory following his appointments as Associate Vice President for Research and Economic Development at George Mason University, and Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Hawai’i – Hilo. Prior to those appointments, he served in a federal Senior Executive Service position as Executive Director of the National Science Board in Washington, DC; the Senior Advisor for International Science Policy and Executive Director for the Science Advisory Board of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Dr. Crosby obtained a Master of Science in biology, with honors, from Old Dominion University and a Ph.D. in marine-estuarine-environmental sciences at the University of Maryland. Dr. Crosby is currently on the Boards of, and has served as President for, several national and international science societies. In May 2013, after serving for 3 years as Mote’s Senior Vice President for Research, Mote’s Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Crosby as President & CEO of Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.

Dan Basta

Dan Basta is the former Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Sanctuary Program. In his capacity, Dan leads the federal program, whose mission is to protect and conserve the unique ecological and cultural marine resources contained in the sanctuary system. He joined the National Ocean Service in 1979 and has applied his training as an environmental engineer to a variety of disciplines, including watershed and land use planning, living marine resource assessment, pollution application control technology, remote sensing and data acquisition processes and resource economics with systems analysis framework focused on ecosystem-based problem solving.

Dan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering from Hofstra University and a Master of Science degree in engineering and policy sciences from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Since then Dan has held positions at Resources for the Future, The Environmental Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences and Johns Hopkins University. He is co-author of more than 60 publications, including textbooks on modeling, atlases of U.S. coastal and ocean regions, as well as reports, books and articles on environmental problems at the national, regional and local levels. He is also a NOAA-certified and active diver and SCUBA instructor with over 20 years of underwater diving and expedition experience around the world.

Dr. Teresa Greely

Dr. Teresa Greely provides expertise in the areas of biological oceanography, ecological physiology, marine fishes, and ocean science education. She has broad research interests which encompass teaching and training about the ocean sciences in three areas: graduate and undergraduate education, teacher education, and ocean literacy amongst youth. She currently coordinates four education programs: The Oceanography Camp for Girls (OCG), the In-service Teacher Oceanography Workshops (In-TOW), the National Ocean Science Bowl’s regional Spoonbill Bowl competition, and the OCEANS Teaching Fellowships.

In addition to teaching natural sciences and science education courses, Dr. Greely, also developed a series of graduate courses focused on teaching and communicating ocean sciences. Programs and courses are designed to teach science parallel to the way science is practiced in a research setting: courses are inquiry based, experiential, and learner guided.

Dr. Greely’s current research encompasses ocean literacy and reasoning about ocean issues by determining the influence of content, experience, and morality. The objective is to determine what youth around the world know about the ocean, what their attitudes are about ocean stewardship, and what they think about ocean issues.

Ben J. Hayes, J.D.

Ben J. Hayes, J.D. is an attorney as well as a certified Dive Master and USCG Captain. His law practice focuses on matters involving sports and entertainment law. Ben also is the President of the New York – Penn League, a Class A professional baseball league. Ben earned his Juris Doctorate with honors from University of Florida’s College of Law (1992), studied political-economics at University of Florida’s Graduate School (1988-1989), and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from University of South Florida (1987). While attending Graduate School, Ben coached baseball at University of Florida and helped lead the Gators to their first NCAA College World Series in 1988. Ben played professional baseball from 1978 through 1986 with the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals (2½ years in the Major Leagues).

In addition to teaching natural sciences and science education courses, Dr. Greely, also developed a series of graduate courses focused on teaching and communicating ocean sciences. Programs and courses are designed to teach science parallel to the way science is practiced in a research setting: courses are inquiry based, experiential, and learner guided.

Dr. Greely’s current research encompasses ocean literacy and reasoning about ocean issues by determining the influence of content, experience, and morality. The objective is to determine what youth around the world know about the ocean, what their attitudes are about ocean stewardship, and what they think about ocean issues.

Keith Kolasa

Keith Kolasa has served as volunteer scientist for SNI since 2009 and is currently a senior environmental scientist with the Southwest Florida Water Management District. He is a biologist with 26 years of experience in freshwater and marine resource management, including experience in water quality monitoring, water quality enhancement and lake restoration, natural system restoration, GIS mapping and establishment of minimum flows and levels. As a native to Hernando County and having managed the seagrass mapping project of Florida’s Nature Coast, he is knowledgeable of the marine systems of this region, providing guidance to SNI for selection of underwater monitoring sites. He serves as a USCG licensed boat captain and science advisor working on independent research projects for SNI.

In addition to teaching natural sciences and science education courses, Dr. Greely, also developed a series of graduate courses focused on teaching and communicating ocean sciences. Programs and courses are designed to teach science parallel to the way science is practiced in a research setting: courses are inquiry based, experiential, and learner guided.

Dr. Greely’s current research encompasses ocean literacy and reasoning about ocean issues by determining the influence of content, experience, and morality. The objective is to determine what youth around the world know about the ocean, what their attitudes are about ocean stewardship, and what they think about ocean issues.

Laura Morris

Laura Morris has been an active parent within SNI since 2014.  She began Scuba diving while in college and has renewed her passion with an active role in SNI that has provided her the opportunity to share it with her son, Zack.  Currently, she is providing support within SNI as the St. Petersburg Chapter President and also as a grant writer.

She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a B.S. in biology and is currently working on a Master’s in restoration ecology from the University of Florida.  She has worked as an ecologist throughout Florida for over 20 years and has a broad background in freshwater wetlands and wildlife.  Currently she is a reclamation supervisor with Mosaic.

Kevin Donald

Kevin Donald and his daughter Chelsea joined the Tarpon Springs Chapter of SNI in the fall of 2012. He is originally from Scotland, but has lived in many different parts of the world, with the last 11 years spent in the Tampa Bay area.  He holds a Masters of Commerce (Finance and Accounting) from the University of Sydney in Australia. He became a certified diver nearly 20 years ago during a trip to the Great Barrier Reef, but didn’t dive on a regular basis until Chelsea showed a passion for diving and the marine sciences. He is married to Dawn and has a son Aden, both of whom are also certified divers.

Kevin has more than 25 years of finance and accounting experience in large, mid-sized and entrepreneurial businesses. He is currently CFO and VP Operations at Inspirata, Inc. a provider of a cancer diagnostic solution that digitizes and automates the entire pathology workflow.