Posts Tagged 'scuba'

The National Aquarium’s Guest Diver Program rocks, just ask the members of Animal Collective

Fish, coral, and other marine life are abundant at the National Aquarium, Baltimore, but psych-rockers…that’s something we don’t see everyday at the Aquarium!

Brian Weitz of the band Animal Collective explores the Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit at the National Aquarium, Baltimore through our Guest Diver Program.

Geologist (Brian Weitz) and Deakin (Josh Dibbs), members of the band Animal Collective, recently came to the Aquarium via our Guest Diver Program. As Maryland natives, the members of Animal Collective grew up coming to the Aquarium—a couple of the band’s members even had their high school prom here in the mid-1990s!

Geologist and Deakin are both seasoned scuba divers and jumped at the chance to experience the Aquarium from the other side of the glass.

Unfortunately, Deakin, while able to attend, was unable to dive, making Geologist’s dive a solo act. Watch a video of his dive:

Brian Weitz Scuba Dives at the Baltimore Aquarium from Dakota Fine on Vimeo.

We’d been trying to synchronize schedules with the band for a diving session for well over a year now&emdash;ever since we’d heard their 2009 masterpiece Merriweather Post Pavilion, named after the Frank Gehry-designed concert venue just down the road in Columbia, MD.

Geologist is not only an Aquarium enthusiast, but also an advocate for protecting our waterways. He spent years working on the Hill in Washington, D.C., doing ocean policy work, and the band recently collaborated with Keep to design a line of aquatic-themed shoes with all proceeds going to the Socorro Island Conservation Fund.

Listen to a sample of Animal Collective’s music »
Learn more about the National Aquarium’s Guest Diver Program »

Brian Weitz of the band Animal Collective with Calypso

Wounded Warriors dive in the Aquarium

This summer, the National Aquarium welcomed some very special guests for a very special evening. Nine wounded soldiers from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center were able to live a dream and scuba dive in the Aquarium as part of their rehabilitation programs.

Wounded Warriors Dive

These veterans, who participate in a program called Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba (SUDS), were taught the basics of Aquarium diving and safety procedures before plunging into the world of sting rays, sharks, and more than 50 species of fish. Each diver was accompanied in the water by dive professionals from the Aquarium.

Wounded Warriors Dive

The animals responded exceptionally well and greeted all of them. Calypso, our green sea turtle who also happens to be an amputee, was very curious and interactive. One of the double-amputee veterans was in the Wings in the Water exhibit and Calypso came over to look at his prosthetic legs and then just sat down in his lap. She was a huge hit with all of the veterans, and everyone had a great time!

Wounded Warriors Dive

The National Aquarium is honored to have worked with these heroes, and we look forward to doing this again soon!


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