My name is Austin and I'm interning this summer at your favorite place for all things sub-aquatic, The History of Diving Museum! I'm a Museum Studies graduate student at the University of Florida in Gainesville (Go Gators!) and this is my first true excursion to the Florida Keys. So far, my experience has been everything I could have hoped for (and more). The people have been wonderful, warm and welcoming, as have the beautiful blue waters of Islamorada. I feel very "at home" here in the Keys thanks in large part to the generous hospitality of the History of Diving Museum staff, who have gone out of their way to ensure my comfort. Although, I imagine it's difficult to ever be that uncomfortable in a place like this!
Over the next eight weeks I will be updating you on my adventures in the museum's collections, where Erin is graciously instructing me on proper organization, storage and conservation techniques. My background is in archaeology (and we don't have much diveable water in Gainesville), so this is all relatively new to me. Nevertheless, the items in the History of Diving's collection are fantastically interesting and I really look forward to learning more about them and diving in general! There's no better place to do it than in the Florida Keys! I'll be taking the museum's "Eat. Sleep. Immerse Yourself." slogan to heart this summer and hope to meet all of you in the process!