A team of young Crucians celebrated the successful completion of their dive training through Jr Scientists in the Sea, as they earned their PADI open water dive certification. PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) is the world’s leading scuba diver training organization.
Training was provided by Jr Scientists in the Sea (http://jsisinc.org/), a non-profit organization reaching out to students with a passion for diving, research, engineering and exciting hands-on activities. JSIS is designed to expose youth to a meaningful, educational program combined with on the job training, hard work, cultural understanding and fun. Most importantly, JSIS seeks to create the next generation of Crucian stewards — for St. Croix, from St. Croix.
The dive training and certification are foundational to ongoing initiatives associated with the Slave Wrecks Project on St. Croix.
Next up this summer is a week of terrestrial archaeology field school that will take place at the historic Little Princess plantation site, which is the location of the campus of the Nature Conservancy Caribbean Program on St. Croix. Students will learn the fundamentals of field archaeology.
The field school will be hosted by the Society of Black Archaeologists (SBA) which studies and preserves African and African diaspora material culture, and promotes more people of African descent to enter the field of archaeology.
Following this week, the students will engage in both maritime conservation and training. The newly certified divers will engage in underwater activities as they learn from master divers about coral reef restoration and some fundamentals of mapping shipwreck sites. Training will be conducted by Jr Scientists in the Sea and Diving with a Purpose (DWP), a community-focused nonprofit dedicated to the conservation and protection of submerged heritage resources. DWP provides education, training, certification and field experience to adults and youth in maritime archaeology and ocean conservation.
The certification and summer activities compliment a continuing range of research and educational activities by the Slave Wrecks Project — a broad network of individuals and organizations hosted by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. This network involves the National Park Service, the University of the Virgin Islands, George Washington University, DWP, SBA and others to help understand the history and enduring legacies of the slave trade and struggles for freedom.
For more information on these topics, see the following:
Jr Scientists in the Sea @ St. Croix: contact the Boys & Girls Club in Fredriksted or Christiansted; or Rick Hoover: [email protected].
Diving with a Purpose: www.divingwithapurpose.org
The Society of Black Archaeologists: www.societyofblackarchaeologists.org
Archaeology in the Community: [email protected]
The Slave Wrecks Project: https://nmaahc.si.edu/explore/initiatives/slave-wrecks-project