Morgan Murphy-Cannella

Greetings!! My name is Morgan Murphy-Cannella. I became a Divemaster at UDC in 2017. UDC is my forever SCUBA family. I live in Fort Bragg, Northern California and love cold water diving! Shout out to my 7mm farmer jane open cell wetsuit for keeping me warm! I have a Bachelor’s degree in Climate Environmental Science from Humboldt State University where I also played soccer for the Women’s Team. Go Lumberjacks! I have previously worked for NOAA Fisheries obtaining biological data on commercial fishing boats, but my true love of data collection and analysis is under the surface. I started my diving career in 2001 at the age of 11 in Catalina Island, California. California kelp forests are my favorite ecosystem in the ocean. I am working to study, understand, and mitigate the effects of our changing ecosystem. I am a certified scientific diver with the American Academy for Underwater Sciences (AAUS) and I work as a scientific diver for the Noyo Center for Marine Science (NCMS). I have an enormous amount of love for this beautiful planet. I am fascinated by the connectivity between organisms and natural cycles. I am dedicating my career to a new non-profit in Northern California, The Noyo Center for Marine Science (NCMS). Our mission is to advance ocean conservation through education, exploration and experience.

How I’m being the difference?

How i´m being different?

Across the world from the island of Utila lies a much different coast. Here, the water is cold, the viz is colder still, and for half the year the swells make diving all but impossible. While coral reefs are the lifeblood of the tropical ocean biome, the Pacific Northwest of California is nurtured by forests of bull kelp. These two coasts, to be sure, are vastly different. But, they share a commonality that transcends their geographic location: a quest to better understand and mitigate the dynamic forces of climate instability that threaten the worlds oceans. We are tackling a major issue on our coastline; the failing equilibrium of our ecosystem due to drastic environmental changes. We have lost over 90% of our kelp and many organisms are in severe danger. This has all happened very fast and we are working hard to understand the situation.
Northern California is not a popular place for people to swim or dive because of the harsh conditions, so most of our current situation is unseen by most. Coral reefs are facing a similar situation, but fortunately for these reefs there is an abundance of concerned divers researching tropical warm water ecosystems. Cold water kelp forests, however, simply don’t have such a large pool of divers, recreational or scientific. I want to be able to teach more people on the North Coast to dive so our ecosystem receives more exposure, understanding, and appreciation. I want to inspire new divers to become involved with scientific diving, either recreational or professional. We need all the help we can get.
I am also working to become the Dive Safety Officer (DSO) for the Noyo Center for Marine Science. In order to become a DSO, you must be an instructor. Then we can partner with the American Academy of Underwater Sciences and legitimize our program which will enable us to collaborate with Universities and other organizations. Once we do so, we will have the ability and support to conduct more research and mitigation. The NCMS is a fairly new non-profit and we are still building our foundation. We are getting more recognized as a reputable institution, and if we become an affiliate with AAUS, we will be able to legitimize our scientific diving program. This opportunity will contribute immensely to me personally, the NCMS, but mostly it will help our coastal town of Fort Bragg to become an integral contributor to marine science in California.
After becoming an instructor at UDC, I will
spearhead the dive operations with the Noyo Center for Marine Science and I will perpetuate Andy’s passion and legacy across oceans to my students in California. The instruction at UDC is the best there is. Andy created an amazing professional and passionate foundation that I want to be apart of and learn from so I can spread that legacy, passion, and knowledge to our future ecowarriors of the sea.
#bethedifference #helpothersbecomethedifference

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