Indiana University Bloomington

Center for Underwater Science

Underwater Science Faculty and Staff



    Director: Charles D. Beeker PhD, RPA has been directing the Academic Diving Program since 1984 and the Underwater Science Program since 1991. Mr. Beeker, Registered Professional Archaeologist and PADI Master Instructor, has been a faculty member with the School of Public Health since 1980. He was appointed to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee in 2005 and is responsible for the creation and implementation for numerous shipwreck parks as Living Museums in the Sea. Mr. Beeker currently leads underwater research projects throughout the United States and Caribbean. Recognizing his international preservation efforts, Beeker is the August 2016 Sea Hero.


    Associate Director: Claudia Johnson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at IUB. She investigates the evolutionary history of the reef ecosystem, from ancient to modern, to evaluate tropical biodiversity fluctuations under Earth’s changing climate regimes. Her research examines ancient greenhouse world reefs to evaluate what was, explores today’s reefs to monitor their health, and connects the two to provide a perspective of the future health of the reef ecosystem from records of deep geological time. Claudia’s research and teaching are integrated thematically through her G341 Natural History of Coral Reefs and G411 Invertebrate Paleontology courses for upperdivision undergraduates. Claudia holds open water and scientific diving certifications, and is a member of the Diving Control Board and the Scientific Diving Subcommittee.


    Diving Safety Officer, Assistant Director: Samuel I Haskell is full time faculty in the School of Public Health (SPH). As a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, Sam teaches scuba related courses for the Academic Diving Program. His primary research interests are the establishment and management of submerged cultural resources as Marine Protected Areas and underwater parks. Sam is currently working to complete a Master of Science in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism with a focus on the sustainable development and management of underwater parks.

    Adjunct Lecturer: Mylana Haydu MPA, is full time faculty in the School of Public Health (SPH) and Environmental Health and Safety (EHS). As a PADI IDC Staff instructor, Mylana teaches scuba related courses and is responsible for the administration of the Academic Diving Program. She also assists in the design and implementation of underwater field projects, and administers the operations of the Center for Underwater Science. Mylana has a Master of Public Affairs from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University.

    Research Coordinator: Matt Maus MA, RPA, is adjunct faculty in the Academic Diving Program. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and his Master of Arts in Archaeology from Indiana University. In addition to previous experience in archaeology and wildlife conservation, he was the US Peace Corps Living Museums of the Sea National Coordinator in the Dominican Republic. His research fields are underwater archaeology, photogrammetry, and the protection of submerged cultural resources and associated ecosystems through the establishment of MPAs. Matthew is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and is the Director of Field Operations for the Center for Underwater Science.


    Adjunct Lecturer: Lester Wadzinski teaches scuba for the School of Public Health (SPH) and environmental classes for the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA). He received his BS from Indiana University in 1973 and a MS from Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania in 1983. He is retired from the US Forest Service after a 36 year career in natural resource  management. Lester is a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor and has been involved with the IU diving program since being first certified in 1976.


    Academic Specialist: Bob Kessler has received a Master Degree in Recreation and Park Administration from the Indiana University School of Health Physical Education and Recreation. Bob served as Indiana University’s first Diving Safety Officer in the 1990s and has been a PADI Instructor since 1989. Scientific project involvements include Florida Keys, Grand Cayman, Lake Tahoe and Truk Lagoon. Primary interest areas include scientific dive operations and photo/video documentation.

    Research Associates:

    Ania Budziak has received Master Degrees in Environmental Policy and Environmental Science from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) and assists in all aspects of program management and development. She assists on various Underwater Science projects and is also a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor.


    Bill Ruf has received a PhD in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin and has worked in the Biology Department at IUB for over forty years.  For the past twenty-five years he has been the director of the Tropical Biology Program in Overseas Study.  He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Biology and through Overseas Study offers biology undergraduates the opportunity to dive and study the coral reefs of Grand Cayman and South Africa.  

    Jessica Keller received her Master’s Degree from Indiana University’s School of Public Health’s Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Studies Department in May 2013. Her degree focused on the development, interpretation, management, and public outreach of Marine Protected Areas. Jessica also attended Indiana University as an undergraduate, double majoring in Anthropology and the Individualized Major Program’s Underwater Archaeology with a certificate in Underwater Resource Management. She is a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor and technical diver. She is currently employed as an archaeologist by the National Park Service’s Submerged Resources Center based in Lakewood, CO.

    Kirsten Hawley is a Research Associate and PADI Assistant Instructor who has completed degrees in Underwater Archaeology and Anthropology with honors, along with a certificate in Underwater Resource Management. She has attended the Living Museums in the Sea field school in the Dominican Republic four times, and works with artifacts from the Dominican Republic on campus and at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. Her interests include sixteenth century ships and shipwrecks, photogrammetry, and the preservation of submerged cultural and biological resources. She is currently appointed as an adjunct lecturer teaching with the Academic Diving Program.

    Her work with Underwater Science has been featured by Indiana University's Office of Engaged Learning - click here to check it out.


    Click here to visit our Research Assistants' page.