Jay Haigler

Board Member and Dive Safety Officer @ Diving With a Purpose

Jay received his initial Open Water training in 2005 through the Underwater Adventure Seekers (UAS) (www.uasdivers.org), the founding club of the National Association of Black Scuba Divers (NABS) (www.nabsdivers.org). Mr. Haigler became an Open Water Scuba Instructor in 2010. He continued his dive education by becoming certified as a Master Scuba Diver Trainer by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). He was formally a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Scientific Diver. The purpose of the NOAA Diving Program is to train, certify and equip scientists, engineers and technicians to perform a variety of underwater tasks in support of NOAA missions.

Jay is currently the Diving Safety Officer for the Scientific Diving Program of the National Association of Black Scuba Divers Foundation. Having developed a strong interest in underwater archaeology, he immersed himself in a maritime archaeology program called Diving With a Purpose (DWP) (www.divingwithapurpose.org). 

Diving With a Purpose (DWP) is a professional advocacy organization dedicated to the conservation and protection of submerged heritage resources by providing education, training, certification and field experience to adults and youth in the fields of maritime archaeology and ocean conservation. A special focus of DWP is the protection, documentation, and interpretation of African slave trade shipwrecks and the maritime history and culture of African Americans.

Over 500 people, including 125 youth (ages 15 – 23), have attended DWP’s maritime archaeology field school. The field school has documented 18 shipwrecks, including 18th and 19th-century sailing vessels. DWP has received numerous national awards, including the 2021 Society of American Archaeology’s Robert S. Peabody Institute of Archaeology Award for Archaeology and Education.

A graduate of the Catholic University of America, with a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering, Jay enjoys the technical aspects of underwater archaeology, but his passion for teaching has paid dividends for many curious but reluctant prospects.

Jay is a member of the board of directors for Diving With a Purpose (DWP).