Dave Dinsmore started diving in1967. He attended Morehead State University in Kentucky and received a B.A. in education and an officer’s commission in the United States Army. He served in the US Army from 1972 to 1976 in a variety of positions including Office-In-Charge of the US Army Salvage Diving School, Diving Officer at Ft. Eustis, VA (497th Engineer Port Construction Company), and Liaison Officer at the US Navy Diving School.
In 1976, he left military service for a position at the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT), teaching commercial diving in their two year Associate Degree program in Undersea Technology.While at FIT, he obtained a M.Ed. Degree in Guidance and Counseling from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. He also worked for Taylor Diving and Salvage in Belle Chase, Louisiana, during one summer break to gain commercial diving experience.
Eight years later, he accepted a position with the NOAA National Undersea Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, supervising air and mixed-gas scuba and surface-supplied research diving operations. Later the position evolved from diving supervision to operational management with responsibility for all personnel, equipment & facilities, and activities utilizing scuba diving, ROV’s, submersibles, and the Aquarius seafloor habitat. In October, 1996, he was selected as the new Director of the NOAA Diving Program in Seattle, Washington.
After assuming command of the NDP, he obtained his instructor ratings from NAUI and IANTD for training and NBDHMT for diving medical technician training.
Among his many achievements was the development of the NOAA Scientific Diver certification and later a formal training and certification program standardizing the level of training and capabilities of NOAA Scientific divers. The Scientific diver program greatly expanded the role of the NDP in the scientific community resulting in reciprocity among other scientific agencies and allowing for cooperative efforts.
Dave was instrumental in publishing two editions of the NOAA Diving Manual and facilitated the creation of Scientific and Working Dive Manuals.
He oversaw the construction of two containerized hyperbaric chamber systems which were capable of shipboard transport. This was a major breakthrough for NOAA in support of safe remote diving operations.
The statistics under Dave’s leadership are extraordinary. He was responsible for the training and certification of 1,000+ NOAA Scientific and Working Divers who logged over 170,000+ dives in support of NOAA’s missions. All made possible by Dave’s exemplary leadership and dedication to safety.