Sea of Change Lifetime Explorer Award
Stan Waterman – 2013 Lifetime Explorer Recipient
Pioneer Underwater Film Producer and Photographer
Stan Waterman has been at the forefront of scuba diving since its inception as a recreational sport since the early 1950’s. His attraction to the underwater world began as a schoolboy in 1936 when he first dived with a Japanese Ama diver’s mask in Florida. Inspired by Jacques Cousteau’s revolutionary invention of the Aqua Lung, Mr. Waterman acquired the first one in Maine and went on to pioneer scuba diving.
Between 1954 and 1958 he operated a dive business in the Bahamas with a boat he had built specially for diving. His first 16mm film on diving was produced during those years. For the next fifteen years, Mr. Waterman continued to record his worldwide journeys and exploits on film; most were ultimately purchased as television documentaries. In 1965 he took his entire family – wife and three children – to Tahiti. Their careers as television stars were launched when National Geographic purchased the rights to air his film of that year-long experience.
In 1968 he collaborated with Peter Gimbel on the classic shark film, Blue Water, White Death. He was associate producer and underwater cameraman during the seven-month long production. However, he may be best know for his work in commercial film. He was co-director of underwater photography and second unit in the production of The Deep, based on Peter Benchley’s best-selling novel. In other collaborations with his close friend and neighbor, Mr. Benchley, he was responsible for ten years’ worth of productions for ABC’s “American Sportsman Show”. More recent productions include documentaries for ABC’s “Spirit of Adventure” series and the “Expedition Earth” series on ESPN.
Mr. Waterman has received numerous honors and awards for his work in television and in behalf of the sea including five Emmys, two Gold Medals from the U.K. Underwater Film Festival, four Golden Eagles, a lifetime Achievement Award from the Miami Expo and from Boston Sea Rovers, the Cousteau Diver of the Year Award, the Richard Hopper Day Memorial Medal from the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, the Reaching Out Award from the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association, and most recently has been named to the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame . The Discovery Channel produced and broadcast a two-hour biographical special about Mr. Waterman, The Man Who Loves Sharks.
Mr. Waterman graduated from Dartmouth in 1946, where he studied with Robert Frost and earned a B.A. in English. He has maintained an appreciation of language and literature throughout his life. He is married and is the father of two sons and a daughter, each of whom has acquired a special love of the sea from him. He and his oldest son, Gordy, a successful cameraman in his own right, won the first father and son Emmy for their work together in the “National Geographic Explorer” production, Dancing With Stingrays. Mr. Waterman maintains residences in New Jersey and Maine.
Mr. Waterman’s first book, Sea Salt, was published in 2005 and is in its third printing.
Sea of Change Lifetime Explorer Award recipients: