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We are a non-profit organization dedicated to conducting scientific research in underwater environments using advanced technology. We specialize in deep diving with mixed-gas closed-circuit rebreathers, and most of our research involves biological and geological surveys and sampling. We organize and fund our own research projects, collaborate with other research organizations on joint projects, and perform subcontract work for other research organizations that lack training expertise and infrastructure to support advanced diving operations.
We formally formed the Association for Marine Exploration as a 501(c)3 corporation in the U.S. in 2004, but our research efforts began much earlier. Our Board of Directors collectively have more than two centuries of diving experience, and our Board of Advisors extends that by an additional several centuries. Most of this diving history has centered on underwater scientific research.
Although we have been conducting underwater scientific research for much longer than the Association for Marine Exploration has existed, we formalized our diving operations within the context of a non-profit organization for several reasons. First, it serves as an effective legal infrastructure to receive tax-deductible contributions to support our research, and allows us to collaborate more effectively with other non-profit organizations. Second, it serves as a liability “shield” for us as individuals, and for our partners. All too often, liability concerns for large organizations can cause the desire for the “appearance” of safety to interfere with actual safety. We created this organization in part to allow us to establish safety as the first priority, and operational effectiveness as the second priority, without allowing liability concerns to detract from either of these two top priorities.