Deep Ecology

"The Future of Diving"

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Located on the north shore of Oahu
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About Deep Ecology Hawaii

Our Shop ­ Take a Tour | Brief History | Staff Bios | Deep Ecology's Philosophy | Skin Diver Article | Baywatch Hawaii

Staff Bios

Captain Ken Nichols - Owner\Instructor

Born in Napa, California Ken left there as an infant. He was mostly raised in San Diego and remembers going to the beach and "Boogie Boarding " as his favorite activity as a young boy. He played and excelled at soccer but gave it up in High School because it conflicted with surfing. The ocean always tugged at him and many classes at school were missed because surf was up. On graduating from Mira Mesa High School in 1987 he found employment at one of San Diego's finest restaurants and worked there happily for eighteen months. Happy with his job but feeling complacent, Ken joined the United States Marine Corps in 1989 in the hopes of instilling initiative and discipline. Serving as an infantryman based in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Ken was deployed to the Gulf War where he earned a Combat Action Ribbon. "I would be hard pressed to do it again, but the most valuable lessons in my life were learned in my experiences in the Marines." The number one lesson was the beauty of freedom. "I think that once freedom is taken away from you, you never treat it the same." This tremendous belief in freedom is what has driven Ken to fight for causes of human rights, ethics, and ecology ever since. After leaving the Marines Ken was employed by Greenpeace. Proving to be highly effective in communicating ecological issues he was one of the most successful fundraisers in the in the history of the San Diego office. In 1993 Ken had a life changing experience when he became a certified scuba diver. "I knew with my first breath underwater that I would become an instructor." In 1995 Ken moved to Hawaii where he obtained his instructor rating. A year later they started "Flippers Scuba" which is now Deep Ecology. More than just a desire to work as a diver his biggest goals in business is to improve the area where Deep Ecology operates and to compel other dive operations to do the same. "I believe it is our highest obligation as business persons who derive our incomes from the oceans to protect them in every way we can." He works tirelessly towards the goal of building a chain of Deep Ecologies around the globe that will document and ultimately protect the marine environment he loves so much.

Pat Johnson - Owner\Manager

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Pat was raised in England, Canada and finally in her family settled in Hollywood, California where she spent her teenage years. Marrying and moving her family to San Diego, Pat enjoyed a successful career with Pacific Bell Yellow Pages with an early retirement in 1996.

It was a special holiday trip to visit her son in 1994 that changed her direction. He certified her as an Open Water PADI diver and the beauty of the Hawaiian waters was now a true reality. It only made sense that the North Shore of Oahu was to become her new home and that a business involving the dive industry was to become her new venture! Pat shares her concern for the environment and especially marine life with her son and partner, Ken Nichols.

Captain Juan Oliphant - Staff Divemaster

Bio forthcoming

Captain Christopher Lolley - Senior Staff Instructor

Born and raised in San Diego, California, I grew up on the water surfing the waves.  At 12 years old I did my first dive with an old time friend of the family.  This dive was my first glimpse of the dynamic underwater world, and I fell in love instantly!  Moving to Ventura at 16, I began working at the state parks in Malibu as a lifeguard, and once again was offered the opportunity to go diving.  It was at this time that I began to pursue diving and was certified by NAUI in 1989.  My passion for diving inspired me to continue through the courses in both PADI and NAUI, I am now an Open Water Scuba Instructor for PADI, SDI and TDI, in addition to being an OWI I also teach seven specialties.  I am a technician for IANTD in mixed gas blending and I currently hold a captain’s license for a 100-ton vessel.

I feel extremely fortunate to have a career that has taken me all over the world to experience beautiful countries and amazing dive sites.  I have met so many exceptional people that I would never have had the opportunity to meet were it not for diving.

Working here in Oahu, at Deep Ecology, has opened my eyes too much more then the beauties of the ocean and the marine environment.  It has also shown me the many problems that are reality, and with those problems the solutions and people getting together to make a difference.  Our “Direct Action Policy” has freed up many hands and allowed our staff to respond to a problem and immediately see the benefits to that response.  It is an incredible feeling to incorporate that ability and make a positive impact on the environment while perusing the sport I love so much.

In closing, I would like to extend my warmest most sincere invitation to not only experience what I believe to be the best diving in Hawaii, but to possibly be given the chance to save a life.

Captain Paul Bradbury - Staff Instructor

Paul Bradbury, Born 7th November 1963 (yes, 37, never felt younger).  Born: Caerffili, South Wales, United Kingdom.  Language:  Welsh, English, Spanish.  

At age 21, elected o Caerffili town council, became Britain’s youngest mayor.  Mostly cold water diving until I moved to the Dominican Republic in May 1998, where I did my instructor course in October 1998.  Over 3,000 dives and specialty instruction in:

Deep, Night, Navigator, Wreck, Naturalist, Nitrox, Multi-Level, Photography, Medic First Aid Instructor, IDC Staff Instructor, SDI Instructor, IANTD Technician, Boat Captain

Motto:  Mae ‘nn byd hollol gwahannol ac yn well dan y mor!  There’s a totally different and better world under the sea!  Hay otro mundo, totalmente differente y mas bueno, abajo del mar.

“UREIKA”.  At last, I have found it.  A diver operation that is motivated by conservation not money.   Was so impressed I took a job!  My name is Paul, a PADI and SDI Instructor.  Since I came here to visit my friend and fellow instructor.  Chris, two months ago.  I have personally been involved in two turtle rescues and a ghost net recovery.  The Direct Action Policy is a novel idea, and is so easy for any forward looking dive operation to initiate.  Basically, a part from customer safety which is the number 1 priority.  Both staff and customers alike are encouraged to participate in helping with fish & turtle rescues, as well as removing trash from our ocean.  If you really care about the ocean and environment.  Come and talk t us about, diving, whale watching, courses or just come and see our world class photo gallery and say Hi.  Look forward to welcoming you.  


Daniel Morse - Staff Technical Training

Daniel Morse was born in Hawaii, and learned to swim as soon as he could walk. He then began snorkeling regularly with his father at Hanauma Bay. Dan was given an introductory scuba dive for his 15th birthday, and got certified the next week. Dan is constantly increasing his level of training and diving knowledge. He is an IANTD Advanced Nitrox Instructor, a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, a TDI Nitrox Instructor, and a DAN Oxygen Instructor. He is currently pursuing training as a Trimix diver.

Brian Best - Divemaster


©1999 Deep Ecology and North Shore Diving Headquarters