“”It has been quite some time since I introduced myself, and as I have had several new connections, here is a summary of my work, passion, and last 29-year career. I have been a professional diver since 1994. I am an ocean and cave explorer, a shark behaviorist and expert, speaker, a writer, and a conservationist.
Among my qualifications, I am a PADI Course Director, NSS-CDS advanced cave diving instructor, a TDI mixed gas, KISS rebreathers, and a tech instructor.
I love teaching; I share my time between teaching at professional and technical levels, working with sharks, exploring, mapping underwater cave systems, and helping any diver develop to their maximum potential.
Although I am known for my special relationship with my local shiver of Caribbean Reef sharks, I have worked with over twelve different species in many parts of the world, and I have a passion for education and conservation and for promoting the protection of all sharks, I am a big supporter of education for conservation.
I am an active sponsor of the Our World Underwater Scholarship Society and the Women Divers Hall of Fame mentorship program. I spend countless hours educating through direct or virtual presentations.
Some of my proudest moments are being instrumental in declaring The Bahamas as a shark sanctuary, connecting caves through exploration never accomplished before, and discovering and exploring numerous new cave systems.
With the amazing Kewin Lorenzen, some of our current projects include shark photogrammetry and identifying sharks’ mating and birth areas, creating interactive and 3D cave maps, photography and videography of these uncharted areas in the Bahamas; we also host an average of eight to ten students per year.
In 2019 we founded the nonprofit People of the Water, www.pownonprofit.org, organized to widen the conduction and distribution of training, education, research, and studies relating to water, ocean, and environmental issues, affecting both the people and the animals of said environments.
After twenty-nine years in this career, I am still diving professionally and at a personal level and pushing the boundaries of our knowledge.
I have been inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame (2011), the Explorers Club (2013), and the Ocean Artists Society (2015) and received a few recognitions throughout my career.
I am an active writer for Diver Magazine, where I publish a Shark Column, and for Eco-Watch, where I post monthly blogs about conservation.
Find out more about my work and passion at www.cristinazenato.com and www.pownonprofit.org
Thanks to Cristina Zenato for the submission of her article.