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InDEPTH grew out a long running conversation between Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) founder and president Jarrod Jablonski and Michael Menduno, the founder and editor-in-chief of the now defunct aquaCORPS: The Journal for Technical Diving (1990-1996), which helped launch technical diving. Their idea was to create an online magazine aimed at the global technical and mission-oriented diving communities, the way that Menduno’s aquaCORPS  did back when technical diving was just emerging. This new publication would be distinct from GUE’s membership magazine QUEST that was founded in 1999, and was intended as GUE’s contribution or “give-back” to the global diving community.

By Fall of 2018, the timing seemed right, and the two decided to go ahead with their plans to launch a free, spirited monthly magazine, and they enlisted the help of GUE’s marketing director Amanda White, who is a graphic and web designer. She created the basic design for the publication and served as the original managing editor/designer. They acquired the name from Undercurrent newsletter’s Ken Smith, who had purchased the newsletter called InDEPTH back in the 1990s, added the tagline, “Get Deeper Into Diving,” and launched the first issue of InDEPTH, V 1.1 in December, 2018.  Ms. White left GUE and InDEPTH in early 2022 to pursue a different career path but is still active in the development of GUE.

Our mission is to supply readers with accurate, compelling, hand curated and researched, data-driven content to assist them in expanding their underwater envelope. 

Meet The InDEPTH Team

Michael Menduno
Michael Menduno/M2, Editor-In-Chief 

Michael Menduno/M2 is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of InDEPTH and an award-winning reporter and technologist who has written about diving and diving technology for 30 years. He coined the term “technical diving.” His magazine aquaCORPS: The Journal for Technical Diving (1990-1996), helped usher tech diving into mainstream sports diving. He also produced the first Tek, EUROTek, and ASIATek conferences, and organized Rebreather Forums 1.0 , 2.0 and 4.0. Michael received the OZTEKMedia Excellence Award in 2011, the EUROTek Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, and the TEKDive USA Media Award in 2018.

In addition to his responsibilities at InDEPTH, Menduno is a Senior Editor and writer for DAN Europe’s Alert Diver magazine, a contributing editor for X-Ray Magazine, a staff writer for, is on the board of the Historical Diving Society (USA) and a member of the Rebreather Training Council (RTC).

He can be reached at:

Ashley Stewart
Ashley Stewart, Managing Editor

InDEPTH Managing Editor Ashley Stewart is a Seattle-based journalist and tech diver. Ashley started diving with Global Underwater Explorers and writing for InDEPTH in 2021. She is a GUE Tech 2 and CCR1 diver and on her way to becoming an instructor. In her day job, Ashley is an investigative journalist reporting on technology companies.

She can be reached

Pat Jablonski
Pat Jablonski, Director of Copy Editing

Many years ago, Pat earned both a B.A. in English Lit and an MSW, and is retired from several jobs: Director of a program for women needing to re-enter the workforce, psychotherapist, remedial English writing instructor and English writing tutor at Palm Beach Community College. Pat has been editing for GUE, off and on, for many years, but since moving to High Springs in 2015, she happily assumed the role of coordinator of the editing staff. She writes all the time, with three self-published novels that she admits were just practice, several manuscripts, and a bevy of short stories. She would rather write than sleep, but the thing she loves better than that is her two grandchildren. She lives with her patient and loving husband of 50+ years on five acres of trees with a rescue dog and a foundling cat. She’s passionate about justice, equality, and caring for our planet. She loves to play games, visit with friends, walk on any beach, hang out with her family, and cook. 

She can be reached at:

Nic Haylett
Nic Haylett, Copy Editor

Nic Haylett loves lobster season, brackish water, and all things Floridian. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Literature from Florida Atlantic University, they pursued a variety of careers before rediscovering their first love—writing. When they aren’t working, you can find them boating, roller skating, or snacking on smoked fish dip.

Katy Taber-Olensky
Katy Taber-Olensky, Copy Editor

Katy Taber-Olensky has worked for GUE as a copy editor since 2018. She grew up in South Florida and has a great love of the water despite not being able to swim. She’s a graduate of FAU with a degree in Women’s Studies. Aside from copy editing, she is a substitute teacher, baker, and a mom.

SJ Alice Bennett
SJ Alice Bennett, Art Director

SJ Alice Bennett has been photographically documenting the world around her since she was a kid. After completing a diploma in Graphic & Communication and a B.A. in Visual & Motion Design and moving to Quintana Roo, Mexico in 2017 she’s turned her focus on the underground rivers of the area. Her documentary style of shooting is well known for capturing the emotions of the moment and creating a sense of being there with her. She has a passion for documenting exploration and has worked as a freelance photographer and graphic designer around the globe and is InDEPTH‘s Art Director.

She can be reached at:

Rico Besserdich
Rico Besserdich, Production Director

Rico Besserdich brings notable credentials and extensive talent to his position as InDEPTH‘s production director. He is a former professional musician (bass guitar & double bass), an award-winning photography artist with more than four decades of experience, an advanced underwater photography instructor at CMAS (Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques), a DAN instructor, and a CMAS course director. He is the author of three books and has published more than 300 articles about photography and scuba diving related topics in magazines that reach readers all over the world. In addition to his responsibilities at InDEPTH, Rico is the section editor for underwater photography/videography at X-Ray Magazine.

Rico’s artistic mission to raise awareness about the importance of water for all life on earth has earned him recognition by the Nobel Prize Organization, the United Nations, the Swedish Parliament, and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. He is a member of the Ocean Artists Society and was a lecturer for artistic underwater photography at the SAAR Academy of Fine Arts, Germany.

Coming originally from Hamburg/Germany, Rico now lives together with his wife and his cat in Izmir/Türkiye at the Aegean coast of the Mediterranean Sea. He can often be spotted at the coast, taking photos of water, flamingos and cats, or just enjoying the spirit of Mother Ocean while sitting on a rock, looking at the sea, doing nothing. He loves books, philosophy, water, good movies, and cultivated conversations.

He can be reached at:

Gözde Akbayir, Sales and Marketing Director

Gözde is the Director of Sales and Marketing at InDEPTH, with 15+ years of experience as a successful owner and manager of a dive center. She holds a bachelor’s degree in management and a master’s degree in finance, augmenting her qualifications in business operations. With titles as a Master Instructor and Trimix Instructor, as well as a Cave and CCR Diver, Gözde showcases her deep understanding of various diving categories. Beyond diving, she possesses versatile skills in web design, digital marketing, and social media management, effectively enhancing brand visibility and connecting with target audiences.

Her experience allows Gözde to create strategic marketing campaigns and forge valuable
partnerships within the diving industry. She actively contributes to expanding InDEPTH‘s reach by fostering relationships with global technical diving communities. Originally from Türkiye, Gözde now resides in Malta with her family. Deep diving fuels her enthusiasm and provides inspiration for her work as she advocates for the preservation and appreciation of the underwater world.

She can be reached at:

Darcey Kieran
Darcy Kieran, Survey Manager

Darcy Kieran is principal at the Business of Diving Institute. In the dive industry, Darcy Kieran has worked in retail and wholesale. He’s been a Course Director and scuba diving Instructor Trainer with numerous recreational and tech diving training agencies. He owned/managed dive shops, dive resorts, and charter boats in Canada and the USA. He’s been on the Board of Directors of DEMA. He has gained valuable experience from other industries, including sporting goods manufacturing, radio & TV broadcasting, railroads & transportation, digital marketing agencies, and education. Darcy is an engineer, radio announcer, and author.

He can be reached at:

Kady Smith, Office Operations Manager

Kady began working part-time for GUE in 2007 and gradually moved to a
full-time position over the following couple of years. She is currently the
GUE Headquarters office operations manager and supports InDEPTH with
administration of sponsorship contracts, processing payments, and

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