Beneath the Sea owes its existence to the fertile creative mind of Armand “Zig” Zigahn. Zig made his mark in the scuba diving sports community as the Founder and Executive Director of Beneath the Sea the largest consumer ocean exposition, dive, and travel show in America. For over forty years, it was Zig's management of Beneath the Sea where he demonstrated the command leadership that created this legacy. In recent years, Zig had the assistance of his wife, JoAnn, as President managing the day-to-day operation of Beneath the Sea.
JoAnn married Zig, the founder of Beneath the Sea. Soon she realized she had married both Zig and Beneath the Sea. JoAnn’s caring created family-oriented programs at Beneath the Sea such as Ocean Pals, an ocean environmental art program that featured an international poster contest for grade school children, she often referred to the Ocean Pals Education by art poster contest as: “what we learn from our children.” In addition to her Ocean Pals program, she later created the Beneath the Sea Marine Careers program devoted to high school and college students seeking marine careers. JoAnn also created a Scholarship Program that would award funds to students interested in pursuing a career in the marine industry.
November 19, 1942 - February 6, 2023
It is with sad heart that Beneath the Sea calls attention to the passing of Emory Kristof. Emory was Beneath the Sea’s Diver of the Year in Science in 1988, returning again in 2017 to accept the honor of being Beneath the Sea’s Legend of the Sea in 2017. Emory Kristof was an American photographer. His work has been published in National Geographic Magazine and elsewhere.
Emory Kristof has participated in multiple undersea expeditions with Canadian explorers Joseph MacInnis and Phil Nuytten, including the exploration of the Breadalbane, the world’s northernmost known shipwreck. Emory also accompanied MacInnis and Russian explorer Anatoly Sagalevich on a descent 16,400 feet into Kings Trough in the eastern North Atlantic aboard the submersible Mir 1, and on the expedition which made the IMAX film Titanica.
It began for Emory as the payoff on a boyhood dream; he got that job as an intern at National Geographic! Emory was to become a legend in the field of high-tech underwater photography using robot cameras and remotely operated vehicles.
Emory studied journalism at the University of Maryland at College Park and received a bachelor’s degree in 1964. A National Geographic staff photographer from 1964 to 1994, he has produced forty-some articles for the magazine.
Emory created the preliminary designs of the electronic camera system for the Argo vehicle, which
found the Titanic. He led photographic surveys of the C.S.S. Alabama off the coast of France in 1992 and the 16th-century wreck San Diego in the Philippines in 1993. In 1995, he led an expedition to recover the bell of the Edmund Fitzgerald and produced the first deep-water images with high-definition TV.
In “Testing the Waters of Rongelap,” published in National Geographic magazine in April 1998, Emory recorded oceanic life in the nuclear weapons-contaminated waters surrounding the Marshall Islands. In August 1998, Kristof’s pictures of the Titanic were presented in the National Geographic article “Tragedy in Three Dimensions.” The pictures, recorded in 1991 using high-intensity lighting systems, appeared in unprecedented detail because of advances in 3-D computer video editing.
Emory Kristof has earned many awards for both writing and photography, including the NOGI Award for Arts from the Underwater Society of America in 1988 and the Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Award for Underwater Exploration in 1986. That same year, Kristof and Robert Ballard received the American Society of Magazine Publishers Innovation in Photography Award for their photographic coverage of the Titanic. In 1998, the National Press Photographers Association “for being one of our profession’s most imaginative innovators” presented Kristof with the J. Winton Lemen Fellowship Award. In 2001, Kristof was named a contributing photographer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society.