Blair Mott is a World Diving Specialist who has documented much of the world from above and below the water. He has been a Cousteau diver since 1994, and has dived in more than 45 different countries, logging a great amount of hours underwater. While at SBCC, he completed an A.S. degree in Marine Technology. His degree gave him hands-on expertise in real world aspects of diving and how to manage the risks associated, including courses in mixed gas diving; emergency medical training and certification; undersea vehicle operation; hyperbaric chamber operation & supervision; undersea welding & cutting; and a full complement of rescue and advanced diving courses. Blair recalls, “I went through the [Marine Technology] program with Mike Von Alvensleben, Don Barthelmess, Gerry Clouser and Mark Bursack as the assistant professor. They all affected me in different ways. They created an atmosphere that was built on the ‘here is your chance to excel’ encouragement that is still helping me face job and life challenges to this day with confidence.” As for his other classes, Blair says, “I also took courses from excellent professors outside the Marine Technology Department. Cathie Carroll from the Communications Department and Genny Anderson from the Biological Sciences Department had a big impact on my life at the time when I was a student. They also encouraged me to excel in my studies and were mentors that became friends who I share stories and ideas with to this day.”
Throughout his professional diving career, Blair has worked with the Ocean Futures Society, the BBC, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, Jean-Michael Cousteau Productions (as Ocean Adventures’ chief diver), ESPN2, Chevron and numerous educational institutes and outreach programs. He has held positions with Passage International (a Jean-Michel Cousteau partnership) and Passage Productions—two companies that documented and interpreted the natural world through live interactive underwater broadcasts from around the globe. Along with camera operation, on-camera talent, and technical support, Blair was given the responsibility of Passage Team Leader in the Red Sea, the Mediterranean and the South Pacific territories. As the Chief Diver for Ocean Futures Society, he completed eight episodes for PBS over the course of seven years. He also held dual roles as Dive Coordinator and Director of Archives for the Keiko Project, an Ocean Futures Society project that took place in Iceland. (The Keiko Project focused on the reintroduction to the wild of Keiko, the orca whale that starred in the movie Free Willy.) Currently, Blair is a spokesperson and Media Promotion Specialist for Force Fin, teaches technical diving and works as an independent contractor for diving companies and film crews around the world.
When asked about his favorite aspect of SBCC, Blair says, “I knew I was getting first class training and education. Every day felt like a boost of energy. With every test, quiz, lab work and project I completed at SBCC, I felt more confident in the challenges I would face out in the world away from SBCC. I interacted with a variety of professors, staff and students, and the general attitude was that you were there to gain the knowledge that would help you in the real world away from college, not just complete a course. It is an inspiring place. From professional development to world-class academic education, SBCC prepares you to move forward in life.”