GSD Ambassadors

Douglas David Seifert

For the past twenty years, Douglas David Seifert has worked professionally as a writer and award winning photographer specializing in the marine environment and its inhabitants. Formerly Senior Contributing Editor of DIVE Magazine in the United Kingdom, he now holds the masthead position at DIVE Magazine as World Editor. DIVE Magazine is the largest-circulation, English language dive publication in Europe and it is available online and for free to every diver in the world.. He produces, photographs and writes the popular monthly feature called Water Column. He has written and published over one hundred in-depth features and reportage over the past nineteen years.

Douglas David Seifert’s photographic imagery has appeared in The New York Times, Australian Geographic, Reader’s Digest, Forbes FYI, Esquire, Outside, Sports Afield, BBC Wildlife, National Wildlife, Nature’s Best, Terre Sauvage, Oceans Illustrated, Dive International, Ocean Realm, Scuba Times, Skin Diver, Sport Diver, Rodale’s Scuba Diving, Diver, Mondo Marino, Plongeurs International, Mundo Submerso, Sportdiving in Australia, Dive Log Australia, Tauchen, Unterwasser, Duiken, Marlin, Ranger Rick as well as in books and newspapers around the world.

Download Douglas Seifert's CV here


Howard and Michele Hall

Howard and Michele Hall are wildlife filmmakers specializing in marine wildlife films. Working as a team, Howard and Michele have produced and directed many television films including a National Geographic Special, three episodes of the PBS series Nature, and the five-hour PBS series Secrets of the Ocean Realm. Their television work has resulted in seven Emmy Awards. The Halls are perhaps best known for their underwater IMAX® films. In 1994 Howard directed the first underwater IMAX 3D feature Into the Deep, and in 1998 he directed and Michele produced the IMAX film Island of the Sharks. The Halls returned to the IMAX 3D format in 2005 when Michele produced and Howard directed the Warner Bros./IMAX feature Deep Sea 3D, which has grossed more than $96 million at the box office. In 2009 the Halls followed Deep Sea 3D with the award-winning sequel, Under the Sea 3D, which has gross box office receipts of more than $50 million.


Howard and Michele have participated in many other underwater IMAX productions in various capacities, and their underwater production team was featured in the 2003 release of MacGillivray Freeman’s IMAX film Coral Reef Adventure. They have recently worked again with MacGillivray Freeman Films in IMAX film production for their One World One Ocean film series, including Journey to the South Pacific and Humpback Whales.


Howard holds a BS degree in zoology from San Diego State University. He’s a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


Michele is a Registered Nurse and holds a B.S. degree in Health Sciences. She is a member of the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Women Diver Hall of Fame.


In 2011 Howard and Michele were inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, and in 2013 they received the International Wildlife Film Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Marine Conservation & Media.


Valerie May Taylor

Ron and Valerie Taylor are two of Australia’s first marine conservationist. Ron Taylor passed away on 9 September 2012 he is survived by his wife Valerie.
Valerie Taylor was born in Australia, 1936, and married Ron in 1963.


Cinematography

Valerie first ventured underwater in 1956. In 1960 Valerie took up spear fishing, eventually winning several Australian championships for both spear fishing and scuba. In 1969, Ron and Valerie retired from the sport of killing fish and now captured the beauty of the underwater world on film. In fact the Taylor's started specializing in producing spectacular underwater action on film. Ever since, many international film producers have made good use of the Taylor Film Library.


The Taylor's first major underwater film production, Shark Hunters, shot in black and white, was sold to Australian and American television in 1963.

In 1969 came the extremely exciting adventure in the filming of the American feature film, Blue Water, White Death. Ron and Valerie played two of the four main characters in the film. During 1970-71, the Taylor's did the underwater filming and directing for the 39 episode TV series entitled Barrier Reef –distributed world-wide.

In 1972 and 1973 Ron and Valerie produced their own television series, Taylor's Inner Space. This series of 13 films, features the Taylors' encounters with the marine life of the western Pacific. These films were exhibited throughout the world with great success.

During 1974 the Taylor's were credited with filming the live shark sequences for Jaws. Since then, Taylor shark sequences have appeared in several "shark" productions, the best known being the Wild, Wild World of Animals TV series, dealing with sharks. Other notable feature films they have worked on include Orca, The Blue Lagoon, The Return to the Blue Lagoon, The Island of Dr. Moreau and Honeymoon in Vegas. The Taylor's continued to work on feature film productions, both in Australia and overseas, until their retirement in 2006. Two excellent one hour specials have been made about their lives.

Sea Lovers, was directed by an American film maker Casey Jones. In the Realm of the Shark was made by Australian Dick Dennison, for Goldcrest Films of the United Kingdom.


In 1979 Ron had a suit of mail made by Whiting and Davis in the US which Valerie successfully tested against sharks in the wild.

National Geographic Magazine used two Taylor picture stories in their May 1981 issue. The cover story being about the shark protection offered by Ron's idea, a suit of mail. The cover was a photograph taken by Valerie. A one hour television production, features Valerie testing the effectiveness of the mail suit against shark bite, the title, Operation Shark Bite.


In January 1992, the Taylor's went to South Africa for filming on the National Geographic Blue Wilderness series. Here they tested an electronic shark repelling barrier, and became the first people to ever film Great White Sharks underwater without a cage. This event is mainly due to the fact that their cage was torn from the boat during a storm at night and lost at sea. They continued their tests with the electronic shark repeller over 1993 and 1994, whilst continuing their film work. Valerie had repelled dozens of sharks using the barrier with amazing success. Later versions of the shark repeller were not as effective.

The Taylor's hour documentary Shark Pod was completed in 1997. They successfully use the electronic Shark Pod against White Sharks, Tiger Sharks, a Great Hammerhead and several other shark species. The 52 minute adventure has been shown on the 7 network in Australia and by the Discovery Channel in the US. Shark Pod received the jury award at the Antibes festival, France. The Taylor's latest series of 3 TV one hours The Shadow of the Shark is the story of their diving lives. Shadow of the Shark has been sold to National Geographic, Channel 7 in Australia and over 100 other countries.


Photography

In 1969 Valerie took up underwater photography. Ron built Valerie underwater housings for her cameras which were at the time, far in advance of anything available in the market place. This, along with her artists eye, enabled Valerie to quickly become one of the world’s top women underwater photographers, a position she holds to this day. Having concentrated on underwater still photography, received excellent exposure in the National Geographic June 1973 issue including having her picture on the cover holding the camera and macro attachments Ron designed and built for her.

Valerie's stills have also featured in other leading world book publications, such as Readers Digest, Stern, Life, The Bulletin etc. Valerie was greatly honored in 1981 by the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences where she received the NOGI statuette for Arts, and Joined Ron with this prestigious award. In April 1997 Valerie won the prestigious American Nature Photographer of the year award for a picture of a Whale Shark swimming with a boy in Ningaloo Marine Park. This award is sponsored by National Geographic, Kodak and The American Press Club.

The Taylor's latest book Blue Wilderness written by Valerie and photographed by Valerie and Ron won the 1998 Gold Palm Award for images at the 25th World Festival of Underwater pictures in Antibes France. In October 1999 The Taylor's were guests of honor at this festival.


Conservation

In 1970 Valerie wrote a letter to the NSW government that was largely responsible for the taking of fish while using self-contained breathing apparatus being made illegal, a ban that went Australia wide. The following year horrified by the terrible slaughter of Sea lions by commercial fishermen, Valerie, using Ron’s footage to prove her point and had all Sea lions protected in NSW, another conservation law that became national.

In 1982 the Taylor's fought both the Queensland Government and National Parks to have the rare and friendly Potato Cod of Cormorant Pass on the Great Barrier Reef protected from harvesting by sports Fishermen. The Taylor's found the Cod Hole in 1971 but and kept its location quite. The Cod Hole is now one of the top dive attraction on the Great Barrier Reef.

Early 1982 saw the release of The Wreck of the Yongala, a 47 minute film, exposing what the Taylor's consider, the most spectacular wreck they have ever dived on. The film was used to have the Yongala and its marine life made a protected area.

Shadow over the Reef, an adventure film about swimming with Whale Sharks at Ningaloo Reef, in Western Australia, was co-produced by the Taylor's in 1993. This film was used to help stop the drilling for oil inside the Ningaloo marine National Park, Western Australia.


Honors

On the 4th October 1986, Valerie went to Holland where she was appointed Knight of the Order of the Golden Ark, by his Royal Highness, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands: The award was for her work in the field of marine conservation.


On the 15th of March 2000 Valerie was honoree in the American Women Divers Hall of Fame. In October 2000, Ron and Valerie were one of the inaugural enshrines into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, on the Cayman Islands.

On Australia day 2002, Valerie was awarded the honour of Australian Senior Achiever of the year. Also early 2002 Ron and Valerie received the Serventy conservation medal from the Australian Wildlife Preservation Society.


Valerie received the Australian Centenary Medal for her work in the field of conservation and together with Ron were named Australian Conservationists of the Year, by the Australian Geographic Society.


Valerie Taylor is the Patron of the Marine division of the National Parks Association of New South Wales, Australia.

2008 October, Valerie and Ron were honored by the Australian Geographic Society with the Lifetime of Conservation medal.

October 2010 Valerie was honored with A Member in the Order of Australia. Soon after she was welcomed into life membership of the Association.

2011 Ron and Valerie Taylor were inducted into the Australian Cinematographers Society, Hall of Fame.


In January 2013 Valerie was the guest of the South Australian Government when they named two large islands in the Southern Ocean out from Port Lincoln the Ron and Valerie Taylor Marine Park with North Neptune being a total sanctuary.