DiverWire Profile: Bill Crowley-Science Teacher, Author and Volunteer
(DiverWire) His regular job is teaching science to high school students in Archer City, Texas. But there’s more to Bill Crowley, much more.
After watching Sea Hunt growing up and raising a family, Crowley finally realized his dream of becoming certified diver in 2000. He quickly discovered that being a diver had major advantages to his teaching career. “Being a diver has revolutionized the way I teach. My students sometimes get tired of my diving-related examples or stories, but there is always a point. There’s a lot of science in diving, and seeing their teacher actually use those concepts makes it more relevant and real.” He adds that other teachers often approach him to use his videos or photos and even invite him to give dive-related presentations to their students.
Through teaching, Crowley was provided a way to use his love of diving in new ways. Attending an Expo at a science conference with his wife, he met a representative of the Flower Gardens Banks National Marine Sanctuary. He quickly signed up for the DUOY (Down Under Out Yonder) program offered to a select group of science teachers and educators each year. “We learned fish identification, details about the Flower Gardens, marine conservation and ecology. Perfect topics for my students.”
Diving has also encouraged Crowley to take a more hands-on approach concerning issues related to the ocean. He and a friend are headed to the Bahamas later this month to gather information and research about the lionfish invasion in the Caribbean. “This will certainly be a topic that we can use with students in many different ways almost immediately.”
Crowley continues to represent the Sanctuary in North and Central Texas, speaking to local dive centers, clubs, other educators and individuals interested in learning more about the Sanctuary. “I love it. In many ways, diving is a natural extension of who I am and what I love to do.”
Two years ago, Crowley compiled many of his diving experiences into a book, Out of the Blue. The paperback provides a series of brief inspirational stories that underscore Crowley’s Christian faith. According to the Publisher, Out of the Blue is told from the perspective of a scuba diver and backed by Scripture. The book affirms God’s message of love, hope, mercy, grace and salvation. But there’s more, Crowley says.
“God speaks to us if we’re just willing to listen. If we take the time, even during a dive, to stop and look around and appreciate what’s in front of us, each of our lives can be enhanced.”
Crowley used last year’s unfortunate Gulf Oil Spill to make his point. As a volunteer with the National Marine Sanctuary, he was able to dive in the gulf in the months following the spill and appreciate the significance of what they found there. “The area that was affected is recovering very quickly. There’s a message of healing, hope and peace. It’s an example of God’s healing power – He created the environment and he’s able to recreate it, and He can do precisely the same thing with each one of us, no matter what kind of decisions and mistakes we’ve made.”
Crowley was also instrumental in the formation of the Christian Divers of Texas (CDOT), a web-based, non-denominational organization with members in fifteen states and five countries. The group organizes regular dive trips to different locations around the world.
Click here for more information about ordering a copy of Out of the Blue