Discover. Connect. Capitalize.

Speakers Bureau View

50 Profile Views - 77 Presentation Views

Thomas Andrew Potts

Florida International University



Google or Google Scholar for Thomas Andrew Potts


Expert Profile
Tom is the director of the Medina Aquarius Program at Florida International University. He’s been with the Aquarius since it relocated from St. Croix, USVI to the Key Largo, FL in 1993. Upon graduating in 1991 with a M.S. in Marine Biology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, he relocated to Key Largo to help launch the National Undersea Research Center’s Florida Keys science program. He was and aquanaut on the fourth saturation mission aboard Aquarius after its redeployment on Conch Reef.

From 1994-2009, Tom resided in Wilmington and helped expand NURC’s unmanned undersea vehicles and technical diving programs in addition to developing Aquarius science initiatives. Tom also began teaching and created a course on undersea science and technology that was taught in the Department of Biology and later in Environmental Studies. He was part of a team that mentored high school students in the Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics program run through UNCW’s Science and Math Education Center.

In 2010, Tom became the director of Aquarius and helped develop the next-generation Aquarius Reef Base initiative. In 2013, he led the transition of the program from UNCW to FIU. He is primarily focused on cultivating new partnerships with scientists, engineers and educators in academia, NGOs and private sector. He’s developed a new business model to increase users and programs to diversify the program’s revenue streams and has secured extramural sponsorships for infrastructure improvements and programmatic activities. Tom was inducted into UNCW’s ‘Five Million Dollar Club’ in 2011 and is credited with raising over $7.5M through grants, sponsorships and philanthropic support. Tom continues to teach ‘Undersea Science and Technology’ in FIU’s Department of Biology.

Tom is a certified IANTD Trimix technical diver, NAUI dive instructor, Nitrox divemaster, ARB saturation diver, and Deep Worker single-person submersible pilot. He has a number of science and popular literature publications, including authoring a chapter on manned submersibles and saturation diving in the university-level textbook, Underwater Research.

© 1999-2023, State of Florida