OAR Directors

Alan Richardson

Alan Richardson, OAR Board Director for 2010-2018, has been a member of OAR since 1994. He joined the OAR Board as board member in 2007. Alan has been active in the Big Bend fishing and diving community since the early eighties, and also volunteers his boat when needed for OAR Research Dive Team activities. Alan graduated from FSU in 1990 and is a commercial real estate agent when not volunteering for OAR.

Della Betz

Della Betz joined OAR over 20 years ago and has been actively involved with the Big Bend Saltwater Classic fundraising event, ever since. She served on the BBSC Board of Directors and received the award as its Most Valuable Volunteer in 2004. She became an OAR Board Member in 2010. She is an active angler and frequently visits OAR reefs, commenting that they remain "incredibly productive." She is grateful that she has never actually landed any of the porpoises that feed on hooked red snapper over OAR's deepest reef. Della received her BS from FSU in Human Sciences in 1977.

Rob Buda

Rob Buda holds the position of the OAR Research Dive Team Coordinator. He joined OAR in 1996 with a passion for SCUBA diving and saltwater. He received his SCUBA certification in 1991 while studying at Florida State University. He graduated from FSU in 1992 with a degree in Biology. He continued his training as a Nitrox Diver, Rescue Diver, Dry Suit Diver, Surface-Supplied Diver, Dive-master, Assistant Instructor and Instructor. He also received training in scientific diving methods and diving accident management. Rob works for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in the Beaches and Mines Funding Assistance Program.

Chris Peters

Chris began his Scientific Diving career at Florida State University in 2009 while contributing to the reef fish ecology research of Dr. Christopher Koenig and Dr. Felicia Coleman. After graduating from FSU with a M.S. in Geographic Information Science in 2011, he moved to West Hawai'i and worked in education and marine conservation for The Nature Conservancy. In 2017, he returned home to family in Tallahassee to work and facilitate safe and efficient underwater research for his alma mater. He is a member of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences, a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and an Emergency First Response Instructor. Today, Chris leads the FSU Science Diving Program, including an intensive scientific diving workshop that provides students opportunities to develop research skills in a variety of underwater environments and culminates with a dive trip aboard the R/V Apalachee.

Mike Redig

Mike Redig is a member of the OAR Research Dive Team. He joined OAR in 2010 with a passion for SCUBA diving and marine photography/videography. He received his SCUBA certification in 1970 while studying at Polk Community College. He received his YMCA SCUBA Instructor certification in 1971 while pursuing a degree in Biology at Florida State University. He graduated from FSU in 1973 with a degree in Biology and went on to graduate school at FSU. During the summer of 1973 he was enrolled in the State University System Institute of Oceanography scientific diving course. In that university program he was trained in divemater operations, heliox mixtures, closed circuit rebreather systems and saturation diving from a Perry Link systems hydrolab. He continued his training as a Nitrox Diver 2001 and Reef Research diver 2012. Mike is retired from the Department of Environmental Protection(2010) where he managed a regulatory enforcement program.

Lynda Tiefel

Lynda Tiefel joined OAR and the RDT in 2007, and holds Advanced Open Water and Rescue Certification. She is a registered nurse, has earned Oxygen First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries and is an American Heart Association Instructor for Basic Life Support. Lynda is the BLS instructor for the OAR RDT. Her hobbies include underwater photography and reef building.

Karen Strange

Karen Strange joined OAR in 2001, has been a member of the RDT since 2002 and has served as Board Treasurer since 2008. Karen’s SCUBA certifications include Nitrox, Research Diver, Underwater Naturalist and Rescue Diver. She received her MA in Linguistics from the Julius-Maximilians Universitaet Wuerzburg in 1996. Karen has retired from the duties as treasurer for the OAR board of directors as of November 2019. We will miss her and her organizational capabilities as a board member

Billy Solberger

Billy Solberger joined OAR in 2009 and became a Board Member that same year. He had been an avid diver for 15 years and angler all his life. He received his SCUBA certification with SSI and had additional certifications in Nitrox and Dive Con; he was also certified as a Research Diver with NAUI. Billy was a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with an MSW [1982] and BSW [1981] from FSU. Board Member in Memoriam — January 3rd, 1952 - March 27th, 2014

Charlie Hood

A member of OAR since its inception, Charlie is an active angler and occasional diver. He gained his appreciation for OAR while participating every year in the former Big Bend Saltwater Classic fishing tournament, originally conceived and run by OAR. As an informal volunteer, Charlie helped OAR monitor most of its artificial reef deployments over the last five years. Having fully retired from his professional career in 2021, Charlie joined OAR’s Research Dive Team. In 2023 he joined the OAR Board as Vice-chair to assist with the many behind the scenes duties required from concept to deployment to complete each new or expanded artificial reef.