Chris Ledford

Instructional Assistant Professor
Scientific Diving Safety Officer
Department of Liberal Studies

Phone: (409) 741-4068
Fax: (409) 740-4962

Ocean and Coastal Studies Bldg., Office 102A


Learn more about Chris Ledford

Get To Know Chris Ledford

What in your life drew you to your current field of study?

I am lucky in life that I have always known what I wanted to do when I grew up. Marine science was my original draw, specifically invertebrate zoology. While I was in undergraduate school I got heavily involved in the dive program, which was run by one of the early adopting members of the American Academy of Underwater Science, and that got me more into the programmatic side of the diving world. I spent a few years in the recreational diving world, before I went back to school for my Master’s degree, and I’ve been primarily doing research or institutional diving since then.

What do you hope your students gain from studying or working with you?

I hope that students learn to take some of the big picture lessons and apply them to other parts of their life. I teach decision making, risk analysis and team work, I just happen to do that though diving education.

What are you passionate about in your personal life?

I find exploration in all forms to be a significant driver in my life. Outside of diving, I have recently been doing short and moderate term overlanding (Off-highway, backroad and dirt road vehicle-based adventuring) in remote areas of Texas, New Mexico and Utah. It has brought me both the excitement of seeing new places while pushing my physical and mental comfort zones, and the quiet calmness that only solitude in nature can bring. Plans for the near(ish) future include a trip to Alaska and an international trip on a self-driving safari in Botswana.


M.S. Biology, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, 2003
B.S. Marine Biology and Zoology, Humboldt State University, 1997

Licenses and Certificates:

AAUS Scientific Diving Instructor #18739
SDI/TDI SCUBA Instructor #19055 (incl. Advanced Nitrox, Deco Procedures and Helitrox)
NAUI SCUBA Instructor #18748
DAN DEMP Instructor (CPR/FA, O2, etc.)
NSS-CDS Full Cave Diver
IANTD Closed Circuit Rebreather Diver – Mixed Gas and Full Cave
US Coast Guard 100 Ton Master License #1152771

Courses Taught

DIVE 250 – Scuba I Lab
DIVE 251 – Scuba II Lab
DIVE 260 – Scuba III Lab
DIVE 330 – Rescue Diving
DIVE 331 – Alternative Diving Technology
DIVE 357 – Dive Master
DIVE 410 – AAUS Scientific Diver Lab
DIVE 489 – Field Experiences in Scientific Diving
DIVE 489 – Expedition Planning

Fusion (rec sports) Courses taught:

Advanced Nitrox / Decompression Procedures with Helitrox


Thompson-Grim, J., Ledford, C., (2017 October) Release the Kraken!, Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine, Vol 27, No. 7. pp. 42-43.

Ledford, C., (2015) Use of Dual Laser Photogrammetry for use in Measuring Reef Fish: Techniques, Pitfalls and Limitations. Diving for Science 2015: Proceedings of the AAUS 34th Scientific Symposium, Sept 28-Oct 3, 2015, Key West FL. American Academy of Underwater Sciences.

Ledford, C., (2014, January) Rig Donation: A step-by-step guide, Marine News, Vol 25, No. 1. pp. 40-44.

Ledford, C., J.W. Tunnell, K. Withers, (2003) Comparison of coral species diversity and abundance between patch reefs and shallow reefs of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Sian Ka’an Series No. 9.

Professional Appointments

AAUS Board of Directors – Secretary – Jan 2016 – Dec 2017
Texas Historical Commission Marine Archaeology Program – Diving Control Board - 2015 - 2018
Texas Diving Safety Officer Group – Founder & Meeting Facilitator - 2014 - present