meet the team

Store Staff



Part-time Sales Associate


Manager/PADI MSDT Instructor


Part-time Sales Associate


Lead Sales Associate







Dive World Austin Pros



Karen erickson

padi course director

Karen has been teaching scuba diving since 1985 and conducting instructor development courses since 1987. Her experiences in the dive industry vary. In the 80's Karen managed a successful dive store in the Austin area, selling equipment and teaching classes. She then moved to Chicago, IL to run the International Instructor Training Center with her late husband, Ralph Erickson. At the Training Center they conducted Instructor level training in Cozumel, Roatan, Belize, Bonaire and several other areas outside the U.S. as well as in the Chicago land area. Their daughter, Karina, is a PADI Instructor, so diving is a family practice! Karen is the resident PADI Course Director for Dive World Austin. Karen serves as Vice-President of the Ralph Erickson Educational Foundation, which provides instructor level training to low income islanders around the world. In addition, Karen runs the PADI Seal Team and Girl Scout Classes.

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chris graf

PADI Staff Instructor


Chris has been diving since 2008 and became a PADI professional in 2013. He is a registered Scuba Diving merit badge counselor, CPR/AED/First Aid and CPR for Professional Rescuer instructor, and Snorkel BSA Instructor Trainer. He is currently a BSA Lifeguard, serves on the Capitol Area Council Aquatics Committee, is an ASM for the 2017 National Jamboree Council contingent, and also serves as Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 365 in Round Rock.

Brittany Haury

PADI Staff Instructor


Brittany has been with Dive World Austin since January 2016. The proud mother of a mermaid & a captain, and the spouse of an Army man. Brittany has worked with Florida Sea Base (Divemaster/Instructor), managed Interspace Dive Shop in Florida Keys (RIP), managed a dive and snorkeling operation on Oahu, and been managing Dive World Austin since 2016. She also completed her Staff Instructor with Karen Erickson after being selected as the 2019 recipient of the Instructor Advanced Education Training Grant by Women Diver's Hall of Fame. Brittany enjoys teaching all ages immensely but loves working with kids and teens. Currently a volunteer with Scuba Troop, and an active advocate for Scouts/Youth in Diving. 

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nikki Abbott

PADI Staff Instructor


Dominique aka Nikki started her dive journey in 1996 turning pro in 2002. She is a very active instructor/diver in the community which is why you can find her at Lake Travis most weekends. PADI Seal Team Leader and is passionate about introducing kids to their first underwater experience. She is also fluent in Spanish. When not teaching or leading local dives or international trips you will find her conducting presentations on PADI, the Underwater World, and Scuba Diving.

Matt Jacobs

padi msdt instructor


Matt Jacobs has been diving since 1982 when he earned his first certification through UT’s Informal Classes. He became a divemaster in 2006 and an instructor in 2009. Matt has authored two PADI Distinctive Specialty courses. In the summer, you can find Matt teaching people how to hunt for sunglasses, cell phones, jewelry, and other treasure in Lake Travis.

carl balzen

PADI Scuba Instructor


Carl Balzen is kinder than a manatee. This sweet man is simply too humble to write about himself.  We raise a glass to you Carl, CHEERS! 

karina erikson

padi scuba instructor


The daughter of two PADI Course Directors, Karina’s life has never been boring. (She says it’s kind of like being raised by wolves!) Growing up on the floor of the dive store, Karina became a PADI Bubblemaker at 8 years old.  She’s come a long way since then, and is now a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer. In 2017, Karina became the first recipient of the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association “Wavemaker” award.

Nick Hogle

Sales Associate / PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor


While backpacking through Thailand in 2016, I had the pleasure of experiencing my first breaths under water! Since that day all I could think about was scuba diving. I’m excited to be part of the team at Dive World Austin because I get to share that experience with new Open Water Dive students. I completed my Divemaster training in 2019 in Indonesia, and earned my Instructor Rating in 2020! I love traveling to new places for the diving as well as meeting new people and enjoying new adventures. As much as I enjoy traveling I always look forward to coming back home to Texas for some good BBQ and craft beer! Come in and let’s talk about diving!!

doug faulkner

padi scuba instructor


Harold Doug Faulker is the child of Captain Hook and a mermaid. Hailing from Neverland, this aquatic vampire has an extreme aversion to answering emails requesting an personal biography. 

patrick walsh

padi msdt instructor


Patrick is a PADI MSDT Instructor that has been teaching since 2012. Patrick started working on the island of Bonaire as a Dive Master in 2012. In 2013 he moved back to Austin to become an instructor. Today Patrick spends his time working part of the year in Austin at Dive World and the other half of the year working on the island of St. Croix USVI in the Caribbean.

Mark rosseisen

padi msdt scuba instructor


Mark started out his diving career by getting his Open Water certification here in 1996 with his wife. In 2005 he crossed over to become a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor. He enjoys teaching because it lets him introduce new divers to the fascinating underwater world, and keeps his diving skills fresh.

john redmon

padi scuba instructor


 Texas born and raised John received his Open Water certification in Seabrook, TX in May 2013. Shortly after, he relocated to the Virgin Islands where he was fortunate to work as a full time Divemaster and later, an Instructor. When not in the water John loves to spend time with his black labrador "Clutch" at the dog park and also continue his love for traveling as well as seeking experiences that last a lifetime.

Richie Gamel

PADI Scuba Instructor


Richie Gamel has been a PADI certified diver since 2017. He has recently became a PADI Assistant Instructor. His next goal is to complete the IDC and become a PADI Instructor. 

wayne brush

padi scuba instructor


Wayne started teaching scuba diving in 2000. He prefers to be on the bottom of Lake Travis when the summer temps hit the 100’s. Now that several of Wayne’s own children are certified, he also enjoys diving with them. He trains his students to be the best divers they can be and enjoys teaching students of all ages and backgrounds.

assistant instructors/divemasters

michelle graf

padi assistant instructor


Michelle is a troop leader for the first Girl Scout Scuba Troop in the nation.  She has experience in both BSA and GSUSA dive programs and is passionate about marine conservation.  With her husband Chris, she enjoys diving with her family including an aspiring Quidditch player and a future cat whisperer, respectively.

David Wilkinson

padi assistant instructor



After a life of business travel, Dave came late to Scuba diving and would now rather be on or in the water than anywhere. He became a dive professional when, after a trip to Belize his children decided that they all wanted to be under water ALL the time.

Daniel Blanchard

padi divemaster


Daniel Blanchard (DM 174638) certified NAUI open water in 1985.  As a United States Marine for 24 years, he was able to Dive all over the world.  Places like Oahu Hawaii, Drift diving in Puget Sound Washington, Philippines, Quarries in the northeast, Okinawa, wreck dives both Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, kelp beds off the California Coast. Loves spearfishing the best! Keeping Dive students safe since 2000.

ian daniels

padi divemaster


Ian Daniels brings over 26 years of diving experience, including Public Safety Diving and Search and Recovery diving with Travis County Emergency Unit.  In a past life, meaning a Looong time ago, he used to be a Lifeguard, Lifeguard Instructor, WSI, and NR-EMT-P.  Then he went to Medical School, didn’t like it, and now leads a Sales Division as VP for a medical software company.  Looking for an excuse to go diving.

Jesus Qintanilla

padi divemaster



Jesse is a Texas Veteran and earned his first scuba certification in 1984. Although he felt better in rather than out of the water, life got in the way and there was a long break before he figured out what was missing. Jesse’s passion for diving was realized when he convinced his family to learn to scuba. This gave his family something they could all participate in, share and enjoy. The flame was rekindled and he earned his Dive Master certification so he could help others experience the joy diving brings to him.


padi divemaster


More Information on Matt coming soon! 


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Seth and Traci Wallace are longtime Austin residents whose shared goals focus on community, conservation, and customer service. Seth began his SCUBA journey when he got his Open Water certification to attend Florida Sea Base with his older son. Another trip to Sea Base with his younger son and the family was hooked! Traci and their two daughters followed suit and now they own a dive shop! Their youngest child is the only one at home who gets to hear their riveting dinner conversations that often focus not only on how to better support the growing Austin dive community but also on how to better reach divers throughout Central Texas. Dive World Austin is a family-friendly shop that is passionate about introducing young people to SCUBA as seen through their support of Boy Scout and Girls Scout programs and offering PADI Seal Team programs and Teen Certification camps in the summer.


They take conservation seriously too! Fun fact: DWA is the first and only Dive Center in Texas to receive the prestigious PADI Green Star™ Dive Center Award which is granted to PADI Dive Centers that demonstrate a dedication to conservation across a wide range of business functions. 


Seth and Traci share a customer-centric approach to business. No purchase is too small, no question is insignificant. (And, honestly, no purchase is too large either!) The biggest perk of owning a small business? Building personal relationships with customers. The goal at DWA: get to know you, help you find the gear that best suits you, and keep you diving!