The amazing staff of Odyssey Expeditions


Odyssey Expeditions' instructors and staff are a highly motivated group of young adults dedicated to the education and positive experience of the participants. Many have been with Odyssey for years, including some who started as Odyssey students. They are selected with great care, evaluating their individual areas of expertise and ability to share and work with young adults. Sailing masters hold Coast Guard licenses, SCUBA instructors are experienced in teaching all levels of PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) courses, and biologists have teaching and professional experience. We maintain a 4 to 1 student to staff ratio. All staff are trained in emergency first-aid and all programs have EMT or WFR trained emergency medical responders. Our staffs are the kind of people who work well both one-on-one and in group situations. Each has a genuine interest in the lives of young adults, strong communication abilities, and entertaining approaches. All strive for appreciation of the differences and opinions of each group member. Our core staff work year round with Odyssey developing education programs, others are college professors, live-aboard dive boat captains, biologists, photographers, students, and adventurers.
We feel the greatest single contribution to making our trips successful is our leaders. We take great care in selecting the people you'll be spending your summer with; quite simply, they are the best.

Jason Buchheim

Founding Program Director, USCG Licensed Sailing Captain, PADI SCUBA Instructor, PADI Advanced Freediving Instructor, Wilderness Medical First Responder, Marine Biologist, B.S. Zoology ~ Oregon State '92,

Hello, I study coral reef ecology with publications in the Journal Of Experimental Marine Ecology and the Journal of Molluscan Biology. I spend lots of my spare time taking photos, sailing, hiking, and coral reef conservation. I assisted in coral reef ecology research under Dr. Mark Hixon of Oregon State University and conducted my thesis research on the ecology of the coral reef fish, Acanthemblemaria spinosa - the spiny head blenny, in Roatan, Honduras. I have been leading educational adventures since 1992.

You can see some of my award winning panoramic science photography published with National Geographic , the Journal 'Science', Wired , Sport Diver and more. I have had work on Exhibit at Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.

Jon Buchheim

Program Director, USCG Licensed Sailing Captain, Sailing Master, PADI SCUBA Instructor, Osmotic Marine Biologist, Wilderness Medical First Responder, B.S. Mechanical Engineering ~ Texas Tech University '92

Hey there, I joined Odyssey Expeditions in 1996 and have led fifty-four awesome voyages. I am in charge of the operations and purchasing logistics. I do lots of travel scuba diving and some of my favorites are Cocos, Costa Rica, Philippines, Palau, Komodo, Papua New Guinea, Galapagos and of course the Caribbean. I love to be on the ocean, under the ocean. I live next to the ocean. I love to take underwater photos, and just started "muck diving". Diving with schooling hamerhead sharks and sea lions keep my adrenaline flowing and I enjoy hiking volcanoes. I am thankful that the earth is 70% water. I have two trusty companions who are rescued, Darwin the "Wonder-Dog" who doesn't like water deeper than his knees, and Pirate Sweet Petey who is always hungry and ready to go do anything. You can check out my travel photos here: Instagram - Jon Buchheim

Sara Buchheim

Hi, I'm Sara the office manager who having spent eighteen summers teaching adventure activities in Colorado, Idaho and Oregon, now work in the Tarpon Springs office. My favorite animal underwater is the Nudibranchs, so many color and designs. I love to night dive and to share my adventure stories. In my spare time you can find me surrounded by four legged friends of the doggy variety.


Joined by an awesome team of 7 to explore the ocean world!

Caitlin Traiser

Caitlin Traiser
  • Dive Instructor

Hey everybody! My name is Caitlin, and I'm going to be one of your instructors in the BVI! I'm 21 years old and have been diving for about eleven years; I grew up diving with my dad and it is hands down my favorite thing to do. When I was in high school, I attended Odyssey's voyage in the Windward Islands, had an absolutely wonderful time, and I can't wait for this summer. I'm also starting my senior year of college at the University of Florida, I'm majoring in Psychology and Political Science. In terms of my hobbies, I really like swimming, metal music, and doing psych research! So in short, I really like scuba diving and brains, can't wait to meet all of you!

Brittany Lane Ahmann

Brittany Lane Ahmann
  • Marine Biologist
  • Dive Instructor

Hey! I fell in love with the ocean from afar while attending grade school in Alberta, Canada. From there I pursued various routes which got me involved with the ocean, including getting my open water certification at just 11 years old and attending Odyssey as a student for two summers back when I was in highschool. Since then, I have been diving in various places around the world with a list that continues to grow. I now attend the University of Victoria in the beautiful British Columbia (Canada), where I study marine biology and work as a scuba diving instructor in our cold but thriving waters. With a strong love for marine ecosystems, I aspire to pursue a career in marine conservation and education.

Jesse Halley

Jesse Halley Photo
  • Captain
  • Divemaster

Hi i am Jesse i am a sailing captain who loves being on the water whether teaching sailing, scuba diving or kitesurfing. I am excited to come back to odyssey for my forth summer and I am excited to sail and dive with you in the Bvi this year.

Mariah Saurin

Mariah Saurin
  • Dive Instructor

Hi there! I'm Mariah! I lived on a boat for five years growing up and was lucky enough to find my passion for the ocean and its inhabitants at an early age. I started my diving career about 12 years ago through a marine science summer camp in Catalina! I attended Cal State Monterey Bay, and then headed to Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa where I earned my AAUS Scientific Diver certification and Bachelors. Through diving I've been able to travel to various places, with my favorite being Socorro Islands off of Mexico. When I'm not diving you can find me with my dog Ruby or planning my next dive trip. I absolutely love underwater videography and editing so hopefully I can get some cool shots of you!

Viola Loczi

Viola Loczi
  • Dive Instructor

Hi, I'm Viola from Hungary. I'm a Master Scuba Diver Trainer and will be an Istructor on the BVI voyages. I've been diving since 2012 and as a professional since 2014. I'm in love with the ocean, with our Planet and with all of its creatures. I'm happy every time I have the opportunity to show its beauty to my customers.

Melissa Giresi

Melissa Giresi Photo
  • PhD Marine Biologist
  • Dive Instructor

Returning staff, Shark Biologist!

Alaina Almonte

Alaina Almonte Photo
  • Dive Instructor

Hi, I am Alaina, born and raised in Pararsipeny, NJ. I recieved my PADI MSDT in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2016 and began crewing catamarans in the Pacific. I relocated to Florida guiding and instructing divers in the Atlantic and Gulf. Place me in Springs or the drift of the ocean. It is always my goal to share my love for adventure in SCUBA diving. I am truly excited to join your Windwards SEA Voyages for an adventure of a lifetime. Lets make bubbles, Aloha!

Tropical Marine Biology Voyages

Learn to Dive and Sail - No Experience Necessary

Odyssey Tropical Marine Biology Voyages
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