Doug Elsey

Doug Elsey

Doug Elsey

Doug Elsey is a professional engineer who specializes in documentary photography in high-risk environments. During the past 15 years, he has participated in twenty military exercises with multi-national NATO Special Forces teams from Canada, United States, Iceland, Netherlands and Norway.

“His stunning and hard hitting images capture the moment and the emotions in the Arctic and tropical environments. He delivers excellent results,” commented Commander Rune Hausken of the Norwegian Naval Special Forces. Elsey was a project manager in five major undersea expeditions sponsored in part by National Geographic. They included undersea living experiments; the search for and discovery of the world’s most northerly shipwreck; the first deep dives using helium under the Arctic Ocean; the first science dives under the North Pole; and the recovery of the ship’s bell from the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Elsey produced the engineering drawings for Sub Igloo, the world’s first polar undersea station and was instrumental in its installation under the ice of the Northwest Passage on Dr. Joe MacInnis’s Arctic 3 expedition. He was project manager for Dr. MacInnis Arctic 4 expedition. He has more than 100 hours logged beneath the Arctic Ocean and made the first deep Arctic helium dive.

Elsey received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian underwater industry recognizing his ongoing contributions to that industry. “Doug is the kind of photographer you want when it’s 4 a.m., the temperature is forty below, and the ice is five feet thick,” says Arctic expedition leader Dr. Joe MacInnis,” he’s smart, tough, and determined to get the impossible shot. And he does it with a wicked sense of humour.

2014 Forum Talk

In 1969, Dr. Joe MacInnis and his team of volunteers placed Canada’s first underwater station beneath the waters of Little Dunks Bay in Tobermory Ontario. For the next two years, more than 2000 divers visited the site and used the station to study the underwater ecology of the bay. The station and its projects had a profound influence on Canadian underwater exploration. They inspired future leaders in undersea science and engineering.

The author was the Project Engineer for Sublimnos. His presentation chronicles the history of Sublimnos and its effect on those who participated in its scientific and engineering projects. He shows how, 45 years later,—“the little station that could”—continues to generate sparks of inspiration.


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