Rod Shroufe, an accomplished NAUI-certified instructor (NAUI# 55930), intertwines his three fervent passions – diving, teaching, and STEM – weaving them together in a harmonious dance that has defined his life’s work. Currently, he is the driving force behind an innovative initiative known as the “Water Stewards Program” (WSP).
This groundbreaking educational initiative, set to launch this summer, aims to equip underserved youth with life-saving skills like drowning prevention, NAUI skin diver certification, environmental stewardship, and community service.
It is, in its essence, a transformative program designed to empower these young people to become guardians of our precious water resources.
Born and raised in the heart of the Midwest, Rod’s love for the water was apparent from his earliest memories. He spent his formative years on swim teams and indulging in the simple pleasures of swimming in the region’s lakes and ponds. When he was 16, his family relocated to Arizona, bringing him closer to the ocean. Yet, despite the proximity, his limited resources delayed his diving training until 1991. Undeterred, he patiently saved for his certifications, eventually earning his credentials as a licensed Instructor.
Driven by his love for marine life, Rod moved to Hawaii to pursue a degree in Marine Biology during his college years. However, financial constraints and the high cost of living in Hawaii compelled him to return to Northern Arizona University, where he completed his undergraduate studies in fish and wildlife. He then worked in Wyoming for the Game and Fish Department for a year before returning to graduate school at Oregon State University. Following graduate school, Rod pursued a career in education working in Arizona before returning to Oregon to teach.
With a remarkable tenure of 28 years, Rod is currently an AP Environmental Science teacher at Clackamas High School in Clackamas, Oregon, where he also instructs college-level Biology.
His entrepreneurial spirit led him to establish “EcoDive NorthWest Scuba Instruction” in 2014, a testament to his enduring passion for diving.
As a teacher, dive shop owner, and dive instructor, Rod has been a beacon of influence, inspiring a new generation of divers and advocating for youth opportunities within the diving industry. He endeavors to make parents understand the potential of diving as a career path and its significant contributions to community service and conservation.
EcoDive NorthWest Scuba Instruction is, for Rod, a labor of love. The dive shop not only provides custom fitting of scuba gear and tailored instruction but also aims to foster a community of safe, contented, lifelong divers. Rod prides himself on offering personal service, primarily catering to high school and college-aged youth.
Being a scuba instructor, for him, is a rewarding blend of teaching and mentorship.
He takes immense pride in the unique diving experiences the Northwest United States offers, such as the chance to encounter the world’s largest octopus, wolf fish, and the thrill of diving in cold, challenging waters.
But what truly fuels Rod’s pride is the exceptional team he leads. His dedicated training team tirelessly tackles the groundwork, making him shine brighter as their leader.
His secret to success, he believes, lies in the energetic and like-minded individuals he has chosen to surround himself with.
Boasting a robust roster of eight ready-to-go trainers who share his love for diving, Rod’s team radiates with enthusiasm. A dedicated NAUI member, Rod’s ambition is to elevate NAUI to a household name, synonymous with STEM. With his unwavering commitment and drive, there is little doubt he will make a significant impact.
Outside of his professional life, Rod is a proud family man. He has been happily married for 22 years and is the father of two daughters, aged 21 and 19, one daughter has graduated and the other will graduate in 2024, both with Biomedical degrees from Northern Arizona University.