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‘Thursdays at the U’ welcomes expert Great Lakes diver John Janzen

| Linda Tollefsrud and Diane Walkoff

John Janzen, one of region's most experienced technical divers, will share stories of some of his favorite Great Lakes dives during a community presentation March 5 in Rice Lake.

John Janzen

John Janzen

Janzen will present "Unsalted and Shark Free: Diving the Great Lakes,” as part of UW-Eau Claire – Barron County's "Thursdays at the U" series. The talk will be from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Blue Hills Lecture Hall (Room 234, Ritzinger Hall) on the Rice Lake campus.

Janzen is a rebreather, technical diver, instructor and videographer. He is credited with seven first descents on many of the deepest shipwrecks in the Great Lakes, including the SS Senator at a depth of 430 feet. In 2007, he and John Scoles recovered the Carl D. Bradley's bell, achieving the deepest artifact recovery in the Great Lakes by autonomous divers. That story is told in the Emmy award-winning documentary “November Requiem.”

Janzen has dived and/or filmed for National Geographic, NOAA, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Michigan State Police, U.S. Coast Guard, Wisconsin Historical Society, the History Channel, the National Museum of the Great Lakes, PBS and others.

Above water, Janzen has written for Wreck Diving and Advanced Diver magazines. He has had the “Diver's Guide to Lake Wazee” published and written the factory maintenance manual for the Inspiration rebreather. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and is a certified machinist. Janzen is currently working for Sierra Nevada Aerospace as a senior engineer and propellant chemist.

Attendees are welcome to “dive in” to their lunch while they listen to the speaker. The Riverside Café, located in the UW-Eau Claire – Barron County Student Center, is open from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Thursday during the academic year.

The series is free and open to the public, thanks to support from the UW-Eau Claire – Barron County Foundation.

For more information about "Thursdays at the U," contact Dr. Linda Tollefsrud, professor emeritus of psychology, UW Colleges, at or 715-788-6216.

Photo caption: In this Aug. 24, 2019, photo provided by John Janzen, diver John Scoles maneuvers around the wreckage of the schooners Peshtigo and St. Andrews, lost in 1878 near Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan. (Photo credit: John Janzen via AP)