As a kid, Peter Kelly says he dreamed of becoming an astronaut. As fate would have it, the explorer in his heart chose another frontier for him, as a diver.

Or, if you will, an aquanaut.

Thanks to a scuba diving class offered at Ole Miss, Kelly thought it sounded like fun. He signed up for the course and discovered he loved it.

“The majority of our planet is water. I love diving because it’s my ticket to experience our world fully,” said Kelly. “Being able to engage in a completely foreign environment and be totally outside of my element gives me the opportunity to see what others only dream of,” he mused.

Currently, Kelly is an “enriched air nitrox diver” working toward his dive guide certification. He’s also one of the divers who hand feed a variety of aquatic life on display in aquariums at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson.

“Working with the museum has given me the opportunity to support their incredible efforts to educate and create stewards for Mississippi wildlife,” says Kelly. “Plus, museum staff is incredible, and getting to help inspire kids through interpretive diving is such a cool way to promote the protection of wildlife and ecosystems.”

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