Living On The Edge Explorers

Doni AngellDoni Angell
Heritage Middle School
Life on the Edge Expedition

For the past five years, Doni Angell has taught 8th grade science at Heritage Middle School in Valdese, NC. Her passion is environmental education, which she taught to K-6 students for three years, and formerly to adult educators in a former position at the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. She earned a BS in agricultural education from North Carolina State University, and a master's in middle school education with a science concentration from Appalachian State University. She is a North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences Educator of Excellence, having participated in the 2002 New England Coastal Institute cruise on a schooner in the Gulf of Maine.

Liz BairdLiz Baird
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Co-principal Investigator
Life on the Edge Expedition

As coordinator of student outreach and distance learning at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Liz Baird is accustomed to working with students and teachers many miles away. During the Living on the Edge mission, she will share research activities with the public via satellite transmissions from the ship. She will work closely with researchers and the ship's crew to answer questions sent from students, and will assist the research team wherever she's needed. She will also be assist Art Howard with the development of a program highlighting deep-sea research. Ms. Baird's work with the museum includes teaching via videoconferencing, as well as leading teacher treks in North Carolina, Maine and Belize. She has a BS in biology from Salem College and is completing her MS in science education at North Carolina State University.

Jim BergJim Berg
Fisheries Biologist
U.S. Geological Survey

Jim Berg is a fisheries biologist with the Coastal Ecology and Conservation Group, Center for Aquatic Resource Studies, U.S. Geological Survey, Gainesville, FL. He conducts research on Gulf sturgeon population dynamics in Florida Rivers, and assists with ongoing research regarding fish community structure of offshore reefs. He has a BS from Long Island University and is currently finishing his MS at the University of Florida, Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Mr. Berg is a veteran of several deep-water research missions on the outer continental shelf, both in the Gulf of Mexico and off North Carolina.

Margot BohanMargot Bohan
NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration

Margot Bohan is currently a member of the science team for NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration (OE). Immediately prior to working at OE, she served as the Marine Mammal Conservation Program Coordinator for the NOAA Fisheries Protected Resources Program. She has spent the majority of her career working on living marine resource conservation and management issues in numerous locales throughout the nation and in a multitude of capacities at the national, regional and state levels. During the Living on the Edge expedition, she will serve as the Web coordinator, help the research team where needed, and genuinely enjoyi being back at sea, "getting wet" for the first time in a few years.

R. Allen Brooks, Ph.D.R. Allen Brooks, PhD
Research Benthic Ecologist
U.S. Geological Survey

Allen Brooks is a research ecologist at the Florida Integrated Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Gainesville, Florida. He has a master's and PhD from the University of South Florida Department of Biology, and a bachelor's from Ohio University. Graduate work for his master's involved examining drift algal mats as potential mobile corridors for the dispersal of seagrass-dwelling invertebrates. His dissertation work involved studying the plant-animal interaction of Sphaeroma terebrans, an exotic isopod, which bores into the prop roots of the red mangrove. Dr. Brooks has previously worked on seagrass projects focusing on principles of landscape ecology and habitat restoration. Since joining the USGS in 2002, his research has concentrated on examining deep-water epifaunal communities on the continental shelf in the Gulf of Mexico, and benthic macrofaunal communities in coastal estuaries. Current outer shelf work focuses on comparing epifaunal communities on hard-bottom areas of the Mississippi/Alabama shelf to those on the Northwest Florida shelf. The project supplies management information to fulfill deep-reef conservation and preservation efforts in the Gulf.

Tara CasazzaTara Casazza
Research Associate/Graduate Student
North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve

Tara Casazza is a research associate with the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve. She will begin graduate studies this fall with Dr. Ross in the Marine Science Program at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where she earned a BS in marine biology in 2000. Her main research interests include the biology of flyingfishes and Sargassum community structure. Ms. Casazza will assist with assembling and repairing gear, collecting samples, identifying fishes, and collecting data on Sargassum.

Art HowardArt Howard
Producer/ Photographer
NAPRO Communications

For 22 years Emmy award winning photographer and producer Art Howard has helped viewers experience life through images from the Middle East to the Galapagos Islands. As a native North Carolinian this adventure will be closer to home. He will follow the researchers aboard the Seward Johnson documenting the excitement and challenges of offshore reef exploration. Art will use the latest High Definition video equipment to bring viewers as close as possible to life at sea from the surface to depths of 1400 feet, capturing both the scientists and the life they seek to understand. This project is part of a permanent HD theater experience at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. This will be Art’s second year of ocean exploration as the Museum continues its’ mission of helping everyone understand our planet below the ocean’s surface.

Paula G. MayPaula G. May
Research Associate
North Carolina Coastal Reserve
North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Paula May is a research associate for the North Carolina Coastal Reserve Program. She earned a BS in biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and an MS in biology from East Carolina University. Her research background includes estuarine environmental monitoring, fish population genetics, and freshwater ecology. On this, her first research cruise, Ms. May will assist with sampling and data collection.

Ann Marie NecaiseAnn Marie D. Necaise
North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve

Ann Marie Necaise is a research biologist with the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve. She holds a BS in marine science from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a master's in zoology from North Carolina State University. She has worked on various projects in the field of fisheries science, including commercial aquaculture, sonic tagging and tracking of anadromous and endangered fish in the Cape Fear River, and caging and growth studies of estuarine-dependent fish in critical nursery areas. Her current research interests focus on the taxonomy and trophodynamic relationships of offshore fish communities. While at sea, Ms. Necaise will assist with sampling and data collection. Back in the lab, she will work on the identification and diet analysis of fish collections, as well as overall database management.

Martha S. Nizinski, Ph.D.Martha S. Nizinski, PhD
NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service
National Systematics Laboratory
Co-principal Investigator
Life on the Edge Expedition

Martha Nizinski is a zoologist at the National Systematics Laboratory in Washington, DC. Dr. Nizinski earned a BS in biology at West Virginia Wesleyan College, an MS in zoology at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a PhD in marine science at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary. She has worked at the Systematics Laboratory since 1987, first as a technician, then as a zoologist. After completing her doctorate in 1998, Dr. Nizinski began a research program studying the biodiversity, biogeography, taxonomy, and systematics of marine invertebrates, particularly decapod crustaceans. In 2002, she began collaborative work with Dr. Ross and Dr. Sulak in their ongoing investigations of the outer continental shelf and slope. Her interest in invertebrates has added another dimension to these projects. Her current research interests include biodiversity, biogeography and community structure of deep-water decapod crustaceans, biodiversity of shallow-water gastropod and bivalve molluscs, and the impacts of spiny lobster predation on their molluscan prey. Dr. Nizinski will oversee the collection and identification of invertebrates during this mission.

Jacquie Ott
GIS Specialist
North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve
Mapping and Logistics Support

For most of her life, Jacquie Ott has been fascinated by maps. She brings a computer with a geographic information system (GIS) to the cruise to create and display maps on board the ship. She has 20 years of digital mapping experience that began with satellite images to monitor natural resources. Consequently, she has learned to "think spatially" about the relationships between different layers of information. For her master's thesis at the University of Delaware, Ms. Ott combined a variety of types and dates of spatial data to evaluate current and changing conditions in the Florida Everglades. This is her fifth offshore research cruise with the GIS. Her maps and charts provide such information as water depth and the locations and fished depth of previous sampling efforts. Investigators use them to interactively determine where, when, and at what depth to collect new samples. The position of the ship is displayed constantly on the GIS computer. The research team uses this data to document start and end locations of each sample station. Because there are no road signs in the open ocean, members of the science team also routinely use the display to answer the all-important question: "Where in the world are we?"

Jeremy PotterJeremy Potter
Expedition Coordinator
Office of Ocean Exploration

Jeremy Potter grew up in wild wonderful West Virginia and graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina. Immediately after college, he ran off to Alaska to work as an observer in the Bering Sea crab fishery, and later as an instructor at the Wallops Island Marine Science Consortium. In 1997, he moved to Japan and worked in a remote Japanese fishing village on Tsushima Island. He returned to the US three years later to pursue his interests in international environmental politics, facilitation, and negotiation. Jeremy graduated from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University with a Masters of Coastal Environmental Management. His fascination with the deep sea led him to NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration (OE) where spent 2002 as a Knauss Marine Policy Sea Grant Fellow. Now an OE employee, he dedicates most of his time working within the science program and operations. During the FY03 field season, Jeremy will be Data Manager for Investigating the Charleston Bump, and Expedition Coordinator for "Life on the Edge" as well as the "Gulf of Mexico Bioprospecting" expeditions.

Andrew J. QuaidAndrew J. Quaid
Chemical Oceanography
U.S. Geologic Survey

Andrew Quaid is a Chemical Oceanographer with the Coastal Ecology and Conservation Group, Center for Aquatic Resource Studies, U.S. Geological Survey, in Gainesville, FL. He conducts research on water quality using in~situ data sondes, and assists with GPS navigation, GIS mapping, and data management of the research conducted for the Coastal Ecology Group. He has a BS in Chemical Oceanography, from Florida Institute of Technology (FIT), located in Melbourne, Florida. Mr. Quaid is currently working on a manuscript which will earn him a second degree, in Biological Oceanography, from the Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences at FIT. He plans on furthering his education to the masters, or doctoral level in oceanography. Andrew Quaid is a veteran of several deep-water research missions on the outer continental shelf in the Gulf of Mexico.

Andrea M. QuattriniAndrea M. Quattrini
Research Associate
North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve

Andrea Quattrini is a research associate with the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve. She earned a BS in biology at Millersville University in Pennsylvania and an MS in marine biology at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Her research interests include fisheries oceanography, larval fish taxonomy, and reef fish ecology and life history. She participated as a volunteer on last year’s Islands in the Stream 2002 expedition. This year, she will assist with sample collection, preservation, and identification.

Mike RandallMike Randall
Fisheries Biologist
U.S. Geological Survey/AScI Corp.

Mike Randall is a fisheries biologist with the Coastal Ecology and Conservation Group, Center for Aquatic Resource Studies, U.S. Geological Survey, Gainesville, FL. He conducts research on population dynamics of Gulf sturgeon in Florida rivers, and fish community structure of offshore reefs. He has a BS and is working on an MS from the University of Florida. He has worked on red drum and snook aquaculture for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Mr. Randall is a veteran of several oceanographic sampling and exploration missions. He participated in last year's Islands in the Stream mission off North Carolina, when he made his first dive in the Johnson-Sea-Link submersible.

Steve W. RossSteve W. Ross, PhD
Research Coordinator
North Carolina Coastal Reserve
Co-principal Investigator, Life on the Edge Expedition

Dr. Ross is a native of North Carolina and has spent most of his career involved in the marine sciences of this area. He earned a BS degree in Zoology from Duke University, a Master’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and a PhD from NC State Univ. He has been the Research Coordinator for the NC Coastal Reserve Program (NC Div. Coastal Management) for the last 12 years. He holds adjunct faculty appointments at NC State Univ. and UNC-Wilmington. His area of specialization is ichthyology (fishes), particularly in areas of ecology and life history (age, growth, feeding, reproduction) studies. He has conducted numerous, diverse projects in estuaries and offshore waters and has served as chief scientist on many cruises, including several using submersibles. The current work of Dr. Ross and his team involves assessment of the fish communities of several unique deep water habitats off the southeastern US. In particular they are looking at energy flow (trophodynamics) and relationships of animals to various habitats, including coral banks, canyon systems, and rocky areas. One ultimate goal of such studies is to provide information for these poorly known areas that will facilitate management and protection of productive habitats.

Kenneth J. Sulak, Ph.D.Kenneth J. Sulak, PhD
Research Fish Biologist
U.S. Geological Survey
Chief Scientist and Co-principal Investigator
Life on the Edge Expedition

Ken Sulak is a research biologist in the U.S. Geological Survey (Biological Resources), Gainesville, FL. He is the lead scientist for the Coastal Ecology and Conservation Research Group. Dr. Sulak holds a PhD and master's from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine Science, and a bachelor's from Harvard University. From 1985-1994 he was the Director and Senior Fish Biologist at the Atlantic Reference Center, Huntsmans Marine Science Centre, New Brunswick, Canada. He has conducted international research as a NATO Fellow in England, and as a U.S. National Academy Exchange Scientist to Russia. Dr. Sulak conducts research and has published extensively on marine fish community structure, population biology, ecology, zoogeography and systematics. He has 30 years' experience with marine fish community research in the Atlantic, Arctic, East Pacific and Indian oceans, including submersible missions on Alvin, the NR-2 and the Johnson-Sea-Link. A research project begun in 1991 focuses on the fish communities of the outer continental shelf of the U.S. East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. Since 1997, his research has concentrated on submersible and remote underwater vehicle exploration and analysis of deep-reef communities on the outer shelf and upper continental slope (65-500 m depth) off North Carolina and in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. Objectives of this mission are to define community structure and trophodynamics, and determine the physical processes controlling reef fish abundance and distribution. This research is tied to applied information needs of the U.S. Minerals Management Service with respect to oil and gas exploration and development. Results will also provide information critical to the conservation of deep coral reef habitats, and the management of exploited resource species utilizing these habitats.