2003 Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Explorers
Leg 1 - Submarine Canyon and Scavenger Communities in the Main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
September 3 - 26, 2003
Leg II - Seamount Surveys of Deep-Water Corals as related to Geological Setting in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
Reproductive Biology and Population Genetics of Precious Corals in Hawaii
September 28 - November 5, 2003
Ray Boland is a research biologist in the Ecosystems and Oceanography Division of the National Marine Fisheries Service at the Pacific Islands Fishery Science Center (PIFSC). In 1996, he pioneered studies in marine debris survey and removal in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. His results and report are the basis for the present day large-scale marine debris survey and removal effort being conducted at PIFSC. Presently, he is studying fish assemblages associated with black coral trees, and is also assisting on studies being conducted on the forage base of Hawaiian Monk seal and assessment of precious corals. Ray has conducted underwater surveys and has been diving in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands since 1990, and is a certified NOAA Divemaster and Trimix diver. He was born and raised in Hawaii and received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1996.
Patrick Greene is a field specialist and cameraman for National Geographic's Remote Imaging Program produced by Gregory Marshall. The Remote Imaging Program is a scientific outreach initiative, involving scientists from all over the world, who are collaborating to study the biology and behavior of animals through novel imaging techniques. The investigation of the habitat of the endangered Hawaiian monk seal is one of the longest running and most successful collaborations in Remote Imaging's history. Patrick joined the Remote Imaging team in June 2002, and spent seven weeks at French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, deploying Crittercam with the monk seal team, as well as filming the project for National Geographic's "Crittercam" series. Through these first successful Crittercam deployments, the team discovered previously unknown behaviors that will help the ongoing effort to understand and protect this endangered species. These findings will be communicated to a worldwide audience in the upcoming "Crittercam" series, airing on the National Geographic Channel in early 2004. Patrick has been the principal cameraman on five episodes of the series, covering species ranging from blue whales to green turtles. Pat's keen eye and field research experience make him an ideal candidate to document this next chapter in the ongoing investigation to map the crucial habitats of endangered species. Patrick was born and raised in Canada, and studied Marine Biology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.
Kristin Heron graduated from Duke University in 2001 with a degree in Environmental Science and Policy. Shortly after graduation from Duke, she began working at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Much of her work is related to planning research cruises and working on issues of data management. During the field season, she has participated in several research cruises, including cruises on the open seas off the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, California, and Hawaii.
Frederic H. Martini, Ph.D.
Affiliate Faculty, University of Hawaii - Hilo
PI - Biology of Hagfishes in the Hawaiian Islands (Sea Grant Project)
Co-PI - Submarine Canyon and Scavenger Communities on the Main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
Frederic ("Ric") Martini is Principle Investigator (with Craig Smith and Eric Vetter) of the Ocean Exploration Submarine Canyon and Scavenger Communities on the Main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Project. His previous research projects have included work on the physiology and ecology of sharks and hagfishes using submersible and ROV dives in the Gulf of Maine and along the Pacific coast of North America. His publications include scientific papers, contributed chapters to reference books (on elasmobranch fishes, hagfish biology, and fishes of New England), and he is the author of several college textbooks on anatomy and physiology.
Frank Parrish is a fishery biologist with the Ecosystem and Oceanography Division at the NOAA Fisheries' Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center. His research focuses on benthic and demersal habitat ecology, particularly as it relates to fishery and protected species. His data is collected using scuba, remotely-operated cameras, manned submersibles, and animal-borne instrumentation. His publications include work on reef fish, deepwater snappers, sharks, lobster, monk seals, and diving technology. In recent years, his investigations have focused on identifying important foraging habitats of the endangered Hawaiian monk seal. Attaching video cameras to the backs of monk seals, he has identified some of their key foraging habitats, the most intriguing of which are deepwater corals. This link between deepwater corals and seals has spurred a number of studies looking at the use of deepwater corals by fish. He serves as a member of the precious coral planning team for the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council and is the fisheries line diving officer. Frank did his bachelors in zoology and his graduate work in biogeography, at the University of Hawaii.
Rachel Shackelford is the Data Department Manager for the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory. Rachel earned a B.S. degree in biology and an M.S. in oceanography at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Ms. Shackelford served as data manager on Leg I of this expedition. She also will be spending a lot of time in the ROV control room, monitoring the video that is collected so that she can learn how to identify the animals in the deep waters of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. She is very interested in promoting quality science education in Hawaii and will serve as the expedition's Web contact following the trip.
Craig Smith is Principle Investigator (with Eric Vetter) of the Ocean Exploration Submarine Canyon and Scavenger Communities on the Main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands project. He has studied deep-sea ecology since 1976, and has visited the deep-ocean floor over 100 times using manned submersibles and remotely operated vehicles. He has worked in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Antarctic oceans studying food webs, biodiversity, whale-fall communities, and human impacts in habitats ranging from active volcanoes to the sediment-covered plains of the abyss. He has published over 70 scientific research papers, and his work has been featured in the BBC's Blue Planet documentary television series, Natural History Magazine, National Geographic Magazine, on National Public Radio, and in museum exhibits.
Eric Vetter is Principal Investigator (with Craig Smith) of the Ocean Exploration Submarine Canyon and Scavenger Communities on the Main and Northwest Hawaiian Islands project. In support of submarine canyon research in Southern California, he has participated in or overseen 113 submersible dives using submarines and remotely operated vehicles. His research focus has been on nearshore benthic ecology in Southern California and Antarctica, environmental impacts of proposed deep-sea disposal of carbon dioxide, and systematics of Leptostracan crustaceans.
Stephen Cairns is a research scientist/curator in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, a position he has held since 1976. He is curator of coelenterates and has a research specialty in the taxonomy, zoogeography, and mineralogy of deep-water Scleractinia (stony corals), Stylasteridae (hydrocorals), and octocorals (gorgonians). Part of his research has resulted in the description of 330 new species of deep-sea corals, including the only stylasterid reported from Hawaiian waters. This species is known only from four specimens, which he hopes to recollect on this cruise. He has participated in submersible expeditions off Florida, South Carolina, his home state of Louisiana, and the Galapagos.
Christopher Kelley, Ph.D.
Hawaii Undersea Research Lab
Co-PI - Seamount Surveys of Deep-Water Corals as Related to Geological Setting in the NWHI.
PI - Impact of Bottom Fishing on the Raita and St. Rogatien Banks (NMSP Study)
Christopher Kelley is the program biologist for the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL). His responsibilities include the identification and documentation of fish and invertebrates videotaped during HURL's submersible and ROV operations. Dr. Kelley is also the principal investigator of several projects on the bottomfish fishery in both the main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). One of these projects is examining the impacts of bottomfishing on deepwater benthic habitats in the NWHI reserve. In the main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) he has developed a GIS map of bottomfish habitats and, using submersibles and an ROV, is presently studying the biological communities found in these areas. He and his project team have developed methods to bring up live snappers from 300 to 1,000 ft depths and spawn them in captivity. They have also identified unique broadband sonar signatures for a number of bottomfish species as part of the process of developing non-lethal assessment techniques for the fishery. Dr. Kelley earned his Ph.D. at the University of Hawaii while researching fish reproductive cycles. He has traveled extensively, providing technical assistance for developing fish hatcheries in Indonesia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Egypt, and Cameroon, West Africa. He was also an aquanaut for the Hydrolab Undersea Habitat in 1982 and assisted in a study on the ecology and social behavior of Caribbean angelfishes.
Wongyu Park received a B.S. and a M.S. in marine biology from the Pukyong National University, Korea (formerly, National Fisheries University of Pusan). He then moved to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he is a doctoral student studying the larval ecology of the Dungeness crab (Cancer magister) in southeastern Alaska. His general research interests are the ecology and taxonomy of decapod larvae and crustacean zooplankton, with a particular interest in zooplankton productivity and fisheries responses to climate variability in marine ecosystems.
Timothy M. Shank, Ph.D.
Assistant Scientist, Biology Department
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Co-PI - Reproductive Biology and Population Genetics of Precious Corals in the Hawaiian Archipelago
Co-PI - Seamount Survey of Deep-Water Coral Distributions as Related to Geological Setting in the NWHI
Tim Shank is a molecular ecologist focusing on understanding the evolutionary processes that shape marine biological diversity. Since 1992, he has been investigating the genetic structure of deep-sea fauna inhabiting hydrothermal vents, hydrocarbon seeps, and seamounts. Dr. Shank has participated as chief scientist, principal investigator, and graduate student on over 19 oceanographic cruises utilizing deep-submergence vehicles, including over 40 dives in the Alvin. The goal of his research is to understand how larval dispersal, colonization patterns, gene flow, and faunal speciation structure marine invertebrate diversity over time. Recently, he has used DNA fingerprints from tubeworm communities that colonized vents following recent volcanic eruptions, which he and his colleagues discovered last year on the Galápagos Rift, to examine how this species colonizes short-lived habitats that are separated by only a few feet to thousands of miles. Such work is now being extended to coral-associated species inhabiting the New England Seamounts. Dr. Shank co-developed an educational CD on hydrothermal vents, as well as the web-based learning portal, DiveandDiscover.com. Dr. Shank's research has been featured in Science, Nature, Discover Magazine, National Geographic Magazine, National Public Radio, as well as on several nationally broadcast documentaries (e.g., the Discovery Channel, BBC, National Geographic Television, and PBS).
John Smith is an oceanographer specializing in marine geology and geophysics, and has been using various acoustical (mostly sonar) methods to study the sea floor and sub-sea floor for the past 20 years in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. Many of Dr. Smith's projects have been focused on deep-ocean mapping of active submarine volcanoes, and the unstable flanks of oceanic islands that cause enormous seismic sea waves (tsunamis). More recently, he has studied shallow-water benthic-habitat mapping in support of fisheries assessment and management. He has also visited the sea floor in numerous occupied submersibles including the deep-diving Russian MIRs made famous in the film Titanic. Dr. Smith attended Florida Tech for undergraduate training, worked in the offshore petroleum exploration survey industry for several years, and then returned to academia at the University of Hawaii for graduate school and eventual employment with the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL). There, he manages the sea floor sonar mapping program, occasionally pilots the ROV, and does data processing and research during the "dry" season on land. One of Dr. Smith's long-term goals is to complete mapping of the Hawaiian Ridge with modern multibeam swath sonar systems. The main islands are nearly finished, thanks to the efforts of numerous organizations.
Amy R. Baco-Taylor, Ph.D.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
PI - Seamount Surveys of Deep-Water Corals as related to Geological Setting in the NWHI
PI - Reproductive Biology and Population Genetics of Precious Corals in Hawaii
Amy Baco-Taylor received a B.S. in marine biology and a B.S. in molecular biology from Florida Institute of Technology. She then moved to the University of Hawaii, where she completed her Ph.D. in oceanography, studying the succession and phylogenetics of invertebrates associated with deep-sea whale skeletons. Amy is now a postdoctoral fellow at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where her research focuses on seamount invertebrates, with an emphasis on deep-sea corals. Her general research interests are the ecology and evolution of benthic marine organisms. Amy has participated in 28 research cruises and has dived in several research submersibles including the Pisces IV, Pisces V, Alvin, Johnson-Sea Link, and the Turtle.
Emily Yam graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor's degree in biology and a master's degree in teaching. She is currently applying to graduate programs in marine science, where she hopes to study gelatinous zooplankton. In addition to helping the science team, Emily served as the Leg II Data Manager.