Operation Laser Line 2006 Explorers
Jediah Bishop received a BS in marine science from Hawaii Pacific University and is currently working as a survey technician for Oceanic Imaging Consultants, Inc., a company that makes software that acquires sonar and laser data, processes it, and ultimately creates images from the mysteries that lie in the deep.
Joe Chojnacki majored in biology at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. After graduating, he did turtle conservation work, guided whitewater rafting trips, tracked wolves, and interned with the Douglas County Forestry Department in Wisconsin. In 2001, he joined the NOAA Fisheries’ marine debris removal program in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. He participated in three seasons of marine debris removal at Kure and Pearl and Hermes atolls, while becoming more involved in the Coral Reef Ecosystem Division (CRED) survey cruises around the Pacific, specializing in benthic habitat surveys. In 2003, Chojnacki entered the master’s program in geography at the University of Hawaii - Manoa, and at the same time joined CRED’s mapping group. He is near completion of his thesis, a study of how wave power influences the shape of coral reefs.
Roger Davis has been a software engineer for the Hawaii Mapping Research Group at the University of Hawaii, since 1991.
Scott Ferguson leads the Coral Reef Ecosystem Division’s benthic habitat mapping team, a group that is responsible for developing maps of the coral reef environment throughout Hawaii, Guam, the Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and other US-affiliated Pacific islands. These maps are used by ocean resource managers and scientists throughout the Pacific to help understand coral reef processes. Since graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1978, Ferguson has participated in dozens of surveys around the world in support of geophysical research, nautical charting, and underwater cable installations. He is particularly interested in the design, development, and installation of shipboard oceanographic and mapping systems. On this cruise, he hopes to learn how laser-based survey systems can be used to complement more commonly used sonar mapping tools.
Stacy Ladnier is the technical lead for the cruise information management system (CIMS). CIMS is being developed by the National Coastal Data Development Center to assist in automating end-to-end data management for NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration (OE) expeditions. She is joining this expedition to conduct the first sea trial for the Web-based at-sea information collection portion of CIMS. Ladnier received a BS in mathematics, with an emphasis on computer science, from the University of Southern Mississippi.
As a geographic information science (GIS) specialist, Emily Lundblad works for the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center in the Coral Reef Ecosystem Division’s Pacific Island Benthic Habitat Mapping Center. While at sea (and back on shore), she assists in sea-floor mapping with real-time multibeam bathymetry and backscatter data acquisition, post processing, map production, and spatial analysis. Starting out with a BS in GIS at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi (and growing up in a port city/beach town), she chose to apply her digital mapping and analysis skills to coastal and marine environments. She pursued an MS in geography with emphasis in marine resource management at Oregon State University. Lundblad has worked for NOAA for two yrs.
Laser Line Scan System Operator
Scientific Applications International Corporation
Charlie Menza is a spatial ecologist on the biogeography team of NOAA’s Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment. He holds a BS in biology and environmental sciences from McGill University, and an MS in zoology from the University of Toronto. For the past three yrs, Menza has been working on projects which merge spatial modeling, geographic information systems, and statistics to better understand the linkages between reef fish and benthic habitats, and to produce more efficient reef fish sampling methods. He is also a NOAA diver and conducts reef fish surveys. On this mission, Menza will be observing the use and products of the laser line scanner. He is especially interested in linking benthic habitat maps derived from the scanner to reef fish ecology.
Seth Mogk, currently a marine project engineer with Science Applications International Corporation’s (SAIC) Marine Operations Division, will be leading the laser line scan technical group on this cruise. He holds a BS in Earth sciences, concentrating in geography, from the Pennsylvania State University. He started working at sea in 1984 with a commercial seismic survey company, and then spent 15 yrs with Scripps Institution of Oceanography as a marine technician and later ageophysical engineer, before joining SAIC in 2003. Mogk specializes in the technical aspects of geophysical methods data acquisition, including acoustic (i.e., multibeam echosounding, side scan sonar, seismic), magnetometry, and now laser light.
Tony Montgomery earned a bachelor's degree in zoology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1998. He has worked in the aquarium, aquaculture, and resource management fields. In 2003, he joined the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources. Since then, he has worked on deep-water corals and invasive species issues. In 2004, Montgomery conducted an extensive assessment of the black coral population in the Au’au Channel. His interests include using mix-gas closed-circuit rebreathers to study the deep coral reefs, and he is a member of the Association of Marine Exploration.
Dr. John Rooney will be chief scientist for this cruise. He has worked for the NOAA Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center in the Coral Reef Ecosystem Division’s Pacific Island Benthic Habitat Mapping Center for three years. He is primarily responsible for mapping biologically important sea-floor characteristics, using multibeam data and optical imagery obtained from camera sled tows, remotely operated vehicles, and other sources. Rooney holds a PhD in coastal geology from the University of Hawaii and an MS in biological oceanography from the same institution. He has lived in Hawaii for more than 20 yrs and worked in, on, or around the ocean for most of that period. He enjoys scuba diving on deeper coral reefs around the islands with a closed circuit rebreather.
David Sallis attended the College of Charleston from 1982 to 1985 and completed his bachelor's degree at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. He earned his master's degree in computer science from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2004. He has been a computer programmer for nearly 20 yrs, working as a contractor to the US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Navy, and NOAA.
Paul Trakimas is a field engineer with Scientific Applications International Corporation and is responsible for maintaining and repairing commercial diving gear, and keeping proficient with commercial diving skills. On this cruise, he will provide shipboard operation support, including operation and maintenance of deck equipment and handling systems, engine-room and deck department watch standing, fire fighting and damage control, and small boat maintenance and repair.