Bermuda Deep Water Caves 2009 Explorers
Katie Glitz is a full time employee of the Seafloor Mapping Lab at California State University – Monterey Bay (CSUMB). She graduated from CSUMB in 2008 with a degree in marine and coastal ecology. Her undergraduate work focused on acoustic telemetry and the fidelity of hogfish in Conch Reef Reserve in the Florida Keys. Glitz plans to attend graduate school to pursue an education in ecology and acoustic telemetry. Her research interests include relating fish movement to their seafloor habitat.
Denise DiGiovanni-Gordon is a research analyst for NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) and serves as data manager for OER expeditions. Prior to working for NOAA, she supported the Department of Defense's Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) as an image analyst; and she has an extensive background in underwater acoustics and digital image processing, specializing in data collected using Klein 5000 and 3000 sidescan sonars, autonomous underwater vehicles, and remotely operated vehicles. She also participated in NAVOCEANO world-wide oceanographic expeditions onboard Navy TAGS-60 survey ships, as well as small boat operations with the Mine Warfare Center's Riverine program along the Mississippi and Louisiana Gulf coasts. She holds a degree in medical technology, with further studies in marine biology and geology at the University of Southern Mississippi. She is currently pursuing additional studies in geography with an emphasis in geographic information systems (GIS).
Krystle Gomez graduated with a BS in environmental science systems and policy with a concentration in marine science at California State University – Monterey Bay. She continued her education at this university where she is now a graduate student majoring in coastal watershed science and policy with an emphasis in marine science. Currently, she is using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to look at the distributional change in invasive ascidians and sponges over time, seeking to model how they spread and their habitat preferences in the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Alexis Hall is a senior environmental science technology and policy major at California State University – Monterey Bay. She is a National Science Foundation Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Scholar and a Ronald E. McNair Scholar. Hall has participated in research projects in the Chesapeake Bay in conjunction with Hampton University, and she studied the environmental impacts of aquaculture for Pacific bluefin tuna at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Her research interests are in marine ecosystems and ecology, and her senior thesis is focused on using remotely operated vehicles to detect the rates of habitat change in the Elkhorn Slough estuary near Monterey Bay. After graduation, Hall plans to pursue a PhD in marine science.
Pat Iampietro is chief hydrographer and projects manager of the Seafloor Mapping Lab (SFML) at California State University – Monterey Bay. On this project, he is responsible for the installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of all equipment, hardware, and software. (The multibeam and ROV operations at the core of the mission depend on multiple sensor and data acquisition systems all functioning and communicating flawlessly.) In addition, Iampietro is involved in mission planning, data processing, and day-to-day data acquisition operations. His current research involves the algorithmic analysis of multibeam and sidescan sonar data to create dynamic derived seafloor habitat maps and predictive distribution models using multivariate statistics. Iampietro has been with CSUMB since 1996, where he teaches advanced GIS and co-teaches GIS and advanced marine technology with Dr. Rikk Kvitek, the director of SFML. He is a graduate of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, where he received an MS in marine science.
Todd Hallenbeck is a graduate student in the coastal watershed science and policy program at California State University – Monterey Bay. He recently received a scholarship from the Marine Technology Society to pursue his master's thesis work. The research investigates the spatial distribution of demersal fish communities in subtidal soft sediment habitats, and the implications for the design and evaluation of marine protected areas (MPAs). In addition to his course work, he is a hydrographic technician in the Seafloor Mapping Lab, working to map the benthic habitats along the California coast.
Tom Iliffe is the director of the Marine Biospeleology Lab at Texas A&M University and has been conducting faunal and ecological investigations of marine caves for more than 30 years. Prior to starting at Texas A&M in 1989, Dr. Iliffe began his cave studies while a working as a research associate at the Bermuda Biological Station. He has conducted numerous scientific diving expeditions to observe caves around the Caribbean, Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Indo-Pacific regions. He has published 190 scientific papers and has discovered and described more than 250 new species of cave-adapted animals. He is also a diving and cave-diving instructor, using closed circuit rebreather and mixed gas diving technology to explore and investigate submarine caves around the world.
As a professor and director of the Seafloor Mapping Lab at California State University – Monterey Bay, Dr. Kvitek’s work focuses on the fields of benthic ecology, geomorphic change detection, geospatial technology, marine disturbance and landscape ecology, habitat mapping and species-habitat relations, and the fate and effects of harmful algal bloom toxins in marine food chains. His efforts have enabled him to maintain an active undergraduate- and graduate-student research lab in basic and applied coastal field work, using high-resolution acoustic and optical remote sensing, landscape analysis, and modeling of west coast benthic habitats and communities critical to resource management issues (particularly the California Marine Life Protection Act). Dr. Kvitek joins the Bermuda caves expedition to provide expertise and equipment for the multibeam sonar and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) operations.
Emily McDonald is a field operations specialist with 2020 LLC for NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER). She came to the office in 2008 as a Knauss Sea Grant Fellow, became "hooked" by the exciting research and discoveries OER supports, and continued on in her role managing, tracking, and helping plan the numerous explorations OER supports each year. McDonald has an MS in environmental health Sciences from the University of South Carolina.
Dayla Morrison is in her first year of graduate studies and currently works as a research assistant for the Marine Biospeleology Lab at Texas A&M – Galveston. Her research interests in Bermuda involve measuring and analyzing the current flow and water quality in deep and shallow submarine caves in order to determine possible interconnections and/or interrelationships. She served in the U.S. Navy for six years.
Mary Young is in her second year of graduate work at the University of California – Santa Cruz. She is currently working on using habitat data and modeling approaches along the central California coast to describe the distribution of kelp forest fish assemblages. Young is interested in using the information provided by seafloor bathymetry maps to efficiently and effectively quantify fish assemblages in order to better manage the nearshore fisheries and help decide the placement of marine protected areas.