Milton is a geologist and has been a SCUBA diving instructor since 1982. He is the Diving Safety Officer for the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico and has been for the last 19 years. Besides his diving career, he also likes mountain biking, fishing, and hunting.
Robbie is the Assistant Diving Safety Officer at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. He was born in West Virginia and grew up in Ohio. During his four years at Denison University in central Ohio studying Physics, he spent a semester abroad in South Africa where he first learned to dive. Quickly finding it to be a passion, he worked his way up to be a Divemaster during the semester abroad. After finishing at Denison he became a recreational instructor and spent the following year teaching diving around the world. He then ended up at the University of Miami and after a year of taking classes, he accepted the position of Assistant Diving Safety Officer.
Dr. Coleman is the Director of Florida State University’s (FSU) Coastal and Marine Laboratory and Scientific Director for the new Deep-C Consortium at FSU, funded for $20 million by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative to study the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. She is an Aldo Leopold Conservation Fellow and a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation. Her research focus is on marine ecology, particularly as it relates to reef fishes and their interactions with other species and with their habitat. She is particularly interested in how scientific findings are incorporated into the laws and regulations that affect the management and conservation of living marine resources. Thus, she often engages in the regulatory arena to ensure that science helps guide policy-related decisions involving marine systems. This includes service on federal committees and panels, such as the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and the National Academy’s National Research Council panels (including one on marine protected areas and another on the use of the best available science in fisheries management). She has organized and edited proceedings for international symposia on a number of cutting-edge fisheries issues from marine protected areas to species interactions in marine communities.
Brian Cousin is the video production specialist and photographer at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University. On this mission, he will be documenting cruise activities onboard using high definition video and still images and underwater using scuba, and serving as web coordinator. In almost 20 years at Harbor Branch, Brian has documented the Institute's marine science activities near and far in the Galapagos archipelago, Mexico and the Bahamas, as well as points around the United States including the Gulf of Maine and the Gulf of Mexico. Brian was last on a research cruise in the Pulley Ridge region in 2010, during that cruise, he helped gather baseline information about these sensitive habitat areas to measure against any potential Deepwater Horizon spill impacts.
Casey Coy is the Director of Diving Operations (DSO) at The Florida Aquarium in Tampa, Florida. He oversees a department of divers that are responsible for all exhibit and open water diving operations. The dive program consists of over 130 divers that conduct more than 8,000 dives annually in support of scientific, exhibit, commercial and recreational diving. He participated in the 2012 research cruise to Pulley Ridge on the R/V Walton Smith. He is certified as a NAUI Instructor trainer, technical instructor and CCR diver. He is a former board member for the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS), and currently the President Elect of the Association of Dive Program Administrators (ADPA). He also holds a 100 ton masters license through the United States Coast Guard. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder, and currently resides in Tampa, Florida, with his wife, Susan, and daughters Shelby and Keely.
Michael has been a member of the Florida Aquarium’s Scientific Diving Team since 2002. He is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and is trained as a closed circuit rebreather diver using mixed gases to 300 feet. He participated as a scientific diver on the 2012 Pulley Ridge cruise aboard the R/V Walton Smith. Mike has being taking underwater images since 1974, a year after he was certified as a scuba diver. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Florida Aquarium since 2003 and was its Chairman for three years. He lives in Tampa, FL with his wife Laurie. He certified both his daughters, Emily and Christina, as scuba divers. Emily and Christina have both completed their undergraduate studies and start graduate school this fall.
Stephanie is a Biological Researcher at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University. She works in part for the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research, and Technology (CIOERT) with Dr. Shirley Pomponi and John Reed on the mesophotic and deep coral reef projects. She is a contributor to the development of the ‘Database Solution for Benthic Surveys’ currently utilized on all of the NOAA CIOERT mesophotic and deep-water surveys. The database is used to visualize and characterize habitats and includes detailed maps of all collection sites, samples, photographs, species density and geospatial analyses. Stephanie has managed data from several remotely operated vehicles and submersibles, studying deep-water marine protected areas from North Carolina through the Gulf of Mexico, in a variety of habitats including: deep-water Lophelia and Oculina coral reefs, and Pulley Ridge. Last year she was selected to serve on the Okeanos Explorer Internship Program in the Gulf of Mexico. This year she was selected to participate in a Science Verification Cruise with Woods Hole’s Alvin submersible. Stephanie received her B.S. from the University of Tampa in Marine Science and Biology in 2001 and her M.S. from Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center in Marine Biology.
Esther received her B.S. in biology from the University of California San Diego and is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in the Sponaugle lab at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Her work focuses on the physical and biological processes that affect traits and survival of coral reef fishes across vertical and horizontal spatial scales. This research addresses the role of deep and mesophotic (greater than 30 m in depth) coral reefs as natural ecosystem refuges for degraded shallow reefs to help predict coral reef sustainability and resilience.
Rick has been the scientific diving officer for the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science since 1994. His diving background comprises a wide variety of experience including underwater data collection techniques and scientific methodologies, mixed gas and decompression diving, cave diving, and saturation diving. His training includes many instructor and teaching credentials, as well as certification as a diver medic and hyperbaric technician. Rick is very active in the scientific diving community and is the 2014 American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) President Elect. He has been active in AAUS serving on the Board of Directors in 1997-98 and currently serving on the AAUS Standards Committee. Rick is also co-author of the AAUS overhead environment standards and is now working with his colleagues from other science diving programs to create a Scientific Diving Officer training course.
Cedric is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, working on optical plankton sampling instruments from their design and deployment to data analysis. Even though his background is in fish biology, he has interests in new technologies and engineering. His main contribution to research is in the design of new oceanographic sampling and lab experimental systems ranging from hybrid multiple net systems to underwater video such as ISIIS (In Situ Ichthyoplankton Imaging System).
Dr. Hanisak is a Research Professor at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University and Director of its Marine Ecosystem Health and Education programs. He has over 30 years of experience in marine biology and ecology with an emphasis on marine plants, particularly macroalgae (seaweeds) and seagrasses. He has conducted research on marine plants, with extensive experience on mesophotic reefs in Florida, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean. Dr. Hanisak is the author of over 70 scientific publications, a frequently invited participant at national and international meetings and workshops, a past President of the International Phycological (the study of algae) Society, and a past President and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Phycological Society of America. This will be his sixth cruise to Pulley Ridge; his first one was a Johnson-Sea-Link submersible dive there in 1984. He is also Director of Harbor Branch's Education Program and dedicated to fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation by students and the public of the importance of the oceans and their impact on our lives.
Stacey Harter is a research ecologist with the NOAA Fisheries Panama City Laboratory. She received her Bachelors in Biological Sciences from Florida State University in 1999 and a Masters in Marine Sciences from the University of South Alabama in 2002. Since working with NOAA, she has focused her research efforts on deep coral ecosystems, particularly those that are in marine protected areas (MPAs). She is the lead principal investigator for a project examining a network of MPAs in the South Atlantic, looking for changes in habitat and fish populations over time, as well as comparing inside and outside the closed areas to determine if MPAs are effective as a management tool. On this cruise, Stacey will be working with the ROV team to annotate fish species observed on the dives, as well as doing some post-cruise analysis of the fish assemblages.
Lance is primarily responsible for managing the Undersea Vehicles Program, fostering intra-NOAA and extramural collaborations, and pursuing technology to keep the Program and its undersea assets on the cutting edge of in situ marine science research. The program currently operates three remotely operated vehicles (ROV) and a Slocum glider autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Lance has participated in undersea research activities as mission coordinator, AUV supervisor/technician, chief ROV pilot/technician, and diver for 28 years. He has conducted 124 ROV missions (1522 dives), 12 AUV missions, 25 manned submersible missions, 83 scuba dive missions (1013 dives), 12 Aquarius Saturation Habitat missions, and 5 surface supply diving missions. http://www.uncw.edu/uvp/
Dr. Koenig is currently a researcher and a retired Research Professor at the Coastal and Marine Laboratory at Florida State University. His research focuses on the ecology of economically-important reef fish, primarily groupers and snappers, of the southeastern United States. His research interests include fish habitat requirements, especially spawning and nursery habitat; demographic patterns; grouper ecological engineering; and trophic patterns. His research results are published in peer-reviewed journals and provided to state and federal agencies so that managers can make informed decisions about the conservation of reef fishery resources.
Chris is a graduate student with the Coastal and Marine Laboratory at Florida State University. His research focus is on aquatic and marine ecology, particularly as it relates to interactions between fish and their environment. He is interested in prey and habitat preference, demographic patterns, movement patterns, and spawning behavior. He has also in the past researched foraging ecology, niche partitioning, and nutrient selection in marine mammals. For his Ph.D., he will research the effects of shelf-edge marine protected areas on reef fish recovery, with an emphasis on overfished species. This research will focus on economically- and environmentally-important coral reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico and U.S. South Atlantic, primarily groupers and snappers. Management of reef fish populations is crucial to the conservation of our fisheries resources, and his work will provide information to state and federal agencies so that managers can make informed decisions.
Kimberly is an Oceanographer with NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and serves as the Federal Program Officer responsible for overseeing and monitoring this competitively awarded research project. She has worked at NOAA Headquarters in Silver Spring, MD for the past 11 years including over 6.5 years with NOAA’s Undersea Research Program. She has managed research programs covering such diverse topics as methane hydrates; shallow, mesophotic, and deep coral ecosystems, marine genetic resources, and goal setting for South Florida. She works as an interface between scientists and managers and is a member of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Coral Advisory Panel. Prior to taking a desk job, Kimberly was an active marine researcher and has spent a significant amount of time at sea doing everything from sediment coring to zooplankton sampling to marine mammal surveys.
John is a Research Professor at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI) at Florida Atlantic University and Principal Investigator for the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research, and Technology. His projects emphasize research and conservation of coral reefs, including deep-water and mesophotic coral reefs throughout the Caribbean, Florida, and Gulf of Mexico. He has conducted 60 research expeditions visiting 40 countries, including Seychelles, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Galapagos Islands, Canaries, and Africa. He has utilized manned submersibles, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), automated underwater vehicles (AUVs) for his research. John’s research on the deep-water Oculina coral reefs off Florida established the 300 sq.mi. Oculina Coral Habitat Area of Particular Concern (HAPC), the first in the world to protect deep-water coral. His research on deep-water Lophelia reefs off the southeastern United States helped establish in 2010 the 23,000 sq. mi. deep-water Coral HAPC from North Carolina to south Florida. He has greater than 100 publications, reports, and articles on research expeditions worldwide, deep-sea coral reef research, and biomedical research. John received his B.S. from the University of Miami and M.S., specializing in marine ecology, from Florida Atlantic University in 1975.
Glenn has worked at the University of North Carolina Wilmington since 1990 supporting the operational side of undersea scientific research as an Oceanographic Field Operations Manager. That job has included serving as habitat technician for saturation missions in the Aquarius Habitat, coordinating deep submersible operations, conducting mixed gas technical diving operations, operating autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), and piloting remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). Glenn’s diving resume includes: NAUI Instructor and NAUI Course Director, IANTD Nitrox Instructor, Trimix Diver, Saturation Diver, Advanced Diver Medical Technician, and NACD Cave Diver. He has worked as a diving instructor in Jamaica, St. Croix, and the Bahamas. Glenn and his dive buddy, now his wife, did much of the original exploration of the blue holes of Grand Bahama Island in the 1970s.
Mike is the Dive Safety Officer at The Florida Aquarium and has been diving since 1995. Mike received his PADI Instructor certification in 1998 and was subsequently certified as a PADI Staff Instructor, DAN Instructor and NAUI Instructor Trainer. Since joining the aquarium in 2002, Mike has gained experience in mixed gas and decompression diving, closed circuit rebreathers, underwater photography and videography, underwater communications, full face mask use and surface supply diving. He participated in the 2012 research cruise to Pulley Ridge on the R/V Walton Smith and has also supported shipwreck archaeology in Tampa Bay, fish collection and underwater archaeology projects in the Florida Keys, the Dominican Republic and Little Salt Spring (University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science) from 2005 through 2012. Mike has served on the board of directors of the Association of Dive Program Administrators (ADPA) for four years as President and is an active member of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS), ADPA and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
Evan is currently a graduate student in the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez. He received a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from Florida Institute of Technology in 2009. He is a mixed gas closed circuit rebreather diver, working with the Caribbean Coral Reef Institute (CCRI) to explore mesophotic coral ecosystems between the depths of 50 and 100 m. Evan’s expertise includes tagging and monitoring of Nassau grouper spawning aggregations in Puerto Rico.
Jason is a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) technician for the Underwater Vehicles Program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). Jason received his B.S. in Marine Science and Meteorology from North Carolina State University in 2008. After graduation he worked for C & C Technologies as a hydrographic surveyor in the Gulf of Mexico conducting NOAA marine debris surveys and Oil & Gas surveys. He then worked as a satellite oceanographer in the commercial fishing industry for DigitalGlobe in Herndon, Virginia. During this cruise Jason will be assisting the UNCW ROV team with operations.