lewis and clark expedition scientists

Lewis and Clark Legacy Expedition scientists aboard the NOAA ship Ron Brown.Click image for larger view.

Explorers' Biographies

Edward T. Baker
Jennifer Bloeser
Ed Bowlby
Mary Sue Brancato
Richard D. Brodeur
Julia E.R. Clemons
Robert Dziak
Bob Embley
Chris Goldfinger
Gordon Hendler
Richard Hill
Jacqueline Popp-Noskov
Susan Merle
Brian Tissot
Waldo Wakefield
Kae Lynn Yamanaka
Mary Yoklavich

Bob Embley, PhD

Bob Embley
Marine Geologist and Geophysicist
Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, NOAA
Co-Chief Scientist, Astoria Canyon Exploration

As co-chief scientist for the Astoria Canyon Exploration program, Bob Embley shares responsibility with Dr. Waldo Wakefield in the planning, logistics, and at-sea decistion-making for the expedition. Dr. Embley received a PhD in marine geology and geophysics from Lamont Doherty Geological (now Earth) Observatory in 1975, and started working for NOAA in 1979. His more than 80 scientific publications include studies of a wide range of deep-sea features, including submarine canyons, sediment slides, fracture zones, and the mid-ocean ridge. He has participated in more than 50 oceanographic expeditions in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Antarctic Oceans during the past 35 years, and has had a variety of experiences with deep-towed cameras, side-scan sonars, manned submersibles, and remotely operated vehicles.

Waldo Wakefield, PhDWaldo Wakefield
Research Fisheries Biologist
Northwest Fisheries Science Center
National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA
Co-Chief Scientist, Astoria Canyon Exploration

As co-chief scientist for the Astoria Canyon Exploration program, Waldo Wakefield shares responsibility with Dr. Robert Embley in the planning, logistics, and at-sea decision-making for the expedition. Dr. Wakefield received an MS in oceanography from Oregon State University in 1984, and a PhD in oceanography from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1990. Before coming to work with the National Marine Fisheries Service in 1998, he was on the faculty of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, and later, at Rutgers University, where he served as science director for NOAA’s Mid-Atlantic Bight National Undersea Research Center. His extensive background in fish ecology, biological oceanography, and fisheries science started in 1974, when he began working on the Chesapeake Bay as a staff member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. His current research interests focus on applying advanced underwater technologies to the study of marine habitats. Dr. Wakefield has participated in numerous research cruises, working with a variety of oceanographic sampling and fishing gears, sidescan and multibeam sonar systems for mapping the sea floor, manned submersibles (over 100 dives), and remotely operated vehicles.

Edward T. Baker, PhDEdward T. Baker
Supervisory Oceanographer
Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL), NOAA
Principal Investigator, Lewis and Clark Legacy

Ed Baker, a veteran of more than 60 research cruises, was educated at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Washington, where he is an affiliate professor in the Department of Oceanography. Currently a supervisory oceanographer at PMEL, he joined NOAA in 1975. Dr. Baker has investigated deep-sea processes, especially hydrothermal vents and submarine canyons, throughout the Pacific Ocean. His interest in Astoria Canyon focuses on current flow through the canyon and its effects on the marine life there.

Jennifer BloeserJennifer Bloeser
Science Coordinator
Pacific Marine Conservation Council (PMCC)

Ms. Bloeser holds a BS in marine biology and environmental science from East Stroudsburg University, and an MS in fisheries from Humboldt State University (HSU). Her thesis was on the biology and population structure of an anomalous population of California halibut in Humboldt Bay. She authored the highly acclaimed PMCC report Diminishing Returns: The Status of West Coast Rockfish. She also co-chairs the Habitat Steering Group of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council, and conducts collaborative research with fishermen. She has researched Herptofauna (amphibians and reptiles) for the U.S. Forest Service and taught the ecology of marine fishes at HSU. Prior to attending graduate school, she was an educator and naturalist at Florida's Newfound Harbor Marine Institute, the Pilcher Park Nature Center in Joliet, IL, and the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

Ed BowlbyEd Bowlby
Marine Biologist
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, NOAA

Ed Bowlby is a marine biologist and the research coordinator for NOAA’s Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. He will assist with ROV (remotely operated vehicle) operations and assess how the same operations could be used in the sanctuary’s submarine canyons. In his current position, he helps coordinate diverse research projects on plankton, fish, intertidal and subtidal surveys for macroinvertebrates and macroalgae, benthic collections, canopy kelp mapping, and at-sea surveys of marine wildlife. He has been the chief scientist for multidisciplinary research cruises off the coast of Washington, and has participated in several submersible research programs in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. He has also participated in various research investigations in the Arctic, Antarctic, and tropical Pacific. Mr. Bowlby became enthralled with marine biology and ocean exploration while watching Jacques Cousteau films during his boyhood in Oklahoma. He moved to the West Coast for his university education, and holds a master's of science from Humboldt University.

Mary Sue BrancatoMary Sue Brancato
Marine Biologist/Toxicologist
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, NOAA

Ms. Brancato is a marine biologist and toxicologist for NOAA's Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. She will assist with ROV (remotely operated vehicle) operations and assess how the same operations could be used in the sanctuary’s submarine canyons. She has 18 years' experience studying the fate of chemicals in the aquatic environment and their effects on aquatic life, and is enjoying working in the realm of benthic ecology in relatively pristine environments. Her work for the sanctuary involves invasive species, water quality, contaminant issues, and recovery monitoring from physical disturbances. She has been involved in several submersible projects in the sanctuary.

Richard D. Brodeur, PhDRichard D. Brodeur
Fisheries Oceanographer
Northwest Science Fisheries Center, NOAA
Principal Investigator, Lewis and Clark Legacy

Ric Brodeur specializes in pelagic ecosystems and the interactions between zooplankton and fish, and has conducted research in the North Pacific Ocean from Southern California to the Bering Sea. He is currently a fisheries oceanographer with NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service in Newport, Oregon, and is an adjunct faculty member of both Oregon State University and the University of Washington. Dr. Brodeur has participated in numerous research cruises, using acoustics to study plankton and nekton distribution and behavior. He is interested in examining the onshore advection of oceanic zooplankton and micronekton, and their consumption by demersal fishes, in the Astoria Canyon.

julia e.r. clemonsJulia E. R. Clemons
Research Assistant
Habitat Group, Northwest Fisheries Science Center
National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA

Julia Clemons' career as a marine geologist has spanned 10 years and includes 12 research expeditions. She specializes in sea-floor data processing, illustration design and image processing. For the Astoria Canyon Exploration, she will assist with data logging of sea-floor video observations, including habitat types and fish identification, as well as data processing to create maps of the areas that are explored. She will also compile a cruise report summarizing the cruise's operations. Ms. Clemons received a BS in geological oceanography in 1993, and began working for Bob Embley and the NOAA Vents group studying volcanic eruptions on the Juan de Fuca Ridge. She left to pursue her MS in geology from Vanderbilt University, then returned to the West Coast, where she works for Waldo Wakefield and the NW Fisheries Science Center in the Rockfish Habitat group.

Robert Dziak, PhDRobert Dziak
Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL), NOAA

Bob Dziak holds a BS in geophysics from the University of Illinois and a PhD in geophysics from Oregon State University. He is currently working with NOAA/PMEL in Newport, OR, as chief seismologist in charge of monitoring volcanic activity off the Pacific Northwest coast. He also has a joint appointment with Oregon State University, where he is an assistant professor. He has participated in several oceanographic research cruises, and two submersible dives, in various parts of the Pacific Ocean. In 2000, he received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for his work on detecting sea-floor volcanic activity.

Gordon Hendler, PhDChris Goldfinger
Associate Professor
College of Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences
Oregon State University

Chris Goldfinger is a marine geologist and geophysicist with interests in great subduction earthquakes and the structural geology of the Cascadia margin. He has gained experience with submersibles, sidescan sonar, seismic reflection, and other marine geophysical tools on more than 25 oceanographic cruises during the last 10 years. He is currently studying groundfish habitat issues in the Pacific Northwest, as well as great earthquakes along the Cascadia coast, and the evidence for them in deep-sea sediments.

Gordon Hendler, PhDGordon Hendler
Invertebrate Zoologist
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Dr. Hendler's specialty is Phylum Echinodermata, which includes species such as sea stars, sea urchins, and their allies. He is particularly interested in brittle stars, which inhabit every ocean, from tide pools to deep-sea trenches. He has studied and published extensively on their biology, ecology, behavior, development, and taxonomy during a career that has taken him around the globe. Dr. Hendler will identify the echinoderms and other deep-water invertebrates found during the expedition. Some of these invertebrates may be new to science, and all invertebrate specimens collected from Astoria Canyon will be permanently housed at the Natural History Museum.

photo of Richard HillRichard Hill
Science Writer
The Oregonian

Richard Hill has been a science writer for The Oregonian newspaper for nearly 14 years. He writes primarily for the popular weekly "Science" section. He holds a BA in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining The Oregonian as an editor in 1976, he worked as a reporter and editor at The Dallas Times Herald in Texas and The Christian Science Monitor in Boston. In the past year, he received media fellowships to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Knight Science Journalism Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He recently received the first David Perlman Award for Science Reporting from the American Geophysical Union, and also won the C.B. Blethen Memorial Award for Distinguished Reporting. He has written numerous articles about research ranging from subduction-zone earthquakes and tsunamis to the monitoring of sea-floor volcanoes and whale migrations.

susan merleSusan G. Merle
Geological Research Assistant
CIMRS Program, Oregon State University
Vents Program, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, NOAA

Susan Merle has worked with Bob Embley at Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport Oregon for four years. She specializes in seafloor imaging, including cartography, sidescan and backscatter processing, three-dimensional rendering of ocean features, and their geological interpretation. She graduated in 1993 from University of Washington with a BS degree in Oceanography, emphasizing marine geology and geophysics. Previous to her work at Hatfield she worked for five years in the seafloor survey industry. She has participated in over thirty oceanographic expeditions in the past ten years. On the Ocean Exploration cruises she will also be assisting with the web pages and navigation processing.

Jackie Popp NoskovJacqueline Popp-Noskov
Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies
Acoustics, Oregon State University

As a bioacoustician for the Astoria Canyon Ocean Exploration program, Jacqueline Popp-Noskov will use high-frequency acoustics to study the pelagic and demersal nekton and zooplankton communities. She was introduced to bioacoustical oceanography and the visualization of scientific data at Cornell University in 1993. Since then, she has applied these methods to other research projects. Past collaborators have included personnel from the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, the University of California at Santa Cruz and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. She has participated in numerous cruises in the North Atlantic, Northeast Pacific, and Southern Oceans using acoustics to study the ecology of zooplankton, nekton and marine mammals. Currently, she is working at Oregon State University in association with the Northwest Fisheries Science Center.

brian tissotBrian N. Tissot
Marine Ecologist and Associate Professor of Environmental Science
Washington State University, Vancouver

Dr. Tissot is interested in invertebrate ecology and the importance of biophysical habitat to commercially important fishes. He is currently working on a variety of projects, ranging from the effectiveness of marine reserves to manage reef fish in Hawaii to the importance of invertebrates and habitat to groundfish on the Oregon continental shelf. Through collaboration with state, federal and international agencies, he is involved in a range of activities, including basic research, resource management, and environmental policy. He got his start in marine biology through surfing and scuba diving, and has logged more than 500 dives throughout the temperate and tropical Pacific Rim. In addition, he has participated in eight research cruises involving submersibles.

Kae Lynne YamanakaKae Lynne Yamanaka
Fisheries Biologist
Pacific Biological Station

After compleing her master's thesis on the yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) in the tropical Western Pacific, Ms. Yamanaka dove to the opposite end of the fish spectrum and began working on groundfish stock assessments in Nanaimo, British Columbia. Her research has focused on stock assessment of quillback (Sebastes maliger) and yelloweye (S. ruberrimus) rockfishes. She was the chief scientist on a 2000 cruise to survey the ocean environment and benthic rockfishes of Bowie Seamount and the Gwaii Haanas area of the Queen Charlotte Islands.

Mary YoklavichMary Yoklavich
Research Fishery Biologist
Santa Cruz Laboratory
Southwest Fisheries Science Center
National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA

Mary Yoklavich leads the Habitat Ecology Team of NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service at the new Santa Cruz Laboratory. She has conducted research from California to Alaska on a variety of biological topics in marine fisheries, and, with more than 45 scientific publications, is known for her research on the reproduction, age, growth, and habitat assessments of West Coast groundfishes. She was recently named a distinguished fellow in science and technology at California State University at Monterey Bay for her contributions and service to the university and Monterey Bay community. She received both NOAA's 1998 Bronze Medal and the 1998 Award for Science and Research from the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary for her innovative research to characterize deep-water habitats and fish assemblages. Ms. Yoklavich's research efforts have particular relevance to resource conservation through marine protected areas. She has applied her studies of deep-water habitats to de facto marine refugia in the heads of submarine canyons, as well as in, and adjacent to, the Big Creek Ecological Reserve on California's Big Sur coast.


Sign up for the Ocean Explorer E-mail Update List.