Sustainable Seas 2002 Explorers

Sylvia A. Earle
Chief Scientist/Pilot NGS

Sylvia A. Earle is an oceanographer with an outstanding background:

From 1980 to 1984, she served on the President's Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere (1980-84). In 1990 she was appointed as Chief Scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where she served until 1992. In 1992, she founded Deep Ocean Exploration and Research (DOER), to design, operate, support, and consult on occupied and robotic subsea systems. Dr. Earle is presently Chair of DOER and an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. She is an adjunct scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), a Director of Kerr-McGee Inc., and serves on the boards, foundations and committees of the World Resources Institute, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, World Environment Center, University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, Duke University Marine Laboratory, Lindbergh Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Center for Marine Conservation, among others. Dr. Earle has led more than 50 expeditions and has spent more than 6,000 hours underwater. She led the first team of women aquanauts during the Tektite Project in 1970 and holds a depth record for solo diving (1,000 meters). Author of more than 100 publications concerning marine science and technology, she has participated in numerous television productions and given scientific, technical and general interest lectures in more than 60 countries

Ian Griffith
Operations Manager/Dive Supervisor, NUYTCO

Ian Griffith is the Operations Manager and Diving Supervisor for NUYTCO Research Ltd and is based in Alameda, California, with Deep Ocean Exploration and Research (DOER Marine) where he is involved in the design and operation of subsea robotics and su bmersible systems. Mr. Griffith has been active in the commercial diving industry for the past 15 years and spent six years working as the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) supervisor for Aquatic Sciences prior to joining DOER. He has been working with the Sustainable Seas Expeditions for the past five years and has trained more than 100 scientists to use the DeepWorker submersible. Mr. Griffith has also worked with the BBC using the DeepWorker submersible in the Quest for the Giant Squid program. He also has worked with 60 Minutes and Oceaneering Inc. to search for and recover German artifacts from World War II off the coast of Austria. Last year, Mr. Griffith worked in Palau with the coral reef research group of the National Cancer Center surveying for potential pharmaceutical compounds. During the 2002 Sustainable Seas Expeditions, he will be the field operations manager. He will coordinate field operations and will serve as Diving Supervisor for the DeepWorker and DeepRover submersibles.

Jeff Heaton
Supervisor, NUYTCO

Jeff Heaton is the dive supervisor and lead submersible pilot for NUYTCO Research Ltd. Jeff has a BSC in marine biology from the University of British Columbia where he majored in aquaculture. Jeff has been with NUYTCO for eight years and has worked as a commercial diver for the past 20 years. During his time as a submersible pilot, Jeff has worked with a variety of organizations, including the U.S. Navy, where he assisted with the repositioning of subsea acoustic listening beacons. He also has worked with the U.S. Coast Guard, where he used the Aquarius submersible to survey the wreck of the freighter Jacob Lucenbah, sunk off the coast of San Fransisco. Mr. Heaton has conducted submersible operations for NASA to recover solid rocket boosters jettisoned from the Space Shuttle after launch. He has also conducted submersible operations for a variety of media organizations, including the BBC and Discovery Channel during the Quest for the Giant Squid program, and National Geographic during the past four years of the Sustainable Seas Expeditions. During the 2002 Sustainable Seas Expeditions, Mr. Heaton will be the diving supervisor. He will be responsible for submersible maintenance and the safe operation of all dives.

Douglas Bishop
Supervisor, NUYTCO

Doug Bishop is a dive supervisor for NUYTCO Research Ltd. and works primarily with the DeepWorker submersible. For the past 18 years, Mr. Bishop has worked with Phil Nuytten, Can-Dive, International Hard Suits and associated companies in the commercial diving industry. Doug has expertise in mixed gas and atmospheric diving, ROV operation, and underwater construction, and has worked in the oil fields of the Canadian Arctic and Canadian east coast, Brazil, Trinidad and West Africa. In 1997, Mr. Bishop worked with cinematographer Wes Stiles and National Geographic near Hornby Island north of Vancouver, BC, to capture the first underwater footage of the six-gill shark. During the 2002 Sustainable Seas Expeditions, he will work alongside Jeff Heaton as dive supervisor, and will be responsible for submersible maintenance and the safe operation of DeepWorker and DeepRover.

Sasha LeBaron
Technician, NUYTCO

Sasha Lebaron provides offshore operations support for NUYTCO including navigation, communications, and tracking support, pilot training assistance, and submersible maintenance and repair. When not offshore, Mr. LeBaron is involved with sales and marketing for NUYTCO and aids in research and manufacturing. He has extensive experience in mechanical engineering and heavy equipment operation, sales and marketing, small business ownership, and expedition support. Although Mr. LeBaron's formal education is in sales and marketing, he has been working in the construction industry since the age of twelve and quickly gained experience in carpentry, engine repair, and mechanical and electrical engineering. During the 2002 Sustainable Seas Expeditions, he will be the communications, tracking, and navigation officer, keeping track of DeepWorker and DeepRover and communicating with and guiding the pilots during submersible operations.

Kip Evans
Chief Photographer/Pilot, NGS

Kip Evans is the chief photographer for National Geographic on the Sustainable Seas Expeditions. His primary duties include underwater and shipboard documentation, deep-water camera systems, training for SSE pilots and interfacing with the media to promote new discoveries using imagery collected during each mission. Kip graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara, with a degree in Environmental/Marine Studies. As a photographer and scientist, Kip has participated in similar expeditions dating back to the late 1980s.

Gale Mead
Data Manager/Pilot, NGS

Gale Mead serves SSE as a data manager, project historian, video editor, writer, and occasional photographer and submersible pilot. Working under the auspices of National Geographic, Ms. Mead has logged more than 100 hours of submersible time, with an emphasis on videography and sample collection. Since 1974, she has participated in research expeditions in China, the Galapagos Islands, Australia, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Greece, Mexico, Belize, American Samoa, and throughout the coastal United States. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Pitzer College in 1990, and her Masters degree from Washington State University in 1995. She currently serves on the San Diego Oceans Foundation Board of Directors, and represents the Giles & Elise Mead Foundation in her work with the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity Marine Conservation Workgroup.

Doug Weaver
Expedition Scientist/Pilot, USGS

Doug Weaver is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences at the University of Florida, and is a biologist with the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Mr. Weaver has expertise in reef fish biology, particularly in those species that inhabit deep-water reef communities in the Florida Keys and Gulf of Mexico. He has experience conducting a variety of coral reef surveys and in mapping both shallow and deep-water coral and hardbottom communities. Mr. Weaver also is adept in the field of computer graphics and digital video and will be assisting with image production and video analysis for the 2002 Sustainable Seas Expeditions. During the expedition, he will be using the DeepWorker submersible to explore and characterize the deep-water communities of the southern regions of the Tortugas Ecological Reserve, especially the deep-water habitats surrounding Miller's Ledge and Riley's Hump. Mr. Weaver also will be exploring deep water regions and pinnacles off the coast of Mississippi and Alabama and in the northwestern regions of the Gulf of Mexico.

Benjamin Richards
Expedition Scientist/Data Manager/Pilot, NOAA/FKNMS

Ben Richards is a biologist for NOAA at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary in Marathon, Florida. Mr. Richards holds a B.A. in Marine Biology and Photography from Hampshire College (Amherst, MA), where he studied marine biology, tropical marine ecology, and fisheries policy. Mr. Richards completed his undergraduate thesis research with the University of Washington, working at the Friday Harbor Marine Laboratory where he spent time studying the effects of marine protected areas on populations of Rockfish in the northern regions of Pugett Sound. He has also spent time at the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort, NC, and at the Bermuda Biological Station. Since arriving at the Sanctuary, he has been involved in the coordination of the Sanctuary's Research and Monitoring Program, has taken part in a variety of fisheries studies, and has spearheaded a study examining the effects of marine protected areas on fish and invertebrate populations targeted by the aquarium industry. When not in the water counting fish, Mr. Richards is responsible for the development and maintenance of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Web site and also maintains the Sanctuary's computer infrastructure. During this year's SSE cruise, he will be a DeepWorker pilot and will also be serving as the NOAA Ocean Service data manager and field web coordinator.

Lieutenant Commander Dave Score
NOAA Mission Coordinator Dry Tortugas and West Florida Shelf SSE

LCDR Dave Score is the Upper Region Manager for NOAA's Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS). LCDR Score was commissioned in the NOAA Corps in 1990 after receiving a B.S. degree in marine biology from the Florida Institute of Technology. During the past twelve years with NOAA, he has served on the NOAA Ship Miller Freeman conducting fisheries research in Alaska, and most recently as the operations and executive officer aboard the NOAA Ship Ferrel. As the executive officer (first mate) on the NOAA Ship Ferrel during the first year of the Sustainable Seas Expedition, he often served as the support swimmer when not operating the ship. He also has worked in various capacities at three NMS sites on a full-time basis and has supported research projects at four others during his tenure with NOAA. Prior to coming to FKNMS, Dave worked as the research coordinator for Channel Islands NMS and the assistant manager at Gray's Reef NMS. While with Gray's Reef NMS, he enrolled at Georgia Southern University and has completed the coursework for an M.S. degree in biology. His thesis topic is geared towards characterizing the reef fish community and evaluating monitoring techniques at Gray's Reef. During his time aboard the NOAA Ship Ferrel, he coordinated several research projects with the Stellwagen Bank, Monitor, Gray's Reef, Florida Keys, and Flower Garden Banks NMS sites.

Graham Grosvenor
Intern, NGS

Graham Grosvenor is an intern with the National Geographic Society and will be assisting expedition scientists and staff with a variety of duties throughout the expedition. Mr. Grosvenor is currently a junior at Elon University in Burlington, NC, where he is completing a double major in Political Science and Public Administration.

Jennifer Rainey
Intern, NGS

Jennifer Rainey is an intern with the National Geographic Society and will be assisting expedition scientists with a variety of duties throughout the 2002 Gulf of Mexico expedition. Ms. Rainey is currently a junior at Duke University completing an undergraduate program in marine biology at the Duke Marine Laboratory in Beaufort, NC. During the summer of 2001, she was part of a paleoanthropological dig with National Geographic and Dr. Lee Berger in South Africa.

Northern Gulf Participants

Haidee Williams

Haidee Williams is a Science Specialist for Region XIII Education Service Center (RESC XIII) in Austin, Texas. Haidee comes to us with a MS in Science Education and Curriculum from University of Houston. Haidee completed her undergraduate studies at Lamar University, in Beaumont, Texas. Haidee has also attended University of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas A&I, Barley University in Florida. All the courses were taken to satisfy a deep desire to know more about the Ocean and it’s environment. She was a classroom teacher for 17 years, the last 8 years teaching a marine science course. She was appointed by the Texas Commissioner of Education to serve on the Texas Environmental Education Advisory Council (TEEAC). TEEAC provides input and recommendations the Texas State Board of Education on issues involving environmental education in Texas. Since arriving at RESC XIII, Haidee has continued her involvement in environmental education. When not in the 63 schools districts providing training to science teachers, she is on the water working in the informal education environment. She trains scuba divers on fish identification, and volunteers as the Naturalist on Board on the Texas Flower Gardens Bank National Marine Sanctuary scuba trips. During this year's SSE cruise, Haidee will be a DeepWorker pilot and will also be serving as the ‘Teacher in the Sea’. Teacher in the Sea responsibilities include bringing her experiences and information collected on the mission to the classroom teachers and students.

Heidi Lydersen
Research Assistant

Heidi Lydersen is a volunteer for the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary; helping out on the research cruises, assisting in the long-term monitoring of Stetson Bank and otherwise helping with data management etc. Through her volunteer position for the FGBNMS she completed pilot training for the DeepWorker submersible and is hoping that the conditions will be favorable enough for her to get a sub-dive in. Heidi has worked as an underwater naturalist/scuba diving instructor in The Galapagos Islands for two years and before that a year in Honduras. She is currently working on an undergraduate degree in marine biology in British Columbia, Canada. Among her different duties on the Northern Gulf leg of SSE 2002 chase-boat captain seems to be Heidi’s favored title so far.

G.P. Schmahl
NOAA Mission Coordinator/Pilot

G.P. is the manager of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Prior to his current position at FGBNMS, he served as the Lower Keys regional manager for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary in Key West. He has worked for the National Park Service and the state of Florida. After earning a B.S. degree in marine biology at Florida State University, he went on to complete his masters at University of Georgia, where he studies sponges. GP has been involved with SSE since 1999, and hopes to document changes in fish populations of reefs and banks in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Of particlar interest are the aggregation sites of important fish species, such as grouper and snapper. Using the submersibles, GP hopes to explore and document the deeper levels of the Flower Garden Banks Sanctuary.

Emma Hickersen

Emma has been the Research Coordinator of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary since 1997. Prior to this, her interest in the Flower Garden Banks began during her graduate career at Texas A&M University - her Master's thesis project entailed capturing loggerhead sea turtles at the Sanctuary at depths of up to 90'. She used satellite tracking technology to determine the ranges of the resident animals. She also obtained a Bachelor's degree at Texas A&M University - as part of her degree she spent some time studying olive ridley sea turtles at Playa Nancite, Costa Rica. She was born in Sydney, Australia - moving to Texas in 1984. Emma has been involved in SSE since 1998. She hopes to use the data obtained during this year's mission to the Northern Gulf of Mexico topographic features (along with GP) to compare the biological assemblages present today, to assemblages documented during the late 1970's. She looks forward to continuing the deepwater investigations at the Flower Garden Banks using the DeepWorker 2000.

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