Explorers' Biographies

Thompson Bolmer
Laura Cottrell
Kyle Kingman
Tammie Middleton
Randy L. Ramey
James M. Robb
Dr. Peter Rona
Lisa M. Weiss

Other Explorers:

William Danforth, U.S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole Field Center

Thompson BolmerThompson Bolmer
Information Systems Associate, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Mr. Bolmer received his BA in geology in 1974 from Colby College in Maine. In 1976, he was a student in the Sea Semester program at the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole. In his current position as an information systems associate in the Geology Department at Woods Hole, he manages computer processing, programming, and logististics for a scientist who does synthetic seismic modeling for acoustics properties and seismic experiments at sea. Mr. Bolmer has participated in nearly 40 scientific cruises over the past 26 years. On this cruise, he will oversee the processing and analysis of multibeam data.

Laura CottrellLaura Cottrell
Student, Rutgers University

Laura Cottrell is working on an MS in marine and atmospheric sciences at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook. As a graduate student, she does research on the biogeochemical cycles of important trace gases in the ocean and atmosphere. Her thesis focuses on the biogeochemical cycle of methyl bromide, an ozone-destroying gas that has both natural and manmade sources in the environment. On this cruise, Ms. Cottrell will assist Dr. Mary Scranton of SUNY Stony Brook in obtaining water samples for methane analysis. These samples will help to identify locations in the Hudson Canyon where methane may be seeping out of sediments.

Kyle KingmanKyle Kingman
Student, Rutgers University

Kyle Kingman is a senior studying marine geology at Rutgers University . He hopes to further his education next year by attending graduate school. His career goals are to further the world's understanding and use of the oceans, to find new ways of using the oceans' vast and valuable natural resources with a high priority on conservation, and to educate others about the myriad opportunities and the world of discovery available through marine science.

Tammie KingmanTammie Middleton
GIS Specialist, U.S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole Field Center

Ms. Middleton currently lives and works in Woods Hole, MA. She has worked for the U.S. Geological Survey as a marine geographic information systems (GIS) specialist for nearly 4 yrs. Her research interests include map publication, multibeam imagery, benthic habitats, and the use of GIS in marine geology. She is also interested in coastal management and processes. On this expedition, she looks forward to learning more about the collection and processing of multibeam data at sea.

Randy L. RameyRandy L. Ramey

Randy Ramey attended the University of Texas at Arlington, interrupting his education in 1969 to join the U.S. Marine Corps, where he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in 1970. Following active duty, he continued his military career in the USMC Reserve, retiring in 1990 after 20 years of service. After receiving his BS in finance from San Diego State University in 1976, he returned to Texas and worked as a stockbroker until his retirement in 1999. Mr. Ramey is currently a survey technician trainee aboard NOAA research vessels. This is his role during the Hudson Canyon cruise. He is also writing a book about his recent trip around the world on a commercial freighter.

James M. RobbJames M. Robb
Marine Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Woods Hole Field Center

Mr. Robb is a marine geologist at the USGS Woods Hole Field Center. He has long been interested in geomorphology of the continental slope and rise off the easterm United States, and in the geologic processes and history that submarine topography reveals. He participated in a NOAA-NURP study of "Ocean Dumpsite 106" on the continental rise off New York and New Jersey, where he mapped the area's bathymetry and studied bottom features with sidescan sonar, video, and dives aboard the manned submersible Alvin.

Dr. Peter RonaDr. Peter Rona
Marine Geologist-Rutgers University

Dr. Rona, who received his PhD from Yale University, is a geology professor at Rutgers University. His research interests include sea-floor hydrothermal systems, ocean ridge processes, the geology of Atlantic continental margins, and the genesis of sea-floor mineral and energy resources. His research program on sea-floor hydrothermal systems involves the development and application of innovative sonar techniques on deep-diving research submersibles such as Alvin. On this expedition, he will focus on the continental margin of New Jersey near the Hudson Canyon. He is an expert on the formation of large-scale sea-floor features, such as continental slope slumps and canyons, and is working on the hypothesis that a massive slump feature near the Hudson Canyon was created by the meltdown of a massive gas-hydrate bed under the slope during a previous low-sea-level era.

Lisa WeissLisa M. Weiss
Watershed Coordinator, Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve

Ms. Weiss is the watershed coordinator for the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve in Tuckerton, NJ. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in December 2001 with an MS in marine science, after completing her thesis investigating the role played by chemical defenses in the evolution of file clams’ shell morphologies. As the watershed coordinator, Ms. Weiss' duties include assembling workshops for coastal decisionmakers to keep them abreast of research conducted in the reserve, as well as the competing uses of New Jersey’s coastal zone and the impacts that their decisions have on watershed quality. As the Web coordinator/educator for the Hudson Canyon Expedition, she is the liaison between the public following the expedition's progress and the research conducted aboard the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown -- a state-of-the-art oceanographic research platform, and the largest vessel in the NOAA fleet.

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