NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer: Meet the Team

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer is operated by the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps and civilians as part of NOAA's fleet managed by NOAA's Office of Marine and Aviation. Mission equipment is operated by NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration and Research.


Operations Personnel


Commanding Officer: CDR Nicole Manning
Executive Officer: LCDR Bart Buesseler
Medical Officer: LCDR Peter Choi
Operations Officer: LT Bryan Pestone
Environmental Compliance Officer: ENS Abby Letts
Safety Officer: ENS Thomas Cervone and ENS Anthony Zoller
DP OPS Officer: ENS Kevin Tarazona
Junior Officer: ENS Austin Gearty



Chief Engineer: Vincent Palazzolo
1st Assistant Engineer: Ricardo Gabona
2nd Assistant Engineer: Warren Taylor
Engine Utilityman: William Rougeux
Junior Unlicensed Engineer: Pedro Lebron, Jr.
General Vessel Assistant: Christian Lebron



Chief Boatswain: Jerrod Hozendorf
Boatswain Group Leader: Michael Collins
Able-Bodied Seaman: James Scott
Able-Bodied Seaman: Peter Brill
Able-Bodied Seaman: AB Keith Foster
General Vessel Assistant: Sidney Dunn
General Vessel Assistant: Eli Pacheco



Senior Survey Technician: Charlie Wilkins



Chief Steward: Patrick Fennell
Chief Cook: Rainier Capati
2nd Cook: Joel Wilson


Electronic Technicians

Chief Electronics Technician: David Blessing
Chief Electronics Technician: Michael Peperato


Mission Personnel

Operations and Managment

Expeditions Manager: Kelley Elliott



Physical Scientist: Shannon Hoy (CNSP)
Physical Scientist: Meme Lobecker (CNSP)
Physical Scientist: Mashkoor Malik
Physical Scientist: Derek Sowers (CNSP)
Physical Scientist: Michael White (CNSP)



Underwater Systems Engineer: Dave Lovalvo (Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration)


Data Management

Data Management Leader: Sharon Mesick
Data Manager: Susan Gottfried (General Dynamics Information Technology)