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 Eric Johnson
Executive Officer/Mate: LCDR Fionna Matheson
Medical Officer: CDR Randy Collins
Operations Officer: LT Rosemary Abbitt
Environmental Compliance Officer: ENS Brianna Pacheco
Safety Officer: ENS Anna Hallingstad
Junior Officer: ENS Brian Caldwell
Third Mate: Scott Riley



Chief Engineer: Vincent Palazzolo
1st Assistant Engineer: Ricardo Gabona
3rd Assistant Engineer: Warren Taylor
Engine Utilityman: (vacant)
Junior Unlicensed Engineer: Pedro Lebron, Jr.
General Vessel Assistant: Christian Lebron



Chief Boatswain: Jerrod Hozendorf
Able-Bodied Seaman: Michael Collins
Able-Bodied Seaman: James Scott
Able-Bodied Seaman: (vacant)
Able-Bodied Seaman: (vacant)
General Vessel Assistant: Sidney Dunn
General Vessel Assistant: Eli Pacheco



Senior Survey Technician: Charlie Wilkins



Chief Steward: Michael Sapien
Chief Cook: Rainier Capati
2nd Cook: William Johnson


Electronic Technicians

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


Mission Personnel

Operations and Managment

Program Manager: Craig Russell
Expeditions Manager: Kelley Elliott



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)



Website Manager: Emily Crum (CNSP)


Public Affairs

Public Affairs Officer: Katie Wagner (CollabraLink Technologies, Inc.)



Education Program Manager: Susan Haynes