Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Greg McFall is the Chief Scientist on this research effort, and as such is responsible for the project's overall success. Greg has been the Research Coordinator for Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary since 2001. Greg offers a lifetime of extensive diving experience, as well as wealth of knowledge about marine ecology. Greg has a bachelor's degree in Biology from West Virginia University, and received his Masters of Marine Biology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Prior to working with the National Marine Sanctuary Program, Greg worked with the UNCW team at the National Undersea Research Center and with the Chemical Ecology laboratory.
Georgia Southern University
Danny Gleason is Professor and Associate Chair of Biology at Georgia Southern University. He received his B.S. degree in Biology from Furman University in 1980, and M.S. (1984) and PhD (1992) degrees, also in biology, from the University of Houston. He has conducted research in a variety of marine ecosystems, including salt marshes, coral reefs, and temperate hard-bottom reefs. A couple of highlights of his research career include a 2-year stint at the West Indies Laboratory in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands to study mechanisms by which Caribbean corals deal with environmental stress and living underwater for 10 days in the Aquarius Undersea habitat to initiate studies of the effects of ultraviolet radiation on coral bleaching. He has been conducting research in Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary since 2001, and currently serves on the advisory counsel for this sanctuary. Throughout his career, Danny has focused his research on the physiology and ecology of various species of marine invertebrates including shrimp, corals, and sponges. During this cruise he will continue ecological studies of non-mobile marine invertebrates, such as sponges, corals, and sea squirts, that encrust rocky areas and provide habitat for a wide range of species including fish and crustaceans.
Reef Environmental Education Foundation
Unlike many of the other members of the science crew, Dave is a volunteer - a recreational diver with an interest in marine science. He's involved with several organizations including an Advanced Assessment Team member of Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) in Key Largo FL, a Divemaster and Scientific Diver at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa FL, and an Animal Handler at Mote Marine Laboratory Dolphin and Whale Hospital in Sarasota FL. His formal educational background is business (a Bachelor's in Aeronautical Administration and an MBA). He spent his first 20 years after college in the Air Force serving as B-52 navigator/bombardier, headquarters staff officer, weapons test director, and finally as weapon safety analyst. Retiring from the military in '97, he moved to Florida and pursued his passion for diving and the ocean. His role aboard the Nancy Foster is to conduct underwater fish surveys and additional diving duties that may arise in support of the other researchers.
The University of Georgia
Scott Noakes is a Research Scientist at The University of Georgia Center for Applied Isotope Studies (CAIS). He received his B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from Mississippi State University in 1983 and M.S. (2000) and Ph.D. (2003) from The University of Georgia in Marine Science. He has been involved with paleontological and surficial geologic studies at Gray's Reef and surrounding areas for the past several years. His home department at UGA is involved with marine environmental surveys in estuarine and coastal regions and utilizes isotopic, elemental and organic analytes. CAIS also houses an accelerator mass spectrometer used in carbon dating organic-based samples such as shells and bone fragments, many of which have come from the Gray's Reef area. In addition to his work at CAIS-UGA, he is also the Director and Diving Safety Officer of the University System of Georgia Scientific Diving Program, an AAUS organizational member. Many of the divers currently doing research onboard the RV Nancy Foster are members of the USG dive program. NOAA has a reciprocal agreement with AAUS thus allowing these divers to dive off NOAA vessels as part of their research.