Keith E. Borden is a Network Specialist at Savannah College of Art and Design. Keith has done most of his SCUBA diving in Brainerd, Minnesota in the Cyuna iron ore mine range. He enjoys volunteering his time with NOAA as a Diver.
Catherine J. Carroll Savannah State University
Catherine J. Carroll is a graduate student at Savannah State University working on a Master of Science in Marine Sciences and is also interning at Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. CJ's thesis project is using the acoustic project data to determine the resident times of snapper and grouper species inside of Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. She graduated from the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Fla in 2008 with a Bachelors of Science in Marine Biology. Her undergraduate work consisted of studying organisms in central and south Florida, as a part of the efforts to restore and conserve the Florida Everglades. She has been a certified SCUBA diver since 1999.
Ryan Chabot University of Central Florida
Ryan M. Chabot is a rising senior at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida majoring in Environmental Studies with a minor in Biology. Ryan has always had a great love of the ocean and all marine life. He made his first trip to the Florida Keys when he was 6 months old, was snorkeling by the age of 4, and is now a PADI certified diver. Ryan has volunteered for many environmental projects over the years including lake clean up, removal of invasive species and shoreline restoration. He volunteered at the Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys during Spring Break 2009. As a recipient of UCF's President's Scholars Award, he studied abroad in St. Kitts and Nevis in the summer of 2009. Ryan is also the 2010 President of the UCF Club Tennis team which was awarded the 2009 National Club Team of the Year by the USTA. In addition to crewing on the NOAA R/V Sam Gray for the Gray's Reef Acoustic Fish Tagging Project, Ryan will be aboard the Lady Lisa in June assisting the South Carolina DNR with their turtle tagging project.
Paul Chetirkin Videographer/Working Diver/Editor Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Paul Chetirkin helps to spread the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries' message by producing outreach videos. As a certified NOAA Working Diver, and underwater videographer, his job takes him to many interesting places above and below the surface. As Multimedia Coordinator, he works with NMSP staff on a range of products highlighting the diverse work at the Sanctuary Program. Paul was born in San Francisco and has lived primarily in Florida and California. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in History & Russian Studies from the University of Central Florida and a Master's Degree in International Environmental Policy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. His focus was on coral reef biodiversity studies and marine protected areas. Paul grew up tide pooling along Monterey Bay's coast, volunteering at the Florida Keys Sanctuary, and diving for many years in the Monterey and Keys Sanctuaries. Prior to coming to the National Marine Sanctuary Program, Paul worked in non-profit for animal and environmental awareness.
Devin Dumont University of Georgia Marine Extension Service - Marine Education Center and Aquarium
Devin Dumont with being inspired by his parents, family beach days, fishing trips, and Jacques Cousteau film documentaries, he has always been fascinated by the ocean and its wonders. His interests led him to earn a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from the College of Charleston. After earning several SCUBA certifications, he gained experience as an environmental educator at the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension-Burton 4-H Center on Tybee Island, Ga where he taught groups of people about coastal ecosystems and wildlife found along the southeastern US. Eager to learn research skills for fisheries management and conservation, he enrolled in a graduate program at Savannah State University where he will achieve a Master of Science in Marine Science in December of 2009. he was very fortunate to have conducted shark research with Dr. Carolyn Belcher of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources-Coastal Resource Division for his master's thesis. While attending Savannah State, he began volunteering at the University of Georgia Marine Extension Service - Marine Education Center and Aquarium, which is how he sought the opportunity to become Curator of the aquarium in December of 2008.
Sarah Fangman Co-Chief Scientist
Sarah Fangman is the Co-Chief Scientist on this research effort, and as such is
responsible for the project's overall success. She is the Associate Science Coordinator for the Southeast Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Region and works out of the Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary headquarters. Originally from Minneapolis, Minn, Sarah moved to Vermont to complete her Bachelors of Science in Environmental Studies and Biology at Middlebury College. She completed her Master of Science in Marine Affairs at the University of Washington in Seattle, Wash. During the completion of her Masters, Sarah had an internship with NOAA and then was awarded a place in NOAA's Presidential Management Fellowship Program. She has worked with NOAA ever since. She is also a NOAA Advanced Working Diver and Divemaster, and has been a certified diver since college.
Dawn Franco Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Dawn Franco earned a B.S. in Biology in 2002 from Old Dominion University in Norfolk VA. She worked as a Lab Technician, in the Age and Growth Lab, for the Center for Quantitative Fisheries Ecology in Norfolk, VA from 2002 to 2004. She is currently working with the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Coastal Resources Division. She hopes to further her education by pursuing a Masters Degree, focusing on fisheries science, in the near future.
Patrick Geer Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Patrick Geer is the Research and Survey Program Supervisor of Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Coastal Resources Division. He received his B.S. in Biology from the State University of New York at Oswego and his M.S. in Biological Oceanography from Old Dominion University. He's worked at CRD since 2002 supervising many of the fishery independent and dependent surveys and projects. Prior to joining CRD, he spent 14 years at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary as principal investigator of their juvenile monitoring surveys.
Dave Grenda American Academy Of Underwater Sciences
Dave is an American Academy Of Underwater Sciences scientific diver who started out as a recreational diver with an interest in marine science. 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. He immediately sought out volunteering options that aligned with his desires. He started down his citizen scientist path as a volunteer diver and then Divemaster at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, Fla. Local aquaria, zoos, and universities are excellent gateways to get involved in science. His diving at the Florida Aquarium spring boarded to further involvement with other organizations and research efforts - NOAA, National Park Service, Cayman Department Of The Environment, and various universities. He became a member of the Advanced Assessment Team of Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) in Key Largo, Fla, and an Animal Handler at Mote Marine Laboratory Dolphin and Whale Hospital in Sarasota, Fla. He's participated on several research efforts including underwater archaeology (Paleolithic Indian sites and civil war shipwrecks), grouper tagging, snapper spawning, animal collection, coral spawning/restoration, and Aquarius Underwater Habitat support. One organization that specifically caught his attention was REEF. As a member of REEF, he conducts fish population surveys during his recreational diving. REEF is a grass-roots non-profit organization made up of volunteer divers. Divers note on an underwater slate what fish species they see during their dive. After surfacing, the diver submits that data online to REEF's central database. The data allows scientists and decision makers to monitor fish populations in the oceans around the US. Any recreational diver can become a member of REEF after some quick initial training. It's a way to "give back" and at the same time enhance the dive experience. When a REEF volunteer achieves expert status, he can join the Advanced Assessment Team and possibly participate in special research efforts like the Nancy Foster. Learn more about REEF and becoming a Citizen Scientist by visiting www.reef.org
Jeff Hart Team Ocean
Jeff Hart joined the Team Ocean group at its inception in 2008. Originally a native of Cleveland, Ohio, Jeff moved to Savannah, GA in 2005 from Oklahoma City, OK, where he received his original dive training in the lakes of Oklahoma and Texas. Prior to Team Ocean, Jeff worked as a volunteer diver at the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, SC. He currently works in the aerospace industry as a Flight Dispatcher.
Matt Hinman Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Matt Hinman is currently working for Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Coastal Resources Division, as a long-line technician. This is Matt's third year working on this project and he enjoys every minute of it. Matt reports that he is amazed every time he venture offshore at the incredible things that are out there. Matt will never a pass up an opportunity to drop a hook in the water!
Karin M Iuzzolino-Paquin The University of Georgia Marine Extension Service
Karin M Iuzzolino-Paquin is the assistant curator at the University of Georgia Marine Extension Service on Skidaway Island in Savannah, GA. In her current role she provides husbandry and tank maintenance for the resident marine animals, develops and implements Saturday public programs, and is part of the new PR/marketing campaign to get the word out that Savannah has an aquarium out on Skidaway Island. Karin graduated from the University of New England in 2007 with her Bachelors of Science degree in Marine Biology. She spent two-and-a-half years during her undergraduate studies developing and implementing curriculum-based informal marine science program for the Marine Animal Rehabilitation and Research Education Center at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine, while also rehabilitating seals, sea turtle, and harbor porpoises. During this time she also assisted a scientist from Bigelow Laboratories for the Ocean Sciences in his lobster shell disease research. Before coming to the University of Georgia, Karin worked for The Pier Aquarium in St. Petersburg, Fl as a Marine Education and for the Sarasota Bay Explorers out of MOTE Marine Laboratories, giving educational tours of Sarasota Bay. In her spare time Karin is working on her Captains license and AAUS diving certification, she will begin her Masters of Education studies in September of 2010.
Gail Krueger GRNMS Outreach Coordinator
Gail is the outreach & communication coordinator for Gray's Reef. As a child, she spent many, many hours in the Shed Aquarium in Chicago and came to the conclusion that fish were pretty cool. Gail had a long career as an environmental journalist covering fresh water and marine issues among many other topics before joining the staff of Gray's Reef. She still thinks fish are pretty cool.
Shannon McAteer Team Ocean Science Diver
Shannon McAteer is a retired Army Special Operations helicopter pilot who flew UH-1 Huey, AH-1 Cobra and UH/MH-60 Direct Action Penetrator aircraft during a 22 year career. He has earned B.S and M.S. Degrees in Aeronautical Science and was recently accepted into a Ph.D. program studying in Public Policy and Administration. He currently works at the Georgia Ports Authority as a manager in crane maintenance. In his spare time he teaches technical and cave diving and is a member of Team Ocean. He is very excited about serving on this cruise and learning from the Master Greg "Papi" McFall.
Donna McDowell Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Donna McDowell is a level two Marine Technician at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources within the Coastal Resources Division. Since 2001, she has worked creel surveys, carcass recovery, and gill and trammel net surveys. Donna’s main duties include the management of the cooperative tagging program, lead technician on two longline projects investigating abundance of shark species and adult red drum in Georgia waters, collecting large trout otoliths from local fish tournaments on weekends, and during her down time, which is only three to four months from January through March, conducts fish ageing in the lab. She is also a certified scuba diver with many dives on the wrecks and reefs along Georgia and Florida and has participated in buoy maintenance and deployment. Donna completed her B.S. in Marine Science from Savannah State University in 2002 and is currently working on her Masters at SSU. Her thesis project will focus on one of Georgia’s most important recreational finfish, the southern kingfish or “whiting” as it is known locally. She has a passion and appreciation for the outdoors.
Greg McFall Co-Chief Scientist
Greg McFall is the Co-Chief Scientist for this cruise and Research Coordinator for Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary and as such, will be able to use the information from the tagging project to help answer management related questions pertaining to fishery resources. 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 Office of National Marine Sactuaries, Greg worked with the UNCW team at the National Undersea Research Center and with the Chemical Ecology laboratory.
LTJG Chad M. Meckley Vessel Operations Coordinator
LTJG Chad M. Meckley is a NOAA Corps Officer currently assigned to Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary as the Vessel Operations Coordinator. He joined the NOAA Corps in 2006 and, prior to his assignment at Gray's Reef, he was the Navigation Officer and an Officer of the Deck aboard the NOAA Ship ALBATROSS IV out of Woods Hole, Mass. Chad is a certified NOAA working diver, dive master, and medical person in charge. He hails from Reading, Pa. and received his Bachelors of Science degree in Geo/Environmental Studies from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. Chad is excited to be part of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and is looking forward to this and future expeditions.
Debbie Meeks Financial & IT Coordinator / Webmaster
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Debbie Meeks serves as Financial and IT Coordinator and Webmaster for Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. She joined the staff in June 2005. As Financial Coordinator, she is responsible for providing operations support for all financial operations of the organization, along with procurement, and monitoring of sub-awards. As IT Coordinator, Debbie is responsible for the maintenance and security of the work stations, server and network infrastructure in the Gray's Reef offices. As the Gray's Reef Webmaster, she is responsible for the design, development and maintenance of the organization's website. Debbie's prior information technology experience locally includes 15 years with Union Camp as a Systems Analyst and Project Manager and two years with H.O. Systems as a software developer for wireless communications. Debbie, who moved to Savannah in 1984, is a Georgia native. She holds a BBA in Finance and Banking/Accounting from Valdosta State University, a Microcomputer Specialist Degree from Savannah Technical College, and has completed work towards a MS in Computer Science. Debbie also has experience as an entrepreneur, having co-owned and managed The Monogram Place, a custom embroidery and monogram business/retail shop.
Scott Noakes 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 and M.S. and Ph.D. from The University of Georgia in Marine Science. He has been involved with ocean acidification/CO2 monitoring, 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 which allows these divers to dive off NOAA vessels as part of their research.
Jody Patterson GRNMS Administrative Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator
Joining GRNMS in February 2009 as an administrative volunteer, Jody's ambition is to encourage environmental conservation through increased community involvement in our conservation efforts. A native of SC and recent transplant from Atlanta, her background is in workers compensation insurance and accounting; however she decided a pursuit of one of her life's passions in environmental conservation was a more worthwhile calling. Jody is an organic gardener, naturalist and community volunteer for numerous local organizations. She began working for Gray's Reef in June 2009 as the Administrative Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator and has since begun development of multiple volunteer programs aimed at increasing community involvement and support for our conservation objectives. She also manages our administrative office, supports all aspects of our programs, coordinates travel and public events, and smiles frequently because she loves her job.
Todd Recicar Vessel Captain for Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Todd Recicar is the Vessel Captain for Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. He started full time with Gray's Reef in June of 2007. After receiving a BS in Biology at Florida State University, he completed two Marine Education Internships; one at Newfound Harbor Marine Institute in Big Pine Key, Florida and the second at the University of Georgia's Marine Education Center and Aquarium in Savannah. After the completion of these internships, he worked as a research technician at the University of Georgia's Shellfish Research Laboratory in 1999. Prior to becoming a Gray's Reef employee he worked for 5 1/2 years as second mate on the 92 foot Research Vessel Savannah which is operated by the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. Todd is a NOAA Working Diver and carries a 100GT USCG license.
Eric Robillard Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division
Eric Robillard supervises, administers, directs, and coordinates all activities associated with the Fishery Independent Unit (FIU) of the Research and Surveys Program (RSP) with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division (CRD). He also serves as Diving Safety Officer, Instructor, and chairman of CRD Dive Committee. Eric has a bachelor's degree in Biology from Eckerd College, and received his Masters of Oceanography from Old Dominion University.
Randy Rudd Team Ocean Science Diver
Randy joined Team Ocean this year (2010). Randy has been a resident of Savannah, Georgia for 34 years. He retired from the Savannah-Chatham County School System after 26 years as a School Social Worker. His diving experiences began in the mid 1960's in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Fla. His official diving certification came in 2003, and he has pursued subsequent certifications. Randy is an avid underwater photographer and believes in documenting undersea life. Being retired gives Randy the chance to support NOAA's underwater research efforts.
Superintendent, Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Since obtaining a Ph.D. in Marine Science from the College of William and Mary, George has conducted research on hard bottom reefs off the southeastern U.S., including Gray's Reef, on Marine Protected Areas in Belize and Madeira, and on population biology of fishes from the North and South Atlantic, Caribbean Sea, Mediterranean Sea and the western South Pacific. He has served on the Marine Protected Areas Advisory Panel and the Snapper/Grouper Assessment Panel of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, on the U.S. National Committee for the Census of Marine Life, and several additional scientific, advisory and education committees. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the College of Charleston, the University of South Carolina, the University of New England and the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. He has authored over 80 scientific publications on marine fishes and ecosystems.
Mitchell Tartt Marine Ecologist
Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Mitchell Tartt is a marine ecologist and diving supervisor for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS). He earned his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Colorado in 1991, and his Masters of Science in Marine Ecology from the University of Maryland in 1998. He is stationed in Maryland at the ONMS National office where he focuses his work on supporting all aspects of the ONMS Conservation Science Program. Mitchell also serves as the National Diving Coordinator for the ONMS and works to develop and implement dive programs that support the ONMS mission in ocean conservation.
Matthew Taylor NOAA Hollings Scholar
Matthew Taylor is an undergraduate student at Georgia Tech studying biology. His interests are in ecology, genetics, and the connections between the two. Matthew is currently working on two research projects, one in DNA repair and the other in life history of Barracuda. He will be taking part in his first research cruise as part of the Holling's Scholarship program and is excited to get some experience in the field.
Spud Woodward Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Spud Woodward is the director of GADNR Coastal Resources Division and is a 25-year veteran of the Department. He supervises the daily operations of a 35-person workforce of marine scientists, technicians, and vessel captains and administers an annual budget of $3 million. He is actively involved in development of state, interstate, and federal marine fisheries conservation and serves as Georgia’s administrative commissioner to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and agency representative on the Gray’s Reef Sanctuary Advisory Council. A state and federally licensed guide and vessel captain, Woodward has contributed over 100 articles to both professional and popular publications and has been featured in several episodes of Georgia Outdoors, and on the ESPN production, George Poveromo’s World of Saltwater Fishing. He enjoys teaching others about fishing and has conducted more than 200 fishing seminars at boat shows, fishing club meetings, and larger venues such as the Salt Water Sportsman Magazine National Seminar Series, which he has co-hosted twice.
Katalin Zakar Web Developer Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Katalin Zakar has been a Web Developer with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries for 5 years. She graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in Psychology. As she is usually creating graphics and setting up blogs for the numerous expeditions she covers every summer, for the first time she'll be experiencing first hand what happens on an expedition and will be writing some of the blogs herself. She's excited to be part of the team and looks forward to her first expedition and gaining some valuable experience in the field.
Of course we cannot forget the wonderful crew of the RV Nancy Foster. To learn more about their staff please visit the ship's website.