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2008 Nancy Foster Cruise
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Expedition Team

Laurie BauerLaurie Bauer

Laurie Bauer is a marine ecologist with NOAA's Biogeography Branch in Silver Spring, MD. She earned her BA in Biology at Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH and her MS in Marine, Estuarine and Environmental Sciences at the University of Maryland. She joined NOAA in 2006 as a Knauss Sea Grant Fellow. During her time with the Biogeography Branch, her research interests have included an assessment of marine debris and benthic features in GRNMS and an ecological characterization of Vieques, PR. Laurie is excited to participate in her first cruise on the Nancy Foster and is looking forward to a productive week at GRNMS.

Laurie BrokawLaurie Brokaw

BS Geology, Eastern Michigan University '83; Teacher Certification Program, Chapman University '92; NC Environmental Education Certification; Worked as a Hydrogeologist in Florida, Virginia and California for nearly 8 years total. Branched into Education when she married her dear husband, John, now retired from the Navy. Settled in NC, which is conveniently in between Florida and Michigan where most of her family is located. Laurie taught science in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for years, until she made her big move to the Mountains. She now lives in Henderson County and works for Buncombe County Soil & Water Conservation District. Laurie wears many hats, but her titles are: Soil Conservationist and Education Coordinator.

Venetia ButlerVenetia Butler

Venetia Butler is currently the K-12 Education Representative on the Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. Her first 13 years of teaching experience were in the elementary classroom where she incorporated the Tybee Island beach and the surrounding marshes as the basis of her teaching. During that time she coauthored a curriculum, Coastal Studies for the Primary Grades, for which she earned the National Science Teachers Association's STAR Award. The next 16 years were spent teaching K-12 environmental science, natural history, and coastal studies at the Oatland Island Education Center in Savannah, GA. Prior to retiring after 32 years with the Savannah Chatham County School System, Venetia served as the Science Curriculum Specialist for the school system. Venetia's activities through the years include Past President of the Georgia Science Teachers Association (GSTA), President Elect of the Georgia Association of Marine Education (GAME), a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence, SouthEast (COSEE, SE) and the Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia(EEA). In addition she is the committee chair or advisor for science education for several other organizations. Venetia's experiences also include working on shrimp trawlers, being Teacher at Sea for the Georgia coastal leg of the Island's in the Stream Expeditions, and an education representative on the NSF Margins, Source-to-Sink expedition in New Zealand.

Steve DesperSteve Desper

Steve is currently having fun as the owner of Desper Geoscience Consulting and Education, LLC, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Job satisfaction is highest when he's working with clients to design, implement, and evaluate geoscience (particularly marine) education programs for K-12 students and teachers. Steve has the most fun at the Duke University Marine Laboratory in Beaufort, NC and in the local Carteret County Schools nearby. He also provides clinical research administration consulting services for the Duke University Medical Center Division of Cardiology and Heart Center. Steve graduated from both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University. This is trouble during basketball season. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in English education from UNC-CH, and a graduate degree in marine ecology from Duke. Teaching English and earth science for 11 years in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public Schools was the most rewarding job Steve ever had. He's also been a Research Associate at the Duke Marine lab for 10 years, and a research analyst and administrative director in the Division of Cardiology at Duke. Steve and his wife Judy are blessed with two fine children - Nick who is 20, and Rebecca who is 17.

Lauren DivineLauren Divine

Lauren Divine is a first year graduate student in the Department of Biology at Georgia Southern University. She received her BS in Wildlife and Fisheries at Texas A&M University where her studies focused on Fisheries. Lauren is excited to be back in Georgia and eager to get familiar with Gray's Reef for her research. She is onboard the RV Nancy Foster as part of the Georgia Southern team under Dr. Danny Gleason and will be studying marine invertebrates. A Savannah native, Lauren returns with her husband, Tim Sharp, and 14 month old daughter, Brynn Sharp.

Sara FangmanSarah Fangman

Sarah Fangman joins the R/V Nancy Foster from the Southeast Region of the National Marine Sanctuary Program. Sarah is a NOAA and PADI Divemaster, is NITROX certified and has conducted over 1000 dives using SCUBA for research activities. Sarah received her bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies and Biology at Middlebury College in Vermont and her graduate degree at the University of Washington's School of Marine Affairs. Originally from Minnesota, Sarah now lives in Savannah, Georgia with her husband and great dane.

Danny GleasonDanny Gleason

Danny Gleason is Professor 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 2002, and currently serves on the advisory counsel for this sanctuary. His goal on this mission is to continue monitoring species diversity and percent cover of bottom-dwelling invertebrates, such as sponges, corals, and sea squirts, that encrust the rocky outcrops.

Dave GrendaDave Grenda

Unlike the other members of the science crew, Dave is a volunteer - a recreational diver with an interest in marine science. He's a member in 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. He immediately sought out volunteering options that aligned with his desires.

One organization that quickly 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 to REEF's central database. The data allows scientists and decision makers to monitor the fish population in the oceans around the US. Any recreational diver can become a member of REEF after some quick initial training. When a REEF volunteer achieves expert status, he can join the Advance Assessment Team and be used for special research efforts like the Nancy Foster. It's a way to "give back" and at the same time enhance the dive experience. Learn about REEF and becoming a Citizen Scientist by visiting www.reef.org

In addition to doing fish counts, Dave also dives at the Florida Aquarium. He started volunteering at the Aquarium soon after arriving in Florida. Through the years he's expanded his role there. Dave has performed the dive show in the shark exhibit and in the coral reef exhibit. He helps maintain the exhibits and assists Aquarium's biologists in collecting animals from the waters of Florida. During that time, he became a Scientific Diver under the auspices of the American Association of Underwater Sciences (which the Florida Aquarium is a member). He has participated in several underwater archaeology projects including civil war shipwreck mapping in the Tampa Bay area and working with the University of Miami investigating 12,000-year-old human artifacts at Little Salt Spring in North Port Florida.

When not diving, he works with veterinarians at the Dolphin and Whale Hospital at Mote Marine Laboratory. They rescue stranded dolphins/whales and try to rehabilitate them for return to the wild. Some of the more unusual animals he's worked with are dwarf sperm whales, pygmy sperm whales, and a rare beaked whale. It's a very "hands-on" experience - helping to feed, medicate, and take data.

Andrew KennedyAndrew Kennedy

Andrew Kennedy is a graduate of the College of Charleston, South Carolina.  He graduated in May of 2008 with a Bachelors of Science in Marine Biology and a minor in Chemistry.  Andrew has interned at the Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research (CCEHBR), NCCOS, NOAA, where he studied shellfish and marine mammal biotoxins.  This is Andrew’s second cruise with the Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary assessment team.  After completion of the GRNMS-08-08-Cruise, Andrew plans to conduct multibeam surveying in either the public or private sector and eventually return to school for a Masters degree. 

Kathryn Kornberg Kathryn Kornberg

Kathryn Kornberg is an Earth systems teacher at Southeast Whitfield County High School. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources at the University of Georgia in 1999. She completed the NCTeach certification program at Western North Carolina in 2001. In 2006 she graduated from the University of Georgia with a Master of Education in science education. An avid fly-fisherman and wife of a fisheries research coordinator, she has lived at several fish hatcheries and enjoys learning about freshwater fisheries issues. As a part of the Rivers to Reefs course in 2004 she participated in a trip to Gray's Reef and is looking forward to returning to learn more about marine habitats.

Kenan Matterson Kenan Matterson

Kenan Matterson is a first-year graduate student at Georgia Southern University working with Dr. Daniel Gleason. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in Biology and has been working at the University of Washington's Friday Harbor Laboratories for the past several years. An avid diver, Kenan is very excited about pursuing his Masters degree working in the field of subtidal ecology. This is his first trip on the R/V Nancy Foster and will serve as his introduction to the benthic habitat for which he will be conducting his graduate research for the next two years.

Greg McFallGreg McFall

Greg McFall is the Research Coordinator at Gray's Reef and serves as the Chief Scientist for both legs of research in sanctuary this summer. Greg has had the opportunity to work for NOAA for the past seven years.

The official start to Greg's diving career and passion for the ocean began in the U.S. Navy where he served with the Underwater Photo Team. Here, he worked as one of eight underwater cinematographers along the east coast for the research and development needs of the military. After leaving the military, Mr. McFall dove commercially for seven years before attending West Virginia University where he obtained a bachelors degree in Biology. After he graduated, he went straight into the Masters of Marine Biology program at the University of North Carolina - Wilmington. Following graduation, he worked for the next two years as Assistant Science Director for the National Undersea Research Center, before accepting a position as a research associate with one of the professors at UNCW. There, Greg worked on field research and laboratory analyses related to the chemical ecology of marine organisms.

Mr. McFall is one of the few to have the best of both worlds; he has the opportunity to travel, dive, conduct research, write papers, and participate in many different kinds of research. "Everything I've done up to this point in my life has been practice for this job," Greg proclaims. For students who are interested in marine science, as well as diving, he offers the following advice: "Learn science and math well. Without a solid foundation in these disciplines, you will have a difficult time. If you are not ready for college, join the Navy. There are many different ways to get experience that you can apply to your career goals. Be persistent and don't give up; it may take time to find your dream job. Volunteer or do anything to get your face and name out there. The marine science field is still small enough that word-of-mouth is a good way to get noticed."

Beth McGovernBeth McGovern

Beth McGovern attended Lafayette College where she received a BA in Biology. She continued her studies at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, earning her MA in Marine Science. She worked as a research marine scientist at VIMS as well as at the NOAA Charleston Lab. Beth's primary research interests included oyster ecology and marine pathogens and bio-toxins. Following a calling of the heart, Beth left the research bench in 1998 to enter the classroom. She currently teaches Marine Science and Biology at Countryside High School in Clearwater, Florida and looks forward to sharing experiences from this cruise with her students. Beth and her husband are raising two children, two dogs, a cat and several fish at their home in Oldsmar, Florida.

Mark MonacoMark Monaco

Dr. Mark Monaco is a marine biologist and has been the Chief of NOAA's Biogeography Branch in Silver Spring, MD for the past 15 years and has worked for NOAA since 1984. He manages a staff of 30 combined federal and contract employees that focus on mapping of marine habitats, understanding the ecology of living marine resources, and defining species' habitat affinities. His current research interests are on the defining and evaluating the efficacy of marine protected areas (MPAs). His Branch is currently leading MPA research and monitoring studies in US temperate waters and tropical coral reef ecosystems in the Caribbean and Pacific islands. His role on the GRNMS Nancy Foster 2008 mission is to assist the team of scientists conducting acoustic tracking of groupers and snappers to determine the movement of the fishes within and outside of the GRNMS.

Scott NoakesScott Noakes

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.

Cathy SakasCathy Sakas

Cathy J. Sakas earned a B.S. in Biology and an M.Ed. in Science from Armstrong-Atlantic State University. Cathy is a NOAA diver, submersible pilot, aquanaut, naturalist and educator, of course! She has written, hosted and served as the naturalist consultant on several television nature programs on oceans, coastal habitats and their flora and fauna for Gray's Reef, Georgia Public Broadcasting and Turner South Broadcasting Company. Prior to working at Gray's Reef Cathy was a professional interpretive naturalist and led wilderness trips throughout the southeastern US, Caribbean and Central America for over 26 years. Since October of 1998 Cathy has been employed at NOAA Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary and currently serves as Education Coordinator. In that capacity she teaches programs via distance learning television about Gray's Reef and its inhabitants as well as programs about watersheds and coral reefs to students throughout Georgia and the nation. She develops educational materials for the classroom and conducts educator workshops throughout the year. In January of 1999 she became a certified submersible pilot and in September 2001 she became an aquanaut spending nine days in the underwater habitat called Aquarius. She manages two sanctuary wide grants called Sanctuary Sounds that collects underwater sounds from sites within the National Marine Sanctuary System and Distance Learning through which she serves as the consultant on this initiative for other sites.

Jim StansellJim Stansell

Jim teaches zoology, environmental science, and biology at Newton H.S. in Covington, Georgia. This year is his 30th year teaching. He has taught 13 years in middle grades and 17 years in high school. Jim received his B.A. degree from Shorter College and M.Ed. from Jacksonville State University.

2008 has been the most rewarding in his teaching career where his environmental classes were involved in several projects on Lake Jackson, Georgia. removing tons of litter from the Alcovy, Yellow, and South Rivers. The classes participated in Georgia Rivers Alive, National Clean America, relocated an outdoor classroom on campus and will dedicate a butterfly and hummingbird garden, developed by the environmental classes, to a retiring teacher in May of '08.

Jim took an ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) workshop in '08 and hopes to have students from Newton H.S. participate in the Southeast Regional ROV competition in '09. In June he plans to take the Rivers to Reef program to further his knowledge in the aquatic environment. He is a member of Georgia Science Teachers Association and Professional Association of Georgia Educators.

Jim has been married to Pamela Grimes of twenty-three years. They have a son Chris and daughter Kristen. Chris lives in Atlanta, Georgia. and Kristen lives in Walker, Louisiana. Jim and Pam have three loving Chinese Pugs and one loving Cocker Spaniel.

Andrew StarlandAndrew Starland

Andrew Starland is a rising senior at the College of Charleston. He is a geology major and figures that getting experience with any kind of technology related to the field is a good idea. Andrew also wants to see what the different kinds of work he could do after graduating are like. This is his first time being at sea, or on a boat in the ocean at all, for that matter. Andrew hopes he isn't prone to seasickness, and is trying to remain confident that he isn't.

Christine TaylorChristine Taylor

Christine Taylor started her career in Geography at the age of 3 when she successfully put together a puzzle of the US States. After a brief disorientated period of studying film sciences and deciding that chopping up celluloid wasn't her calling (pre-digital era), she found she could apply a spatial relationship to almost any topic. She is currently employed as a Geographer/GIS Coordinator with the National Marine Sanctuaries Program of NOAA in Silver Spring, MD. She started her adult career in GIS as a trainer for a GIS software company in Rosslyn Va, and went on to work for a Coastal Planning firm in Alexandria as a Spatial Data Analyst. She decided that the 10 minute commute to Alexandria wasn't long enough and decided to drive to Silver Spring for an hour each way, and has been blissfully commuting via the Beltway for fifteen years. She has a B.S. in Geography and Environmental Planning from Towson State University, and a M.S. in Environmental Science and Planning from Johns Hopkins University. Christine has focused many of her GIS related efforts on creating publicly available bathymetric raster data sets for specific regions from large disparate data sources. She also provides GIS counseling for many of her Sanctuary brethren whilst still sorting through all the possible commands in the ESRI software suite. She resides in Reston, VA with her loving husband, defiant dog and two rambunctious cats.

Fran WarrenFran Warren

Fran Warren is a sixth grade Earth science teacher at Callaway Middle School in LaGrange, Georgia. She received her Ed.S. in educational leadership from Columbus State University in 1994. A veteran teacher with over twenty years experience, Ms. Warren received her M.S. in Middle Grades Education from the State University of West Georgia. She is a member of the National Association of Educators and the National Association of Science Teachers.

Katrina WyllieKatrina Wyllie

Katrina Wyllie is now in her fourth year at the College of Charleston majoring in marine biology with a minor in geology. She enjoys scuba diving, deep sea fishing, and anything else that can be done on the water. Her summer will be spent at Wood's Hole Oceanographic Institute for a month and then sailing from Hawaii to San Francisco for a month with SEA Semester. She enjoys working with multibeam data and cannot wait to experience more during this cruise aboard the Nancy Foster!

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