Exploring WWII in the Graveyard of the Atlantic
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Meet the Team
Monitor National Marine Sanctuary
As Sanctuary Superintendent for the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, Dave Alberg serves as the onsite manager for the sanctuary and as the primary point of contact between NOAA and The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia, which is conserving the thousands of artifacts recovered from the wreck of the USS Monitor. Dave has an extensive background in cultural resource management, museum work and exhibit development and has been involved in a number of high-profile museum projects. In 1992, Dave began his museum career as the first curator for the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton Virginia and went on to serve as the Director of Exhibits and Collections for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL. Most recently, he served as the Deputy Director for Nauticus in Norfolk, Virginia. Dave serves in the United States Navy Reserve and holds a bachelors degree in Museum Studies from George Mason University and a master’s degree in Museum Education from the College of William and Mary.
National Maritime Heritage Coordinator/Diver
Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Tane Casserley, the National Maritime Heritage Coordinator for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, specializes in 19th-century warships and deep-water archaeology. Tane holds a graduate certificate in maritime archaeology from the University of Hawaii and a master's degree from the Program in Maritime Studies at East Carolina University. He has led NOAA archaeological expeditions in the Florida Keys, the Great Lakes, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Alaska, the USS Monitor, he dove with the National Park Service on a sunken B-29 in Lake Mead, and most recently served as principal investigator on an expedition to document three German U-boats from the WWII Battle of the Atlantic off the coast of North Carolina. Tane's projects have used technical diving, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), and manned submersibles. Tane is a dive instructor and certified trimix and closed-circuit rebreather diver with the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI), as well as the Nautical Archaeology Society Senior Tutor for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
Capt. Jordan Cousino
Research Vessel Captain
Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Russ is the deputy superintendent at Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena, Michigan. A former underwater archaeologist for the state of Wisconsin, Russ obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Rhode Island and a graduate degree in nautical archaeology from East Carolina University. He has worked on maritime archeology projects along much of the east coast, the Great Lakes, Bermuda and Micronesia. Trained in mixed gas and rebreather diving, Russ has led technical diving expeditions in the Great Lakes, worked on the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor off North Carolina, and a WW II B-29 airplane in Lake Mead, Nevada. He recently led the archeological documentation of a newly discovered, intact schooner resting in 185 feet of water in Lake Huron.
Monitor National Marine Sanctuary
Lauren is the Research Coordinator for NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. She attended the College of Charleston where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology and Colorado State University where she received a Master's degree in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. Drawing on her education and experience, Lauren works towards the preservation and conservation of natural and historical resources through research, education, and outreach.
Joe Hoyt is a maritime archaeologist serving as a field tech and researcher for the Battle of the Atlantic Survey. He has worked on several NOAA projects in the Thunder Bay, Florida Keys and Monitor National Marine Sanctuaries since 2001. In 2004, he was awarded the North American Rolex Scholarship through the Our World Underwater Scholarship Society. He has worked on underwater archaeology projects in the Great Lakes, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and several inland rivers. Joe is also an avid photographer and diver, and has crewed documentary expeditions on BBC’s Planet Earth and PBS. Joe holds an MA in maritime history and underwater archaeology from East Carolina University’s Program in Maritime Studies.
Dive Safety Officer
Education Programs Coordinator/Diver
UNC Coastal Studies Institute
John McCord currently serves as the Education Programs Coordinator for the UNC Coastal Studies Institute. In this role, John is responsible for communicating the research and activities of the UNC Coastal Studies Institute to an assortment of audiences including local government officials, university faculty, teachers, k-12 students and the general public. John fulfills this mission through a variety of education and outreach methods including workshops, publications, multi-media and web based learning.
NOS Line Office Diving Officer
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Greg currently works as the Deputy Superintendent and Research Coordinator for Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary in Savannah, Georgia where he coordinates scientific investigations into the ecology and oceanography of hard-bottom reefs typical of those found elsewhere in the South Atlantic Bight. He serves as the Line Office Diving Officer for the National Ocean Service and is currently the Chair of the NOAA Diving Control and Safety Board.
Prior to coming to NOAA he worked for seven years with Dr. Joe Pawlik in the Chemical Ecology Laboratory of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where he studied the chemical ecology of tropical sponges. Prior to that, he served as the Assistant Science Director for UNCW's National Undersea Research Center for a year after receiving a M.S. degree from UNCW's Marine Biology program. Before his graduate work, he obtained a B.S. degree in Biology from West Virginia University. Greg spent five years as a commercial diver before attending college and was trained as a US Navy Diver while serving in the military.
Calvin Mires is the staff archaeologist for the Program in Maritime Studies. He has participated in research projects in Israel, Bermuda, Hawaii, Montana, Great Lakes, North Carolina, and South Carolina. He teaches ECU's small boat operator course. He earned his BA in Latin and Classical Civilizations from the University of Montana in 1998, and his MA in Maritime Studies from ECU in 2005. He is currently working on his PhD in Coastal Resources Management. His dissertation is focused on understanding how the public perceives and values underwater cultural heritage through combined qualitative and quantitative methodologies borrowed from the fields of archaeology, economics, cultural geography, and recreation and leisure studies. Other research interests include maritime archaeological theory and methodology, maritime heritage, public outreach, and late 19th/early 20th century small watercraft.
Dr. Roldan C. Muñoz
National Marine Fisheries Service
Research Fishery Biologist
Dr. Muñoz's research interests include reproduction, community and behavioral ecology of reef fishes, and molecular genetics. Some of his recent research topics include a comparison of hogfish reproduction from fished versus protected areas, predatory impacts of the invasive red lionfish on continental shelf hard bottom reefs, and community characterization of North Carolina hard bottom reefs.
Dr. Nathan Richards
Senior Marine Archaeologist
East Carolina University
Dr. Richards specializes in nautical archaeology, archaeological theory and is a specialist in watercraft discard and cultural site formation processes of the archaeological record. He has an interest in non-traditional subjects in maritime archaeology focusing on non-shipwreck sites such as ship graveyards, the archaeology of harbor infrastructure, and maritime terrestrial sites. He has been involved in a number of field schools run by Departments of Archaeology at Flinders University (South Australia), and James Cook University (Queensland), and has been employed in cultural resource management work by the State Governments of South Australia and Tasmania. Currently he is working in three main themes within the theme of cultural site formation; shipboard incarceration, ferrous shipbuilding traditions (iron, steel and steam shipbuilding), and ship abandonment (an extension of the Australian Abandoned Ships' Project to the USA). His research has appeared in a number of other journal articles, book chapters, and numerous reports and reviews. He is co-author (with Robyn Hartell) of The Garden Island Ships' Graveyard Maritime Heritage Trail (2001), and the soon to be published Ships' Graveyards: Abandoned Watercraft and the Archaeological Formation Process (University of Florida Press). Dr. Richards is an active member of the Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology and the Australian Association for Maritime History. Dr. Richards teaches classes in the history and theory of nautical archaeology, research and field methods, cultural resource management, and field schools.
Education and Outreach Coordinator
Monitor National Marine Sanctuary
Shannon Ricles is the Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. Formerly, Shannon was the Director of STARBASE-Atlantis, a US Navy educational outreach program that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), which serves over 1,000 fifth grade students annually. Prior to working for the Navy, Shannon was the Program Manager and Coordinating Producer for NASA’s educational broadcast program, the NASA SCI Files , which aired nationwide on PBS and on over 800 cable access channels. The program won numerous awards including five Emmys. Shannon has over 15 years classroom experience as an educator at multiple grade levels and received her Bachelors of Science degree in Education with an Earth Science emphasis from the University of North Texas at Denton. She is currently working on her Masters of Business Administration at Saint Leo’s University.
Director of Diving and Water Safety
East Carolina University
Steve Sellers is the Director of Diving and Water Safety for East Carolina University (ECU), and a past President of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS). He has an extensive diving background in scientific, recreational, and public safety diving; logging thousands of dives and hours underwater in varied aquatic environments over the past 25 years. His diving experiences range from emergency response diving, to recreational scuba instruction using air and nitrox, to supervision of and participation in scientific diving operations utilizing cutting edge diving technologies and techniques such as mixed gas and the use of fully closed circuit rebreathers. He has been project Diving Safety Officer and a scientific diver for a variety of sites, diving environments, and scientific disciplines over his nearly twenty year career with ECU, collaborating on underwater archaeology projects from the lakes, rivers, sounds and ocean of North Carolina, to Bermuda, Anguilla, Florida, Maine, the Great Lakes, the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska, and Hawaii.
John is a native of Colorado who, after discovering his interest in diving and maritime culture, spent four months in Thailand working towards his Professional Association of Diving Instructors' (PADI) Dive Master certification. Upon returning to the States, he began attending East Carolina University's Program in Maritime Studies, where he participated in projects ranging from Bermuda, to Seattle, to South Carolina and to NOAA's 2008 and 2009 Battle of the Atlantic Expeditions. He recently completed his Master's thesis, which tested the feasibility of using geographical information systems (GIS) and historic paths of maritime activity to delineate hotspots of wartime naval engagements during World War II. John has recently joined NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
Capt. Bob Wallis
Research Vessel Captain
Paula Whitfield is a Research Ecologist at NOAAs Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research in Beaufort NC. Her research interests include the characterization and monitoring of marine communities in temperate hard bottom reef habitats from 70 to 150 ft of water. One of her primary research objectives is to understand how physical factors such as water temperature structure the distribution of marine communities including the invasive lionfish off the NC coastline. Paula has been diving on North Carolina wrecks since the mid-1980's and on the 2010 expedition she will be involved in characterizing the marine communities associated with the shipwrecks off Hatteras NC.