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Meet the Team
California Academy of Sciences
Dana is a recent graduate from San Francisco State University with a master's in Ecology and Systematics of marine invertebrates. Her thesis research focused on the molecular phylogenies, host specificity, and description of two new species of barnacle in the genus, Conopea, from the Gulf of Guinea. She currently works in the department of invertebrate zoology at the California Academy of Sciences. Dana will be working with Bob Van Syoc to systematically document any specimens collected on this cruise for archival and identification purposes.
Tane Casserly - Technical Diver
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.
Thor has a Bachelors in Science in Biochemistry and Molecular biology from the Univ. of Florida, 1989.
His grad work is at the University of Miami-RSMAS studying marine biotoxins 1994-95. He worked for the State of Florida for 4 years as a marine biologist at Florida Marine Research Institute and then went to work for NOAA's Undersea Research Center in Key Largo, Florida as a habitat technician, diver medical technician, dive supervisor and biologist. Thor's role on this cruise is to blend gas mixes, trade off with Doug as dive supervisor/DMT and be a member of one of the two dive teams.
Deputy Superintendent/Research Coordinator
Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Russ Green is the deputy superintendent and research coordinator at the
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 maritime archaeology from East Carolina University. He's worked on dozens of 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 several technical diving expeditions in the Great Lakes, and worked on the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor off North Carolina. He recently led the documentation of four historic shipwrecks resting in 200 feet of water in northern Lake Huron and assisted with the documentation of World War II shipwrecks in 240 feet of water in North Carolina's "Graveyard of the Atlantic."
Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary
As the Research Specialist for Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Kaitlin serves as a team member on research and monitoring cruises within the sanctuary and is responsible for data management and analyses of sanctuary habitats and communities. Kaitlin earned her Master's from Washington State University in 2008. Her graduate research documented the abundance and distribution of benthic invertebrates on the continental shelf off central California to assess the ecosystem-level impacts of bottom contact fishing gear. Kaitlin's duties on the Cordell Bank Reef Crest expedition include providing GIS support for the selection of dive locations and coordinating blog entries for this expedition page.
Cruise Leader Sanctuary Superintendent
Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Dan Howard is the superintendent for Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary and manages all site activities and staff. Responsibilities include policy development, interaction with local, state, and federal agencies and serving as a member of the National Marine Sanctuary Programs' Leadership Team.
Dan has been studying the marine environment in northern California since 1980 when he worked as a research biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service studying kelp bed ecology, predator/prey relationships and juvenile rockfish recruitment in a coastal upwelling system. In 1995, he started working for the Sanctuary program as an assistant manager for Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary and became the superintendent in 2003.
Dan is the Chief Scientist for this cruise and will be coordinating scientific operations and personnel.
Joe Hoyt - Technical Diver
Monitor National Marine Sanctuary
NOAA Maritime Archaeologist
Joe Hoyt is a NOAA maritime archaeologist for the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. 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 underwater photographer and technical 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 and specializes in Great Lakes and World War II maritime history. On this expedition Hoyt will be on the dive team, taking photographs and collecting data.
Manager of the Advanced Diving Technology Program
University of North Carolina Wilmington
Doug Kesling is currently the manager of the Advanced Diving Technology Program at the Center for Marine Science at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), which has integrated into NOAA's new Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research and Technology (CIOERT) also located at UNCW and FAU/Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. The new CIOERT will utilize submersibles, ROV's, AUV's, enriched air nitrox and trimix open-circuit diving technology and rebreathers in support of NOAA's marine research directives. Doug will oversee the diving operations for the NOAA Divers.
Greg McFall - Technical Diver
Deputy Superintendent and Research Coordinator
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. He also serves and the Line Office Diving Officer for the National Ocean Service and serves as Chair of the NOAA Diving Control and Safety Board.
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 ecology of tropical sponges. 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. Prior to 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. Greg has been a technical diver for several years and has participated in over 15 technical diving missions. On this expedition he will serve as the chief photographer to take qualitative images of the flora and fauna of Cordell Bank.
An avid filmmaker, surfer and ocean voyager, David McGuire is the founder of the shark conservation non- profit Sea Stewards, and is an advocate for a healthy ocean. As Captain, Dive Master and Cinematographer, David has explored the world ocean on numerous sailing voyages collecting media with an emphasis on ocean awareness and fim. Educated in Marine Biology, he holds a masters degree in Environmental Health and has worked in education and public health at the University of California at Berkeley for over a decade.
David is active in the ocean community and is a new board member of the Cordell Marine Sanctuary Association and will be filming various aspects of this expedition for education uses.
Interim Marine Technician/Graduate Student
Bodega Marine Laboratory, UC Davis
Matt Robart is currently working as the Marine Technician for Bodega Marine Laboratory, a field station of the University of California at Davis. He is also a graduate student in the Ecology program at UC Davis, studying interactions between nearshore oceanography and marine ecology. After completing a Bachelor's degree in Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University in 2002, he spent the next several years studying intertidal ecology and physical oceanography along the Oregon coast with the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO). He has been involved with oceanography, subtidal ecology, and intertidal ecology studies in Oregon, California, New Zealand, and the Galapagos Islands. Matt's role in this cruise is to serve as part of the safety support diving team.
Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary and Point Reyes National Seashore
Dale studies the community ecology of marine fishes by monitoring investigations of the Sanctuary's rocky and soft bottom habitats using manned submersibles and towed camera systems. Dale is interested in producing a complete description of the sanctuary ecosystem which should allow management to differentiate the changes of marine ecosystems between natural and anthropomorphic influences. Dale will be supporting all operations on this cruise and managing data documentation.
West Coast Regional Maritime Heritage Coordinator
NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Bob coordinates and conducts archaeological surveys and research for the five National Marine Sanctuaries located along the Pacific West Coast. This work includes recording and mapping submerged sites utilizing SCUBA equipment, submersibles and remotely operated vehicles (ROV). Schwemmer has worked with other NOAA scientists on projects in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Arctic, Great Lakes and assisted topside during the recovery of the gun turret from the civil war navy ship USS Monitor off Cape Hatteras, NC. In the last 12 months he has conducted 5 expeditions at the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary that included recording ship and aircraft wrecks and exploring submerged sites for evidence of Holocene period artifacts off San Miguel Island. Schwemmer currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and a charter member and current President of the Los Angeles Maritime Museum Research Society. Schwemmer will be a safety diver for the Cordell Bank Reef Crest Cruise.
Robert Van Syoc
Senior Collections Manager, Invertebrates
California Academy of Sciences
Bob has studied various topics in marine ecology and invertebrate zoology, from San Francisco Bay to the South Pacific. Bob earned his Ph.D. at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where he used DNA analysis to study genetic relationships and speciation among barnacles at the molecular level. Bob's focus on the cruise is the preservation of invertebrate specimens collected to document the current fauna of Cordell Bank. These specimens will become part of the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) research collections for study by researchers in California and around the world. Comparisons of the specimens collected during the cruise to historical samples at CAS will provide insights into changes in species composition in the Marine Sanctuary.