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2008 Battle of Atlantic Expedition

Exploring WWII in the Graveyard of the Atlantic

National Marine Sanctuaries Photo Gallery
Mission info 2007 Nancy Foster Cruise

Meet the Team

David AlbergDavid Alberg
Superintendent/VIP Director
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.

Jeff JohnstonJeff Johnston
Program Specialist/Historian/Assistant Director
Monitor National Marine Sanctuary

Jeff Johnston is a Program Specialist who has worked with the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary since 1995.  Jeff serves as the Sanctuary historian and has over 20 years experience specializing in the fields of maritime and Civil War history.  Jeff served as one of the archaeological team leaders for NOAA on Monitor during the recovery years and continues to work with private research groups to fulfill NOAA’s efforts to preserve the USS Monitor.

Shannon RiclesShannon Ricles
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. 

Lauren HeesemannLauren Heesemann
Education Specialist
Monitor National Marine Sanctuary

Lauren is the Education Specialist for NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary. She attended the College of Charleston where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology and is currently attending Colorado State University where she is working on 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 education and outreach.

Bruce TerrellBruce Terrell
Senior Archaeologist/Chief Historian
Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Bruce Terrell is Senior Archaeologist and Chief Historian for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. Based in the headquarters office in Silver Spring, MD, he is responsible for technical assistance to the sanctuaries and regions, sanctuary management plan development and review, and maritime heritage policy development and review. Bruce is a graduate of East Carolina University's graduate Program in Maritime Studies and is a former State Underwater Archaeologist for Louisiana. Bruce will also be working towards having the wrecks explored during this expedition nominated for the National Register.

Tane CasserleyTane Casserley
National Maritime Heritage Coordinator/Diver/PI
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 graduate degrees in maritime archaeology from both the University of Hawaii and East Carolina University. He has led NOAA archaeological expeditions in the Florida Keys, the Great Lakes, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Alaska, and to the USS Monitor; most recently, he dove with the National Park Service to a sunken B-29 in Lake Mead. 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).

Joe HoytJoe Hoyt
Maritime Archaeologist/Diver/Photographer

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.

ENS Chad M. MeckleyENS Chad M. Meckley

ENS 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, MA. Chad is a certified NOAA working diver, dive master, and medical person in charge. He hales 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 National Marine Sanctuary Program and is looking forward this and future expeditions.

Todd RecicarTodd Recicar
Vessel Captain
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary

Todd Recicar is the Vessel Captain for Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. He joined the Sanctuary program last year and feels that it is his most exciting career move to date. Todd received his Bachelors of Science degree in biology from Florida State University. After two marine education internships and 2.5 years as a research technician at the University of Georgia's Marine Extension Service Shellfish Research Laboratory, the sea lured him in. Prior to becoming a Gray's Reef employee, he worked for 5.5 years as a mate on the 92-foot Research Vessel Savannah operated by the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. Todd is also a NOAA Working Diver and a licensed United States Coast Guard captain. When not working on boats, Todd likes to spend time with his family whether it be fishing, boating, or just enjoying the backyard.

David Ball, MA, RPADavid Ball, MA, RPA
Senior Marine Archaeologist
Diving Safety Officer
Minerals Management Service

Dave Ball is the Senior Marine Archaeologist and Diving Safety Officer for the Minerals Management Service (MMS). He is also a Board Member of the Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology. Dave received his Master of Arts degree from Florida State University in 1998 and has led terrestrial and underwater projects throughout the United States. Since joining MMS in 1999, Dave has been involved with documenting a number of historic shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico, including the remains of a 200-year-old vessel in 4,000 feet of water, known as the Mardi Gras Shipwreck Project; and the Deepwrecks Project, an analysis of the artificial reef effect on World War II vessels in deepwater.

Dr. Nathan RichardsDr. Nathan Richards
Senior Marine Archaeologist
Assistant Professor/Diver/Co-PI
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.

Steve SellersSteve Sellers
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.

Chad SmithChad Smith
Port Captain/Diver
NOAA National Marine Sanctuary

Chad is the Port Captain and East Coast Vessel Operations Coordinator for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and joins the U-boat expedition as support personnel. Chad holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Marine Transportation from Massachusetts Maritime Academy and served as a deck officer in the oil industry and aboard cargo ships where he was awarded the Merchant Marine Expeditionary Medal for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Chad is an avid technical diver and rebreather diver who has explored famous shipwrecks such as the Andrea Doria and the Empress of Ireland, as well as serving as a Dive Master at the former nuclear weapons test site of Bikini Atoll.  Chad is part of the Stellwagen Bank Dive Unit and is from Reading, Massachusetts.

Brett SeymourBrett Seymour
A/V Production Specialist/Diver
National Park Service Submerged Resources Center

Brett Seymour is the staff photographer for the National Park Service (NPS) Submerged Resources Center (SRC) based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A graduate of Messiah College with a degree in Television and Film Production, Brett started working as a full-time underwater photographer in 1994. His work with the SRC has provided underwater access to some of our Nation s most captivating national parks. In addition to making a whole new dimension of the park system available to the public, he is responsible for documenting historically significant underwater sites around the world.

Dave ConlinDave Conlin
National Park Service Submerged Resources Center

After undergraduate work at Reed College, Dave received a master’s degree from Oxford University in Aegean and underwater archeology and then followed this with a Ph.D. in anthropology and archeology from Brown University.  Following years of diving and research on the shipwrecks of the Aegean, Dave took a job as an underwater archeologist   for the United States Navy.  While with the Navy, he helped plan and execute the recovery of the world’s first successful combat submarine, the Confederate submersible H.L. Hunley-lost off Charleston South Carolina in 1864.  Following the Hunley project, in 2000, Dave moved to Santa Fe to join the National Park Service’s Submerged Resources Center and continue diving on shipwrecks around the country and around the world. He has worked on numerous joint projects with the NOAA team including the search for John Paul Jones' ship Bon Homme Richard off the English coast, diving on a B-29 superfortress bomber in Lake Mead National Recreation Area and working on the wrecks of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Dr. Craig CookDr. Craig Cook
Diving Medical Officer

Craig Cook, MD is a NOAA trained Diving Medical Officer and has worked for NOAA on several expeditions over the years.  Dr. Cook is currently the Medical Editor for Sport Diver Magazine and a Divers Alert Network referral physician.  A diver and instructor, Dr. Cook has been diving the wrecks of the Outer Banks for over 40 years.

John McCordJohn McCord
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.

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