David 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.
Mauritius Valente Bell AAUS Technical Diver
Mauritius is the Assistant Diving Safety Officer at the Georgia Aquarium. His duties there include training of both staff and volunteer divers and serving on the aquarium's Diving Control Board. He has been actively diving since 1997 in various capacities including instruction and supervision of scientific, commercial, and recreational diving operations. He teaches technical and cave diving for the National Association of Underwater Instructors and freediving for Performance Freediving International. He is a licensed Paramedic and Diving Medical Technician. He has an extensive water safety background working as a YMCA aquatic director and an American Red Cross aquatic examiner.
Tane Casserley 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.
Dave Conlin Archeologist/Diver
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.
Russ Green Deputy Superintendent
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.
Lauren 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.
Lance W. Horn Operations Director, Undersea Vehicles Program
NOAA Undersea Research Center
Mr. Lance Horn is the Operations Director of the Undersea Vehicles Program at the NOAA Undersea Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (NURC/UNCW). He has worked at NURC/UNCW for 24 years and participated in hundreds of research missions using diving, remotely operated vehicles (ROV), autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV), and submersible technology. NURC/UNCW owns and operates a Deep Ocean Engineering Phantom S2 ROV, a Phantom 300 ROV, and a Webb Research Slocum Glider. Since 1987, he has been the chief ROV operator at NURC/UNCW, and was the team leader for the Eagle Ray AUV for four years taking it from the concept phase to fully operational vehicle. Mr. Horn obtained his degree in Underwater Technology at the Florida Institute of Technology in 1984.
Chris Horrell Marine Archaeologist
Minerals Management Service
Christopher Horrell is a Marine Archaeologist with the Minerals Management Service (MMS). Chris graduated from Southwest Texas State University with a Bachelors degree in Anthropology and History. Continuing his graduate studies, he received a Masters degree in Anthropology from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Florida State University.
Chris has over 16 years of experience organizing and directing field projects on both terrestrial and underwater sites. Prior to coming onboard with the MMS in 2003 and during his graduate studies at FSU, he worked for the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research (BAR). While at FSU and with the BAR, Chris worked on many underwater projects including a 19th century centerboard schooner near Dog Island, Florida, an early 19th century underwater deposit in the Apalachicola River, as well as several other historic and prehistoric sites along Florida's coast. Most recently, Chris served as a crew member on the Mardi Gras Shipwreck project; a site lying in just over 4,000 feet of seawater in the Gulf of Mexico.
Chris is a NOAA divemaster, a member of the MMS Seafloor Monitoring Team, and a member of the Register of Professional Archaeologists. His research interests include cultural resource management, historic archeology, material culture, ship construction, Spanish colonial history and archeology, and the history and archeology of the United States from the mid 18th century to the early 19th century.
Joe Hoyt Principle Investigator 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.
John 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.
LtJG Chad M. Meckley NOAA CORPS
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 Recicar Vessel Captain
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.
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.
Shannon 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.
Steve 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.
Brett 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.
Glen H. Taylor NOAA Undersea Research Center
University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Glenn Taylor has worked at the National Undersea Research Center at the University of North Carolina Wilmington since 1990 supporting the operational side of undersea scientific research as an Oceanographic Field Operations Manager. That job has included serving as habitat technician for saturation missions in the Aquarius Habitat, coordinating deep submersible operations, piloting remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), conducting mixed gas technical diving operations, and most recently operating autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). Glenn's diving qualifications include: NAUI Instructor and NAUI Course Director, IANTD Nitrox Instructor, Trimix Diver, Saturation Diver, Advanced Diver Medical Technician, and NACD Cave Diver. He has worked as an instructor in Jamaica, St. Croix, and the Bahamas. Glenn and his dive buddy, now his wife, did much of the original exploration of the Blue Holes of Grand Bahama Island.
John Wagner Graduate Student
East Carolina University
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 has participated in projects ranging from Bermuda, to Seattle, to South Carolina and to NOAA's 2008 Battle of the Atlantic Expedition. He is currently working on his Master's thesis, which will test 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 held graduate assistantships through both the Maritime Studies Program and the Diving and Water Safety Office, allowing him to split his time between archaeological projects and assisting with scientific diver training.