What is your role in Extreme 2002?
I am the principal investigator on the Extreme 2002 expedition and also have the rewarding position as Chief Scientist. This is my 23rd cruise with the Alvin and my fourth as Chief Scientist. Being Chief Scientist means I am responsible for the success of the science being conducted on the expedition. My primary role is to interface between the ship and submersible operations and the science to ensure that everything moves smoothly and successfully.
We are very fortunate in this country to have the most professional and successful submersible operation in the world. This success is based on the professional attitude and enthusiasm of the crew of the Atlantis (mother ship) and the Alvin group. Ultimately, our success hinges on their abilities to get the sub in and out of the water every day and to carry out our desired tasks.
questions are you working to answer and why?
your educational background and what lured you into marine research?
experience led to a summer job at Londons National Aquarium. I decided
this was what I wanted to study in University, and so in my senior year,
I applied to colleges in the United States that had undergraduate programs
in marine sciences. I spent four years at the Florida Institute of Technology
majoring in marine biology. With that introduction behind me, I was fortunate
to receive the Our World Underwater Scholarship. This year-long scholarship
is awarded to an individual wishing to gain more experience in any marine-related
field. I spent an entire year traveling around the world working with
marine scientists from all disciplines. At the close of that year, I decided
to return to school and earned a masters degree at San Diego State
University developing new approaches for culturing marine bivalves. After
completing my masters degree, I decided to spend a year working
as a marine naturalist in Indonesia. Here, I was fortunate to explore
dozens of rarely visited islands and many reefs that had never seen a
SCUBA diver. I returned to the states, and in the fall of 1983 began my
doctoral work at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego.
This was a dream come true. I was fortunate to arrive at Scripps shortly
after the discovery of hydrothermal vents and to be taken into a laboratory
that was heavily involved in vent research. Six years and over 15 cruises
later, I emerged from Scripps with a Ph.D. and an intense love of science.
In 1994, I accepted a position in the College of Marine Studies at the University of Delaware, where my lab continues to research aspects of vent symbioses and free-living microbial life in this very extreme environment. My lab has recently ventured into another extreme environment to styd soil microbial communities in one of the driest/coldest places on Earth — the Drys Valley of the Antarctic.