Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Gray's Reef Expedition 2014
Mission Information
 

Participants in this Expedition

Sarah Fangman

Sarah Fangman
Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Southeast Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Region
GRNMS Acting Science Coordinator
GRNMS Acting Deputy
  Superintendent

Sarah is the Chief Scientist on this research effort, and as such is responsible for the project's overall success. Sarah is the Program Coordinator for the Southeast Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Region and works out of the Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary headquarters. Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Sarah moved to Vermont to complete her Bachelors of Science in Environmental Studies and Biology at Middlebury College. She completed her Master of Science in Marine Affairs at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. During the completion of her Masters, Sarah had an internship with NOAA and then was awarded a place in NOAA's Presidential Management Fellowship Program. She has worked with NOAA ever since. She is also a NOAA Advanced Working Diver and Divemaster, and has been a certified diver since college.


Jared Halonen

Zaida Hager
Graduate Student
College of Charleston

Zaida is a graduate student in marine biology at the College of Charleston. She received her B.S. in Biology from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in 2012 and worked as a fisheries observer in Alaska before starting graduate school. Her main research interest is fisheries science, but she has become interested in GIS and multibeam mapping technology as well. Her thesis project will assess catch-and-release mortality of snapper-grouper species using some common release methods. Zaida will use her time aboard the Nancy Foster to gain experience in survey operations.


Jared Halonen

LTJG Jared Halonen
NOAA Corps / Vessel Operations Officer
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary

LTJG Jared Halonen is the Vessel Operations Coordinator at Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. He was previously stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii aboard NOAA Ship HI`IALAKAI. Jared was born and raised in Battle Creek, Michigan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences and Oceanography in 2008. Jared continued his academic pursuits at the University of Delaware's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment where he completed his Masters of Science in Oceanography in the spring of 2011. His research focused on the effects of historical morphological change on sediment accumulation in Newark Bay, New Jersey.


Hampton Harbin

Hampton Harbin
Team Ocean Diver
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary

Hampton Harbin first dived at Gray's Reef in 2005 and sailed on the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster for the first time in 2007 through the American Academy of Underwater Sciences. His passion for diving led him to study commercially valuable fishes in Belize through Georgia Southern University where he received his B.S. in Biology. He has recently become a certified Dive Master and has since joined the Gray's Reef Team Ocean Dive Program. Sailing on the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster now as a member of the science dive team, he is hopeful for many more opportunities to splash down into Gray's Reef.


Lauren Hessemann

Lauren Hessemann
Reasearch Coordinator
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.


Richard LaPalme

Richard LaPalme
Team Ocean Diver
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary

Joining the NOAA Team Ocean Dive Program earlier this year, Richard LaPalme is diving with the science dive crew aboard the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster. He is certified as a NOAA Science diver, a PADI Master Scuba diver and a PADI Dive Master. In addition, he holds a U.S. Coast Guard Masters License for Sail and Power, is a certified boating and navigation instructor with the U.S. Power Squadrons and flight instructor with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. Richard is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Prior to his retirement in 2012, Richard served for thirty-eight years as a practicing engineer, program manager and account executive in the Aerospace and Defense Industry. He has been involved in electronic technology development programs from submarines to satellites serving all branches of the US military and holds a patent for a method of artificial intelligence data retrieval. Richard is pleased to be able to support the valuable research being conducted by the NOAA scientists and the dedicated Team Ocean volunteers.


Katie Mahaffey

Katie Mahaffey
Dive Medical Technician and Instructor
NOAA Dive Center

Katie Mahaffey has been diving for 5 years off the coast of the Pacific Northwest U.S., trained as an Air and Mixed Gas Surfaced Supplied Diver, specializing in underwater welding and salvage. Now, a NOAA working diver, Dive Master, Dive Medical Technician and Instructor with the NOAA Diving Center, she trains new NOAA working divers. On the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster she is diving with the science dive team and conducting final checkout dives for new divers with the Team Ocean Dive Program.


Jamie Morris

Jamie Morris
Miami Palmetto Senior High,
  Miami, FL
NOAA Teacher at Sea

Jamie is a science teacher at Miami Palmetto Senior High School in Miami, Florida where she teaches Marine Science. She is participating in this research mission as a NOAA Teacher at Sea. The NOAA Teacher at Sea is a program that allows teachers to work alongside scientists to learn about current research projects and techniques in the oceans. Jamie is very excited to have this opportunity to assist with the research being conducted on Gray's Reef. She cannot wait to learn more about Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary and be able to share this information with her students.
You can follow Jamie's blog by clicking here.


Amy Rath

Amy Rath
Communications and Outreach   Coordinator
Gray's Reef National Marine   Sanctuary

Amy Rath is the Communications and Outreach Coordinator for Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. Originally from Savannah, Georgia, her passion for the natural environment and sense of adventure led her to Alaska where she enjoyed a rewarding and adventurous life and career for nearly a decade.
While in Alaska, she obtained a B.S. degree in Geography and Geology and she is now completing a M.S. degree in Natural Resource Management and Geography with the University of Alaska. Amy joins the Sanctuary team with a diverse marine research and science communications background that enables her to interpret science and disseminate information to the public for generating awareness of and stewardship for Gray's Reef.
Outside of work, she can often be found mucking around the intertidal or paddling through a salt marsh.


Todd Recicar

Captain Todd Recicar
Marine Operations Coordinator
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary

Todd 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 B.S. 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.


Randy Rudd

Randy Rudd
Team Ocean Diver
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary,
  2011 Volunteer of the Year
National Marine Sanctuary Foundation,
  2011 Volunteer of the Year

Randy joined the Gray's Reef Team Ocean Volunteer Scientific Diving Program in 2010. After completing his training and certification in record time, Randy became an important asset within his first two weeks as a volunteer diver. He has also taken the initiative to identify ways the program could operate more effectively. After observing many sidetracked missions were due to a short-handed crew, he spent his own money to earn a U.S. Coast Guard license to operate the Gray's Reef small boats.
Following Randy's selection as the 2011 Gray's Reef Volunteer of the Year, his name was submitted to The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (NMSF), and was subsequently selected as the NMSF 2011 Volunteer of the Year. Randy received this award for his leadership and dedication. NMSF presented the award to Randy at it's ninth annual Leadership Awards Dinner on June 7, 2011 in Washington, D.C.
Randy has been a resident of Savannah, Georgia for 34 years. He retired from the Savannah-Chatham County School System after 26 years as a School Social Worker. His diving experiences began in the mid 1960's in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Florida. His official diving certification came in 2003, and he has pursued subsequent certifications. Randy is an avid underwater photographer and believes in documenting undersea life. Being retired gives Randy the chance to support NOAA's underwater research efforts.


Sarah Webb

Sarah Webb
Team Ocean Diver
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary,
  2013 Volunteer of the Year

Sarah Webb began volunteering with Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary in 2011. As a volunteer she has actively participated in a variety of programs including the collection of water samples and identification of plankton for the NOAA Phytoplankton Monitoring Network, assisted with the build-out of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) for anannual competition, supported many public events, and helped with the cleaning of research vessels. Recently, her dedication and hard work led her to become the newest member of the Gray's Reef Team Ocean Dive Program. Sarah received a Bachelor of Science in biology and environmental studies at Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii where she first learned about volunteer programs with GRNMS. Her interest in marine science is now leading her to pursue a graduate program which she hopes will allow her to work with sharks.


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