Icebreaker Denizens

Overwhelmed by the cast of characters? Feel like you’re reading War and Peace or Lord of the Rings? Here are the Cliff’s Notes. I recommend using your “search” function freely.

The Research Team

Dr. Ken Smith, MBARI
Chief Investigator
studying whether icebergs affect global warming, and if so, how.
Dr. Bruce Robison, MBARI
marine biologist, studying communities of zooplankton, fish & birds living under and around the icebergs.
Dr. Steve Rock, Stanford University
robotics specialist, using high-resolution sonar to map and image the underwater portions of icebergs
Dr. Tim Shaw, Univ. of South Carolina
environmental chemist, studying nutrients, radioactive isotopes, & trace elements, especially iron, in the water around the icebergs
Dr. Benjamin Twining, Univ. of South Carolina
coastal oceanographer, also studying iron and other trace elements in seawater, and studies iron from icebergs
and the aquatic microbes that use it.
Dr. John Helly, UC San Diego
environmental and Earth scientist, studying iceberg dynamics — size, shape, density, movements, etc.
Dr. Maria Vernet, Scripps, UC San Diego
marine biologist, studying how microscopic plants affect the organic carbon in the water near icebergs
Dr. Ron Kaufmann, University of San Diego
marine biologist, studying communities of zooplankton in surface waters surrounding icebergs.
Dr. Sue Lowery, University of San Diego
marine biologist, studying gene expression and muscle growth in krill.
Vivien Peng, Desert Research Institute
biology research assistant, working with Dr. Alison Murray on organic carbon in seawater and how microscopic marine plants affect it.
Stephanie Bush, MBARI
research assistant, working with Dr. Bruce Robison on pelagic marine life. Squid are her specialty.
Christine Huffard, MBARI
biology research assistant, lending a general hand with sampling and other bio work. Her usual specialty is squids.
Danielle Garcia, U. San Diego
undergrad biology research assistant, working with Ron Kauffman, mainly on krill.
Cole Hexel, U. South Carolina
chemistry research assistant, working with Tim Shaw.
Diane “P.D.” Chakos, Scripps
biology research assistant, working with Maria Vernet on phytoplankton and algal mats.
Adrian Cefarelli, U. La Plata
Argentine biology research assistant and observer, working with Maria Vernet on microscopy.
Marcela Charo, Argentine physical oceanographer working with Maria Vernet on iceberg analysis.
Karie Sines, Scripps
biology research assistant, working with Maria Vernet on phytoplankton and algal mats.
Nicole Middaugh, Desert Research Inst.
biology research assistant, working with Alison Murray and Viven Peng on diatoms.
Preston Craig, U. South Carolina
chemistry research assistant, working with Tim Shaw and Ben Twining.
Hai Lin, U. South Carolina
analytical chemist, working with Tim Shaw and Ben Twining.

The Engineers

Unsung heroes & heroines, without whom, nothing works. All of the engineers work on whatever needs doing at any particular moment, but here’s a list of their known roles on this voyage:

Kim Reisenbichler, MBARI
marine biologist and research technician, helped develop and put together the RC airplane for iceberg tagging & reconnaissance and is one of its pilots.
Jake Ellena, MBARI
research technician, can keep any piece of machinery working, and knows an Echinocrepis rostrata when he sees one, too.
Paul McGill, MBARI
electrical engineer, working on the Onscreen Display for the RC airplane, the tiny computer & software that the plane and its pilots to navigate. Also works on the ROV.
Rob Sherlock, MBARI
research technician and marine biologist, helping with the ROV, sampling mechanisms & cameras. Also an excellent diver.
Dr. Alana Sherman, MBARI
electrical engineer, working on the ROV & Lagrangian traps.
Brett Hobson, MBARI
mechanical engineer, working on the mechanical systems for the Phantom ROV and sonar.
Mark Talkovic, MBARI
pilot, mainly of ships and remotely operated vehicles. On this voyage, he will pilot the Phantom ROV.
Steve Etchemendy, MBARI
marine operations director (and NancyE’s bro-in-law), heading up the RC airplane team and will help keep the ROV working.
Joanna O’Neill, Sonar Technician
working with Steve Rock on multi-beam echosounder.
Adam Jenkins, Raytheon Polar
POC (point of contact), our liaison with Raytheon, handling logistics, which means, basically, everything.
Nancy Etchemendy
yours truly, ship’s horror writer (hard to pigeon-hole, so I just put myself here in sheer desperation).

Ship’s Officers

Captain Mike Watson
For the longest time, I didn’t know his last name. His shirt just says “Captain Mike.” Definitely the skipper.
First Mate Rachelle
Captain Mike’s right-hand woman.

Those on Shore

Not everyone is lucky enough to be on the icebreaker. Some will do their part from shore.

Dr. Alison Murray, Desert Research Institute
marine biologist, studying diatoms and marine bacteria. Vivien Peng will be her eyes, ears, and hands.
Dr. David Long, BYU
electrical engineer, studies size, shape & movements of icebergs using radar remote sensing techniques.
Dr. Henry Ruhl, MBARI
marine biologist, will be organizing data for the researchers.
Andy Nunn, Raytheon Polar
is an expert on the general computer systems and electronic equipment aboard the icebreaker.