University of North Carolina at Wilmington National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NURC's AUVs
Andrew N. Shepard, Chief Scientist, NURC/UNCW

Andrew N. Shepard is Director of the NOAA Undersea Research Center at UNCW and chief scientist on the 2006 Oculina survey. He has worked for the NOAA Undersea Research Program for 22 years, developing and employing undersea technologies to support NOAA’s ocean mission. Most recently, his research interests have focused on providing scientific understanding needed to support a growing management trend to designate offshore marine protected areas for conservation of fisheries and essential fish habitat, places like the Oculina Experimental Closed Area off Florida.

Lance Horn, NURC AUV Team, ROV Pilot

Lance Horn is the Operations Director of the South Atlantic Bight/Gulf of Mexico division of the NOAA Undersea Research Center at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (NURC/UNCW). He has worked at NURC/UNCW for 21 years and participated in hundreds of research missions using diving, remotely operated vehicles, autonomous underwater vehicles, and submersible technology. He is the chief (ROV) operator at NURC/UNCW since 1987, and the team leader for the Eagle Ray AUV.

Jocelyn Karazsia, Education and Outreach, NOAA/SAFMC

Jocelyn Karazsia helps coordinate Education and Outreach activities associated with Oculina Bank research missions. She is working with the science team and Treasure Coast and Space Coast teachers to help bring deepwater coral science into Florida classrooms through a spring 2007 workshop. She has worked as an Ecologist for the NOAA Fisheries Habitat Conservation Division for the last 4 years and is a member of the SAFMC Oculina Evaluation Team.

Stacey L. Harter, ROV Transect Analysis, NMFS-Panama City

Stacey L. Harter received her Bachelors of Science degree from Florida State University in 1999 and her Masters of Science degree from the University of South Alabama in 2002. For the past four years she has worked as a Fishery Biologist for NOAA Fisheries Panama City Laboratory. Her research interests include examining the spatial and temporal variation of juvenile snapper and grouper recruitment to St. Andrew Bay, Florida as well as investigating the effectiveness of marine protected areas throughout the South Atlantic as management tools for conservation of fisheries and their habitat.

Marta M. Ribera, ROV Imagery Data Technician, NMFS-Panama City

Marta M Ribera earned her Bachelors degree in Biology at the “Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona” in Spain, following her studies with a Post-Graduate degree in Geographic Information Systems. Nowadays, she is a GIS specialist and a fisheries biologist at the NOAA Fisheries Laboratory in Panama City, Florida, where she’s been working for the past three years. At this moment, her main focus is the preliminary survey and mapping of the proposed MPAs in the South Atlantic Bight.

Jeff Williams, NURC AUV Team

Jeff Williams is an AUV Technician employed by the University of Southern Mississippi and has been responsible for project management of the Eagle Ray AUV for two years. With a BSEE degree and 15 years of experience in computer and custom integrated circuit design, he brings a strong working knowledge of computers, operating systems, embedded processors, and systems integration to Team AUV. Together with his wife, he has circumnavigated the world in a small boat developing a love of the ocean, its physical characteristics, and its biota.

Glenn Taylor, NURC AUV Team, ROV Tender/co-pilot

Glenn Taylor has worked at NURC/UNCW 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 submersible operations, piloting remotely operated vehicles ROVs), conducting technical diving operations, and most recently operating autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).

Steve J. Brodet, NOAA Coastal and Geodetic Survey

Steve J. Brodet is a Physical Scientist with NOAA’s Hydrographic Systems and Technologies Program in Silver Spring, MD. He spends much of his time testing and evaluating new technologies as well as integrating survey systems for NOAA’s hydrographic fleet. Currently Steve is the technical lead for for the Office of Coast Survey’s AUV development team and an ROV pilot. His interests include maximizing AUV and shipboard positioning capabilities to increase the efficiency and accuracy of survey data. Steve spends much of the year in the field and at sea working in support of NOAA’s nautical charting mission.

Amanda M. Maness, Chief Scientist, NURC/UNCW

Amanda M. Maness earned her Bachelors degree at Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 2004. She is a current Marine Science graduate student at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Amanda specializes in seafloor mapping of deep-water corals and her thesis is entitled “Acousitc and Visual Classification of Oculina Habitat Area of Particular Concern, eastern Florida shelf.” She is working on coupling bathymetric maps with visual dive video in order to create benthic habitat maps of fragile deep-water coral reefs.

Aaron Alexander, NURC AUV Team, ROV Tender, Data Manager for AUV and ROV Tapes

Aaron Alexander is the Data Manager for NURC/UNCW and part of the NURC AUV team. When not managing the massive amounts of data coming into NURC, Aaron also does web development and design for the program. He earned degrees in management information systems, operations management, and marketing from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and has been with NURC for a little over a year. If you see a problem with this web site…let him know!