Expedition Team

Meet the members of the Plastics at SEA: North Pacific Expedition crew. From recent college graduates to the nearly retired, professional mariners to businesspeople, scientists to musicians, the crew is a diversely talented group. Most of the crew are SEA Semester alumni, as indicated by the class number next to the participant's name

  • Emelia DeForce - Chief Scientist

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    Emelia currently resides in Woods Hole, MA and works at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as a microbial ecologist.  She received her master’s and PhD degrees at University of Massachusetts Boston studying both medically important microorganisms as well as microbes that live in soil.  She has since transitioned to working on microbes that live in hydrothermal vent ecosystems.  Because microorganisms… Full bio...

  • Jason Quilter - Captain

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    Jason is a career tall ship mariner with 20 years of experience in the traditional sail training industry.  He has served on more than a dozen different vessels and has crossed the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans while traveling to amazing parts of the world.  Jason holds a U.S. Coast Guard 1600-ton Ocean Masters license and Able Seaman Unlimited rating,… Full bio...

  • Kara Lavender Law - Principal Investigator

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    Kara received her PhD in physical oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and developed an interest in marine debris while teaching and sailing with SEA.  As a faculty oceanographer and chief scientist, Kara taught more than 200 students in 10 SEA Semester classes about the ins-and-outs of oceanography both onshore in Woods Hole, MA and at sea in the… Full bio...

  • Erik Zettler - Principal Investigator

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    Erik is a microbial ecologist who joined SEA in 1994 to combine teaching with science. He is currently particularly interested in the “Plastisphere”, the microbial community that develops on the surface of plastic marine debris.

    Erik has been a member of the Woods Hole scientific community for many years, having worked as a research associate in the biology… Full bio...

  • Giora Proskurowski - Principal Investigator

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    Giora graduated from Amherst College with a chemistry major, but was lured to the Earth sciences with the prospects of using the submersible Alvin to study hydrothermal vents.  He received his master’s and PhD degrees from the University of Washington in chemical oceanography studying the connections between biology, geology, and chemistry at deep-sea hot vents.  While deep-sea vents and… Full bio...

  • Roxanne “Rocky” Hadler - Chief Mate

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    Roxanne "Rocky" Hadler grew up in Southern California, moving to Houston, Texas as an adult.  After working for many years at the University of Texas medical branch and raising a daughter, one fateful day she stepped onto the barque Elissa in Galveston.  It was love at first sight! After volunteering there for several… Full bio...

  • Gary Borda - W-10

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    Occupation: Experiencing Life and Paying Back (I recently retired after 32 years with NASA and U.S. Navy)

    I’m so happy to be paying back SEA while participating in such a worthwhile expedition as Plastics at SEA: North Pacific Expedition 2012. Sailing aboard the RV Westward in the summer of 1973 was a special experience for me for many… Full bio...

  • Tyson Bottenus - S-214

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    Tyson Bottenus is a freelance writer and works for NOAA Fisheries as an offshore scallop researcher. He graduated with degrees in geological oceanography and marine affairs from the University of Rhode Island.  He is an alumnus of SEA Semester class S-214 and participated in Plastics at SEA: North Atlantic Expedition 2010.  In 2011 he sailed as a deckhand with… Full bio...

  • Gregory Boyd - Research Assistant

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    Gregory Boyd is a research assistant at SEA working on a collaborative research project to better understand the microbiomes associated with natural and anthropogenic substrates, as well as free-living microbes in seawater. The overall goal of the NSF-funded project is to characterize the diversity, distribution and abundance of microorganisms on plastic marine debris, a community referred to as the… Full bio...

  • Christabel Choi - C-103

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    Christabel Choi grew up among the forests and mountains of southern Oregon, immersed in nature but far from the sea. A chance encounter with a SEA Semester poster outside a geology class at Mount Holyoke College culminated in bringing the SSV Corwith Cramer into Miami harbor, under sail, on SEA Semester class C-103.  Following that experience, she lived in… Full bio...

  • Noah Citron - S-232

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    Originally from the west coast (Washington), Noah is simply overwhelmingly stoked to be on this cruise.  Since his SEA Semester (class S-232), he’s been yearning to get back on the open ocean and just be— among the waves, lost in the stars, deploying on the science deck, scrubbing soles, hauling lines,… He is quite happy to be spending six… Full bio...

  • Bart DiFiore - S-214

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    Bart DiFiore was born and raised among the salt marshes and mud flats of Gloucester, MA, the place he still calls home.  Since the age of five Bart has been found on, in, or under the waters surrounding Gloucester or any body of water that he can find.  As an inveterate boat rat, he has worked as a kayak… Full bio...

  • Chrissy Dykeman - 2nd Scientist, S-219

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    Chrissy Dykeman grew up in land-locked upstate New York, but that didn’t keep her from developing a strong love for the ocean and all things ocean-related.  She graduated from Cornell University in 2010 with a B.S. in biology, and is an alumna of SEA Semester class S-219.  While at Cornell, Chrissy worked in a coral disease lab and spent… Full bio...

  • Matt Ecklund - Co-Videographer, C-216

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    My SEA Semester was a transforming experience in my life.  It provided the inspiration for my college Honors Art Exhibition, Ligatura cetacea, a series of intricate quill and ink drawings of whales bound in lines, whose source material I found while investigating the themes of my SEA Semester research paper concerning, “The Evolution of Scientific Illustrative Depictions of Cetaceans.”… Full bio...

  • Andrew Felcher - W-87

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    Andrew Felcher is a spouse, father and physician, originally from New York.  He earned his B.A. in English from Williams College.  He did his medical training at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, specializing in internal medicine, and currently works as a hospitalist in Portland, Oregon.  He has several research interests and has authored or co-authored articles on… Full bio...

  • Marina Garland - C-223

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    Whether by luck or design, Marina's name, which means "of the sea," fits her well!  Marina has been sailing on tall ships since she was 17 years old, and has worked as a sea bird rehabilitator, been a member of a humpback whale disentanglement team, taught sailing lessons and researched fishing communities in downeast Maine and Newfoundland.  She sailed… Full bio...

  • Michael Gil - S-214

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    From as early as he can remember, Michael Gil was wild about nature and in particular the sea, making regular trips to the Jersey shore (a very different experience than the TV show) to visit family throughout his childhood.  This passion, combined with his love of writing and photography, led him to enter the University of Texas at Austin… Full bio...

  • Patricia Goffinet - W-61

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    Patty Goffinet was an enthusiastic member of SEA Semester class W-61. She loved the sailing, science, stars, the swizzle parties, and especially the wonderful people on board.  She later married one of them, Tom, and they produced three good kids.  Franny sailed aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer in fall 2011, Jack just went off to college, and Claire is… Full bio...

  • Mackenzie Haberman - 3rd Mate, C-201

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    Mackenzie Haberman has been working with SEA for the past five years since graduating college with a degree in environmental science from Barnard College of Columbia University (New York, NY).  While in college she studied geochemistry at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory quantifying recent sediment deposition in the Hudson River, collecting and analyzing hundreds of gravity cores.  Since graduating, she has… Full bio...

  • Laura Hansen - C-232

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    Laura Hansen is originally from Cape Cod, MA and grew up exploring the marshes and beaches in the area.  Consequently, she developed a strong interest in the ocean and went on to study marine science at Boston University.  She sailed on the SSV Corwith Cramer on SEA Semester class C-232 and was eager to return to SEA.  Since 2011,… Full bio...

  • Heidi Hirsh - Asst. Steward, S-233

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    Heidi Hirsh is from Gig Harbor, WA.  She graduated magna cum laude from the University of San Diego in May 2012 with a B.A. in marine science and a minor in environmental science. Heidi sailed as a student with SEA Semester: Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures and Ecosystems (SPICE) class S-233.  She developed a passion for marine science research… Full bio...

  • Hilary Hoagland-Grey - W-82

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    Hilary Hoagland-Grey graduated in 1987 from the University of Miami, with degrees in marine science and geology.  Her time on the RV Westward (SEA Semester class W-82) during her studies helped to dispel any doubts about career choices, as did being exposed to interesting research at University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.  Not long after… Full bio...

  • Trent Hodges - S-214

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    Trent Hodges grew up in Idaho enjoying the mountains and rivers, but has spent most of the last six years by the ocean.  He went to school in San Diego and was fortunate to have sailed on the SSV Robert C. Seamans studying the dynamics of the La Niña weather pattern across the equator to Tahiti on SEA Semester… Full bio...

  • Whitney Horstman - C-174

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    Whitney Horstman is an acupuncturist and massage therapist, originally from the mountains of Colorado, currently living on the Big Island of Hawaii.  She holds an M.S. in Oriental medicine from Hawaii College of Oriental Medicine (2012), and a B.A. in medieval and Renaissance studies from Wellesley College (2002).  Prior to entering the field of alternative medicine she worked as… Full bio...

  • Katy Hunter - 1st Scientist, S-206

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    Katy Hunter has worked for SEA for the last five years, and is currently senior first assistant scientist for the Robert C. Seamans.  She graduated from Northeastern University in 2007 with a degree in toxicology and is also an alumna of SEA Semester class S-206.  She currently lives in Little Deer Isle, ME when she is not sailing, working… Full bio...

  • Kellie Jensen - W-168

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    I grew up in a small Indiana farm town not too far from Chicago.  As kids, my sister and I spent almost every weekend climbing the sand dunes and attempting to the ride the waves of Lake Michigan and so began my love affair with water.  My spring breaks mostly revolved around family trips to Florida, where my cousins… Full bio...

  • Pat Keoughan - Classroom Outreach Coordinator, W-53

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    Pat Keoughan retired in 2009 after forty years of teaching and is enjoying different volunteer opportunities in Falmouth, MA, where she lives.  This expedition will be her third doing outreach with classrooms.  She sailed aboard the USCGC Healy in the Arctic Ocean in 2010 and the RV Knorr in the Iceland Sea in 2011 as part of Woods Hole… Full bio...

  • Tom Klodenski - Chief Engineer

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    Tom Klodenski is originally from Newburyport, MA.  He has sailed as engineer for Ocean Classroom Foundation, as well as Sound Experience.  Sailing for the first time with SEA, he is looking forward to the expedition.  In his spare time he plays banjo and tells pretty good (at least he thinks) sasquatch jokes.

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  • Cina Loarie - C-157

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    Cina Loarie currently lives in Beijing, China and works as an analyst in the greentech market sector.  Prior to her time abroad, she worked as a project manager at the California Ocean Protection Council where she developed and managed high-impact projects that coordinated and improved the protection of California’s ocean and coastal marine resources.  Cina received her bachelor’s in… Full bio...

  • Shelby Mann - Steward, C-231

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    Shelby attended the University of Redlands and received a B.S. in environmental science.  During her time as an undergrad she participated in SEA Semester class C-231, followed by an additional four weeks as the assistant steward onboard the Corwith Cramer with class C-232.  She completed her degree in 2012 and promptly returned to SEA to sail full-time as steward.

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  • Kimberly McCabe - C-198

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    Kim McCabe earned a degree in biological sciences from Connecticut College in 2007.  Unable to escape the sea fever instilled in her from her SEA Semester (class C-198) she went back to sea promptly after graduation, this time as a science educator for Ocean Classroom Foundation’s high school Semester at Sea.  Her time there allowed her to travel from… Full bio...

  • Zora McGinnis - S-224

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    Zora McGinnis was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and grew up between her homes in Stonehurst, NS and St. Louis, MO.  She attended Colgate University in Hamilton, NY.  After a misguided attempt at doing pre-med in the hopes of becoming a veterinarian, Zora took an oceanography course and realized what she should have been doing all along.  She quickly… Full bio...

  • Kristen Mitchell - S-189

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    Kristen Mitchell is originally from Philadelphia, PA.  She graduated from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida in 2005 with a B.S. in marine chemistry.  During her time at Eckerd, Kristen took a semester to join SEA Semester class S-189 on a trip from San Diego, CA to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  After graduation Kristen moved to Denmark for a Fulbright… Full bio...

  • Emilee Monson - S-202

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    Today Portland, Oregon is where Ems calls home. When she’s not biking, painting, or watching her garden grow, she is the energy and the environment educator at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.  Ems has a biological sciences degree from the University of Alaska, Anchorage, holds a 100-ton masters of inland waters, and an AB special license.  Aside… Full bio...

  • Eric Romelczyk - 2nd Mate

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    Eric Romelczyk lives in New England, steps from the water and a sandwich shop to write home about.  He grew up sailing small boats on these waters.  At the age of 16 he discovered traditional sailing and the sail training community and the course was set.  He graduated in 2008 from Maine Maritime Academy holding a B.S. in small… Full bio...

  • William Scheurich - Asst. Engineer

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    Will Scheurich is from Phoenix, AZ.  He recently graduated with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington.  He is very excited to be working and learning with SEA.

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  • Sabrina Schlumberger - Videographer, C-146

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    Sabrina Schlumberger lives in San Francisco, CA with active canine Iggy Von Baconbitz.  A native northern Californian with roots in France, she was introduced to sailing in high school in Santa Barbara, later becoming an alumna of SEA Semester C-146 voyaging to Newfoundland and back.  She graduated from Colorado College with a degree in philosophy and art and headed… Full bio...

  • Madelyn Soldner-Sullivan - S-224

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    Madelyn Soldner-Sullivan grew up in the Colorado Rocky Mountains with National Forest as her backyard.  She followed the tributaries of these mountains all the way east to Bowdoin College in Maine where she graduated with a degree in visual art.

    During her time on the east coast she fell in love with the ocean while learning to surf… Full bio...

  • Jonathan Waterman - Journalist/Photographer

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    Jonathan Waterman has worked as a wilderness guide, magazine editor, park ranger, director of a small press, and freelance writer.  He has authored eleven books, including Running Dry: A Journey from Source to Sea Down the Colorado River (National Geographic Books, May 2010) and four television documentaries.  The recognition for his work runs the gambit from magazine awards, to… Full bio...

  • Tommy Wootton - 3rd Scientist, C-214

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    Tommy Wootton is a recent addition to the SEA community and is excited to be back out on the water.  After attending SEA as a sophomore in 2007 (SEA Semester class C-214), he was adamant about returning as a scientist.  He attended the University of California, San Diego as an undergraduate, where he acquired a B.S. in biology.  Shortly… Full bio...

  • Thomas Young - S-185/S-191

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    Thom Young is an organic farmer and marine ecologist from Oregon.  He is an SEA alumnus from SEA Semester classes S-185 and S-191, and served as a deckhand aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans for OSCB (Oceanography of the Southern California Bight) in 2005.  He earned a master's degree in ecology, evolution, and marine biology from the University of… Full bio...