Posted: July 7, 2021

Monument Field Research: Summer 2021 Team

Cruise 1

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument Staff:

Photo of Brian Hauk

Brian Hauk

Brian Hauk is the Resource Protection Specialist for Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) and is employed by the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (CIMAR). He is acting as Chief Scientist for Cruise 1 in addition to being a backup coxswain and scientific diver. Hauk’s duties at PMNM focus on minimizing threats to PMNM resources caused by marine alien species, marine debris, vessel groundings and/or incident response activities in the monument. Hauk has participated in numerous ecological research expeditions serving as an operations lead, fish or benthic survey diver, and as a topside supervisor and/or diver during PMNM’s closed circuit mixed gas technical rebreather operations. His favorite activities include spending time with his wife, two children and dog while they explore the world in search of action and adventure.

Photo of Jason Leonard

Jason Leonard

Jason Leonard is the NOAA Marine Operations Coordinator for Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. For these cruises his work focuses on supporting research and resources protection projects done in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. His passion is conducting diving operations to survey the deep reef areas of the Monument using closed circuit rebreathers and mixed gases. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two boys and watching pirate movies.

Photo of Luke Evancoe

Luke Evancoe

Luke Evancoe is a NOAA Corps Officer and the Vessel Operations Coordinator for PMNM; he will be operating as a coxswain and back up NOAA diver on the cruises. His prior assignment was on NOAA Ship Pisces in Pascagoula, MS as an Officer of the Deck while underway. He is supporting the mission of the scientific party and visiting the NW Hawaiian Islands for the first time.

Photo of Keo Lopes

Keolohilani H. Lopes Jr.

Keo Lopes is the CIMAR/Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument Field Logistics Coordinator with many interests and hobbies. These include cinematography, photography, documentary filmmaking, drone flying, science, more science, SCUBA diving, technical CCR diving, nitrogen narcosis, and even more science. Keo will be shooting video, flying drones, driving boats, SCUBA diving, and collecting image/video data for a wide range of scientific inquiries. He will also be the lead scientist in bringing a “Positive Mental Attitude” (PMA All Day).


Photo of Arik Dadez

Arik Dadez

Arik Dadez was born and raised on Maui. He works in the water quality lab at UH Maui College. His passion is to fish and scuba dive.

Photo of James Fumo

James Fumo

James Fumo is a PhD student studying the biogeography and taxonomy of marine algae in the Hawaiian Islands with Dr. Alison Sherwood at UH Mānoa. He is especially interested in the processes driving the evolution of algal species diversity across the Pacific. In Papahānaumokuākea he will be conducting eDNA surveys for future studies by Dr. Peter Marko and Patrick Nichols and SCUBA diving on the reefs of Manawai (Pearl and Hermes Atoll) to assess the impact of the nuisance alga Chondria tumulosa. In his free time he enjoys diving, surfing, hiking, playing music, and a good cup of coffee.

Photo of Heather Spalding

Heather Spalding

Heather Spalding is an Assistant Professor, College of Charleston, with a BS from Southampton College, Long Island University, MS from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, San Francisco State University, and PhD from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she has also done postdoctoral studies.

Macroalgae, or limu, are an integral component of coastal marine ecosystems from arctic to tropical environments. The ability of macroalgae to occur from the exposed shores of the intertidal to the dimly-lit reaches of the mesophotic across a range of environmental conditions makes this organismal group a fascinating subject for research across wide gradients of light, temperature, nutrients, and herbivory. The theme of her research has focused on the ecological and physiological interactions generating and maintaining the distribution, abundance, and biodiversity of macroalgae and corals. Within the monument, Spalding will be studying the ecology of the newly discovered, cryptogenic alga Chondria tumulosa and its interactions with native limu and corals. le they explore the world in search of action and adventure.

Photo of Taylor Williams

Taylor Williams

Taylor Williams was born and raised along the Central Coast of California before moving to Oahu and earning her B.S. in Marine Biology at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. She is currently a masters student in Dr. Heather Spalding’s lab at the College of Charleston where she is studying the population connectivity of Chondria tumulosa, a cryptogenic red alga found at Manawai. After she completes her masters program she plans to pursue a PhD in hopes of continuing her career in science.

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