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Here you will find brief introductions to the members of the SCINI team that will be deploying to McMurdo Station, Antarctica, in October 2007. We are also assisted by David McPike, Network Engineer. Other support has been provided by DJ Osborne, Craig Dawe, and Mark Talkovich, ROV Pilots; John Oliver and Jim Oakden, Wise Men; Tom Rebold, Professor; and Kamille Hammerstrom, Research Associate.

Dr. Stacy Kim - Principle Investigator
Stacy Kim Stacy and her girl-dog Jesse hiking in the Sierras. Like mother, like dogter.
Stacy is an Adjunct Professor in Benthic Ecology at Moss Landing Marine Labs. Translation: she is very interested in worms and crustaceans and other squirmy animals that live in the sand and mud on the bottom of the sea. She is also married to Bob, which may or may not reflect her interest in squirmy things. One day, Bob asked her what tool she needed to make her research in the Antarctic better and easier. And SCINI evolved from there. This project will be a learning experience on how engineers and scientists work together to achieve a research goal in a harsh environment. Stacy will be responsible for achieving our research goals, which are:
  1. To locate experiments placed around McMurdo Station in the 1950s and 60s, before there were limitations on scuba diving depths, that have not yet been resampled.
  2. To locate and survey unique benthic habitats and communities from water depths of 40-170 m, extending our scope from scuba depths of <40m into the adjacent, deeper benthos.
  3. To determine if the ROV can be used for mapping sonar surveys under the ice and to document the best protocols for accomplishing these surveys in the future.
Bob Zook
Bob Zook Bob fueling up with a delicious "flight lunch" on the sea ice at McMurdo.
Bob has been an engineer and an explorer since birth. His earliest memories involve redesigning flashlights (or at least, disassembling them), and stringing extension cords across the house to light his discoveries in the far back closet (electric lights were necessary because none of the flashlights worked anymore). He has worked for many seasons in Antarctica, in many different capacities.
On the SCINI project, Bob will be the one tearing his hair out (figuratively, that is) as we build and fail and learn and redesign and rebuild and succeed. His initial design and test vehicle have performed well in Antarctica but Bob has come across some problems. One of the problems now facing him is how to limit all the cool things that he could try to add to just the few that are necessary, and that the team can make work perfectly!
Rusty Fairey
Rusty Fairey Sometimes, Rusty�s Texas roots burst out and he has to leave civilized confines for fishing and hunting trips, but he will not be allowed near the seals in Antarctica.
Rusty was a student at Texas A&M University where he received his BS in Marine Biology, focusing on impacts of oil spills. After a stint in the oil industry, he returned to Moss Landing Marine Labs where he received his Master's Degree in 1992 focusing on the geochemistry of interstitial waters. Rusty is currently the lead scientist for the Marine Pollution Studies Laboratory at MLML where he directs a staff of twenty scientists on a range of environmental issues within California. State and federally funded research activities include ambient monitoring of coastal and inland waters, contaminant surveys of sediment and biota, environmental data management, and biological and genetic surveys for marine and freshwater introduced species. Rusty is an excellent scientist and diver and is extremely competent in difficult field situations, and we will be making the most of these characteristics in our work in Antarctica.
Mindy Bell
Mindy Bell grew up on the Mississippi River in Minnesota. After four great years at Carleton College, including a semester doing marine science at Catalina and John Hopkins Marine Institute, she hitchhiked to Alaska and started teaching high school science. She ran a small fish hatchery in Skagway with her students, attempted to coach volleyball, and flew over Alaskan glaciers in small planes. Since then she has earned her M.A.T. in biology teaching at the University of Washington, and taught middle and high school science in Colorado, Utah and now Arizona. She teaches at Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy, an arts-focused charter school in Flagstaff. Her wonderful husband Darrell Kaufman is a geology and environmental science professor at Northern Arizona University with a research focus on Arctic paleoclimatology. Daughter Lindsey is 15 and likes music, clothes and other things completely unrelated to science.
As part of the NSF-funded and ARCUS-led PolarTREC program, Mindys role in the SCINI project will be to assist the SCINI team in any way possible. She will also document their research with photos, journal entries, and podcasts. She will be sharing this with classes and students following the project at the Undersea ROV link at
Marcus Kolb
Marcus Kolb Marcus operating an ROV in a freshwater cenote in the Yucatan.
Marcus Kolb is part owner and director of research and development for Videoray LLC. As director of research and development, Kolb designs the companys product line of submersible, remotely-operated, underwater video vehicles used for reconnaissance missions by first response teams; for recreational use; and for scientific, industrial and security jobs.
BLee Williams
BLee Williams BLee trying to teach his son Jack not to eat the guitar.
My underwater career spanned more than 20 years, starting in the US Navy's nuclear submarines and continued at Woods Hole Oceanographic where I spent 11 years with the Alvin Operations Group. My favorite discovery was Dr. Heather Hunt, who I married. Heather had come on an Alvin cruise as a replacement for Stacy when she moved on from WHOI. Small world. Heather has taken me to New Brunswick, Canada, which I love. We have been alternately blessed and challenged by our 16 month old son Jack. Competing for my affection with Jack are two grandbabies, Merrie (also 16 months) and Damon (2 months). In the odd moment when Jack does not command my attention I fill my time with coaching and playing soccer. Since moving to Canada I have kept active as a science tech by working at UNB Saint John for a year, and assisting local scientists with imaging and sonar projects and ROV operations. I have also sailed with Canada's ROV ROPOS. I am thrilled to be going to Antarctica. Visiting the continent is the only ambition I can remember from my childhood. My first childhood, that is...
Nicholas Huerta
Nicholas Huerta Nicholas has been preparing for the Antarctic weather by sleeping out in some frosty conditions.
Nicholas is currently an undergraduate at California State University Monterey Bay where he is studying in the Earth System, Science and Policy program. Project SCINI is a first of its kind for Nicholas and he has been brought aboard to help construct the robot. Nicholas has been machining on a lathe for many years and this has prepared him for his role in this project. When Nicholas isnt having a love affair with SCINI he can be found breathing underwater, riding waves or traversing mountains. Some of Nicholas past experiences that have led him to Project SCINI include a summer in Yellowstone National Park as a park ranger, environmental consulting and being a connoisseur of fine wines and great cheese.
Bryan Newbold
Bryan is an undergraduate physics major who will be working on software and electronics as well as operating the little fellah. SCINI is the latest and greatest in a string of robotic buddies Bryan has cared for since first operating in the FIRST robotics national high school competitions. Coming from Boston, MA he has an unnatural appetite for harsh weather and can't wait to get out on the ice.
When he isn't studying the cosmologically funky or browsing the memesphere Bryan walks on land, sails on water, and appreciates driving beats.
This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ANT-0619622 ( Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.