About this Cruise

This month-long cruise aboard the NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette brings together six diverse teams to survey fish populations using non-catch methods. Traditionally, fish populations have been assessed by catching fish, visiting fish markets and interviewing fishermen. Chief Scientist Scott Ferguson hopes to support Guam and the CNMI in monitoring their natural resources using non-extractive methods. The ship will also use multibeam sonar to map areas that are important fishery resources hopefully to include Galvez Bank, offshore slopes near Rota, and the banks of Farallon de Medinilla.

The survey methods include BotCams and BRUVs, two systems that put baited cameras on the bottom, and a TOAD which is a camera towed near the seafloor . An Autonomous Underwater Vehicle will travel on its own via computer programming and bring back photographs and video. Additionally, acoustic methods will be used to survey fish in the water column.

This expedition brings together scientists from NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center and Northwest Fisheries Science Center, as well as the University of Hawaii’s Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, the University of Guam Marine Lab, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Meet the Crew

Anita L. Lopez
Commanding Officer

Known on the ship as CO, Anita has spent most of the past 9 years at sea. As the CO she is ultimately responsible for everything that happens onboard. When asked what she likes best about her job she replied, “My favorite part of this job is providing opportunities to my crew to realize their own dreams. Providing the scientists with the tools to complete their mission while aboard my ship and providing an important service to our Nation.” At home in Seattle, Washington, her hobbies include biking, kayaking, paddle boarding, stained glass art and landscape design.

Bruce C. Mokiao
Skilled Fisherman

Bruce’s home is in Waimanalo, Hawaii. He spent 7 years as a commercial fisherman and has been with NOAA for 9 years. He loves being at sea and his favorite parts of the job include small boat operations, trawl-netting, long-line fishing, bottom fishing, lobster & fish trapping and maintenance of the ship. Bruce lists his hobbies as traveling to new places, all types of ocean activities and shopping with his daughter. He recently told me of a great China adventure and will soon be going back for a 2-month visit.

Peter Langlois
3rd Mate

Peter has been sailing on NOAA research vessels for 10 years, 3 of which have been as 3rd Mate and 7 as a deck hand. He graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a BSc in Fishery Science Technology and Aquaculture. He worked as a commercial fisherman and worked on aquaculture farms for 3 years before joining NOAA. On Sunday’s, when the ship is at sea, Peter makes smoothies for everyone onboard.

Douglas Roberts
Lead Fisherman/Deck Department

Doug is second in command of deck operations and machinery. He operates the small boats, cranes & winches and all deck machinery. He has worked at sea for almost 15 years. His favorite part of the job is driving the small boats around coral reefs and atolls that rarely have visitors like those in the Northern Hawaiian Islands. At home in Norfolk, Virginia Doug’s hobbies include cycling and bodysurfing. He has his bike (and his body) on the ship so he can pursue these hobbies wherever the ship comes to shore. The picture here was taken in Hawaii.

Mills Dunlap
Skilled Fisherman/Pyrate

Mills is from Charleston, South Carolina. He has spent his life on or near the ocean and has been with NOAA for 4 years. His favorite part of the job is fishing, pyrating and seeing & doing new stuff. His hobbies include hiking, pyrating and reading inordinate amounts of literature

His story: Mills was born in Charleston, SC and raised on Clark Sound. There is a rich tapestry of sea faring and maritime heritage in the Dunlap family. While all the other kids were busy playing sports, Mills was exploring the estuaries of coastal Carolina and exploiting opportunities spending time on any number of state run research vessels thanks to his father who was a biologist and later a captain for the state. After graduating with degree in Marine Technology from Cape Fear College in Wilmington, NC, Mills went to Alaska to work for Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corporation rearing salmon. When the season was over, Mills did a brief stint working for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. This was a turning point as it became apparent to the young man that he loved the field-work but not the tedious time in the lab. He resigned from the tidal creek project and went to work for a private outfit running boats commercially. Sadly the outfit went under as it could not compete with the Union and its’ strangle hold on the piers. Four years ago NOAA accepted Mills’ application for employment and within 2 weeks of the interview he was back on his way to Alaska, only this time he was Dutch Harbor bound to work on the NOAA Ship Fairweather, one of NOAA’s Alaska Hydrographic Survey Vessels. Alaska was awesome, hydro was boring. In order to avoid ennui Mills shifted to the fisheries side of NOAA by jumping ship for the John N. Cobb, yet another Alaskan assignment. After the Cobb was decommissioned he went to various other NOAA ships before he talked his way into the deck department aboard the Oscar Elton Sette and a life of new experiences in Hawai’i. Now he is sailing under the apt title of Skilled Fisherman attempting to absorb as much knowledge from his bos’n as he can before Kenji retires. The fishing is definitely one of his favorite parts of the job but he cannot deny himself the pleasure of the science.

ENS Michael Marino
Junior Officer

Mike is from East Meadow, New York. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University in South Carolina. His dream has been to drive ships and explore oceans. He discovered NOAA through an internet search for jobs involving diving and exploring the world’s oceans, like Jacques Cousteau. Now, through NOAA, he has been living his dream for a year now. HIs favorite part of the job is traveling the world and exploring the world’s oceans. His hobbies include scuba diving, kiteboarding and hiking. He hopes to add paragliding* to his list of hobbies in the near future.
* Running off a cliff with a parachute-type wing and flying using updrafts.

Ricardo Guevara
Electronics Technician

Ricardo is from Pensacola, Florida. He has spent 2 years at sea and his favorite part of the job is bagging and tagging the gremlins (successful troubleshooting). Ricardo’s hobbies include music, picture framing and traveling.

Ricardo tells his story:
I never went to college. I completed 23 years of service in the US Air Force: 4 Active, 19 Reserve. My military experience qualified me for my current position. College may or may not be for you, but high school definitely is. Stay in school till you get that high school diploma, after that, do what you feel. My department is responsible for the ship's computer network, radios,RADARs, data sensors, electronic navigation equipment, telephones and the ship's entertainment system. I do a lot of cabling, troubleshooting and installation of scientific equipment. I've been a lot of different places, and done a lot of different things for the Air Force, but nothing has ever been as good as this job with NOAA. I think I have the best job on the ship. The only stinger is that since I maintain many of the ship's creature comforts (24-hour internet, email, telephones and entertainment system) I often get cornered with a lot of whining. But hey―it can't all be milk and honey.

Clementine Lutali
Chief Steward

“Cooking is my passion,” says Clementine during a short break from her work in the galley. For Clementine the only thing better than cooking, is cooking on a ship. She has worked for NOAA for 11 years: 7 on the NOAA Ship Kaimimoana and 4 on the Oscar E. Sette. Her duties include everything necessary to keep the 41 crew members & scientists well fed and happy. She prepares the menu, orders the food, preps and cooks, cleans and oversees the galley. Clementine takes great pride in her cooking and every person on board benefits from her skill and enthusiasm. As much as possible, she uses fresh food and cooks from scratch. Fresh baked bread and pastries are common and she is famous for her banana bread (she has only given the recipe to one of her daughters). The Oscar Elton Sette is well known for its food and that’s Clementine. Clementine was the first Samoan woman to be a Chief Steward for NOAA.

Clementine has a fun story. She was working as a computer operator for Bank of Hawaii when her husband retired and they returned to Samoa. She became the lunch cook for a private school of 130 students. The school didn’t have a cafeteria so it was a one-person operation out of her kitchen. She did everything including delivering the lunches to the school. She kept that business going for 6 years. Then a friend called to tell her about a job opportunity with NOAA as a Second Cook. She flew to Hawaii, walked up the gangway of the ship and instantly knew she had found her place. She was only at the Second Cook position for 6 months when she was promoted to Chief Steward. In her spare time she plays the ukulele. She has an interesting hobby―she collects menus from unusual restaurants and has a whole wall in her kitchen papered with them.

Erik Norris
Operations Officer

Virginia Beach, Virginia is my hometown. My father first introduced me to the sea through sailing when I was a child. From there my interest and desire to be on the sea has increased. I began transporting boats in college. During my third year of college, I sailed on a tall ship as part of a semester aboard; the program is SEA Education Association. After college, I got a job working on the water on the East Coast. Eventually, I made it into NOAA and have now been sailing aboard the Oscar Elton Sette for a little over a year. It is my primary duty to stand watch and to safely handle and navigate the ship. I also work with the Chief Scientist and the Commanding Officer to carry out the science mission. My favorite part about the job is seeing new places and learning about the research the scientists do aboard the ship. My hobbies include sailing, surfing, body surfing, and working on cars and boats.

Lino Luis
Skilled Fisherman

Lino has worked at sea since 1976―that’s 34 years! He was born in Portugal, near the sea, and was always fascinated by the ocean. He started his life at sea as a commercial fisherman fishing for bottom fish and lobster in Lisbon. He now works for NOAA, usually out of Mississippi, and is currently helping on the Oscar Elton Sette. His duties as a Skilled Fisherman include chipping and painting, cleaning, splicing lines and maintenance work on the ship’s gear. Lino’s favorite part of the job is meeting new people with different skills and different ages from a wide variety of places. Lino now calls New Bedford, Massachusetts home.

Hung Tran
Medical Officer

Hung has worked with the United States Public Health Service for 5 years and he’s been the Medical Officer on the Oscar Elton Sette for the past 3 years. He joined NOAA because he wanted a new adventure and enjoys this job on the ship. He is a Physician Assistant from Cook County Hospital in Chicago. Hung responds to all medical issues and emergencies onboard. He watches out for the welfare and morale of the crew. He is also responsible for testing the ship’s drinking water and checking the overall cleanliness of the vessel. The ship’s hospital has one bed and is fully equipped to handle medical emergencies. Hung happily reports that in 3 years he has not had to respond to a major medical emergency. The most common medical issue is nausea and vomiting due to seasickness. Other common concerns are cuts, headaches and sprained ankles. Hung lives in Honolulu, Hawaii. His hobby is photography and he is the unofficial ship’s photographer.

LT Colin Little
Acting Executive Officer

Colin is from Worcester, Massachusetts. He has a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He has worked at sea for 3 years. He discovered the oceanographic part of NOAA when we was in Grad School and volunteered as a scientist aboard NOAA Ship Albatross IV. The satisfaction of working with the scientists to the completion of an important scientific mission is Colin’s favorite part of the job. When not on the ship, Colin enjoys hiking, snorkeling and traveling.

Kenji Motoyama
Chief Boatswain (Bosun)

Kenji is from Honolulu, Hawaii. He has worked at sea for 33 years. He spent 10 years fishing commercially for aku (skipjack) aboard the boats Bluefin and Neptune. He was on the NOAA Ship Townsend Cromwell for 15 years and has been on the NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette for 8 years. He is in charge of the deck and machinery. He oversees ship maintenance both inside and out and works with boat operations and the science teams. His favorite part of the job is catching fish and his hobby is making sashimi and poke. On hot days at sea, Kenji makes shave ice for everyone. Kenji has a sparkle in his eyes and an enthusiastic attitude that makes it obvious that he loves this job.

Mike Keeler
Survey Technician

Mike’s home is in Orlando, Florida but he generally works along the Southern Alaska Coast doing hydrographic mapping for nautical charts. When a Survey Technician was needed for the Oscar Elton Sette, Mike volunteered. He will help here for 2 months. This is perfect since one of the things Mike likes best about working for NOAA is being able to visit different places in the world. He also likes learning new technical hydrographic mapping skills. He has spent most of his life at sea. He sailed the oceans of Florida and the Bahamas on a 36-foot sloop. He was also the captain of a crew boat for the oil industry in the Gulf of Mexico. In this picture, Mike is processing data from the multibeam sonar that was obtained during this expedition.

Gary Rorrer

Gary spent 3 years in the Navy. On his first sea voyage the ship immediately encountered 50-foot seas in the North Atlantic. Gary was violently seasick and vowed, that once his service to his country was over, he would never set foot on a boat again. After the Navy, he had his own roofing business for 12 years. His business was successful but he wanted a career change; he wanted to travel and he wanted a job with minimal regulations and restrictions―the maritime industry seemed to fit the bill. Back on ships, and no longer seasick, Gary is in the NOAA Relief Pool. He’s called an Augmenter which means he goes where needed. He works both on deck and in the engine room. He prefers the engine room and is currently working as the Oiler on the Sette. His duties include clean-up, assisting the Engineer, and mechanical and engineering maintenance and repair. He has been with NOAA for 3 years and worked on 5 of their ships. Gary’s favorite part of the job involves problem solving and the creativity needed in design and construction of parts that are fabricated in the ship’s machine shop. Gary has little time for his hobbies which include traveling and woodworking as he prepares for his May 14th wedding to a lovely Thai lady. His new family comes complete with an adorable 5-year old son. Gary makes his home in Thailand.

Randy Covington
Second Cook

Randy spent 15 years in the Navy performing a multitude of jobs including policeman and cook, and he also spent time working in the deck and engine departments. It was only natural for him to continue working on ships when he retired. He joined NOAA 3 years ago and has worked as Second Cook on most of NOAA’s 13 ships. His favorite part of the job is that it allows him to see the world. He names Saipan as the best place he has been so far. Randy does everything the Chief Steward does. There are only two people in the galley so they share all the duties. They plan menus, cook, order food and clean up. When the boat has its full component of 41, there is a lot of food to cook and a lot of dishes to wash. Randy plans to become Chief Steward when there is an opening on one of the NOAA ships. He comes from Norfolk, Virginia. Randy lists his hobbies as playing chess, dancing and sleeping.  In this picture, Randy is coming out of the huge, walk-in freezer on the ship.

Mario Shinzato
Chief Engineer

Mario is fairly new to NOAA and the Oscar Elton Sette. He has worked for NOAA for 5 months and been on this ship for 4. He was previously the Engineer on the Hawaii Superferry. The Superferry was 350 feet long, carried 866 passengers and about 282 automobiles between the Hawaiian Islands. Mario completed high school in Okinawa and after graduation joined the Military Sealift Command as a Junior Engineer. As Chief Engineer, Mario oversees the engine department and all maintenance and repairs. His favorite part of the job is keeping everything running smoothly. He also listed payday near the top of favorites. Mario’s home is in Kailua, Hawaii and his time off the ship is spent with his family. He is the father of 5-year old twins, a boy and a girl.

Ray Storms
General Vessel Assistant/Fisherman

Ray began his life at sea in the Navy in the mid 1970s. Using the GI Bill, he studied electronics and became self-employed as an electronic technician. Successful as that business was (he sent both his sons to college), the sea was calling―when his kids were grown, he had to go back. He has been on NOAA ships since 2004 and on the Sette since 2007. His duties on the ship include small boat handling, crane operations for the CTD, gear handling for fishing operations (lobster traps, bottom fishing, plankton and small fish trawls), bridge watches and general maintenance and repair. His favorite part of the job is handling the small boats. The ship is his home, but during vacations he visits his sons in Maryland and New York. In July the family will reunite for a Caribbean cruise. Ray’s hobbies are music, playing the piano, chess and collecting chess sets. He is also a numismatist *(look it up, or scroll down).

Glen Quintino
First Assistant Engineer

Glen spent his senior year in high school as an exchange student in Denmark. He and his host family became very close and he promised he would return. Five years later, he did return. His host father was an engineer and had his own company. Glen worked in that business for a year and developed his interest in machining and metal working. He joined NOAA 11 years ago and has worked in the engine department on 6 of the NOAA ships. This is his second time working on the Sette. His favorite part of the job is seeing the end result of a successful job. At home in Seattle, Washington, Glen likes working around the house and puttering in the garage. He also enjoys playing Texas Hold’em.

Neil Beckwith
Second Assistant Engineer

Neil comes from an engineering family and has always liked that type of work. He knew, however, that he didn’t want the restrictions of a land-based job. After graduating from high school, Neil went to college in Maine with a major in marine engineering. Upon receiving his degree, he went to work for NOAA and has been on the Sette for 1.5 years. His favorite part of the job is trouble shooting and keeping everything in operating order. When the ship is docked at its home port in Hawaii, Neil plays ice hockey. At home in New England, he enjoys freshwater fishing and hunting deer and game birds.

James McDade
Junior Engineer

James got his engineering experience working on cars and from a year studying auto mechanics in a trade school. That experience led to his job on NOAA ships 8 years ago come July. NOAA was his first time at sea. He had never considered working on boats, but with his uncle’s encouragement, he applied for the job and has never regretted it. His duties include repair and maintenance of everything in the engine room and all the other things that keep the ship, well, ship-shape. James is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, but his home is now in Seattle, Washington. James says the best part of the job is traveling to exotic places. He has spent a lot of time in the Northern Hawaiian Islands and has been to the Mariana Islands 3 times. He likes to dance and drag race. That is the only disadvantage to working at sea―not enough time for racing. His “baby”― a 1967 Dodge Coronet 500.

Kelley Sage
Augmenting Officer

LT Kelley Sage was born and raised in the land-locked state of New
Mexico. She developed her love for the ocean during annual summer vacations to the Texas Gulf Coast. She graduated with a BS in Marine Fisheries from Texas A&M University at Galveston. She has been a NOAA Corps officer for eight years, five of those being spent at sea aboard NOAA Ship's Oscar Elton Sette, David Starr Jordan, and /Hi'ialakai. She has sailed throughout the Pacific including Guam, CNMI, American Samoa, Hawaii, the entire West Coast of the US Mainland, and in the Sea of Cortez.

LT Sage currently works for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Pacific Islands Region, in Honolulu, Hawaii where she works for the Director as Operations Coordinator. She is "filling in" on the Oscar Sette for two weeks, to keep her watch standing skills current and enjoy a little time out of the office. She lives in the beautiful Manoa Valley with her handsome husband, Jeff, and two crazy cats. When she's on land she enjoys stand-up paddle boarding, diving, hiking, and cooking delicious New Mexican food.

Coast Guard
Assistant Command Center Chief
Sector Guam

Lieutenant Junior Grade Fiammetta is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Chaminade University of Honolulu with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology. LTJG Fiammetta enlisted in the Unites States Air Force in 1998 and upon graduation from Boot Camp, served as a Radio Operator at the 100th Communications Squadron at RAF Mildenhall, England.

After completing her tour in England, LTJG Fiammetta was awarded Airman of the Year while assigned to Hickam AFB. LTJG Fiammetta volunteered to be activated and was chosen for an assignment to PACOM as the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of the Staff Judge Advocate’s office. Her over 11 years of military service include 8 years as an enlisted member, achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant before selection to Coast Guard Officer Candidate School.

Upon graduation of OCS in Feb 2007, LTJG Fiammetta was assigned to Sector Guam as the Sector Intel Officer. In 2008 LTJG Fiammetta became the Assistant Command Center Chief. In addition, LTJG Fiammetta is the Sector Guam’s Civil Rights Officer, Boarding Officer, Command Duty Officer, Unit Health Promotions Coordinator and Critical Incident Stress Management Representative, a member of the Guam Joint Terrorism Task Force and Sexual Assault Victims Interdiction Advocate.

LTJG Fiammetta’ s personal awards include four Airman of the Quarter, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Coast Guard Meritorious Team Commendation, Joint Meritorious Unit Citation, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, as well as many other individual and unit awards.

US Coast Guard
Sector Guam

Lieutenant Korkuc reported to Sector Guam in July of 2008 as the Command Security Officer where he is responsible for Sector Guam and its sub-units for their personnel, operational, and physical security.
Upon graduation from Recruit Training in April 1991, Lieutenant Korkuc was assigned to the deck force of CGC VASHON (WPB-1308) stationed in Roosevelt Roads, PR. On VASHON, LT Korkuc served as a Boarding Team Member, Emergency Medical Technician, QMOW and RHIB Coxswain. After a 3-year tour and still awaiting AT “A” school, LT Korkuc transferred to the base support services at Base San Juan from May – Sep 1994. After graduating from Aviation Electronics Technician School in March 1995, he was sent to Airsta Clearwater where he qualified as Basic Aircrewman and Flight Mechanic on the HH-60J. Upon the establishment of HITRON-10 in 2000 in Jacksonville, FL, Lieutenant Korkuc was requested to assist with the stand-up and commissioning of the Helicopter Interdiction and Tactical Squadron (HITRON) aircraft and facilities and qualified as an Aerial Gunner in the MH-68A Stingray helicopter. In July 2003 he received orders to Officer Candidate School. After graduation from OCS, Lieutenant Korkuc was ordered to report to the Thirteenth District in Seattle, WA to work for the Office of Law Enforcement. After completing his tour at D13 in July 2005, Lieutenant Korkuc received orders to Sector Detroit, Michigan where he worked in the Response Department as the Assistant LE Officer and then Incident Management Chief. His duties included Ready For Operations (RFO) Coordinator for eight small boat stations, one STANT and one Aids To Navigation Team, the pollution response division, and Response Duty Officer.

LT Korkuc lived in Scituate, RI and Middlebury, VT before joining the USCG, and has been married to his wife Rita for 15 years. They have a daughter, 13, who is currently attending McCool Middle School, and one son who is 5 in kindergarten.

* Ray collects coins.