Meet the Crew – 2014 Pacific Gyre Expedition

charlieCaptain Charles Moore is a third-generation resident of Long Beach, California. Captain Moore grew up in, and on, the Pacific Ocean.  Charles attended the University of California at San Diego where he studied chemistry and Spanish.
After 25 years running a woodworking and finishing business, Captain Moore founded Algalita Marine Research and Education in 1994. Ever since, he has dedicated his time and resources to understanding and remediating the ocean’s plastic load. Along with collaborators from the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, he developed protocols for monitoring marine and beach micro-plastics, which are now used worldwide. To date, Captain Moore has conducted ocean and coastal sampling for plastic fragments through more than 40,000 miles of the North Pacific Ocean, across 22 degrees of latitude and 70 degrees of longitude. His latest 10,000-mile voyage took him and his crew two-thirds of the way to Japan across the International Dateline. His work has been highlighted in numerous major media outlets, including ABC’s Night Line, Good Morning America, National Public Radio, Rolling Stone, and The Wall Street Journal.

daleCo-Captain Dale Selvam is a licensed captain with over 150,000 miles of voyaging, much of which was with marine scientists doing research on plastic pollution.  He was the first to lead expeditions that sampled the South Atlantic and South Pacific Garbage Patches.

jesusJesus Reyes is the President of the Pacific Coast Environmental Conservancy, a 501(c)3 organization actively involved in environmental research, monitoring and education (www.PCEConservancy.org ).  Born and raised in Montebello; east of Los Angeles, Reyes attended California State University, Long Beach where he earned degrees in Marine Biology (BS), Zoology (BS) and Chemistry (Minor).  He then continued into graduate studies, earning a Master’s Degree of Biology with a focus on environmental toxicology and endocrinology.  His Thesis research was among the earliest studies in California to document environmental impacts on endocrine systems of wild fishes (associated with coastal wastewater discharges).  Reyes subsequently co-founded the PCEC (2008) and currently serves as its President.  In addition to its involvement in environmental research and monitoring, PCEC has also developed an environmental education and outreach program that focuses on engaging middle and high school student in environmental sciences.  Reyes also teaches science courses at CSULB and other regional colleges, in environmental, marine and physiological sciences.

lorenaLorena Rios Mendoza received her Ph.D. in Sciences in Coastal Oceanography (Marine Electrochemistry) and her M.S. in Sciences in Coastal Oceanography (Marine Environmental) from the University Autonomous of Baja California (UABC), Baja California, Mexico. She received her B.S. in Chemistry from University National Autonomous of Mexico (UNAM), Lorena served as a visiting researcher and professor in chemistry and Courses of Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry for the America chemical Society in the Chemistry Department at the University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA. She was a Faculty of Marine Sciences at UABC-Mexico.
She is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at University of Wisconsin Superior. She is conducting environmental chemistry pollution of emerging micropollutants as synthetic microplastics debris in the Oceans and the Great Lakes environments. Her work has included the analysis of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in sediments, tissues, water, and plastic debris. MIcroplastics ingested by fish.

laurieLaurie Harvey is the Founder of Sutil Conservation Ecology.  She has worked in the fields of seabird conservation biology and island restoration since 2002.  Her primary goal as a conservationist is to conduct scientific research, habitat restoration, and public education for the purpose of conserving and protecting pelagic species which rely on island and marine refuges. Her main research activities have focused on studying the breeding biology and reproductive performance of seabirds in the California Current System, particularly the species that nest on the California Channel Islands and the islands of northwestern Baja California, Mexico.  Major projects have included: 1) reproductive monitoring and status assessments for multiple seabird species, including California Brown Pelicans, Ashy Storm-Petrels, Scripps’s Murrelets, and Cassin’s Auklets 2) studies of seabird foraging areas and prey availability, and 3) on-site conservation actions such as native plant habitat restoration, disturbance reduction, and colony reestablishment techniques. In addition to biological surveys and research activities,

cynthiaCynthia Matzke is a marine biologist and ocean science communicator who joins Algalita for her second gyre expedition. Her passions include spending time at sea researching and filming whales and sharks, as well as studying human-caused ocean stressors. She works closely with her home community on Maui, confronting many facets of the debris issue including assisting NOAA to respond to entangled humpbacks, teaching citizen science, organizing reef cleanups, orchestrating classroom outreach and facilitating public speaking events.
Matzke will set sail immediately upon graduating with honors from Scripps Institution of Oceanography with a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation. She will spend an entire month diving in the accumulation zone with the intent of documenting the Great Pacific Garbage Patch from a new perspective – below the ocean surface.
Another interest of Matzke’s is to study invasive species in the gyre associated with the Tohoku tsunami debris, as these rafting species have the potential to profoundly alter ecosystems around the Hawaiian archipelago.
Matzke is collaborating with COORC.org and Cinepartners to create a documentary on ocean connectivity in the Pacific that will be filmed in 4K, or Ultra High Definition, an emergent technology that captures images in stunning clarity. Upon completion of the expedition she will return home to Maui, Hawaii to continue her work raising awareness about ocean issues through film and community outreach.