Tell us about your work/research. What kinds of things do you do?
I specialize in ROV technology and operation, both commercial and scientific. After working for a manufacturer I was fascinated with operations and eventually became an independent contractor. Operating ROVs in different regions I spend many months abroad on vessels at sea. Commercial work usually involves several ROVs working from the same vessel for extended periods. Scientific work is typically a 'cruise' of finite duration. Both have specific ROV objectives that must be achieved on every dive. I'm part of a team that uses technology combined with operations to repeatedly send ROVs to the bottom of the ocean.
What sparked your initial interest in your career?
I liked to build and operate things and was lucky enough to get a job doing exactly that with a unique product. Building is interesting but operation only consisted of factory testing. I finally had the chance to operate in the field while traveling to service the equipment and was immediately hooked.
Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?
Dr. Robert Ballard visited our little factory once with stories of shipwrecks, 'black smokers' and exotic animals. With encouragement from the factory owners I 'set out in the world' to operate the equipment we built.
What element of your work/study do you think is the most fascinating?
The people and places followed by the technology. Sitting next to a Scientist while operating an ROV at thousands of meters attempting to sample or explore while managing a handful of technology is never the same and always fascinating.
What other jobs led you to your current career?
I had several jobs as Electronic Technician after graduation in the defense industry, broadcasting, and manufacturing but kept looking for some reason. Finally got a job manufacturing robotic equipment and could not get enough.
What are your degrees and certifications?
Associate in Electronics, MTCS Certified ROV Superintendent
What are your hobbies?
We live on a farm in Oregon and enjoy raising animals and growing plants. Integrating farm life with The Internet of Things is a recent hobby.
What advice would you give someone who wants to have a career like yours?
Finish your education before taking a job, the tools you get with education will be with you forever, job skills will come later.
How did you get involved with the Nautilus Exploration Program? How did you get on the ship?
Several of my associates are Nautilus team members, we have worked together on other vessels.
Dan participated in the following Ocean Exploration Trust expeditions: