Team
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Jeffrey Beeson

Science/Data Team, Navigator
Assistant Professor (Senior Research)
Pacific Marine Environmental Lab & Oregon State University

Tell us about your work/research. What kinds of things do you do?

I specialize in processing seafloor and subsea datasets which can tell you about the structure, composition, and geologic history of an area. Integrating bathymetry (the depth of the seafloor), seafloor backscatter (acoustic reflectivity of the seabed), and acoustic water-column backscatter (reflectivity of the ocean) provides me with the ability to interpreted the shape of the seafloor, what it is potentially made of, and if any gasses/fluids are escaping into the overlying ocean.

What sparked your initial interest in your career?

Within two weeks of starting my graduate studies at Oregon State University I found myself aboard a research vessel mapping the seafloor. The impressive technology and the almost magical activity of revealing "what lies below" jolted my sense of exploration and discovery. Since then I've spent hundreds of days at sea mapping, exploring, and characterizing the seafloor with countless more days on land interpreting and planning expeditions.

Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?

My father instilled an appreciation for the natural world which guided me to geology and ultimately marine geology. Undergraduate and PhD advisors taught me how to think and act like a scientist.

What element of your work/study do you think is the most fascinating?

The most fascinating aspect of my work is in mapping, detecting, and locating many thousands of methane seeps (gas bubbles emanating from the seafloor).

What other jobs led you to your current career?

After completing my Ph.D at Oregon State University in Marine Geology I took a job at Fugro Marine GeoConsultants where I planned and executed large seafloor mapping/characterizing projects all over the globe. This was an amazing opportunity to get experience in many geographical areas and work with truly skilled persons in marine geophysical data acquisition/processing.

What are your degrees and certifications?

Bachelor of Science in Geology - University of South Florida 2008; Ph.D. of Oceanography - Oregon State University 2016.

What are your hobbies?

I am a tinkerer and enjoy building things. Traveling and exploring new parts of the world has been a passion of mine for a long time.

What advice would you give someone who wants to have a career like yours?

Be a "yes" person. If there are opportunities to go to sea, take them. Going to sea is a great way to get experience and meet/network with people. Don't just stop at one volunteer position, every time you go to sea you'll find new confidence and have opportunities to push yourself to learn new skills.

How did you get involved with the Ocean Exploration Trust?

I am part of the NOAA research group Earth-Ocean Interactions (EOI) that has been awarded time/funding aboard the E/V Nautilus by OET and NOAA Ocean Exploration and Research to explore and characterize methane seeps on the Cascadia Margin.