Jonathan Howland headshot photo

Jonathan Howland

ROV Engineer
Principal Engineer
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

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

I work with the software and computing systems involved in marine research. I have been responsible for the development of software for control and navigation of several vehicles, including Hercules and Argus

What sparked your initial interest in your career?

I have strong family ties to seagoing and have always sought after adventure. When I got the chance to combine the two, I jumped at it.

Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?

The team of people who operate the Jason ROV at Woods Hole welcomed me into the group and gave me lots of opportunities. It has been my great pleasure to work with them throughout my career, both at Woods Hole and at OET.

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

Making complex engineering systems work in difficult operational conditions.

What other jobs led you to your current career?

I worked as a field surveyor in the Middle East, as a photogrammetric software engineer, and as a submarine navigation systems analyst before moving to my current career at Woods Hole

What are your degrees and certifications?

BS in Surveying Engineering, University of Maine, 1980, MS in Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University, 1987

What are your hobbies?

running, cycling

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

Make sure you really learn the basics--math and physics--and look for how that knowledge appears in your daily job. Look for opportunities to contribute. Make the group effort successful, and don't worry about who gets the credit.  

How did you get involved in the Nautilus Exploration Program? How did you get on the ship?

I was part of the team that designed and built Argus and Hercules


Jonathan participated in the following Ocean Exploration Trust expeditions: