Kate Von Krusenstiern headshot photo

Kate Von Krusenstiern


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

I am a geospatial and mapping specialist working on a variety of projects relating to ocean exploration and ocean science. As a technician, my role is multifaceted and dynamic. I manage systems to acquire a spectrum of acoustic data, such as Multibeam Echosounders to gather bathymetry data or sub-bottom profiles to understand the different types of the substrate underneath the seafloor. I process and analyze data collected for quality assurance and control, this ensures the data collected can be leveraged for different needs in the marine field. I also track subsea vehicles, such as an ROV, using navigation software. This work is very team-oriented and I always get to work with a variety of technicians, engineers, and scientists to make ocean science happen.

What sparked your initial interest in your career?

Both the unknown parts of our ocean and my commitment to ocean conservation drew me to this career. I see marine conservation as this jigsaw of coordinated and ad hoc visions, and the root of this puzzle is knowledge. We need to know the ocean and understand the ocean to act accordingly. I love being a seafloor mapper because the vast majority of the seafloor isn't mapped and this information is so critical to furthering the field of ocean science and ocean conservation efforts. What constitutes the seafloor is such a large part of this puzzle and I am excited to be a part of a larger team that is closing our gaps of knowledge.

Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?

There is no single person who has influenced or encouraged me more, but rather a long list of inspiring individuals. This includes my family, friends, other technicians and mappers I have met, and leaders in the field.  

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

The part of this job that never ceases to spark joy is being the first person to see something for the first time. Whether it is a pinnacle on the seafloor or a deep-sea coral attached to a ledge in a submarine canyon. That moment is always awe-inspiring. My other favorite aspect of this job is the team environment and accomplishing science with other individuals who bring a wide range of expertise and skills to the table.

What other jobs led you to your current career?

I've had many jobs that have helped lead me to the career I have now as a Technician. Some of these jobs were high up in mountains as a Wilderness Ranger and Field Tech. Other jobs were at a desk working as an Analytical Programmer for various ocean data. In every situation, my commitment to learning new skills and putting myself forward for new opportunities have enabled me to be successful and what I am doing now.

What are your degrees and certifications?

I have a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from Western Washington Univerisity 2012. I am currently completing my Masters of Science in Oceanography at the University of New Hampshire, Center of Coastal and Ocean Mapping. I commit to taking short-courses and certifications that help me do better at my job.

What are your hobbies?

I love anything that gets me as high above sea level as possible, like skiing and climbing. My goal for 2021 is to be able to sail small boats solo.

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

I have three top pieces of advice. (1) don't let fear of rejection keep you from applying to fresh opportunities, even if they feel out of reach. The answer is always no if you don't apply yourself. (2) execute respect, kindness, and humility in all situations. And finally (3) learn some tech-savvy skills such as coding or networking or working with databases.

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

I became involved with the Ocean Exploration Trust through my graduate program at the Center of Coastal and Ocean Mapping, University of New Hampshire. Nicole Raineault gave a seminar highlighting the accomplishments of the previous E/V Nautilus season. I reached out about sailing with the company to gain at-sea experience.