Jeffrey A. Karson is Professor of Geology in the Department of Earth Sciences at Syracuse University and a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. He investigates the interplay of magmatic construction and mechanical deformation of extensional and transform fault environments from ophiolites, contemporary oceanic crust, Iceland, continental rifts and continental margins. Professor Karson has participated in numerous field projects and seafloor research cruises worldwide. He is the author or co-author of over 150 publications on seafloor spreading and related phenomena. Deborah S. Kelley is a Professor in the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington and also Associate Director of Science for the first US underwater high-power, high-bandwidth cabled observatory, funded by the NSF. She is the former Chair of the UNOLS Deep Submergence Science Committee. Her research examines the linkages between submarine volcanoes, underwater hot springs and how they support life in the absence of sunlight. Dr Kelley has participated in over 35 blue water cruises routinely using robotic vehicles, and has been on over 50 Alvin deep-sea submersible dives, to depths as great as 4000 meters. Daniel J. Fornari is a marine geologist and Senior Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). He was the first Chief Scientist of Deep Submergence at WHOI, a past Director of WHOI's Deep Ocean Exploration Institute (DOEI) and was a Chair of the Ridge 2000 Program, a NSF-funded national program studying mid-ocean ridges. Dr Fornari is the author or co-author of over 100 research publications and has participated in over 100 research cruises and as many dives in deep-sea submersibles. His research focuses on volcanic and hydrothermal processes along the global mid-ocean ridge, using a variety of surface and deep-towed sonar systems, submersibles, ROVs and AUVs. Michael R. Perfit is Professor of Geological Sciences at the University of Florida, where he has received several awards for excellence in teaching. He has co-authored more than 100 scientific publications on volcanism and magma genesis at oceanic spreading centers and seamounts. Dr Perfit has participated in 30 oceanographic research cruises and taken more than 35 dives in Alvin. He has served as the Chair of the Deep Submergence Science Committee, and is also a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and the American Geophysical Union, and a Trustee of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. Timothy M. Shank is an Associate Scientist in the Biology Department of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Director of WHOI's Ocean Exploration Institute. His research focuses on ecological and evolutionary processes that affect ecosystem structure, faunal evolution and biodiversity in the deep sea. Dr Shank has conducted more than 57 scientific expeditions, using a wide variety of submersibles, ROV and AUV systems (including more than 50 Alvin dives). He is currently the Director of the Hadal Ecosystems Studies Program, pioneering the first research use of the full-ocean depth hybrid ROV (Nereus) in the deepest trenches.
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