Kenny Broad

Director, Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy
Professor, RSMAS Dept. of Marine Ecosystems and Society

Environmental anthropologist and National Geographic’s 2011 Explorer of the Year, Dr. Kenny Broad has participated in extreme scientific and filmmaking expeditions on every continent-from concrete jungles to the deepest caves on the planet-to gather information and samples that shed light on little known environmental and cultural subjects.  Kenny led the Bahamas Blue Hole Project which appeared as a cover story in National Geographic, with photos from the late Wes Skiles.

He is a professor at the University of Miami’s (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, is Director of UM’s Abess Center for Ecosystem Science, and also Co-Directs the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at Columbia University, where he received his PhD in 1999.  Broad received the National Geographic 2006 Emerging Explorer Award and was elected a Fellow National of the Explorers Club in 2009. Kenny is a member of the  National Geographic Society Expedition Council Advisory Board.

Keene Haywood

Director, Exploration Science Program
Exploration Science Track Coordinator, RSMAS Master of Professional Science (MPS) Program
Adjunct Professor, RSMAS Dept. of Marine Ecosystems and Society

Dr. Keene Haywood is directing the Exploration Science program through the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. His background is mixture of media production, conservation, geospatial and educational technology research. His interests intersect the humanities and natural sciences with a particular focus on the implementation of effective uses of technology in the field to gather data, document research, and disseminate discovery to the general public.

Dr. Haywood’s experience includes work on deep ocean archaeology ROV projects, documentary projects for National Geographic’s Explorer and Wild Chronicles series, and field projects for The Nature Conservancy and Earthwatch. He has held staff positions at The University of Texas at Austin, the New Media Consortium, National Geographic, and The Nature Conservancy. He holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Texas at Austin, an MFA in Science and Natural History filmmaking from Montana State University, a MA in Marine Affairs and Policy from RSMAS, and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Miami. He was elected to the Explorers Club as a Fellow National in 2007 and currently sits on the ESRI Education Community Advisory Board and the board of the PAST Foundation.



Roni Avissar

Atmospheric Science

Roni Avissar, a former Duke University climatologist who has studied the way Amazon deforestation affects precipitation patterns around the world, became dean of the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science in June 2009. Born and raised in France, Avissar was a professor at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering from 2001 and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering for five years until joining UM. During his tenure as chair, he helped increase the department’s external funding from less than $1 million to more than $4.2 million, led a strategic planning process, increased the number of female faculty members, and revamped the doctoral program-accomplishments that led to the department achieving a No. 18 ranking by U.S. News & World Report. Prior to Duke, Avissar spent 12 years at Rutgers University, including three as chair of the school’s Department of Environmental Sciences. Avissar received all his degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. In 1980 hereceived his B.Sc. in Soil and Water Sciences; in 1982, his M.Sc. in micrometeorology studies; and in 1987, his Ph.D. in atmospheric science.

Andrew Baker

Marine Biology, Coral Reef Ecology

Dr. Andrew Baker is an Associate Professor at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and co-teaches in the Ecosystem Science and Policy program. His research applies genetic tools to understand how reef corals adapt to environmental change, and combines laboratory experiments on corals with fieldwork on reefs around the world. Andrew has a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences (Zoology) from Cambridge University (1993), and a Ph.D. in Marine Biology and Fisheries from the University of Miami (1999). He is a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation and a former Fulbright Scholar from the United Kingdom.

Sanjeev Chatterjee

Documentary Film

Sanjeev Chatterjee is an award winning documentary media maker and teacher. He has taught classes in studio and field production, media and society, writing and documentary production at the University of Miami. He received an Excellence in Teaching Award in 2002 and has been nominated two more times since. In 2007, Chatterjee was honored with the Images and Voices of Hope World Summit Award of Appreciation for his documentary work. He has been on the faculty of the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change, 2008 and 2009. In 2010, Chatterjee was a featured speaker at TEDxMiami and received a Fulbright scholarship to work with students in India in 2011.

In addition to his classroom responsibilities, Professor Chatterjee continues to work with students through the School of Communication’s award winning Documentary Unit, which he founded in 1994. Also, in 2001 Professor Chatterjee created “UMIQ”, a University-wide scholastic game show on the School’s cable channel “UMTV”.

Kim Grinfeder

Interactive Media

Kim Grinfeder joined the faculty of the School of Communication in 2003 and holds a Master’s degree in Interactive Telecommunications from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Miami. His research interests include interaction design and multimedia storytelling. His professional background includes positions in design, programming, and new media consulting. Grinfeder currently teaches in the areas multimedia design, programming and production. His latest project, “Grand Avenue News,” aims to create a shared communication platform for the West Coconut Grove community.

Fritz Hanselmann

Underwater Archaeology

Dr. Frederick H. Hanselmann (“Fritz”) is part of the faculty in the Department of Marine Ecosystems and Society.  He is the track coordinator for the MPS  underwater archaeology track and Director of underwater programs. and is affiliated with the Exploration Sciences Program at UM-RSMAS,  Fritz is also a Fellow with The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University. Having worked on underwater sites from a wide variety of time periods, his exploration and research ranges from submerged prehistoric deposits in springs and caves to historic shipwrecks in Latin America and the Caribbean, including the wreck of the Quedagh Merchant, abandoned by Captain Kidd in 1699 off the coast of Hispaniola. He is a cave and technical diver, a certified scuba instructor, a Nautical Archaeology Society Tutor, and a fellow of the Explorer’s Club.

Fritz completed his Ph.D. In anthropology at Indiana University in 2015 and also holds an MA in anthropology from Indiana University and Masters in Public Affairs focusing on Submerged Cultural Resources Management.  His undergraduate anthropology degree is from Brigham Young University.  His work has been featured in a number of mass media organizations including the National Geographic Channel, the Sundance Film Festival, the Sundance Channel, South By Southwest Film Festival, and the Travel Channel.  In addition to being a cave and technical diver and certified scuba instructor, he is also a Fellow with the Explorers Club and a Nautical Archaeology Society Tutor.

Neil Hammerschlag

Marine Conservation, Elasmobranch Research, K-12 Outreach

Dr. Neil Hammerschlag is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Miami, a joint position between the Rosenstiel School and the Abess Center.

Dr. Hammerschlag’s current research interests focus on understanding how predator-prey interactions structure communities, particularly those involving sharks.

He is also founder and director of the Marine Conservation Program at the University of Miami. The mission of the program is to advance ocean conservation and scientific literacy by combining cutting edge research and outreach activities. He is also working in collaboration with the National Parks Service to establish a unique virtual distance education project to bring ocean exploration into classrooms via live online interactive wireless communications.

Gina Maranto

Science Writing and Communication

Professor Gina Maranto co-teaches in the Ecosystem Science and Policy program and is a Senior Lecturer and Director of English Composition in the Department of English. She received her M.A. in fiction from The Writing Seminars at The Johns Hopkins University in 1980, and her B.A. in English Literature from Pomona College in 1977. She is a prize-winning science writer who has covered the environment, Earth sciences, and biomedicine at the national level since 1982. Her articles, opinion pieces, and reviews have appeared in Discover, The Atlantic Monthly, Scientific American, The New York Times, and other publications. Her cover piece for Discover on climate change won the National Association of Science Writers Award for best magazine piece of 1986 and limned the major issues that remain of interest today with regard to that subject. She is author of Quest for Perfection (1996), a history of attempts to alter birth outcomes and a critique of assisted reproductive technologies.

In 2006, she received the Dean’s Award in Special Recognition for Contributions to Undergraduate Education in the College of Arts & Sciences. She has also received a Vice President’s Award for Service (2004), a Provost’s Grant for Innovative Teaching (2004), and an Excellence-in-Teaching Award (2003).

Claire Paris

Marine Physics

Claire Paris is an Associate Professor in the division of Applied Marine Physics at the University of Miami, with a secondary appointment to the division of Marine Biology and Fisheries. Paris received her Ph.D. in Coastal Oceanography at SUNY Stony Brook, NY in 2001.

Paris’ research interests focus on some fundamental questions about the behavior of the living ocean in a changing environment, with an emphasis on the physical-biological interactions during the so called ‘Critical Period’ of marine organisms. As an oceanographer with rare expertise in larval fish taxonomy, she has developed cutting-edge multiscale individual-based models, and invented novel Lagrangian observational methods and instruments to investigate pelagic processes, ranging from larval navigation to marine population connectivity.

Nick Shay

Atmospheric Science

Dr. Shay’s research interests include: upper ocean response and coupled atmosphere-ocean interactions, coastal ocean circulation processes, surface wave current interactions and atmospheric and oceanic boundary layer interactions. These phenomena are studies largely from experimental and empirical perspectives using measurements from aircraft, satellite, buoy and land based radar (i.e. Wellen Radar).

Dr. Shay served as the Co-Chief Editor for the AMS Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology-Oceans, and is currently an associate editor. He is on the Editorial Board of Elsevier’s Dynamics of Atmosphere and Ocean Journal and served as a NOAA Cooperative Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Science Fellow from 2004–2010. Dr. Shay was elected a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society in 2012.

Peter Swart

Marine Geology and Geophysics

 Dr. Peter Swart co-teaches in the Ecosystem Science and Policy program and is Professor and Chair of the Division of Marine Geology and Geophysics at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Dr. Swart was educated in the United Kingdom attending the University of Sheffield (B.Sc in Natural Environmental Science) and King’s College, University of London (Ph.D in Geology). While in London in supplemented his income working on hit films such as ‘The Shining’ as well as duds such as ‘Holocaust 2000’ and ‘The Mummy’ as well as writing articles for ‘On Your Bike’. Unable to find gainful employment he started a posdoctoral position at the University of Cambridge working on the stable isotopic composition of extraterrestrial material with Colin Pillinger.

In 1983 he moved to the University of Miami and in 1986 set up the Stable Isotope Laboratory. In addition to stable isotopes, Peter Swart collects and rebuilds vintage motorcycles.

Shimon Wdowinski

Geology and Geophysics

 Dr. Shimon Wdowinski is a research associate professor at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Miami, where he teaches and researches geology and geophysics. His work has focused on the development and usage of space geodetic techniques that can detect very precisely small movements of the Earth’s surface. He successfully applied these technologies to study natural hazards and environmental phenomena, such as earthquakes, landslides, and wetland surface flow.

He received a B.Sc in Earth Sciences (1983) and M.Sc. in Geology (1985) from the Hebrew University (Jerusalem, Israel) and an M.S. in Engineering Sciences (1987) and Ph.D. in Geophysics (1990) from Harvard University. Before resuming a faculty position at Tel Aviv University in 1994, he conducted a post-doctorate research at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, UCSD (1990-1993). He joined the University of Miami in 2001.



Barrington Irving

Aviation, Engineering, K-12 Programs and Outreach

Barrington Irving is the founder and head of Experience Aviation, a not-for-profit organization that provides inspiration for children through after school and summer programs helping them to learn about aviation and engineering through hands on projects.   He has held the world record as the youngest person to fly solo around the world and is the first Jamaican and black individual to accomplish this feat.   In 2013 he is planning on another circumnavigation of the globe working with National Geographic to highlight areas of special scientific, cultural and conservation related interest.   A main focus of his work is to spark interest in children to pursue careers in STEM related fields once they leave high school.

Jenn Macalady

Microbiologist, Cave Explorer

Dr. Jenn Macalady is an enthusiastic and curiosity driven researcher specializing in microbial ecology and ecological interactions in microbial dominated systems (ancient earth analogs).  She ventures to some of the world’s deepest and darkest places (typically underground or underwater)  to understand how microbes have played a role in the evolution of Earth’s history. She is an Associate Professor of Geosciences at Penn State University.

Tierney Thys

Marine Biology, Science Education, Documentary Film and Interactive Media

Marine biologist Dr. Tierney Thys has fallen head over heels for a big, goofy fish: the Mola mola, or giant ocean sunfish. In studying the mola — where they go, what they eat, what eats them — she’s also hunting for clues to the behavior of all life in the open ocean. With their enormous, odd bodies, peaceful habits and lust for jellyfish, these giants can be key to understanding life in the open ocean. Thys and her team are tagging and tracking molas worldwide to learn about how they live, and how climate change may be affecting all ocean life.

Thys is a National Geographic Explorer with a passion for marine education. She was also past director of research at the Sea Studios Foundation, a team of scientists and filmmakers that makes media to raise awareness of environmental issues — including the PBS series Strange Days on Planet Earth and targeted videos that influence policymakers and businesspeople. Sea Studios was also instrumental in helping eBay stop the trading of invasive species. (from TED website)