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Gene Feldman's experience included extended service (3 1/2 years) as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Western Samoa, where among other things he was involved in fish farming, sea turtle conservation, boat building and village fisheries development.
gene carl feldman
Oceanographer NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Code 970.2 (301) 286-9428 (301) 286-0268 (facsimile) http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Gene has been an oceanographer at NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center since 1985. He has been involved with the production, archival and distribution of the satellite-derived ocean color data sets, first as observed by the Nimbus-7 Coastal Zone Color Scanner and now, for the new ocean color mission called SeaWiFS which was successfully launched on August 1, 1997, for which he is responsible for the design, development and operations of the data processing system which also includes the SeaWiFS satellite receiving station. SeaWiFS (Sea-Viewing Wide Field Sensor) is a unique mission in a number of aspects, not the least of which is the industry/government relationship that this project has adopted.
The applications of satellite-derived ocean color data range from providing the information needed for a more accurate assessment of the role of the ocean in global change, for providing a key parameter in a number of ecological and environmental studies, and the color images of the Earth's changing land and ocean features will be of significant use in fisheries management, agriculture assessment and coastal zone monitoring. There is no question that the Earth is changing. SeaWiFS enables us for the first time to monitor the biological consequences of that change - to see how the things we do, and how natural variability, affect the Earth's ability to support life.
Prior to 1985, Gene's experience included extended service (3 1/2 years) as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Western Samoa, where among other things he was involved in fish farming, sea turtle conservation, boat building and village fisheries development.
During his Peace Corps years, Gene experienced first-hand, many of the fisheries traditions unique to the south seas, including the rather remarkable way the people of the South Pacific fish for that most feared creature of the sea, the shark.
During the many years that Gene has spent going out to sea, he has come face to face with more than his fair share of marine life. After Peace Corps, he worked as a fisheries biologist in Seattle, Alaska and San Diego. It was through a combination of taking to heart the old sayings of "my boat is so small and the ocean so wide" and "you can't tell the forest for the trees", that Gene first became interested in the prospect of using satellite observations to help get a better understanding of how the oceans worked. This led to his becoming a Graduate Research Fellow at the Marine Sciences Research Center, State University of New York at Stony Brook, where for his dissertation, he used satellite and oceanographic data to study the variability in, and the relationship between, the physical and biological processes in the ocean.
The author and co-author of numerous publications, Gene has also contributed to a large number of programs including The Jason Project, Public Broadcasting, the BBC, the Discovery Channel, the National Geographic Society, the Cousteau Society, the Smithsonian Institution, and U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment. In addition, he has been a member of the U.S. Scientific Steering Committee for the National Science Foundation's Joint Global Ocean Flux Study, a program to study the ocean's role in the global carbon cycle. He is currently on the International Science Advisory Council for the upcoming Coastal Rhythms Exhibition planned for the New England Aquarium, and is involved with the joint NOAA/NASA project studying the Health, Ecological, and Econonic Dimensions of Global Change (HEED).
Gene has been involved in using the World Wide Web (since January, 1994) and other emerging technologies to reach out to a wider audience. He is the creator of the JASON Project Home Page, which in collaboration with Dr. Robert Ballard, of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who led the team that found the wreck of the R.M.S. Titanic, and The JASON Foundation for Education, are using advanced interactive telecommuncations to educate and excite students about science and technology. As part of his JASON experiences, Gene has had an opportunity to participate in a number of JASON expeditions including JASON IV to the Gulf of California, where the underwater mysteries of hydrothermal vents were explored. During JASON V Expedition to Belize, Gene ran fiber optic cables through the rain forest of Belize to establish JASON's Jungle Computer Lab that was used during the live expedition broadcasts. As part of the JASON VI: Island Earth Expedition, Gene helped develop the Spiders of the World interactive exercise that involved students in an online data gathering and sharing activity and coordinated the first JASON broadcast live via the Internet.
In addition to his continued involvement with the online components of the 1996 expedition, JASON VII: Adapting to a Changing Sea, which included the web-based Aquatic Field Study and Exploring the Steel Reef, Gene participated in an all day dive to the bottom of the sea on the Navy's nuclear research submarine, the
While at the JASON VII expedition site in Key Largo, Florida, Gene came face to face with one of the legends of the silver screen......the African Queen.
The Union Jack still flies proudly, high above the deck of the African Queen. The old steam boiler still needs to be kicked occasionally, lest it blow itself and all the inhabitants of the Queen into oblivion. However, it isn't Humphrey Bogart that is doing the kicking anymore, nor is it wood cut from the shores of a dark, leech-infested African river that keeps the old girl going.
Rather, it is James Hendricks and his bags of African Queen charcoal briquets that keep the legend alive. Most days, the African Queen rests peacefully on her cradle under a faded canopy at the dock beside the Key Largo Holiday Inn. However, the African Queen, that 30 foot collection of steel, wood, rope and character is not one to rest on her laurels. Under the watchful eye of Jim Hendricks she has plied the world's waterways from New Orleans to the English Channel and I was fortunate enough to be one of the lucky ones to follow in the footsteps of Bogart and Hepburn.
Most recently, Gene has had a number of very productive collaborations with the Smithsonian Institution. Working with the Institution's Office of Environmental Awareness, he helped create the Smithsonian's first electronic exhibition, "Ocean Planet Online", which has been called one of the most comprehensive and technologically advanced exhibitions of its kind. In appreciation for this work, the Smithsonian Institution awarded Gene the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal.
Working with Dr. Clyde Roper and the folks at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, Gene helped to put In Search of Giant Squid online, an exhibition which explores and interprets the mystery, beauty and complexity of giant squids - the world's largest invertebrates and was based upon material presented in the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History's exhibit In Search of Giant Squid.
In 1997, Clyde Roper lead a team of scientists to the depths of Kaikoura Canyon off the coast of New Zealand on An Expedition into the Depths of the Last Frontier.
During February and March 1999, Clyde Roper returned to Kaikoura Canyon to continue the exploration of this incredible ecosystem. This time, Gene went along to help document the expedition as it took place.
On a more recent trip to that part of the world, Gene learned first hand what the expression "going to the devil" really meant.
Using tools developed for Ocean Planet, Norman Kuring and Gene worked with the Smithsonian's Office of Printing and Photographic Services to develop a Web-based utility to Search and Retrieve Images from The Smithsonian Photographic Services Data Base. Using this tool, it is possible to quickly and efficiently search through almost 1,000 image files covering topics ranging from Air and Space, to Science, Nature, Technology, History, and People-Places and to retrieve the images and captions.
To help celebrate the Smithsonian Institution's 150th Anniversary, Gene and Norman created a way for people around the world to wish the Smithsonian a happy birthday.
For the JASON IX Expedition this year, Gene was onboard the research ship R/V Atlantis (April 17-26, 1998) the newest research vessel from the Woods Hole's Oceanographic Institution where researchers used both the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) JASON and the manned submersible Alvin to explore the hydrothermal vent communities a mile beneath the Sea of Cortez.
In addition to helping provide daily updates of all the activities onboard the Atlantis live via satellite over the internet, Gene also collected daily measurements to help verify the atmospheric correction algorithms for SeaWiFS. Also, the Atlantis provided a great subject for photography.
As you can tell, water plays a major role in Gene's life....he enjoys the ocean, lakes, rivers, ponds.....just about anything that contains water except his basement.
He spends as much time as possible paddling around in his kayak, exploring some of the many natural, and oftentimes, unnatural wonders that this area has to offer.
Gene recently spent two weeks standing watches, chipping paint, tarring footropes, scraping and painting knees, pumping bilges, hauling lines, climbing ratlines, and in general, having an incredible experience, as he sailed onboard the wooden tallship "HMS" Rose from Miami to New York City.
Gene earned his Ph.D. in Coastal Oceanography from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and lives in a 100 year old farmhouse which gives him the opportunity to ride around on a little tractor, to dig in the dirt, and do death-defying feats with sharp tools.