STAFF BIOS

Jessica PulferJESSICA DOCKERY, Director of MarineLab Education Programs
BS in Marine Biology, University of West Alabama

As Director, Jessica's duties include training and monitoring staff, curriculum development, and supervising everyday MarineLab operations, in addition to her previously held responsibilities of Dive Program supervisor and senior captain. Jessica began her marine science career soon after graduating by working as a Fisheries Observer aboard various commercial fishing vessels in the Bering Sea and Gulf and Alaska.  She collected biological data for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration & the National Marine Fisheries Service.  Jessica has previous experience as a marine science instructor from Seacamp on Big Pine Key and as an environmental educator at the Wahsega 4-H Center in Dahlonega, GA.  

She is a certified PADI SCUBA Instructor and Coast Guard licensed Captain, and currently sits on the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council as the alternate for Conservation and Environment.

Sarah EgnerSARAH EGNER, Director, Research
BS Biology, Wake Forest University
MS Marine Science, University of South Florida

Sarah always loved the water and her interest in marine science was solidified when she studied abroad as an undergraduate on South Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands. As a graduate student, Sarah was in the Marine Sensory Ecology Lab.  Her thesis project was on the hearing capabilities of coral reef fish and the possibility for pelagic larval fish to use reef sounds as a biological cue for orientation towards the reef for settlement.  All of her research for her project was conducted in the Florida Keys, a place she immediately fell in love with.  While in graduate school she spent her summers teaching marine biology for the Oceanography Camp for Girls and for three months she lived, taught and dove while sailing around the British Virgin Islands for Action Quest, a sailing/SCUBA/marine biology program for high school students.  When she returned to the US, she took a position as an Environmental Specialist at Biological Research Associates in Tampa, FL, then positions with the Florida Institute of Oceanography and the Florida Wildlife Legacy Initiative. Sarah is published in various scientific journal. 

CHRIS OLSTADCHRISTOPHER OLSTAD, Operations Director for MarineLab Undersea Laboratory and Marine Ecology Field Instructor B.S. in Biology, Lynchburg College; Associate of Science in Underwater Technology, Florida Institute of Technology 

Mr. Olstad is a biologist and underwater technician, with considerable experience in undersea research. As a marine biologist he worked as a benthic invertebrate taxonomist. He worked as a diver/scientist on several oceanographic cruises to the Flower Gardens Bank (Gulf of Mexico) using water quality arrays, bottom sampling and underwater photographic techniques to assess oil rig impact on the nearby coral reef. As a submersible mechanic he has worked on manned and unmanned systems rated from 1,000 to 20,000 foot depths, including diver lock-out subs, remotely operated vehicles, and hyper-hypobaric saturation complexes for the offshore industry and shore based physiological research facilities. As a commercial diver he is experienced in underwater cutting and welding, inspection, search and recovery. Since 1985, Mr. Olstad has worked for Marine Resources Development Foundation as Operations Director for its manned underwater laboratory (MarineLab) directing over 500 scientific and educational missions involving more than 1000 aquanauts. Scientific missions have involved NOAA, NASA and the University of Pennsylvania (Institute for Environmental Medicine) researching the effects of saturation diving. He has co-authored and published scientific papers on this topic in the Journals of Applied Physiology and Undersea Biomedical Research. Chris is a Divemaster and holds a US Coast Guard Ocean Operator's License. 

 

 

 

 

 

Columbia
Proud Pro Purchase Partner
DCF
Disney Conservation Fund
Grant Recipient

 

ORCA

Ocean Reef Conservation Association Grant Recipient