The Beacon

Ocean Hero Finalists: Dirk Rosen

Dirk Rosen flies an ROV at the Farallon Islands 27 miles off of San Francisco, California.

This is the sixth in a series of posts about this year’s Ocean Hero finalists.

At age four, Dirk Rosen’s mother taught him to fish. At age 10, he learned to dive for abalone. In college, he earned his tuition teaching scuba diving.

Guided by this lifelong love of the ocean, Dirk has spent his career applying his expertise with robotic submarines to protect deep-sea marine ecosystems.

Working in and around deepwater environments (2000+ feet deep), Dirk discovered an urgent need to develop more accurate fish and habitat assessments in order to sustainably manage marine resources. In 2003, he founded Marine Applied Research and Exploration (MARE), a non-profit research organization, to collect deepwater data on marine ecosystems using state-of-the-art technical tools.

Working in partnership with non-profits, government agencies and universities, MARE has now completed 16 ROV surveys, assessed marine protected areas, conducted a marine census of deepwater National Marine Sanctuary sites, and evaluated the impacts of fishing gear. The group’s research provides critical information for scientists and policy makers to evaluate whether current ocean management techniques are effective.

Before MARE, Dirk worked on the Challenger, a manned submersible designed for the late Steve Fossett in his quest to set the solo deep diving record in the Marianas Trench. (This project has since been taken over by Sir Richard Branson and Chris Welch.)

 

Have you voted yet? Check out the other finalists, cast your vote and spread the word! And stay tuned for more spotlighted finalists in the coming days!

Special thanks to the sponsors of the Ocean Heroes Award for making all of this possible: Nautica, Revo and For Cod & Country, the new book by chef and National Geographic fellow Barton Seaver.


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