Team Bios

Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS):

AOOS is the Alaska regional component of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) who coordinates national, international, regional, and local ocean and coastal observation networks, modeling efforts, and data management and communications services to safeguard life and property, to protect valuable ecosystems, and sustain our Nation’s economic vitality. All work plans and activities for this project are coordinated with Dr. Janzen of the Alaska Ocean Observing System acting as Project Team Lead.

Dr. Janzen
Director of Operations
Alaska Ocean Observing System

Janzen has her B.S. and M.S. in Oceanography and a Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography and over three decades of experience conducting and managing interdisciplinary observational research in estuarine, coastal-shelf and offshore environments. As Director of Operations, she is responsible for operation and administration of the AOOS program, and works closely with the AOOS staff, partners and stakeholders to facilitate the prioritization and implementation of new observing instruments and initiatives, especially those relevant to maritime domain awareness and operations, coastal hazards, and ecosystem and climate variability.

Holly Kent is the AOOS Program Coordinator and Website Manager. She received a bachelor of science degree from the University of New Hampshire and is working on the project webpage, project outreach and workshop activities.

Axiom Data Science LLC:

Axiom is an informatics and software development firm focused on developing data management and cyber infrastructure solutions for research programs and organizations in the ecological, geological and ocean sciences. Axiom has been the Data Management Team for the AOOS Program since 2011. Axiom Data Science is leading the analysis of AIS vessel information to deliver an application-ready data format for prioritization of bathymetric surveys in the U.S. Arctic EEZ.

Rob Bochenek
Lead Information Architect
Axiom Data Science

Rob Bochenek is the Lead Information Architect at Axiom, and has been developing data management and cyber infrastructure solutions for research programs and organizations for the past fifteen years. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan with degrees in aerospace engineering and mathematics. His team lead responsibilities on this project include coordinating and leading the data synthesis activity and working with the software engineers to execute the numerical analysis of AIS data.

Jessica Austin is a senior software engineer who is adapting the Apache Spark cluster to index and analyze the AIS data sets and produce analytical heat maps of various vessel activity characteristics. She has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Caltech and a master’s in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon, as well as five years of experience as a software developer and DevOps engineer at companies including ThoughtWorks and

Kyle Wilcox is a software architect working with ocean and environmental science projects, where he specializes in the discoverability and accessibility of data. Kyle has a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Rhode Island and has worked for the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office in Annapolis, MD, managing huge collections of modeled and observed data.

Marine Exchange of Alaska:

The Marine Exchange of Alaska (MXAK) builds and operates the only terrestrial AIS (Automatic Identification System) network in Alaska that is serving as the primary component of the U.S. Coast Guard’s and State of Alaska’s maritime domain awareness network. Collectively, MXAK staff have more than 150 years of Coast Guard experience and 250 years of maritime experience in Alaska accumulated in both the Coast Guard and maritime industry, and are internationally recognized as the maritime domain experts in Alaska.

Ed Page
Executive Director
Marine Exchange of Alaska (MXAK)

Ed Page, MXAK Executive Director, serves as a project team lead. Captain Page is a 1972 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy who served in the Coast Guard for 29 years after graduation. Page served in the Atlantic, Pacific and Alaska waters and later in work on marine safety and operational assignments on the West Coast and Alaska. He was assigned as Captain of the Port and Group Commander for the Los Angeles/Long Beach region and subsequently served as the Chief of Marine Safety and Environmental Protection for the Coast Guard Pacific Area. Page retired from the Coast Guard in 2001 and founded the Marine Exchange of Alaska in Juneau.

Bill Benning, the MXAK’s Chief Technical Officer (CTO) is a retired Coast Guard officer who previously served as the communications officer for the Coast Guard Alaska region. Benning manages MXAK’s AIS hardware, software, servers, databases and firewalls to process and disseminate the AIS data feeds from MXAK’s 48 terrestrial AIS stations in the Arctic.

Rick Sypeck, MXAK’s lead on the display and processing of AIS data and QC processes, ensures AIS data are vetted and errors in type of vessel, name of vessel, dimensions and other information is corrected through comparing their data to international maritime databases MXAK has access to.

Brett Farrell, the MXAK project manager, is also a retired Coast Guard officer with extensive experience sailing Alaska waters and serving in marine safety planning initiatives. Mr. Farrell has an overall understanding of all MXAK services and capabilities and interfaces with all involved parties in identifying and fulfilling the specific data requirements, overseeing the QC process and the dissemination of data.


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