Expeditions:Gulf of Mexico Expedition Team
The Gulf of Mexico Expedition Team
The Cousteau team has been on expeditions almost continuously for the past sixty years. Team members have come and gone and many have come back continuously for the next adventure. This list represents those team members who have been a part of the past, the present and may well be a part of future expeditions.
JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU, PRESIDENT, OCEAN FUTURES SOCIETY
Explorer, environmentalist, educator, film producer---for more than four decades Jean-Michel Cousteau has communicated to people of all nations and generations his love and concern for our water planet. The son of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel founded Ocean Futures Society in 1999 to carry on this pioneering work and to honor his heritage.
Jean-Michel serves as an impassioned diplomat for the environment, reaching out to the public through a variety of media, producing over 75 films, receiving Emmy awards, the Peabody Award, the 7 d'Or, and the Cable Ace Award, and authoring hundreds of articles and several books. Jean-Michel travels the globe, meeting with leaders and policymakers at the grassroots level and at the highest echelons of government and business, educating young people, documenting stories of change and hope, and lending his reputation and support to energize alliances for positive change.
FABIEN COUSTEAU, TEAM MEMBER
Third-generation ocean explorer, Fabien shares his father’s and grandfather’s love of ocean adventure and protection. Only four years old when he first scuba dived, Fabien has been exploring the aquatic depths and educating others about the global ocean ever since. His latest marine passion is the understanding and protection of sharks, producing a special, Mind of a Demon, which aired on CBS in June 2006. With a team of experts, Fabien built a four-metre, 545-kilogram shark-shaped submarine to enable him to swim among sharks without influencing their behaviour. Fabien played a key role in Return to the Amazon, interviewing experts, assisting in production, diving with the crew and leading a team to document the world’s most dangerous tidal bore. A graduate of Boston University in environmental economics, Fabien lives in New York City.
NATHAN DEMBECK, MARINE OPERATIONS
“From the year 2001 at age 11, until 2007, when I turned 18 and graduated from the program, I worked on a naval ship called the Pride Of Michigan as a U.S. Naval Sea Cadet. I spent every summer training on board out in the Great Lakes, learning all I could about being on the water. While working on the ship, I learned to dive and had the opportunity to do many interesting projects. One was to work with the Ocean Futures dive team on the filming of the Thunder Bay portion of the PBS TV documentary called Americas Underwater Treasures. After that experience, I was offered a job working at OFS. Upon graduation from high school in 2007, I moved out to California to pursue my dreams and career as a diver.”
MATTHEW FERRARO, DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Matt graduated from California State University Monterey Bay in 1999 with a degree in earth system sciences and policy. As an original expedition member for Jean-Michel Cousteau’s six-part Ocean Adventures PBS series, Matt’s duties have encompassed research, still photography, second unit camera operation, underwater lighting and marine operations. Currently he is staff cinematographer and in charge of diving operations for Ocean Futures Society.
BRIAN HALL, ASSISTANT CAMERA/2ND CAMERA OPERATOR/POST- PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
“I spent a lot of time at the beach when I was growing up. My family would vacation at the shore and I would spend my summers playing in the sand and waves with my brothers. I believe this fostered in me a deep appreciation and wonder for the ocean and all that it holds. I have always been captivated by the unknown mystery, and romanticism of the sea. Growing up I knew that my life would be connected to the sea in some way, so I studied marine biology in college and after graduating I worked in the field for several years researching whales. I soon became more interested in conveying to the public the message that the science was discovering through the beauty of photography and documentary films and what better way to work toward that goal than to work with Jean-Michel Cousteau.”
Since joining the Ocean Futures team Brian has worked as a production assistant on “America’s Underwater Treasures”, “Return to the Amazon”, “Sea Ghosts”, and “Call of the Killer Whale” as well as performing assistant camera duties and 2nd camera filming for “Call of the Killer Whale”.
GARY HOLLAND, SOUND ENGINEER
Audio engineer for Jacques and Jean-Michel Cousteau since 1983, Gary has more than 30 years of professional sound and music recording expertise from television and feature film work under his belt. During his stint with Captain Cousteau, Gary developed a technique for capturing underwater hydrophone recordings in true stereo. Cornell University still uses his orca recordings from this time as the definitive hydrophone stereo recordings of this genre. Gary has worked on feature films, such as Ghost and Jerry Maguire, as well as television series, including The X Files and The West Wing. He also produced the CD Wavesliders, featuring world-renowned surfers, which includes the song “Cool Water,” the theme song for the non-profit environmental organization Surfrider Foundation. A native of New Orleans, Gary lives with his wife, Katie, and two of his three daughters in Southern California.
HOLLY S. LOHUIS, EDUCATION/RESEARCH ASSOCIATE; FIELD PRODUCER
Holly is a marine biologist with a degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara and has been diving around the world with Jean-Michel Cousteau for over a decade. Holly is apart of the expedition team, serving as a key liaison between the expedition team and scientists and is responsible for confirming the factual accuracy of the content of Ocean Futures Society documentaries. Also a marine educator, Holly has educated thousands of children and adults about the wonders and fragility of the marine environment and the importance to protect them for future generations. Overlooking the Pacific, Holly and her 4 year old son, make their home in Summerland California.
DON SANTEE, DIRECTOR OF EXPEDITIONS
Santee has worked side by side with both Jean-Michel Cousteau and Jacques Cousteau for over three decades. Assuming diverse duties as expedition leader and production manager, he coordinates everything from diving expeditions to film logistics. An underwater photographer for books and magazines, he has also worked on over 26 television documentaries. In addition to acting as the team's medical officer, Santee is also responsible for training the Ocean Futures team on advanced technical dive procedures and working with state-of-the-art closed circuit rebreathers. Santee makes his home in Santa Barbara, California, with his wife Hilary and son Edward.
CARRIE VONDERHAAR, EXPEDITION PHOTOGRAPHER
As staff still photographer for Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Adventures PBS series, Carrie was the first woman to dive Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary on a closed-circuit rebreather and to work with Jean-Michel as both a topside and underwater camera operator. She is also the only expedition member to travel the entire length of the Amazon from the Andes to the Atlantic for Return to the Amazon. Her degrees in French, political science and fine arts from Wittenberg University in Ohio and advanced studies at the Université Rennes 2 in France led to studies at the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara. Carrie was the photographer and photo editor for Jean-Michel’s award-winning, limited-edition book America’s Underwater Treasures, and her images have been published in DIVER, Worth, Sublime, Santa Barbara Magazine, Outside, Men’s Journal, Outdoor Enthusiast, Reader’s Digest, SAVEUR and Discover, as well as various international magazines.