Dr. Dana Yoerger

Dr. Dana Yoerger received the SB, SM, and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is currently an Associate Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he designs and implements robotic control systems for telerobotic and autonomous underwater vehicles. These include the deep-diving Jason remotely operated vehicle, the Autonomous Benthic Explorer (ABE), and systems used by the US Navy and the commercial inspection industries. He supervises the thesis research of students enrolled in the WHOI/MIT joint program in Oceanographic Engineering, in the areas of control, robotics, and design.

Dr. Yoerger has gone to sea on over 50 oceanographic expeditions, including the 1985 Titanic discovery cruise. Other expeditions include archaeological surveys of ancient shipwrecks, a forensic investigation of a modern shipwreck, and scientific surveys of sites along the Mid-Ocean Ridge. He regularly stands the navigation watch for Jason operations and has been to the deep seafloor six times in DSV Alvin. For operations of the fully autonomous ABE vehicle, his responsibilities include science liason, control system design and implementation, mission programming and testing, and generation of data products.

He has also participated in five Jason Project expeditions, enabling students around the world to take part in scientific discoveries. For the JASON Project VII expedition, he served as a Host Researcher. For the Jason Project IX expedition to the Guaymas Basin, he served as Chief Scientist.

Dr. Yoerger is currently head of WHOI's Deep Submergence Laboratory (DSL) which was founded by Dr. Robert Ballard. DSL features a unique team of engineers, technicians, administrators, and students who perform engineering research and development, and also conduct extensive oceanographic field work under the auspices of WHOI's National Deep Submergence Facility. He also works with engineers from WHOI's Applied Engineering Laboratory and the Alvin Group.

JASON Learning: A Partnership of Sea Research Foundation and National Geographic