Meet the Staff
The Monitor National Marine Sanctuary office is co-located with The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia.
Monitor National Marine Sanctuary
100 Museum Drive
Newport News, VA 23606
David Alberg, Sanctuary Superintendent
David Alberg joined the National Marine Sanctuary Program in the fall of 2005. As Sanctuary Superintendent for the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, Mr. Alberg serves as the onsite manager for the sanctuary and as the primary point of contact between NOAA and The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia which is conserving the thousands of artifacts recovered from the wreck of the USS Monitor. He has an extensive background in cultural resource management, museum work and exhibit development and has been involved in a number of high-profile museum projects. In 1992, Mr. Alberg began his museum career as the first curator for the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton Virginia and went on to serve as the Director of Exhibits and Collections for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL. Most recently, he served as the Deputy Director for Nauticus in Norfolk, Virginia where he was instrumental in the expansion of the NOAA@Nauticus partnership.
During his career, he has been involved in the development of a curation strategy for the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in conjunction with the Department of Energy and also led a major effort to preserve the Apollo One spacecraft that was involved in the 1967 Apollo fire that took the lives of astronauts Virgil I. Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffe. Preserving our Nation’s history has always been a passion for Mr. Alberg. As Sanctuary Superintendent for the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary he continues the work of protecting and preserving the history of the USS Monitor; works to assure that the remains of the USS Monitor are preserved for future generations; and works to promote and expand the work of the National Marine Sanctuary Program. Mr. Alberg serves in the United States Navy Reserve and holds a bachelors degree in Museum Studies from George Mason University and a master’s degree in Museum Education from the College of William and Mary.
Education and Outreach
Shannon Ricles, Education and Outreach Coordinator
Shannon Ricles is the Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. Formerly, Shannon was the Director at Patuxent River Naval Air Station of STARBASE-Atlantis-a US Navy educational outreach program that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and which serves over 1,000 local fifth grade students annually. Prior to working for the Navy, Shannon was the Program Manager and Coordinating Producer for NASA's educational broadcast program, the NASA SCI Files, which aired nationwide on PBS and on over 800 cable access channels. The program won numerous awards including five Emmys. Shannon has over 15 years classroom experience as an educator at multiple grade levels and received her Bachelors of Science degree in Education with an Earth Science emphasis from the University of North Texas at Denton. She is currently working on her Masters of Business Administration at Saint Leo's University.
Joe Hoyt, Maritime Archaeologist
Joe Hoyt is a maritime archaeologist serving as a field tech and researcher for the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. He has worked on several NOAA projects in the Thunder Bay, Florida Keys and Monitor National Marine Sanctuaries since 2001. In 2004, he was awarded the North American Rolex Scholarship through the Our World Underwater Scholarship Society. He has worked on underwater archaeology projects in the Great Lakes, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and several inland rivers. Joe is also an avid photographer and diver, and has crewed documentary expeditions on BBC's Planet Earth and PBS. Joe holds an MA in maritime history and underwater archaeology from East Carolina University's Program in Maritime Studies.
Maritime Archaeology Interns
Kara Fox, Intern, Maritime Archaeologist
Kara Fox is currently a Master’s student in the Maritime Studies Program at East Carolina University and is preparing to defend her thesis on 3D modeling of shipwreck deterioration. As an intern at the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, Kara will serve as a support diver and help with various other duties in the office. Kara was introduced to the world of scuba at the age of 17 and soon developed an interest in shipwreck diving and has a natural curiosity for the historical and archaeological lifespan of these diminishing resources. Kara has had the opportunity to work on terrestrial and underwater archaeological projects in the Southwest, Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.
William Sassorossi, Intern, Maritime Archaeologist
Will Sassorossi joins the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary team as an avid diver and history buff. A recent Master's graduate of East Carolina University's Maritime Studies Program, his focus and thesis research involved three WWII era commercial vessels converted for military use sunk off the North Carolina coast. In 2013 and 2014, Will worked with the sanctuary in various capacities assisting with the Battle of the Atlantic expeditions. A native of New Hampshire, Will has relocated to the Hampton Roads area and looks forward to assisting the sanctuary in a wide variety of roles.
David Dodsworth, IT Coordinator
Since March 2009, David Dodsworth has served as the IT Coordinator for the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. Dave has an extensive background in IT management, network administration and computer tech support. While serving in the US Navy, Dave began working with computers as a Submarine Electronics Technician. After serving for 11 years, he left the Navy to start a company that specialized in custom computer builds, computer service, and business network consulting. After 12 years as a successful entrepreneur, Dave sold his company to pursue a career in enterprise level systems administration, which brought him to NOAA. In addition to handling IT duties at Monitor, Dave is the IT Coordinator for Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in Galveston, TX, which he administers remotely and travels to frequently. Dave also administers the data backup routines for several other Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) sites and works closely with ONMS headquarters on Active Directory deployments, security vulnerability mitigation and technical support. Dave has received formal IT education from St. Leo University and Old Dominion University. He holds numerous industry certifications including A+, Network+, Security+, ITIL and is a Microsoft Certified Professional. Combining his passion for technology and the sea has been instrumental in his success as a key contributor to the mission of the National Marine Sanctuary Program.
NEGL Region Policy Analyst and SAC Coordinator
Katherine Van Dam, J.D., LL.M., NEGL Region Policy Analyst and SAC Coordinator
Katherine Van Dam is the Sanctuary Advisory Council Coordinator for the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary and a policy analyst for the Northeast and Great Lakes Region of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. She began working with NOAA as an attorney, interning with the Office of General Counsel's International Law section while obtaining her Masters of Law in Environmental Law, with a focus on marine law and policy. In that capacity, she participated in legal work on cultural resource and maritime heritage topics including U.S. legislation and an international agreement to protect the Titanic wreck site on the 100th anniversary of its sinking, as well as the conservation of its recovered artifacts. Katherine later worked with the Monitor office after moving to Hampton Roads with her husband, a U.S. Navy pilot, assisting with the site's regulations, case law, and legal history for its 2013 Final Management Plan and Environmental Assessment. More recently, she was instrumental in the development of a joint underwater cultural heritage law project between the Departments of Commerce and Interior that resulted in a publicly-available database related to the legal protection and management of cultural marine resources, such as shipwrecks.