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, Outreach & Sanctuary Advisory Council
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.
Lauren Heesemann, Research Coordinator
Lauren is the Research Coordinator for NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. She attended the College of Charleston where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology and Colorado State University where she received a Master's degree in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. Drawing on her education and experience, Lauren works towards the preservation and conservation of natural and historical resources through research, education, and outreach.
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.
John Wagner, Maritime Archaeologist
John is a Maritime Archaeologist with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. He graduated from East Carolina University's Program in Maritime Studies with a Masters Degree in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology. John's academic work involved examining the historical and archaeological record of the Battle of the Atlantic off the coast of North Carolina using theoretical approaches from the subfield of Battlefield Archaeology and geospatial theories common to Geographical Information Systems (GIS) research. John has worked on multiple NOAA projects ranging from archaeological fieldwork and maritime cultural landscape studies to developing and maintaining a database and GIS of oil carrying and oil-burning vessels lost in American waters that could pose a pollution threat to the environment.
John is a Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Divemaster, a NOAA Scientific Diver, and a member of the Register of Professional Archaeologists. His interests include WWII naval engagements, battlefield archaeology, maritime cultural landscape studies, ship construction, 3D computerized ship modeling and reconstruction, GIS analyses, and archival research.
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.