David Caress is the Principal Engineer for Seafloor Mapping at MBARI. He studied marine geophysics at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and then worked as a research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and as a geophysicist at SeaBeam Instruments and Science Applications International Corporation. Since 1993, he has been the principal author of MB-System, an open source software package for the processing and display of seafloor mapping data. His research has involved the use of seafloor mapping, magnetic, seismic refraction and seismic reflection data to investigate topics such as the tectonic evolution of seafloor spreading centers, the deep crustal structure of oceanic islands, the morphology of submarine canyon systems, seafloor gas seeps and mud volcanoes, and the morphology and volcanology of submarine volcanos.

During his twenty years at MBARI, Dr. Caress has led projects to develop seafloor mapping capabilities on AUVs and ROVs. His current focus is on quantitative measurement of change associated with geological and biological processes and on the efficient mapping of benthic biological communities in complex terrain in the deep ocean.

During this expedition he will serve as co-chief scientist of the first leg, planning the AUV and ROV mapping missions and leading the data processing effort. He will participate in the second leg to facilitate the use of the mapping data in support of the biological studies.