Michael Dessner

Michael Dessner is the Director of Operations for the Waitt Institute. Mike’s life on the water began in the Alaskan fishing ports of Homer and Seward, where he tackled a broad range of tasks both at sea and on shore. This experience translated well in the world of deep-sea exploration. Along with his partners at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Mike manages a truly unique autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) system, capable of mapping the oceans’ depths down to 18,000 feet. Mike has run the Waitt Institute’s AUVs (nicknamed Ginger and Mary Ann) on several major surveys, including the search for Amelia Earhart’s plane and Air France 447, and on the recent Titanic Mapping Project. Mike is also a sonar analyst and scuba diver and is currently honing his skills as an ROV and submersible pilot. On or in the water, Mike wears a Pro Aqua 1500.