Program Director

Dr. Jeroen Molemaker

Jeroen Molemaker

Dr Jeroen Molemaker is an physical Oceanographer with an interest in oceanic phenomena that are beyond the power of satellites of observe and only recently within the power of numerical models to simulate. The small scale flows, also known as the submesoscale is thought to be of critical importance for the global energy budget of the ocean, the exchange of properties between the ocean and the atmosphere, and on the bio-geochemistry of the upper ocean. He is the founder of the Marine Operations program at UCLA and has lead it since it's inception in 2014.

Graduate Students and Post Docs

Aviv Solodoch

Aviv is a 4th year graduate student in the UCLA AOS department, doing observational research in the Marine Operations team (further on this and more research Aviv is involved with in his homepage: He got involved in the Marine Operations program in his 1st year since he thought it would be a fun thing to do, and as he was right, was sucked in henceforth. Aviv led the UCLA team in the SPLASH campaign (where Jeroen served as CARTHE's Chief Scientist), as well as the development of the Towed Instrument Array and other Kodiac capabilities in preparation for the campaign. He enjoys long days of taking measurements on glassy seas, and is satisfied after long days of taking measurements on incredibly choppy seas. 


Michael Hicks

Michael Hicks

Michael Hicks is a 4th year Math and Atmospheric and Oceanic Science student. He is currently working on a Hydrofoil attachment for one of our instruments known as an ADCP. He also intends on doing some scripting for the lab once the project is finished. 

Erin Hollander

Erin Hollander

Erin is a second-year Marine Biology major. Originally from Marin in Northern California, she grew up hiking, swimming, and diving in the ocean and she loves everything about the water. She previously studied Sea Star Wasting Disease and tunicates in the San Francisco State University’s marine wet lab. 

Carly Messex

Carly  Messex

Carly is a graduating Senior with her B.S. in Environmental Science and three accompanying minors. She has a passion for protecting biodiversity and plans to pursue a career in marine and soil conservation. Carly began working with UCLA Marine Operations at the beginning of Fall Quarter 2017 and is currently renovating the Towed Instrument Array (or TIA) cable to improve its efficiency. Presently, her favorite instrument in the lab is the coffeemaker. 

Yasmin Razil

Yasmin Razil

Yasmin is a second-year AOES major from Malaysia. She loves ice cream and scuba diving. As a Marine Ops intern, Yasmin will be documenting the operating procedures for the Towed Instrument Array.


Sarah Hafiz

I am a Sustainability Analyst for Belkin. I am also aiming to get my masters in Environmental Engineering within the next year.  At Belkin I work on a variety of projects. Currently, I'm calculating the totally CO2 footprint of the organization for the corporate environmental report. This helps with planning and facilitating projects throughout the organization to reduce GHG emissions. I also make sure all the products are free of hazardous substances harmful to the environment and people, and that the products follow chemical regulatory standards. 

Tim Pilegard

I recently finished my master's in Marine Studies at University of Delaware, and I'm currently working for L3 OceanServer, an autonomous underwater vehicle company, as a field engineer in San Diego. 

Michael Morrison

Currently creating an online climate change certification course for working professionals with The US Green Chamber of Commerce. He is an Air Quality, Environmental, and sustainability consultant at Alta Environmental (CEQA analyses, GHG inventories, hazardous waste reporting, annual sustainability reports).

Kristie Ashby

Kristie Ashby

After participating with Marine Operations in 2016, and graduating from UCLA with an Environmental Science B.S., Kristie Ashby now works as a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Analyst with Evari GIS Consulting, Inc., a San Diego company that contracts locally and nationally to create, analyze and present geographic information. The company provides GIS services in support of  stormwater, civil engineering, planning, transportation, and smart city, Internet of Things (IoT) projects.  

Lucia Bertero

Lucia Bertero

Lucia was the Operations Manager and Technician for the Marine Operations team. She joined the team as an undergraduate intern in January of 2016 after a field trip on the Kodiak for the AOS Physical Oceanography course. After graduating in December of 2016, she came back to the team as a staff member and has been working with us since, assisting with field research in the Gulf of Mexico, the Santa Barbara Channel Islands, and locally in Santa Monica Bay. She is currently working at Scripps in San Diego.