Open main menu

James Raymond Talacek is an American professional aquanaut with the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). He serves as Oceanographic Field Operations Manager at Aquarius Reef Base, the world's only undersea research laboratory.[1][2][3]

James Talacek
NEEMO 14 James Talacek wearing LifeShirt.jpg
Talacek inside Aquarius during the NEEMO 14 mission.
Born1970
NationalityAmerican
Alma materUniversity of North Carolina Wilmington
OccupationCommercial diver, aquanaut

Early life and educationEdit

Talacek grew up in Clayton, North Carolina. He earned his first diving certification while attending UNCW. Talacek subsequently worked in construction. In 1993 he was hired as an underwater bridge inspector by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NC DOT) Underwater Unit, gaining experience in underwater construction and surface-supplied diving. While employed by NC DOT, Talacek earned his Commercial Diving Supervisor certification. He also earned a United States Coast Guard Captain's license and Divemaster certification. Talacek began running dive charters on weekends from Carolina Beach. During his last six months working for NC DOT, Talacek served as diving supervisor for a dive team stationed at the Outer Banks.[2]

AquariusEdit

Talacek serves as Oceanographic Field Operations Manager at Aquarius Reef Base for the National Undersea Research Center (NURC). In this position he serves as diving supervisor, Aquarius lead habitat technician, boat captain and Divemaster. Talacek is a certified trimix diver, emergency medical technician (EMT) and advanced diver medic (DMT-A).[2][4] During his first ten-day saturation diving mission aboard Aquarius in July 2001, Talacek commented, "It's really special to see things that only a small group of people ever get to see. I now understand why everyone on our crew is so anxious to work these saturation missions, because I too am loving every minute!"[5]

As a habitat technician during Aquarius missions, Talacek's responsibilities include habitat operations and maintenance, including carrying out dives to maintain the exterior of the habitat. He also monitors life support systems, communicates with the crew on shore, and acts as a divemaster for the scientists aboard Aquarius.[6]

Missions aboard Aquarius in which Talacek has participated have included a 2001 mission researching mantis shrimp,[7] a September 2007 coral reef research mission called "If Reefs Could Talk",[8][9] and a June 2006 mission with the U.S. Navy Specialized Research Diving Detachment (SRDD) during which NURC divers investigated the possibility of using rebreathers during excursions from Aquarius.[10] In August 2009, during the investigation of the death of Aquarius aquanaut Dewey Smith, Talacek took part in an underwater test in which he operated the hydraulic hammer in use near Smith at the time of his fatal accident in the vicinity of an Inspiration closed circuit rebreather (CCR) similar to the one Smith had been using.[11] In July 2012 Talacek served as Lead Habitat Technician for "50 Years of Living Beneath the Sea", an expedition commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Jacques Cousteau's Conshelf I project and co-led by Dr. Sylvia Earle.[12][13]

 
NEEMO 5 crew members are pictured in the bunkroom aboard the Aquarius research habitat. Top, L-R: Garrett Reisman, Emma Hwang; Middle: Peggy Whitson, Clayton Anderson; Bottom: Talacek, Ryan Snow.

Talacek has taken part as a habitat technician in seven of the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) missions, a series of NASA-NOAA missions which use Aquarius as an analog environment for space exploration. Talacek served as a habitat technician during the following missions:

In May 2007, Talacek and other NURP/UNCW divers, including fellow Aquarius divers Mark Hulsbeck and Jim Buckley, set up a coral monitoring station pylon offshore from the Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory in Discovery Bay, Jamaica for a cooperative program among Caribbean countries called Mainstreaming Adaptation to Climate Change (MACC). The station was part of NOAA's Integrated Coral Observing Network (ICON).[1][29] The station was subsequently destroyed during Hurricane Paloma in November 2008.[30]

Personal lifeEdit

Talacek is an enthusiastic skydiver, having made more than 400 jumps as of 2012.[2] He has also made two BASE jumps,[31] although he once commented that "it's hard to find places where it is legal to jump."[4] Talacek also enjoys spearfishing, mudding, boating, riding motorcycles and inline skating.[2][31] He married his wife, Holly, in 2012.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Manzello, Derek; Jankulak, Mike; Gramer, Lew; Hendee, Jim (May 26, 2007). "DBJM1 ICON/CREWS Field Log: May 2007". Google. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Talacek, James (2012). "Profiles - NOAA's Aquarius Reef Base - James Talacek". University of North Carolina Wilmington. Archived from the original on December 9, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  3. ^ "The team - NOAA's Aquarius Reef Base". University of North Carolina Wilmington. 2012. Archived from the original on March 19, 2012. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Talacek, James (September 2002). "Aquarius - James Talacek". University of North Carolina Wilmington. Archived from the original on December 11, 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  5. ^ Talacek, James (July 2001). "James Talacek: Mission Day 5". National Undersea Research Center. Archived from the original on 2013-02-22. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  6. ^ Prager, Ellen (October 2008). "Being an Aquarius Habitat Technician". NURC. Archived from the original on 2013-01-12. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  7. ^ Jutte, Pam Cox (March–April 2002). "The Age of Aquarius". Duke Magazine. Duke University. 88 (3). Archived from the original on October 22, 2010. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  8. ^ "UNC News - UNC marine scientists to teach classes live from underwater". News Services, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. September 12, 2007. Archived from the original on February 14, 2012. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  9. ^ NOAA (May 18, 2010). "Aquanaut Profiles - Mission & Project Info - NOAA's Aquarius Reef Base". University of North Carolina Wilmington. Archived from the original on December 11, 2012. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  10. ^ Talacek, James (June 10, 2006). "James Talacek: Mission Day 5: Saturday, June 10th, 2006". NURC. Archived from the original on February 22, 2013. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  11. ^ "External Review Board Report of Findings and Recommendations" (PDF). American Academy of Underwater Sciences. August 27, 2009. p. 42 (Appendix G). Retrieved July 16, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Aquanaut Team". University of North Carolina Wilmington. 2012. Archived from the original on July 14, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  13. ^ Rosser, Saul (July 2012). "A Personal Perspective on 50 Years of Living Beneath the Sea". NURC. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  14. ^ "Aquarius - mission & project info : mission summary". University of North Carolina Wilmington. May 17, 2010. Archived from the original on April 15, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  15. ^ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (April 21, 2011). "Life Sciences Data Archive : Experiment". NASA. Archived from the original on March 22, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  16. ^ "Aquarius - First Space Station Science Officer Leads Crew of Four NASA Aquanauts On 14-Day NOAA Aquarius Undersea Mission". University of North Carolina Wilmington. May 17, 2010. Archived from the original on December 12, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  17. ^ Kamler, Kenneth (2004). Surviving the Extremes: A Doctor's Journey to the Limits of Human Endurance. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 238–240. ISBN 0-312-28077-7.
  18. ^ NASA (April 21, 2011). "Life Sciences Data Archive : Experiment". NASA. Archived from the original on 2012-04-05. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  19. ^ Lawlor, Maryann (March 2005). "Telehealth Soars From Sea to Shining Stars". SIGNAL Magazine. Archived from the original on April 5, 2012. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  20. ^ NASA (May 17, 2007). "NEEMO 12". NASA. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  21. ^ NEEMO 12 Topside Team (May 6, 2007). "NASA - NEEMO 12 Topside Journal". NASA. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  22. ^ Malik, T (2007) 'Undersea NASA Expedition a Success'. http://www.space.com/3823-undersea-nasa-expedition-success.html
  23. ^ Alexander, Aaron (2010). "Archive for the 'NEEMO 14' Mission". National Undersea Research Center. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  24. ^ NASA (May 7, 2010). "NASA - NEEMO 14 Topside Report No. 1, May 7, 2010". NASA. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  25. ^ NASA (September 19, 2011). "NASA - NASA Announces 15th Undersea Exploration Mission Date And Crew". NASA. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  26. ^ Cowing, Keith (October 17, 2011). "A Pre-Mission Conversation With NASA NEEMO Aquanaut Steve Squyres". SpaceRef Interactive Inc. Archived from the original on February 2, 2013. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
  27. ^ Miller, Steven; Emerson, Peter (October 26, 2011). "Steven Miller, PhD.: Science Fiction Becomes Reality: Asteroids and the Aquarius Underwater Laboratory". TheHuffingtonPost.com. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  28. ^ The NEEMO Mission Management and Topside Support Team (June 12, 2012). "NEEMO 16 Mission Day 2 - Status Report" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
  29. ^ "NOAA - ICON - DBJM1 - Station-Home". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
  30. ^ Hendee, Jim; Gramer, Lew; Manzello, Derek; Jankulak, Mike (December 16, 2008). "DBJM1 ICON/CREWS Field Log". Google. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
  31. ^ a b Talacek, James (August 2011). "Profiles - NOAA's Aquarius Reef Base - James Talacek". University of North Carolina Wilmington. Archived from the original on 2012-12-10. Retrieved July 18, 2012.

External linksEdit