Dr. Randall (Randy) Berthold has been exploring inner and outer space for over 30 years. His professional career has spanned various marine research programs, the development of life sciences experiments on the Space Shuttle and Space Station, and the implementation of new technologies utilizing Unmanned Aircraft Systems, UAS. His love of the oceans began at an early age as a commercial diver, providing him the skills he later applied as a marine technician, Diving Safety Officer, NASA Project Manager and current Chief Diving Safety Officer for the NASA Ames Research Center.
Starting in the mid '60s Randy was developing a life long relationship with the ocean. As a Self-Employed Owner/Operator of a Commercial Abalone Farming Business he grew to know the California coast. He quickly expanded his skill base with marine salvage work including underwater construction and demolition. His reputation as a diver caught the attention on Dr Wheeler North of the California Institute of Technology where he became a marine technician at the Kerchoff Marine Lab supporting various elements of a mari culture program. This national program demonstrated the feasibility of deriving energy from biomass, the conversion of kelp to methane. In 1980 Randy became the Program Diving Safety Office for the 4 field centers, Bamfield Marine Research Centre, Canada, UC Santa Barbara, the Intercoastal Marine Center, Catalina Island, and the Kerkoff Marine Lab.
In 1984 he began his career at the NASA's Ames Research Center NASA as a Project Manager, and Chief of the Science Payloads Operation Branch. His branch managed the development and implementation of life sciences experiments that flew on the Space Shuttle, Mir, and Space Station. He played a key role in six Shuttle Spacelabs, 14 middecks, three Spacehab missions, and a record 73-day mission on the International Space Station.
He is currently serving as Chief Diving Safety Officer for NASA Ames and Project Manger for the Ecosystem Science and Technologies Branch. Here his passion for all things over and under the ocean is continuing. He is supporting projects such as the Coral Reef, Ocean Health Program in the Caribbean and the High Lakes Project. In addition he is continuing his "off terra firma" activities by integrating small UAS with remote sensing technologies to provide a new tool for first responders, fire fighters and border control agencies.
Berthold received a B.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Systems Management from the University of Southern California.