A lifelong storyteller turned manned submersible pilot Erika Bergman is a passionate ocean explorer. She studied Chemical Oceanography at the University of Washington while working as a diesel engineer and a steam ship engineer. She is an avid adventurer, extreme sport enthusiast, and ocean technology nerdette. She combined these to reach the top and bottom of Washington State by diving in submarines and summiting Mt. Rainier. She hopes to climb Mt. Everest and one day dive to Challenger Deep. In May of 2013 she was named a National Geographic Young Explorer and shared a series of manned submersible dives through real time video. Erika aims to inspire enthusiasm for ocean awareness using these exciting inner space vehicles.
Research and exploration guided by the scientific community define the nature of our vibrant, complex and sensitive planet. Translating this research in widespread awareness means bridging the gap between pure science and the compelling story it tells. Manned submersibles, remotely operated vehicles, and SCUBA diving are incredible platforms to collect data and interact with the environment in a way that captures the hearts and minds of a public audience.
As a female pilot in a typically male dominated field, my goal is to encourage students of all ages, especially girls, to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math in a format that engages students in active discussion and participation. Through live video conferences from underwater and social media, I aim to foster questions about oceanographic processes, marine technology, and general life as an ocean explorer.
Besides her work as Expedition Leader at Ocean Doctor, Erika is also involved with a number of other projects, including:
- Into the Deep with Erika Bergman – A web based mini-series centered on ocean science and technology. The world of oceanography demystified by looking behind the scenes at real ocean exploration!
- Team Sedna – 10 women embark on an extreme arctic snorkel. Covering 3000 km of the Northwest Passage, these women will conduct science and outreach to bring awareness to climate change and this sensitive environment.