Ian Tomcho

Ian Tomcho
Ian Tomcho
Track: Exploration Science (ESC)
Graduated: May 2016
What is your current job and main responsibilities?

Currently, I am an Expedition Equipment Specialist with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic. In this role I manage Lindblad's “Tools for Exploration”, a set of means that allow our guests to explore their world more deeply, to participate in citizen science, and to have meaningful, personal encounters with wildness. In addition to these responsibilities, I help to oversee dive operations, new hire training, dive equipment servicing and program development. 

Tell us about your MPS internship, and in what ways did it help you develop professional skills and connections?

During my time at UM I completed two internships: one with the Dry Tortugas National Park Service, and one with Lindblad Expeditions on their vessel, National Geographic Explorer. My internship with the Dry Tortugas Park Service helped me to understand the complexities of running dive operations in a remote location, and to become familiar with the dive equipment that is used by the United States government. My time aboard the M/V Explorer was an opportunity to test these skills in a polar environment, diving as an assistant Undersea Specialist in Antarctica. Both internships were critical to my understanding of how research is conducted in the field.

What were your favorite classes at RSMAS and why?

My favorite class was RSM 600 - Research Diving Techniques. The atmosphere that course instructors Rick Riera-Gomez and Robbie Christian create is both fun and engaging. Having knowledge of technical dive concepts beyond the scope of recreational activities has been extremely helpful in my work with Lindblad Expeditions. Another favorite class of mine was MES 665 - Exploration Technology and Media. I really enjoyed Dr. Keene Haywood’s expertise in emerging technologies and interest in their applications in the field. 

What is your favorite RSMAS memory?
A weekend class trip with Dr. Keene Haywood to UM’s Research Station at Broad Key. I spent my 24th birthday on the island that weekend and it was the perfect way to tune-out and have some fun.
What piece of advice would you give to current or incoming MPS students?

Join in on as much as you can as early as you can. Allowing yourself time to make friends and form relationships will be helpful when exploring internship and employment opportunities following your time at RSMAS.