Archive for May, 2007

Who We Are

Currently the webmaster of Discovery Enterprise , Ralph Buttigieg’s professional career has included a couple of decades in government and management, proprietor of a Science Fiction & Fantasy bookshop, a stint in direct marketing and now finds himself in the finance industry. However his main passion has always been science and exploration. Especially the exploration of new frontiers such as Sea and Space.
As an amateur astronomer he has recorded solar activity, observed a total solar eclipse in Hawaii and studied the planets of our solar system. He had the privilege of serving a term as President of the NSW Branch of the British Astronomical Association.

As he would like to explore Space in a more direct fashion, he tried to make space development a reality by joining the National Space Society of Australia and became involved in their activities including help with organization of several Space conferences.

Before the Internet really took of he was the sysop of a bulletin board system, Vulcan’s World which specialized in Space, Astronomy and Science Fiction. The BBS was an important information source for the public and amateur researchers.

Several years ago he heard about the League of the New Worlds and their hands on approach to exploration, both Space and the Undersea. So Ralph enrolled in the League and completed the Astronaut course. He also decided to take up SCUBA diving and become an Aquanaut but at that stage couldn’t swim. After learning to swim he archived his PADI Open Water certification. He has dived extensively around Sydney as well as the Great Barrier Reef and Vanuatu. Eventually he was able to visit the Jules Underwater Lodge were he became a PADI qualified Aquanaut.

Alex Michael Bonnici is the European Union Liaison of the Atlantica Expeditions and was born in New York City and currently resides on the beautiful sunny island of Malta in the central Mediterranean. Since early childhood he has been fascinated in Astronomy, space travel, and undersea exploration. Alex has been an avid science fiction fan all his life. He obtained his bachelors degree in physics and education in 1995 from Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY). His teaching career began at the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics (MCSM) in New York City where he taught physics, astronomy, and earth science.

While at MCSM, he was responsible for developing an elective Astronomy course. He was also involved in the development of an exciting interdisciplinary course entitled Planet Earth in association with the American Museum of Natural History and the New York City Board of Education.

While living in New York Alex was very active in the local chapters of the National Space Society (NSS) and the Mars Society. In 1996 he gave a presentation and workshop with Robin Vernuccio entitled “Contact” at the Space Education Workshops held during the International Space Development Conference (ISDC) held in New York City. This presentation explored the possibility of using a “First Contact” scenario between humans and extraterrestrials to enliven science classes at the middle and high school levels. The workshop explored the use of the first contact scenario as an instructional tool to develop a multidisciplinary curriculum to emphasize the integration of the physical, natural, and social sciences for Middle and High School students. This workshop was based on the Cultures of the Imagination (CONTI) program designed by Jim Funaro at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, back in 1979.

Ever since he settled in Malta in 1999 he has given numerous public lectures on such diverse topics as the Search for Extraterrestrial Civilizations, the history of space exploration, and the future settlement and colonization of space. He currently teaches Physics at Saint Edwards College, a Boys’ College modeled on the lines of an English public school.

Dennis Chamberland has logged more than 30 days as a working aquanaut on 14 seafloor missions as Mission Commander and Principal Investigator. He is the designer of six undersea habitats: the Engineering Research Habitats (ER Series) I and II, the the Scott Carpenter Space Analog Station Habitat, the New Worlds Explorer, the Leviathan Habitat and the Challenger Station Habitat. He has been a certified aquanaut (AQ) since 1993 and a certified open water diver since 1976.

Dennis is a Bioenvironmental Engineer (MS – Oklahoma State University -1983), a former US Naval Officer, a US Navy Civilian Nuclear Engineer, an instructor at the Trident Technical College and a Space Advanced Life Support Systems design engineer.

Dennis has been involved as a design engineer in the development of advanced life support systems being considered for moon and Mars bases. He was named a Fellow of the New York Explorer’s Club in 1991 and has spoken at their headquarters about his expeditions.

Mr. Chamberland makes frequent public appearances and gives lectures about many aspects of human exploration from interplanetary probes to the permanent human colonization of the oceans.

As a Native American of the Cherokee Nation, he has a keen interest in what the tribal history of the Cherokees can teach others about reverence for and stewardship of the environment. Dennis has a special interest in the Trail of Tears as his own recorded history began in this historic time of upheaval. His great-grandfather was a part of this great drama and much family history was determined as a result of the unfolding events.

 Dennis is also a prolific writer, publishing more than 100 articles in various perodicals, technical journals and reference works. He has also published eight books including four novels, including the book, UNDERSEA COLONIES.

Michael Lombardi’s undersea career has taken him from his home waters of New England, to as far as Antarctica. Leveraging a unique mix of undersea expertise, an inventive mind, an affinity for writing, and an attraction for the arts, Michael finds himself involved in projects spanning all of the humanities. His creation of ‘Ocean Opportunity’, a 501(c)3 not for profit organization, has provided the catalyst for much of this work. One recent success includes ‘Diving a Dream’ from 2004-2007 which was aired on NBC’s Today Show in January 2007. Michael has focused his field expertise on advancements in scientific diving. This work spans academia and the private sector, including DoD contracts. Michael is the former Diving Safety Officer for NOAA’s Caribbean Marine Research Center. He serves on the Membership Committee for the American Academy of Underwater Sciences, and is an elected Board Member (2007-2010) to the Society for Human Performance in Extreme Environments. In 2007, his work earned recognition as one of Rhode Island’s ’40 Under 40′ by the Providence Business News. In 2007, he earned membership in the prestigious Explorers Club.