Scott Olson joins INSPIRE Environmental, connecting cutting-edge marine science capabilities with innovation in engineering

INSPIRE Environmental has hired Scott Olson as Senior Field and Innovation Manager. Bringing more than three decades of experience in project management, systems engineering, and field operations, Olson will play a lead role in cementing INSPIRE’s place as the nation’s leading provider of seafloor habitat monitoring for the emerging offshore energy industry.

“Scott Olson is a world class marine engineer, who has decades of experience as a submersible pilot, working with ROVs [remotely operated vehicles] and integrating marine systems,” says INSPIRE CEO Drew Carey. “He is the perfect fit for us.”

Olson’s arrival comes after a strategic expansion of the company’s expertise in fisheries habitats and marine mammals. Now, adding Olson’s expertise, INSPIRE plans to augment their SPI (Sediment Profile Imaging) camera technology to collect more data with higher efficiency to address the impact of seafloor construction on the entire marine ecosystem.

About Scott Olson

Olson took up SCUBA as a teen, and his love of diving took him to Florida Institute of Technology where a diverse program of study allowed him to find his niche as an underwater technologist. Working his way through marine operations and systems engineering roles, Olson developed a comprehensive appreciation for what it takes to maintain, deploy, and develop underwater robotic systems. His abilities as a technologist and project manager will enhance the services INSPIRE is able to offer.

“To me, it’s all about getting the data for the scientists and our clients as efficiently and safely as possible,” says Olson.

Digital transformation opens doors to new data mining methodology

INSPIRE’s investment in infrastructure extends beyond hardware. Their meticulous response to the COVID-19 pandemic enabled the company to continue operations at almost full capacity throughout the 2020 field season, and a visionary investment in digital transformation has brought new opportunities for innovation.

“We are going to be able harness our data more creatively, laying the groundwork for machine learning, AI, and other ways to become more efficient users of our data.” says COO Jeanine Boyle.

INSPIRE Scientists publish studies of Offshore Wind and Fisheries

As interest in the interactions of offshore renewables and fishing intensifies, INSPIRE scientists have joined an international group of scientists to report on “Understanding the Effects of Offshore Wind Energy Development on Fisheries,” a Special Issue of Oceanography. The Special Issue provides an overview of what has been learned about offshore wind farm impacts on fisheries based on research, monitoring, and engagement with the fishing industry conducted for European wind farms and the Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island.

INSPIRE has recently concluded seven years of monitoring fish and lobsters at the Block Island Wind Farm and expects to release several publications in 2021 examining the results. In advance of those detailed papers, our team reported in this Special Issue on “Effects of the Block Island Wind Farm on Coastal Resources: Lessons Learned.” The full paper can be downloaded here.

Dr. Carey, INSPIRE CEO, collaborated with an international group of scientists to prepare a paper on how Offshore Wind Farm Artificial Reefs Affect Ecosystem Structure and Functioning: A Synthesis. The submerged parts of offshore wind structures act as artificial reefs, providing new habitats and likely affecting fisheries resources. While acknowledging that the footprints of these structures may result in loss of habitat, usually soft sediment, the authors’ focus was on how the artificial reefs established by the wind farms affect ecosystem structure and functioning.