John Frederick Wernly

My passion for the water has grown into a career that has taken me from the Mediterranean, to the estuaries of North Carolina, and now the lakes, streams, and rivers of New York.

Biography

I started my work with the USGS in 2011 as a hydrologic technician working for the data section in Ithaca, NY. I ran a field trip in Buffalo, NY for several years combining surface water and water quality monitoring. During this time I began working with the studies section mapping the nearshore currents in Lake Ontario and collecting bathymetric data at a local reservoir. In 2016, I moved across the hallway to work in the studies section. 

After graduating from Penn State in 2008, I went to work with the National Ocean Service in Beaufort, North Carolina. Here, I collected data in the salt marshes of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune for the Defense Coastal/Estuarine Research Program. It was a large collaborative project involving NOAA, multiple universities, and the Department of Defense. It provided a unique look into an environment rarely touched by humans. 

While still in college I boarded the 116' R/V Hercules during a summer internship where I operated the ship's multibeam echosounder and created bathymetric maps. Our mission, off the coast of Albania, was to discover ancient shipwrecks, or what was left of them, and bring their cargo of amphora to the surface. We succeeded and found a shipwreck dating back to the 4th century B.C.E.

My passion and work on the water started long before this. I've always been drawn to the water which has taken me from rebuiliding a marina in Pensacola, FL after Hurricane Irene to living on a sailboat in Corpus Christi, TX during a college summer. It is a privilege to work in the environment that I love.