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The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) is the largest marine protected area in the Pacific Ocean. As part of the permitting process which enables us to work on Nikumaroro, we are required to submit a report to PIPA at the end of each expedition, describing what we did, what we saw, and including video and still images of the island and its environment. The report was delivered in person by Ric Gillespie on June 23, 2011, in Tarawa, and is published below. There are also numerous appendices which are referenced and linked in this report.

to the
Phoenix Islands Protected Area Management Committee


The expedition spanned 27 days departing Los Angeles on May 18 and returning to Los Angeles on June 14, 2010.


Researchers and technology from the U.S., Kiribati Government officials from Tarawa, and vessels from Fiji and New Zealand staged through Apia, Samoa en route to Nikumaroro.

U.S. travel Pacific travel



Two vessels supported the expedition. The primary expedition vessel was R/V (Research Vessel) Nai’a, a 120 foot motor-sailer based in Fiji. TIGHAR had used Nai’a on four previous expeditions to Nikumaroro. Nai’a arrived at Nikumaroro on May 23 and departed the island on June 11, 2010.


A second expedition vessel, the 111 foot motor yacht M/Y VvS1, arrived at Nikumaroro on June 6 and departed the island with Nai’a on June 11, 2010.



Aboard Nai’a were:

Ric Gillespie Tom King Bill Carter Megan Lickliter
Ric Gillespie, Expedition Leader, TIGHAR Executive Director, 9th trip to Nikumaroro Tom King, Ph.D., Senior Archaeologist, TIGHAR Board of Directors, 6th trip to Nikumaroro Bill Carter, TIGHAR Board of Directors, 3rd trip to Nikumaroro Megan Lickliter-Mundon, Archaeologist, 1st trip to Nikumaroro
Gary Quigg John Clauss Andrew McKenna Walt Holm
Gary Quigg, Archaeologist, 5th trip to Nikumaroro John Clauss, 10th trip to Nikumaroro Andrew McKenna, 3rd trip to Nikumaroro Walt Holm, 5th trip to Nikumaroro
Lonnie Schorer Tom Roberts Jon Overholt Leonid Sagalovsky
Lonnie Schorer, 3rd trip to Nikumaroro Tom Roberts, 2nd trip to Nikumaroro Jon Overholt, MD, Physician, 1st trip to Nikumaroro Leonid Sagalovsky, 1st trip to Nikumaroro
Karl Kern Curtis Webster Jesse Rodocker Mark Smith
Karl Kern, 1st trip to Nikumaroro Curtis Webster, 1st trip to Nikumaroro Jesse Rodocker, Underwater Search Technician, 1st trip to Nikumaroro Mark Smith, Discovery Channel Cameraman/Field Producer, 3rd trip to Nikumaroro
Takirua Tabuu Aboard VvS1 were: Graham Berwind Art Carty
Takirua Tabuu, Kiribati Customs Officer, 2nd trip to Nikumaroro   Graham Berwind – TIGHAR Board of Directors, 1st trip to Nikumaroro Art Carty - TIGHAR Board of Directors, 1st trip to Nikumaroro
Janis Carty Dan Lann Taylor Keen Erin Harvey
Janis Carty - 1st trip to Nikumaroro Dan Lann, MD – Physician, 1st trip to Nikumaroro Taylor Keen – Ground Penetrating Radar Technician, 1st trip to Nikumaroro Erin Harvey - Discovery Channel Cameraman, 1st trip to Nikumaroro
Ioneba Temoai Ioneba Temoai – Observer/Representative for Phoenix Islands Protected Area & Kiribati Fisheries, 1st trip to Nikumaroro    


Expenses excluding TIGHAR overhead (all in U.S. dollars):

Travel (airfare, hotels, etc.) $35,561.20
Ship Charters $491,139.00
Video Documentation $11,052.00
Kiribati & PIPA Representatives (travel and per diem) $5,542.57
Underwater Search Contractor $33,903.77
Equipment $16,989.49
Total $594,188.03

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