JORDAN PIERCE β€’ (512) 966-3635


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Jordan Patrick Pierce
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A problem solver and challenge seeker to the core, I am a goal oriented and resourceful individual who is often appreciated for having the ability to work independently with minimal oversight, and who consistently delivers as promised.




M.S. in Oceanography

University of New Hampshire - Durham, NH August 2018 - December 2020


  • Automating the Boring Stuff: A Deep Learning and Computer Vision Workflow for Coral Reef Habitat Mapping

B.S. in Geography & GIS, Oceanography

Texas A&M University - College Station, TX August 2013 - May 2016
Magna Cum Laude


  • Bathymetric Mapping of Playa Cocles, Costa Rica (On a College Student Budget)
  • Fabric Analysis on the Spatial Distribution of Artifacts from the Ryan-Harley Site

Coursework in Computer Science

Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, TX September 2011 - May 2013

Professional Experience

AI Scientist

@ CSS Inc. (Contracted to NOAA)
Silver Spring, MD September 2022 - Present
  • Utilizing machine learning and computer vision algorithms to reduce the manual annotation of underwater imagery across diverse aquatic environments, from freshwater to deep benthic habitats.
  • Developed the CoralNet-Toolbox, augmenting the analytical workflow for CoralNet users, while making contributions to TagLab, an open-source annotation software.
  • Implemented and maintain Click-a-Coral, a crowdsourcing annotation project for object detection in deep benthic ROV imagery.
  • Perform cross-functional collaboration with IT and scientists to establish and maintain code repositories at the division level.

Computer Vision / Machine Learning Engineer

@ Terradepth
Austin, TX November 2020 - June 2022
  • Spearheaded the implementation of machine learning algorithms for object detection and instance segmentation on 2D and 3D sonar data for automatic target recognition (ATR).
  • Led the efforts to create a large, well-curated dataset of ~50K labeled objects of interest within bathymetric (XYZ) sonar data.
  • Created pipelines in Python for efficient processing of large-scale, unstructured geospatial data, including downloading, wrangling, and conversion.
  • Collaborated on a small team to develop Absolute Ocean, a web-based ocean data viewing platform.

Graduate Researcher

@ The Center For Coastal And Ocean Mapping
Durham, NH August 2018 - December 2020
  • Enhanced a semantic segmentation algorithm for automated annotation of coral reef quadrat survey images, achieving 8x faster performance compared to existing state-of-the-art method.
  • Designed workflows for quantifying marine life community composition using segmented 2D images with 3D photogrammetric models.
  • Implemented computer vision algorithms to detect marine life and anomalies in benthic and backscatter imagery data.
  • Communicated research findings to diverse audiences through 3-Minute Thesis competition, online podcasts, academic conferences, and multiple publications.

Research Assistant II

@ The University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong SAR January 2018 - August 2018
  • Developed a prototype and proposal for structurally complex artificial reefs, securing USD ~200K in local government funding for a pilot study.
  • Explored 3D modeling techniques including LiDAR and Structure-from-Motion photogrammetry to quantify coral reef structural complexity.
  • Contributed to proof-of-concept deep learning algorithm using image classification to combat illicit trade of endangered species of sharks.
  • Participated in a scientific dive team, utilizing GIS and image analysis software (ImageJ, CPCe, CoralNet) to assess long-term health of outplanted coral specimens.

English Language Teacher

@ International Personnel Training Centre
Shenzhen, China February 2017 - January 2018
  • Designed and implemented ESL curriculum focused on enhancing students' public speaking and dialogue skills.
  • Delivered lectures to classes of 60 high school students, improving their English language proficiency.
  • Adapted teaching methods to accommodate diverse learning styles and language proficiency levels.

Geographic Information Systems Intern

@ The Center for the Study of the First Americans
College Station, TX August 2015 - July 2016
  • Performed spatial analysis of underwater artifacts using ArcGIS software.
  • Conducted artifact excavation, curation, and digitization using photogrammetry and LiDAR technologies.
  • Presented research findings at multiple undergraduate conferences, receiving awards for each presentation.

Hydrographic Research Intern

@ Texas A&M University, Geography Department
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica June 2015 - July 2015
  • Led ground-truth mapping of dynamic nearshore environments using custom-made subsurface drogues equipped with GPS and Sonar.
  • Independently handled all data collection, calibration, and operation of scientific instruments for hydrographic research.
  • Created digital elevation models and 3D visualizations using ArcGIS software.

Volunteer Experience


@ Rrreefs
San Andreas, Columbia August 2022 - September 2022
  • Engaged in an intensive coral reef restoration workshop led by Phanor Montoya-Maya, Corales de Paz - Buceo con PropΓ³sito, and the Rrreefs team. We learned techniques in coral nursery maintenance, micro-fragmentation, and outplanting to advance marine ecosystem preservation efforts.

ROV Video and Photographer Assistant

@ National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Outside Flower Garden Banks, Gulf of Mexico June 2015 - July 2015
  • Contributed to NOAA's R/V Manta expedition, conducting comprehensive biological surveys on a decommissioned oil rig near the East Flower Garden Banks, enhancing understanding of marine biodiversity in artificial reef ecosystems.

SCUBA Teaching Assistant

@ Texas A&M University, Dive Locker
College Station, Texas August 2015 - May 2016
  • Served as a teaching assistant on a dive team under PADI instructor James Woosely, supporting student divers in obtaining their Open Water certifications. As TAs we provided in-water assistance to small groups of students during confined and open water training dives, demonstrated proper SCUBA techniques, monitored for safety, and offered corrective guidance. We also assisted with equipment setup, and helped evaluate student performance on certification requirements.


Integrating Widespread Coral Reef Monitoring Tools for Managing both Area and Point Annotations

G. Pavoni, J. Pierce, C. Edwards, M. Corsini, V. Petrovic, P. Cignoni
ISPRS Technical Commission II Symposium 2024
Las Vegas, Nevada

Standard Operating Procedures for the Use of Large-Area Imaging in Tropical Shallow Water Coral Reef Monitoring, Research and Restoration: Applications for Mission: Iconic Reefs Restoration in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

S. Cook, S. Rojano, C. Edwards, M. Bollinger, J. Pierce, S. Viehman
NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 2024

Absolute Ocean: A Cloud-Based Platform with Automatic Detection of Targets in Sonar Data

J. Pierce, Q. Iqbal, E. Martzial
Canadian Hydrographic Conference (CHC2022) 2022
Gatineau-Ottawa, Canada

Classifying 3D Models of Coral Reefs Using Structure-from-Motion and Multi-View Semantic Segmentation

J. Pierce, M. Butler, Y. Rzhanov, K. Lowell, J. Dijkstra
Frontiers in Marine Science 2021

Reducing Annotation Times: Semantic Segmentation of Coral Reef Imagery

J. Pierce, Y. Rzhanov, K. Lowell, J. Dijkstra
OCEANS 2020 MTS / IEEE U.S. Gulf Coast - Singapore 2020

Automating the Boring Stuff: A Deep Learning and Computer Vision Workflow for Coral Reef Habitat Mapping

J. Pierce
UNH Graduate Research Conference 2020
Durham, New Hampshire

Coral Reef Restoration - Is It Viable for Hong Kong?

D.M. Baker, V. Yu, J. Pierce, V. Sheng
The 2nd International Workshop on Eco-Shoreline Designs for Sustainable Coastal Development 2018
Hong Kong, SAR

A Preliminary Fabric Analysis on the Spatial Distribution of Artifacts from the Ryan-Harley Site (8JE1004)

J. Pierce, M. Smith
Texas A&M University Student Research Week 2016
College Station, Texas

Other Media Appearances

For a Bit of Relief, Check out this Coral Reef!

Podcast Hosted by Kaitlin Van Volkom and Isaiah, Ft. Jordan Pierce
You, Me & the Sea October, 2020

Image Annotation, Machine Learning & AI

Podcast Hosted by Andrew Cogswell and Catalina Gomez, Ft. Jordan Pierce
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) September, 2020

Automating the Boring Stuff: Using A.I. to Map Coral Reefs

Presentation by Jordan Pierce
University of New Hampshire's 3-Minute Thesis Competition April, 2020


Kira Kaplan - Smith College

@ NOAA Headquarters - Silver Spring, Maryland
May - July 2024

Xander Swann - Middlebury College

@ NOAA Headquarters - Silver Spring, Maryland
June - August 2024


Graduate Research Competition

@ OCEANS 2020 Conference
Awarded 1st Place πŸ₯‡
Norman Miller Prize πŸŽ“

3-Minute Thesis Competition

@ University of New Hampshire
Awarded 1st Place πŸ₯‡

Graduate Scholarship

@ Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping
Fully-funded πŸŽ“

Undergraduate Research Week

@ Texas A&M University
Awarded 2nd Place πŸ₯ˆ

Undergraduate Research Week

@ Texas A&M University, Anthropology Department
Awarded 2nd Place πŸ₯ˆ

Frontiers in Underwater Technology

@ Society for Underwater Technology
Awarded 3rd Place πŸ₯‰

Undergraduate Scholarship

@ Texas A&M University, College of Geosciences
Recipient πŸŽ“

Undergraduate Scholarship

@ George & Barbara Bush Foundation
Recipient πŸŽ“


Earth System Data Science in the Cloud
North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies - Asheville, North Carolina Fall 2024 (Expected)
Synthetic Aperture Sonar Short Course
PSU Applied Research Lab - University Park, Pennsylvania July 2024
Open Hackathon
National Center for Atmospheric Research - Boulder, Colorado March 2023
University of Washington - Seattle, Washington August 2019


PADI Open Water Diver
PADI Advanced Diver
PADI Rescue Diver
NAUI Master Diver
SSI Nitrox Diver
AAUS Scientific Diver
NSS Cavern Diver
Red Cross Lifeguard