The HI-SEAS crew for mission 3 which will begin on October 15th, 2014 has been selected. Six crew members and two reserve crew members have been selected.

Martha Lenio (Commander)
Allen Mirkadyrov
Sophie Milam
Neil Scheibelhut
Jocelyn Dunn
Zak Wilson


Ed Fix
Michael Castro

Biographies of the crew are below:




Martha Lenio (Commander)

Martha Lenio was born and raised in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. She has had a life-long interest in both space exploration and environmental issues. Martha is currently working on starting up her own company doing renewable energy consulting and smart grid design.

Martha earned a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo in 2004, and completed a doctorate in Photovoltaic Engineering from the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia) in 2013. She has worked in the sustainable building industry, the photovoltaics industry, and is currently expanding her research into even more sustainable living aspects which will be practiced and researched in the dome.

When not in the Dome, Martha enjoys traveling and has lived in five different countries on four continents, as well as visited many more. She runs, plays soccer, climbs, SCUBA dives, cycles, hikes, reads, knits, plays piano, and volunteers at a local bike shop in her spare time.


Allen Mirkadyrov

Allen Mirkadyrov currently works as an aerospace engineer in the flight safety division at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility (WFF), Virginia. His primary focus is on orbital and sub-orbital missions conducted by WFF at various launch ranges around the world. Allen has been at this position since November, 2010. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering from the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) and a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from San Diego State University (SDSU). Previously, Allen served 10 years in the US Air Force, both as an enlisted and an officer. As an Air Force Officer, Allen worked on Titan II, Titan IV, and Atlas V space launch vehicles, while stationed at Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base (LAAFB), California. His most recent assignment prior to joining NASA was working as an avionics and batteries lead engineer for an Atlas V rocket.



Sophie Milam

Sophie grew up in San Antonio, TX with 3 brothers before moving to Evanston, IL and attending Evanston Township High School; after high school she moved to Hawaii for college and got undergraduate degrees in Physics and Astronomy. Her work with PISCES during this time led to an internship with the NASA Academy program at the Ames Research Center in California where she worked on rapid climate changes with Dr. Nathalie Cabrol and the High Altitude Lakes project.  Still pursuing her Masters of Engineering at the University of Idaho in Moscow, she has been working with Dr Vytas Sunspiral and the Tensegrity team withing the Intelligent Robotics Group at Ames.  Her research while in the dome will focus on evolutionary algorithms to create different gaits for her 3-Tensegrity structure.

From an early age Sophie enjoyed playing soccer and other team sports and this love continued into her college career.  She enjoys being outside with her family friends and dog as much as being inside watching movies or reading with her hedgehog.  After the dome she plans on going into STEM outreach in the Northwest and sharing her robotic projects.


Neil Scheibelhut 

Born in Mishawaka, IN, Neil Scheibelhut has always had an interest in space, and mankind’s desire to explore it.  Some of his earliest memories include early mornings with Jack Horkheimer (“Keep looking up!”) and road trips to view Halley’s Comet.  A member of the Young Astronaut’s Club, his childhood included building and launching model rockets, stargazing, and being awed by Space Shuttle launches and landings.  This childhood passion has stayed with him into adulthood.

Neil is a combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom III, serving as an infantry medic.  After receiving a medical discharge, he became a Medical Assistant Instructor in Cleveland, OH, and eventually returned to school himself, obtaining a BA in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Hawai’i at Hilo, graduating with high honors.  During his time in Hawai’i, Neil volunteered at the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy, and was involved with research that included NASA’s RESOLVE moon rover analog test, USDA research on rat lungworm disease, and the first HI-SEAS mission.  He is currently working as a microbiologist in Los Angeles, CA, and plans to pursue a MS in Molecular Biology and Bioengineering from the University of Hawai’i, beginning in the Fall of 2015.

Neil’s research interest focuses on the power of microbes, bacteria, in particular, to perform specific tasks.  In the same way bacteria is used to perform human insulin (by inserting the DNA sequence that produces the life-saving protein), the belief is that other tasks can be performed as well, such as hydrolyzing water to produce oxygen and hydrogen, two gasses that are extremely useful for say, a mission to Mars.  It is his hope, that if he is not able to go to Mars himself, he can help his fellow man get there through his research.


Jocelyn Dunn

Jocelyn Dunn grew up in Sebring, Florida surrounded by a rural landscape that was perfect for star-gazing and practicing golf. With the support of her family, teachers, and coaches, Jocelyn achieved her goal of receiving a college scholarship to play golf and study engineering. She moved to Daytona Beach, Florida in 2005 to become a student-athlete at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. In 2009, Jocelyn graduated with honors from Embry-Riddle, earning a BS in Aerospace Engineering with minors in mathematics and human factors psychology.

As an undergraduate, Jocelyn began physics research with Professor Chris Vuille. This work encouraged her to pursue further research on the physiological challenges of human spaceflight, such as tissue damage occurring from space radiation. In 2009, Jocelyn moved to Indiana and began graduate studies in biomedical engineering at Purdue University. Her master’s thesis work with Professor Eric Nauman was toward the development of a patented biomaterial for repairing and replacing damaged soft tissues, such as liver tissue and blood vessels. Jocelyn earned a MS in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue in 2011.

Currently, Jocelyn is a PhD candidate in Purdue University School of Industrial Engineering. Her dissertation work combines optimization and data analytics to generate reliable information from data. Her overall goal is to support decision-making and aide systems improvement. During the HI-SEAS mission, Jocelyn will monitor habitat systems data and develop analytics for optimizing crew schedules and mission performance.

Jocelyn has a passion for working at the interface of humans and technology and for presenting technical information in an engaging and understandable manner. She has organized numerous outreach activities for K12 students on topics ranging from renewable energy to robotics to orthopedics. Throughout the HI-SEAS mission, Jocelyn will be posting about her “Mars” experience at

Zak_bio_photo Zak Wilson

Zak grew up in Boulder where he also completed his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Colorado. His senior project involved the development of a deployment system for a small solar array to test thin-film photovoltaic panels on an experimental satellite.

After graduation, Zak moved on to looking at the effect of edge impact on the strength of carbon-fiber reinforced epoxy composites at Imperial College London where he earned his Master’s degree in composite materials. He has also worked as a graduate student researcher at the University of California San Diego, characterizing composite panels using laser vibrometry and computer modeling, and at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems’ Airframe Integrity Group as a stress analyst on UAVs.

Zak previously spent two weeks at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah as a crew engineer with Crew 84 experimenting with construction during EVAs. In his free-time he enjoys rock climbing, running, travel, and film, and has begun working towards his private pilot’s license.

Zak will blog about his experience at




Ed Fix was born and raised in rural Iowa.  His passion for space exploration comes from watching the original seven Mercury astronauts launch into space, and continued to grow watching Neil Armstrong step out onto the moon, and beyond.

He earned a BS degree in Electrical Engineering at Iowa State University in 1975.  After a short time working as an oil field service engineer, he joined the Air Force, and earned his pilot wings in 1979.  He spent several years as a B-52 copilot and aircraft commander, then transferred to the Air Force Institute of Technology to earn his MS in Electrical Engineering in 1987.  His thesis research involved learning to gauge motion sickness through physiological measurements.  Yes, he really made people sick.

He spent the next three years in the Human Engineering Division of the Armstrong Laboratory at Wright-Patterson AFB, designing and performing studies on equipment interfaces, doing evaluations of cockpit design and sizing, and performing original research in modeling and emulating human performance of complex equipment in operational environments.  During this time, he also spent time as an experimental test subject in the centrifuge at Wright-Patt.

Over the next few years, he alternated between operational flying as a flight commander, and scheduling chief, and research as a research laboratory branch chief (where he occasionally played hookey and performed the occasional research project on the side).  He retired from the Air Force in 1998, and worked a few years as a contractor to the Air Force before finally retiring this year.  Over his career, he has accumulated over 4,000 hours flying time in various types of aircraft, and has produced multiple publications in human interface design and testing as well as human performance modeling.

Like the rest of the HI-SEAS crew, Ed passionately advocates the necessity of manned space exploration.  Unlike those who believe we must solve all our problems on Earth before reaching for the stars, he believes that without new horizons to strive for, the human spirit withers, and our problems multiply.


Michael Castro

Michael Castro
Born 08/14/1974, Chicago, IL
BS Applied Mathematics, Florida Institute of Technology, 2002
Doctor of Medicine, 
University of Sint Eustatius School of Medicine, 2011
Currently Externing in Palm Bay, FL