Lt. Carl Rhodes
All Rhodes Lead to Woods Hole
For Carl Rhodes, assignment as the Officer in Charge (OIC) aboard the R/V Gloria Michelle has been a good fit.
A graduate of the Maine Maritime Academy with a bachelor’s degree in marine science and an associate’s degree in small boat operation, Rhodes joined the ship in January 2009 after spending nearly three years on the 209-foot NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson doing fisheries research in the Bering Sea. He came to Woods Hole in January of 2009 to become the Junior Officer in Charge (JOIC) of the Gloria Michelle; in June of 2010 he was promoted to Officer in Charge (OIC).
“My skill set, my education and experiences are ideal for this assignment,” he said during a visit to the Gloria Michelle, docked at the NEFSC’s Woods Hole laboratory and part of the lab’s fleet of research vessels. “I loved being on the Dyson, which spent about 230 days at sea, but this assignment is a great fit for me. It is atypical for a NOAA Corps Officer to have back-to-back sea assignments, but it enables me to do everything I love. It is very hands-on and I get to do everything, to be a jack of all trades.”
Rhodes grew up in the small town of Bayfield in southwest Colorado but had a Cape Cod connection as a descendant of the Nye family in Sandwich, Mass., who were among the town’s first settlers. His father and grandfather had both been in the Navy but pursued careers in carpentry, painting and other building trades in Colorado. Despite having a fascination with the ocean, Rhodes says he probably would have followed in their footsteps if he had not seen a flyer in the high school guidance office for the Summer Sea Semester at the Maine Maritime Academy.
“The program opened my eyes to research vessels and the marine sciences, and everything fell into place.” He spent six years in Castine, four getting a bachelor’s degree and two more earning the associates degree plus a 200-ton master’s license through the U.S. Coast Guard.
He soon landed a job at the Mass Bay Lines in Boston, serving as a captain, naturalist and “whatever else was needed” aboard their vessels doing harbor and sightseeing cruises. After a brief stint as captain of the 72-foot R/V Cachalot for Nekton Dive Cruises in Florida, researching recreational dive sites and installing ecological moorings in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, he returned to Mass Bay Lines and applied to the NOAA Corps program.
His first assignment after basic training was aboard the Oscar Dyson, named for a former Alaska fisherman and fishing industry leader and based in Kodiak, Alaska. “I started out as the safety officer, later serving as navigation officer, medical officer and finally operations officer. When the assignment ended, he requested Woods Hole. “All roads seem to lead to Woods Hole!”
In his free time, Rhodes enjoys sailing, hiking, rock climbing, photography and SCUBA diving. His interest in SCUBA has led him to becoming a NOAA Working diver where he gets to combine his love for being underwater with his work duties.
Rhodes duties as OIC on the Gloria Michelle will end on June 1, 2012, and he’ll assume new shoreside duties as the Deputy Chief of the NEFSC Ecosystems Survey Branch as well as the Northeast Marine Facilities Operations Manager, working for Mike Abbott in the Woods Hole Laboratory’s Port Office. He will likely still manage to find himself sailing on the various NOAA research vessels in the northeast as a temporary augmenter, or relief crew member.
In October 2012 he will become a student at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, enrolled in its graduate facilities management program. He will be attending classes every other weekend for 36 months, which will allow him to continue his normal work duties uninterrupted. Rhodes feels that facilities management will be a good fit with his future assignments and interests. “Facilities come in all shapes and sizes, and there are lots of opportunities. As long as I am around the ocean I’ll be happy.”
And these days Carl Rhodes has a lot to be happy about.