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May 19, 2017
Contact: Shelley Dawicki

Celebrating the NOAA Corps 100th Anniversary

May 22, 2017 is the 100th anniversary of the NOAA Corps, one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The NOAA Corps traces its history back to 1807 and the founding of the Survey of the Coast by President Thomas Jefferson. It is the oldest scientific agency in the federal government. Later called the Coast and Geodetic Survey (C&GS), the mission of this new federal agency was to support the nation’s defense, promote the well-being of its citizens, and unlock nature’s secrets, charting the nation’s coastal waters to ensure that ships could move civilians, troops, and material safely. The first Superintendent of the Coast Survey was Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler, a Swiss immigrant who raised the prominence of science in government and in American life; a hydrographic survey vessel in the NOAA fleet bears his name.

A commissioned service of the C&GS was formed in 1917 with America’s entry into World War I to ensure the assimilation of technical skills for defense purposes. During World War II officers and civilians of the C&GS produced nautical and aeronautical charts, provided critical geospatial information for artillery units, and conducted reconnaissance surveys. Today, that work is conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), created in 1970, and by the roughly 320 men and women of the NOAA Corps, a direct descendent of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.

Seven active or retired NOAA Corps officers currently work within the Northeast Fisheries Science Center. They serve as officers in charge of small research vessels at its laboratories in Milford, Conn. and Woods Hole, Mass., manage the Northeast Port Office for NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO), and serve in the Center’s leadership.

We asked several of the NEFSC’s NOAA Corps Officers to share what attracted them to the NOAA Corps, what experiences they have had, what they enjoy most about their service, and what advice they would offer to someone interested in joining the NOAA Corps. Learn more about them and read what they have to say here:

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