Cmdr. Eric Johnson will become the new Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) Deputy Line Office Diving Officer (DLODO) effective October 11, 2019. He will serve as a voting member of the NOAA Diving Control and Safety Board (NDCSB) along with the LODOs and DLODOs for OMAO, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Ocean Service, and the NOAA Diving Program Manager.
Cmdr. Eric Johnson is currently the Assistant Director at the Office of Satellite Product and Operations (OSPO) in Suitland, MD. Prior to this assignment, he was the Commanding Officer of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. His other sea assignments have been on NOAA Ships Oregon II (as a Junior Officer), Hi’ialakai (as Operations officer then fleeting up to Executive Officer), and Oregon II as the Executive Officer (XO). His shore billets have included XO of the NOAA Dive Program (NDP), recruiter and Chief Recruiter for the NOAA Corps, and Project Officer for the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). He has a B.S. in Marine Biology from the Univ. of Maryland and an MPA in Maritime Affairs from American University.
Cmdr. Johnson's diving career started with certification in 1997, and he gained valuable dive experience as an exhibit diver at the National Aquarium in Baltimore for several years prior to joining the NOAA Corps in 2002. His dive resume lined him up for selection as XO of the NDP, when he also became a Divemaster, a Diving Medical Technician (DMT), was part of the team creating the NOAA Diving Center's containerized chamber systems, assisted in implementation of and trained on the Hyperlite systems, acted as a non-voting member of the NDCSB, and was the OMAO fleet Unit Diving Supervisor (UDS). His dive experience at the NDP was integral to his following assignment on NOAA Ship Hi'ialakai where he supported over 7,000 dives in the Greater Pacific and U.S. Territorial waters. He has been on dive orders for almost 18 years and maintained his involvement with the NDP through his career, whether acting as the UDS for Washington D.C. area NOAA Corps divers during multiple assignments, as Divemaster on each ship he’s served on, and now as the DLODO.
Cmdr. Johnson will be taking over the OMAO DLODO position from Lt. Cmdr. Carl Rhodes who has served in the DLODO role since July 2018.
The NDCSB is happy to welcome Cmdr. Johnson to the Board and looks forward to his many contributions.