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NOAA Corps

BOTC 108

NOAA Corps BOTC 108 class members at U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

NOAA Corps Basic Officer Training Class 108, whose members include Christopher Daniels, Damian Ray, David Gothan, Francisco Fuenmayor, Lecia Salerno, Mary Barber, Matthew Berg, Matthew Davis, Matthew Glazewski, Megan McGovern, Nathan Eldridge, Raul Vasquez del Mercado, Sarah Harris, Victoria Zalewski, and William Winner.

November 16, 2005

Ensign Mary A. Barber

ENS Mary Barber grew up on a farm in Iowa. After high school, she joined the Army and was an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technician for 4 years. After the Army, she attended the University of South Florida in Tampa. She graduated with a BS in Mathematics Education. She fell in love with the sea on her parents’ 32-foot sailboat Osprey. After sailing in the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, she proudly joined the NOAA Corps and plans to make her a career an exciting marine adventure.

Ensign Matthew P. Berg

ENS Berg returns to Kings Point to join BOTC 108 after spending four years as a United States Merchant Marine Academy midshipman. Born and raised in Freeport , Long Island , he graduated from the Academy (Cum Laude) in June with a B.S. in Marine Engineering Systems Design. Upon graduation he received a 3 rd Assistant Engineer’s license from the U.S. Coast Guard as well his recent commission in the NOAA Corps. As a midshipman he earned four varsity letters as a midfielder on the Mariners Lacrosse team and made the Dean’s List seven times. As part of the Academy training ENS Berg spent two years aboard commercial vessels as an engine cadet where he had the opportunity to visit many foreign and domestic ports stretching from New York to Hong Kong .  ENS Berg is very excited to have the chance to return to sea in a new capacity with the NOAA Corps.

Ensign Christopher W. Daniels

ENS Daniels was born in Tampa, Florida into an Air Force family. After moving all around the world he settled in Phoenix where he went to Mountain Ridge High School, then he went to College at Arizona State University. He got his B.S. degree in Ecology with an Emphasis in Organismal Biology. During his years in Phoenix, He got his Recreational Diving Certificate from PADI in Maui. He also took two trips to Australia for diving. On his second trip he got his Advanced Diving Certification from PADI while doing a Sea Grass population study for Dugong Habitat Rehabilitation. He then worked as a Chief Instructor for a Shaolin Kung Fu school while simultaneously working as a Veterinary Technician. His other hobbies are snowboarding, wakeboarding, hiking, rock climbing and camping. He found out about NOAA Corps from his cousin, and joined due to the combination of all his passions – the ocean, travel, ecology, life, and duty to country.

Ensign Matthew C. Davis

ENS Matthew Davis grew up in Alpena , Michigan . He attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott , AZ and received a B.S. in Aerospace Studies with a private pilot’s license and a minor in mathematics. In Arizona , Ensign Davis worked as a Physics lab assistant and had an internship at the Center for Aviation Safety/Security Education working in the aircraft accident lab. Also, he attended Eastern Michigan University and received a Masters of Arts in Mathematics. Ensign Davis enjoys rock climbing, skiing, hiking, snorkeling and playing drums. He hopes the NOAA Corp will quell his appetite for adventure and find good use for his academics.

Ensign Nathan P. Eldridge

ENS Eldridge was raised in the small community of Cambria on California’s beautiful central coast. He attended California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, majoring in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Music. Before graduation, ENS Eldridge took a few breaks from school – playing bass in a band and also working as a Vehicle Systems Research Engineer, designing data acquisition systems for hybrid vehicles at Argonne National Laboratory. Graduating with a B.S. in 2003, he has worked with radar and communication systems since, taking him all over the United States and toIndia. He has recently returned from living and working in Greenland for a year, studying the aurora borealis and getting plenty of time to snowboard. ENS Eldridge looks forward to a challenging and exciting career in the NOAA Corps.

Ensign Francisco J. Fuenmayor

ENS Fuenmayor was born in Cleveland Ohio , but lived in the country of Venezuela for most of his youth. He received his B.A. in Biology from Barat College in Lake Forest , IL. After graduation he spent some time in Hawaii and later moved to Miami FL , where he worked in various ecological projects and in customer service. ENS Fuenmayor has a lot of experience in animal behavior research and training. His hobbies include sports, music and outdoor activities. ENS Fuenmayor is very interested in becoming a professional diver and looks forward to a very exciting and rewarding career with NOAA.

Ensign Matthew Glazewski

ENS Glazewski was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and raised in suburban Bucks County. As a young teenager, he traveled with the renowned Philadelphia Boys Choir on international tours to Switzerland, France, Australia, and South Africa. ENS Glazewski attended the Pennsylvania State University and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology on May 13, 2005. He specialized in tropical and maritime meteorology, and also received a minor in English. During his tenure at Penn State, ENS Glazewski worked closely with the local NOAA National Weather Service office in State College, PA for one and a half years. ENS Glazewski is thrilled to be a part of the NOAA Corps. He hopes to work at the National Hurricane Center, become involved in Hurricane reconnaissance, and oversee TAO buoy array operations all at some point during his Corps career.

Ensign David M. Gothan

ENS Gothan is from Denver, CO . He received his B.S. degree in aeronautical science with a minor in space studies from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach , FL. ENS Gothan also obtained his commercial pilot certificate with multi-engine and instrument ratings. While going to school in Florida, ENS Gothan worked as a divemaster at a local scuba diving shop and earned his EMT certification. Upon returning to Colorado , ENS Gothan worked as an administrator and in an effort to get out on the water, earned his ASA sailing certification. In his spare time he enjoys cycling, skiing, climbing or just about any activity outdoors or on the water. ENS Gothan looks forward to going to sea with NOAA and getting involved in aviation and diving.

Ensign Sarah A. T. Harris

ENS Sarah Arheta Torres Harris was born in Columbus, MS and grew up in Phoenix, AZ. After seeing the Pacific Ocean when she was 11 years old, she knew that a path in marine biology was the one to be taken. Ensign Harris graduated from Long Island University of Southampton, NY with a B.S. in Marine Science in 2003. Her fall semester of sophomore year included traveling aboard the schooner Harvey Gamage in Ocean Classroom’s SEAmester, which sailed from Province Town, Cape Cod to Jost Van Dyke in the BVI’s. While attending LIU she received a grant to clone the DNA of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis at SUNY Stony Brook in NY. A highlight after graduation was instructing at UCONN with Project Oceanology’s Sea Camp for youth. Ensign Harris had previously used NOAA’s website to obtain information from the buoys in Hawaii for projects in college and learned about the NOAA Corps through the website and looks forward to expanding her marine science career through the Corps.

Ensign Meghan E. McGovern

ENS McGovern grew up in Winthrop, Massachusetts, a small town along Boston Harbor. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a B.S. in Physics and a concentration in Planetary Geology. While at UMass, ENS McGovern was a Firefighter/EMT for the town of Amherst and the surrounding communities. She also worked in the Low-Temperature Physics Lab designing, programming, and building electronic testing equipment for liquid Helium and Third Sound research. ENS McGovern’s hobbies include anything extreme, but more regularly she enjoys caving, hiking, and traveling the world. Destinations include most of Europe and some of Asia. Her most interesting adventures were fighting structure fires, trekking the Everest Region in the Himalayas, surviving Delhi, and snorkeling off of Koh Samui Thailand. ENS McGovern is extremely excited to soon be a part of NOAA’s many missions and is looking forward to sea duty wherever it may be.

Ensign Raul Vasquez Del Mercado

ENS Vasquez Del Mercado was born in Guadalajara , Mexico and raised in beautiful Santa Barbara , California . He graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University , San Luis Obispo . After graduation, he began working for ENSR International conducting routine environmental sampling and performing operations and maintenance on various environmental remedial systems. In his free time, Ensign Vasquez Del Mercado enjoys weightlifting, running, swimming, martial arts, SCUBA diving, surfing, kayaking and anything else involving water. He found out about the NOAA Corps from a friend who worked on a NOAA fisheries vessel. His love for the ocean, enthusiasm for adventure and travel, and desire for public service has him eagerly anticipating an exciting career at sea with the NOAA Corps.

Ensign Damian M. Ray

ENS Damian Ray is from Riverton, Wyoming. He graduated from the University of Wyoming with a B.S. in Structures and Materials Science, a self-designed major combining aspects of structural and mechanical engineering. He later attended flight school, earning a commercial pilot license and flight instructor license. He has since worked as a graduate student, at the University of Wyoming, Department of Atmospheric Science, and as a commercial pilot for Saratoga Skydiving and Gallup Flying Service. In his spare time, Ensign Ray enjoys skiing, hiking, and playing music with friends. ENS Ray looks forward to a rewarding and challenging career aboard any of NOAA’s research platforms.

Ensign Lecia M. Salerno

ENS Salerno grew up in Halifax, Pennsylvania where, of all places, she found a love for the ocean. She decided to turn her passion into a career by attending Coastal Carolina University to major in Marine Science. While there, she took an immense interest in shark biology and had the opportunity to spend a week at the Bimini Biological Field Station aiding staff in their research of tiger, lemon, and other sharks. ENS Salerno interned at Huntington Beach Sate Park where she worked as a naturalist conducting tours and teaching visitors about the three unique and beautiful environments there. After receiving her Bachelor’s of Science in December of 2001, ENS Salerno volunteered at Hershey Park Aquatheatre, and was offered a position as a marine mammal trainer at Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport, Mississippi. During her time there, she worked closely with several dolphins and sea lions seeing to their health and well-being, and she enjoyed diving and playing with the animals in her spare time. ENS Salerno is looking forward to continuing her love for the ocean as a NOAA Corps officer.

Ensign William G. Winner

ENS Winner grew up in Indiana and Michigan where he learned how much he wanted to be on the ocean, not the Midwest. He went to school, though, in the cornfields of Indiana and received his BS from Taylor University in Environmental Biology. He then stayed on another year and received his Masters of Environmental Science. Hoping to leave the Midwest, he instead took a job teaching at Taylor University. In March, he received his certification as a Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP). In between teaching and joining the NOAA Corps, he worked for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources at Kil-So-Quah and Little Turtle State Parks in north-central Indiana. There, he helped them map various locations throughout the park. He has set his eyes on eventually being CO on one of NOAA’s hydrographic ships.

Ensign Victoria E. Zalewski

ENS Zalewski was born and raised in New Jersey. Growing up on the Jersey Shore, she learned early on of her fascination for the sea. After four years studying on the Atlantic Ocean, she graduated from the Marine Academy of Science and Technology on Sandy Hook, NJ in 2001. Her high school studies included boating, beach sweeps, naval science, and Naval Junior ROTC. As a senior and active aquarium volunteer, ENS Zalewski designed, conducted, and presented her research experiment on the auditory abilities of three visually impaired harbor seals. After high school, she attended Florida Institute of Technology, where she received two Bachelor of Science degrees in Marine Biology and Ecology in May 2005. During college, ENS Zalewski studied abroad for six weeks in Australia, conducted research on reef fish acoustics, and survived two direct-hit hurricanes. She is both wreck and rescue dive certified, and loves to dance. ENS Zalewski is truly enthusiastic about the career oppor tunities with NOAA and is looking forward to taking on the challenges of a NOAA Corps officer.

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