NOAA Corps Basic Officer Training Class (BOTC) 122 at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, where they train alongside Coast Guard officer candidates. Members of BOTC 122 include ENS Michael J. Ball, ENS Jacob G. Barbaro, ENS Jacob H. Blaauboer, ENS Joseph L. Brinkley, ENS Calandria M. DeCastro, ENS Alisha Friel, ENS Nathaniel E. Gilman, ENS Jon T. Karagiannakis, ENS Conor M. Maginn, ENS Diane M. Perry, and ENS Dustin R. Picard.
Ensign Michael J. Ball
Ensign Michael J. Ball reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 8 August, 2013 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA Corps, Ensign Ball was the program coordinator for the NOAA / Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) / Northeast Cooperative Research Study Fleet; a commercial fisheries research program that collected fisheries data on board commercial platforms. As program coordinator, Ensign Ball coordinated the integration and at-sea calibration of the Fisheries Logbook Data Recording System (FLDRS) on board approximately 30 fishing vessels from Maine to New Jersey to facilitate accurate and timely data collection. FLDRS was recently accepted by the Northeast Regional Office as an acceptable submission system for electronic Vessel Trip Reports (eVTR), and specific studies included the correlation of catch to bottom temperature and depth, analyzing dynamic trawl gear configurations to optimize species avoidance, ecosystem 'hot spot' species mapping, and species length-weight conversion factors. Prior to working for the NEFSC / Northeast Cooperative Research Study Fleet, Ensign Ball served as an observer and observer trainer for the Northeast Fisheries Observer Program.
Ensign Ball graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Marine and Freshwater Biology. He has had an interest in fisheries since participating in cooperative research tagging programs while at university. Ensign Ball has completed approximately 70 days at sea annually since 2007 on board commercial fishing vessels in the Northeast as a fisheries scientist. He served as trawl and long line gear training expert at the Northeast Fisheries Observer Program, and has dedicated much of his time to understanding how bottom otter trawls function and can be altered to maximize fishing efficiency.
Ensign Ball's other areas of expertise include being a NAUI certified Master Diver and as an Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA) Safety Drill Instructor. He also holds Firefighter I & II certifications from the New Hampshire Fire Academy. Ensign Ball is looking forward to developing his skills onboard Fishery Survey Vessels operating in the Pacific Islands and the Pacific Northwest, as well as continuing his dive training as a NOAA diver.
Ensign Jacob G. Barbaro
Ensign Jacob G. Barbaro reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 08 August 2013 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign Barbaro was a fisheries biologist working for the Southeast Fisheries Science Center, in Miami, FL. Prior to working for the SEFSC, he was a research technician for FOCAL at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Dauphin Island, AL.
Ensign Barbaro graduated summa cum laude from East Stroudsburg University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science as well as a minor in chemistry. He has always had an interest in marine biology and decided to pursue a career in that field. After finding about the NOAA Corps through a co-worker and serving aboard the NOAA ship Nancy Foster as part of the science crew, Ensign Barbaro decided that the service would align perfectly with his desire to continue working in the marine sciences, while getting more time out in the field.
Ensign Barbaro holds an SSI open water dive certification, as well as a DOI motorboat operator certification. He hopes to continue his lifelong dream of working in the ocean sciences while serving his country and facilitating scientific research.
Ensign Jacob H. Blaauboer
Ensign Jacob H. Blaauboer reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 8 August, 2013 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign Blaauboer worked as a Trainmaster for a Class One freight railroad and managed two subdivisions which comprised all of South Florida. Prior to working as a Trainmaster, he served in the U.S. Navy as a Helicopter Crew Chief and Rescue Swimmer on the H-46D platform.
Ensign Blaauboer graduated from the University of Miami in 2009 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management. He also holds an Associate of Science in Aviation Science. Ensign Blaauboer has long had an interest in flight and was drawn to the Corps primarily for its unique application of aviation to aid and advance scientific interests and the general welfare of the population.
Ensign Blaauboer has a commercial pilot's license with an instrument rating and complex aircraft endorsement. He is excited to begin his career with NOAA wherever the Corps requires his expertise.
Ensign Joseph L. Brinkley
Ensign Joseph L. Brinkley reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 8 August, 2013 and began his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign Brinkley was a Wildlife Technician working for the U.S. Forest Service in Alaska performing habitat surveys for moose and songbirds. Prior to working for the U.S. Forest Service he served in the U.S. Coast Guard for seven years as an Aviation Maintenance Technician in Humboldt Bay CA and as a Fireman on the medium endurance cutter Decisive out of Pascagoula MS.
Ensign Brinkley attended College of Charleston in South Carolina where he received his Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology in 2012. Ensign Brinkley has had an interest in marine science and fisheries since 2007. To become more involved with marine science, Ensign Brinkley began volunteering at the South Carolina Aquarium in 2010 as a dive team member. Ensign Brinkley became interested in the NOAA Corps in 2011 after a three day cruise on the Nancy Foster.
Ensign Brinkley's other areas of expertise includes being a NAUI Advanced Diver, Nitrox Certification, and AAUS Scientific Diver. He also enjoys rock climbing, snowboarding, and backpacking.
Ensign Calandria M. DeCastro
Ensign Calandria M. DeCastro reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 8 August, 2013 to begin her basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign DeCastro worked as a deckhand and galley cook aboard a number of sport fishing vessels operating out of the Channel Islands and San Diego, CA.
Ensign DeCastro graduated from California State University, Channel Islands with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics. She graduated Magna Cum Laude, and was the president of Club Physics. Beyond her background in Physics, she continued her education in the fields of Engineering and Manufacturing Technology.
Additionally, Ensign DeCastro is a certified Structural Steel Welder and holds a Certificate of Specialization in Automated Machining. She has also volunteered as an advisor at an Air Force JROTC summer leadership encampment for five consecutive summers, spending countless hours training the future of our Armed Forces. She is interested in sailing on a fisheries vessel, because of her love for fishing and her desire to preserve the sport.
Ensign Alisha Friel
Ensign Friel reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 8 Aug 2013 to begin her training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to reporting for BOTC, Ensign Friel held a Steller sea lion research internship position at the Alaska Sealife Center in Seward, Alaska. Prior to working for the Alaska Sealife Center, she was employed with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as an intern while going to college, and subsequently as a fisheries technician.
Ensign Friel graduated from the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau, AK with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology. She knew from a young age that she wanted to pursue a career in marine science and sought out every opportunity. She worked as a deckhand on a whale watching boat in Alaska, was a galley cook on a SCUBA charter vessel out of San Diego, studied Tropical Marine Ecology abroad in Australia, and volunteered at the Alaska Sealife Center in the marine mammal husbandry, avian husbandry, and dive departments before becoming an intern. Ensign Friel's family has a long history of military service, and she is proud and excited to serve her country while simultaneously pursuing her dreams.
Ensign Friel is a PADI Advanced Open Water diver with a dry suit specialty and an AAUS Scientific diver. She hopes to become a NOAA diver and serve on a fisheries research vessel while learning everything she can about maritime operations.
Ensign Nathaniel E. Gilman
Ensign Nathaniel E. Gilman reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 8 August, 2013 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Before joining the NOAA Corps Ensign Gilman completed a Master of Environmental Studies Degree with a Physical Oceanography focus at the Evergreen State College. His thesis investigated the effects of physical factors and population density on marine micro-plastic distributions in South Puget Sound, Washington.
Ensign Gilman graduated from the Evergreen State College in 2010 with a Bachelors of Arts degree and a Bachelors of Science degree both focusing on Environmental Studies. He studied aboard Sea Education Associations brigantine the Corwith Cramer conducting oceanographic research in 2009 which inspired him to pursue a life at sea. Ensign Gilman also graduated from Oregon State University with a Graduate Certificate in Fisheries Management in 2013.
Ensign Gilman is interested in the connections between water bodies, marine debris and zoo-plankton distribution and the influence these have on marine mammal populations. He is excited to earn his commission and honored to be a member in the NOAA Corps. He hopes to be stationed on a vessel conducting fisheries research for his first sea assignment and work with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries helping perform ecosystem management for his first land assignment.
Ensign Jon T. Karagiannakis
Ensign Jon T. Karagiannakis reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 8 August, 2013 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign Karagiannakis was an Information Technology Specialist working for the National Park Service. He also served in the U.S. Army from 2001 – 2007.
Ensign Karagiannakis graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. Ensign Karagiannakis has long held an interest in the questions that guide our understanding of the natural world. A career with NOAA is the ideal place to explore the answers to those questions.
Ensign Karagiannakis's other areas of expertise include being a PADI certified diver and being able to troubleshoot and operate wide array of electronic equipment.
Ensign Conor M. Maginn
Ensign Conor M. Maginn reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 8 August 2013 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign Maginn spent his summers working as a Launch Captain at Jubilee Yacht Club in Beverly, MA. He also interned at the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR), and earlier at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences (Boothbay Harbor, ME).
In 2013, Ensign Maginn graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Bates College (Lewiston, ME), with a B.S. in Geology and a minor in Chemistry. His studies have taken him all over the world, including New Zealand, Iceland, and the Netherlands. For his senior thesis, he analyzed a sediment core collected off the Oregon coast for variations in oxygen levels and productivity over ten thousand years ago. A native of Hamilton, MA, Ensign Maginn has spent much of his life aboard his family's sailboat, and has always had an interest in the ocean sciences. In 2008, he participated in a High School Summer Seminar with the Sea Education Association aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer. His education, internships, and nautical experience all led him to pursue a career with the NOAA Corps.
Ensign Maginn holds a USCG Limited Master's license which he plans to upgrade in the future. He enjoys cycling, skiing, sailing, and the outdoors in general. He is also musically inclined and served as the President of his collegiate a cappella group, the Bates College Deansmen. Ensign Maginn is truly proud to be a member of the NOAA Corps, and looks forward to a diverse and exciting career in the fleet.
Ensign Diane M. Perry
Ensign Diane M. Perry reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 8 August, 2013 to begin her basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign Perry worked in one of only two laboratories world-wide striving to standardize a precise calibration of autonomous float oxygen sensors. Highly accurate oxygen sensors are essential to better understand the exchange of oxygen and thereby carbon dioxide between the ocean and atmosphere.
Ensign Perry graduated from the University of Washington 14 June, 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Oceanography. The university's 274 ft research vessel R/V Thomas G. Thompson moored adjacent the Marine Science classroom, highly motivated Ensign Perry to seek extracurricular research experience. Upon completion of her degree, Ensign Perry logged a total of four open-ocean research cruises in addition to two within Puget Sound. A love of the sea was quickly established and greatly influenced her decision to retire her white lab coat in exchange for a blue operational dress uniform.
A career within the NOAA Commissioned Corps represents a perfect balance between operational specialization and scientific discovery for Ensign Perry. Although the needs of the Corps prevail, Ensign Perry hopes to remain on the front line of oceanographic research to aid scientists in advancing our understanding of climate change.
Ensign Dustin R. Picard
Ensign Dustin R. Picard reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 08 August, 2013 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining, he led two short-term study abroad programs to the Southern Caribbean, studying physical and cultural geography while sailing aboard various Tall Ships. Before that, Ensign Picard interned for National Geographic as a research assistant.
Ensign Picard graduated from the University of Maryland in 2013 with a degree in Marine Environmental Science and Policy and a minor in Leadership Studies. His passion for service, marine science, and travel led him to pursue a career in the NOAA Commissioned Corps.
He holds a PADI Open Water Certification and is determined to become a NOAA Working Diver. He hopes to earn a future Master degree in Marine Conservation. Ensign Picard looks forward to the opportunity to serve his country and his Corps.