NOAA Corps Basic Officer Training Class (BOTC) 123 and U.S. Coast Guard officer candidates at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Members of BOTC 123 include ENS Sarah Chappel, ENS Blair Delean, ENS Daniel Devereaux, ENS Peter Gleichauf, ENS Daniel Helmricks, ENS Daniel Hodge, ENS Kristin Johns, ENS John Katchenago, ENS Nikita Norton, ENS Danial Palance, ENS Bryan Pestone, and ENS Christopher Wood.
Ensign Sarah Chappel
ENS Sarah L. Chappel reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 09 January 2014 to begin her basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, ENS Chappel was a research assistant for the Groundwater Discharge Measurement Facility at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina. Previous to working for Coastal Carolina University, ENS Chappel was the Program Coordinator of the Center for Science Solutions for the National Council for Science and the Environment in Washington, D.C. Science, specifically oceanography, has been a keen interest of ENS Chappel's throughout her experiences and educational studies.
ENS Chappel graduated from Coastal Carolina University in 2013 with a Master of Science in Coastal, Marine, and Wetland Studies. Her thesis project utilized naturally-occuring radioactive isotopes to trace submarine groundwater discharge in the coastal zone, furthering her interest in oceanographic studies. ENS Chappel graduated Magna Cum Laude from James Madison University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Geographic Science. She is a PADI certified open water diver and has hopes to sail on a hydrographic vessel.
Ensign Blair Delean
ENS Blair J. Delean reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on January 9, 2014 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, ENS Delean was a special investigator conducting security clearance background investigations in the Washington D.C. metro area for United States Investigative Services (USIS). Prior to working for USIS he held an internship for the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in Washington D.C. While at CEQ he was specifically tasked as an intern for the National Ocean Council. Prior to working for CEQ, ENS Delean worked as an intern for the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory on the Chesapeake Bay in Oxford, Maryland.
ENS Delean graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland in 2010 with a Bachelors of Science, where he also played baseball for the Terps. His field of study was Environmental Science and Policy with a concentration in Marine and Coastal Management. ENS Delean has had an interest in NOAA/NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps since the time of his internship at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory in the summer of 2009. The Laboratory was a cooperative between NOAA and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, which gave him the opportunity to work with both state and federal scientists on a wide range of fishery and ecosystem health issues of the Chesapeake Bay.
ENS Delean is honored to be a part of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps, and is very excited to begin his career underway. He is interested in fisheries and ocean exploration, and he would also like to become a NOAA diver. ENS Delean enjoys virtually all sports and outdoor activities.
Ensign Daniel Devereaux
ENS Daniel R. Devereaux reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on January 9, 2014 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, ENS Devereaux was a GIS contractor for the World Bank where he analyzed poverty and environmental data for the Philippines. Prior to working with the World Bank, Ensign Devereaux was a GIS intern for a transportation company that specializes in bike and pedestrian plans. In addition, ENS Devereaux spent a year volunteering with AmeriCorps in New Orleans, LA where he assisted a non-profit at a biodiesel program.
ENS Devereaux completed a Masters degree in GIS in 2013 at the University of Maryland. His concentrations were in remote sensing, statistical analysis, and sustainable planning. ENS Devereaux graduated from University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. He spent a semester in Southampton, UK at the National Oceanography Centre where he conducted estuarine and open ocean fieldwork. This experience conducting fieldwork on small boats as well as larger research vessels is what inspired ENS Devereaux to pursue a career in the NOAA Corps.
ENS Devereaux has a great love and appreciation for the sea and is excited to be a part of the NOAA Corps to ensure healthy oceans for future generations. He is interested in all aspects of NOAA research but is particularly interested in the oceanographic and hydrographic research vessels. ENS Devereaux is excited and honored to be a part of the NOAA Commissioned Corps.
Ensign Peter Gleichauf
ENS Peter R. Gleichauf reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on January 9, 2014 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Before reporting to BOTC, ENS Gleichauf worked as a GIS Technician for Conservation Management Institute at Virginia Tech, mapping endangered wetlands of the southeastern United States for the National Wetlands Inventory.
In May 2013, ENS Gleichauf graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology and Geography. He has always been fascinated by weather, and while attending Virginia Tech became a member of the American Meteorological Society and spent early summer 2012 in the midwest with the Hokie Storm Chase team.
An Eagle Scout and a certified Skywarn spotter, ENS Gleichauf hopes to combine his passions of weather, the outdoors, and adventure into a rewarding career in the NOAA Corps. He is an avid musician who loves maps, camping, flying, sailing, and motorcycles. His ideal first assignment would be flight training, but he would be equally at home applying his geography background to NOAA's hydrographic survey mission. He is proud and excited to represent the Hokie nation in the NOAA Corps!
Ensign Daniel Helmricks
ENS Daniel R. Helmricks reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on January 9, 2014 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, ENS Helmricks was an Assistant Hydrographic Survey Technician for NOAA Ship Fairweather. Prior to working for NOAA, he worked as a survey technician for the Nevada Bureau of Land Management.
ENS Helmricks graduated from Oregon Institute of Technology in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Geomatics – Surveying Option and a Minor in Business. ENS Helmricks had an interest in hydrographic surveying after attending the International Federation of Surveyors Congress in Sydney, Australia in 2010 where he learned more about hydrographic surveying.
ENS Helmricks' other areas of expertise include being a NOAA certified medical person in charge (MPIC). Ensign Helmricks aspires to start his career in NOAA on a hydrographic vessel and work his way through the ranks to Vice Admiral. He is committed to the mission of NOAA and proud to serve his country as a NOAA Corps Officer.
Ensign Daniel Hodge
ENS Daniel W. Hodge reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on January 9, 2014 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, ENS Hodge worked as a Dock Hand for a local marina in Charleston, South Carolina.
ENS Hodge graduated from the College of Charleston in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and minors in Chemistry and Asian Studies. ENS Hodge has interests in ocean current dynamics and environmental toxicology. He was an intern at Shannon Point Marine Center through the National Science Foundation: Research Experience for Undergraduates, during which he served as a research student onboard a cruise of the R/V Kilo Moana. Prior to his REU experience he sailed as a student researcher onboard the SSV Corwith Cramer.
ENS Hodge is a PADI certified Open Water Diver and he holds Merchant Mariner Credentials with Ordinary Seaman Capacity. ENS Hodge desires to work on a NOAA vessel based off of the East Coast.
Ensign Kristin Johns
ENS Kristin M. Johns reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on January 9, 2014 to begin her basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. ENS Johns worked at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, New Jersey as a student guide and assistant. Previously, ENS Johns worked with the Marine Science Program at Rutgers University where she volunteered with the American Shad Project. She also conducted research for the dispatch of the Rutgers Glider across the Pacific Ocean. At Rutgers University Ensign Johns worked as a Medical Assistant in Somerset, NJ and as a lifeguard.
ENS Johns graduated from Rutgers University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences. At Rutgers University, ENS Johns focused her studies in Marine Science, Microbiology, and Medicine. ENS Johns has developed a passion for the ocean studies and the uniformed services since a very young age. ENS Johns has adopted this enthusiasm from her father who serves in the United States Coast Guard. The Coast Guard has enabled ENS Johns to become accustomed to adapting to new places, service etiquette, and individual and team growth. ENS Johns hopes to facilitate a stronger relation between the NOAA Corps and United States Coast Guard.
ENS Johns's areas of expertise include being an Emergency Medical Technician, a laboratory assistant and Dive Certified since the age of 13. ENS Johns enjoys hiking, surfing, boating, and exploring. ENS Johns aspires to sail on a Fisheries or Marine Conservation vessel to conduct research with marine life and marine rehabilitation.
Ensign John Katchenago
ENS John M. Katchenago reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on January 9, 2014 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, ENS Katchenago was a PADI Scuba Dive Instructor and Emergency First Response Instructor working for Dive Oahu, Inc. in Honolulu, HI. Prior to working as a recreational scuba diving instructor, he worked as an observer for the North Pacific Scallops Observer Program in Alaska.
ENS Katchenago graduated from University of Wisconsin Madison in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology and Zoology and a Certificate in American Indian Studies. He developed an interest in fisheries and fish behavior while in his senior year, which led him toward becoming a North Pacific Fisheries observer. During his tenure as an observer, ENS Katchenago has completed 265 days at sea while on board commercial fishing vessels. He first discovered the NOAA Corps while working in the vicinity of Kodiak, AK.
ENS Katchenago's areas of expertise include being a Certified Emergency First Response Course Instructor, PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, PADI Emergency Oxygen Course Instructor, PADI Enriched Air Instructor, and holds several other PADI Dive Specialty Instructor certifications. He is determined to earn a future Master degree in Fisheries Management, and continues to work toward becoming a PADI Master Instructor and Certified PADI Tec Instructor. He aspires to become a NOAA Working Diver and hopes to serve aboard a vessel conducting ecosystem management or fisheries research.
Ensign Nikita Norton
ENS Nikita B. Norton reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 09 January 2014 to begin basic training as a Commissioned Officer. Prior to joining NOAA, ENS Norton worked as a research biologist in Western Australia with Florida International University on the effects of seagrass recovery on Tiger Shark populations throughout Shark Bay, National World Heritage Site. Previously, Ensign Norton worked at the Florida State University department of Oceanography researching bacterial bioremediation for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Ensign Norton also completed an internship at the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service station Panama City Beach, Florida where she researched reef fish populations on off shore red grouper habitats. During her time at the NMFS lab, ENS Norton completed a 6 day research cruise aboard the NOAA vessel R/V Carretta and spoke with NOAA Corps employees to learn more about life in the service.
ENS Norton graduated from Florida State University in 2013 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology, a minor in Chemistry, and a certificate Marine Biology. While at school she also completed a research assistantship in the Florida Keys working with graduate students from FSU's Coastal and Marine Lab. She has lived in Florida and been on the water her entire life and has always had a passion for marine discovery and exploration. She quickly decided that being a Commissioned Officer in the NOAA Corps was a perfect fit for her career goals and aspirations to be at sea.
ENS Norton has an AAUS certification in scientific diving and has worked as a science diver for three years on various research projects before joining the NOAA Corps. She also has her PADI Rescue certification and is a PADI Divemaster candidate. She has high hopes to attend the NOAA Dive Training and work on a fisheries vessel to help in preserving and recovering our ocean resources and health. She is very proud to wear the NOAA Corps insignia and to serve her Country and her Corps wherever duty calls.
Ensign Danial Palance
ENS Danial G. Palance reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on January 9, 2014 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, ENS Palance was an intern working for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Fish & Wildlife Marine fisheries Division. Prior to working for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, ENS Palance was an undergraduate at Roger Williams University and working as a student researcher under the mentorship of Dr. David Taylor.
ENS Palance graduated from Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Aquarium Science. ENS Palance has loved the water all his life and was first exposed to the prospect of becoming a marine scientist during his time spent at Project Oceanology at Avery Point, CT. He became fascinated with marine ichthyology and ecology. He interned through the NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Program in Woods Hole, MA at the North East Fisheries Science Center under James Manning performing underwater time-lapse photography and GPS tracking of ocean currents. While in Woods Hole, ENS Palance learned about the NOAA Corps and after conversing with a few officers decided to apply.
ENS Palance's other areas of expertise include dissections, stomach content analysis, and otolith extraction of juvenile flatfish as well as mercury content analysis in Southern New England groundfish. ENS Palance looks forward to serving his country and NOAA and hopes to be stationed on a fisheries research or ocean exploration vessel for his first sea tour.
Ensign Bryan Pestone
ENS Bryan W. Pestone reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on January 9, 2014 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, ENS Pestone was a deckhand and dive assistant for Orbit Marine Sports and Dive Center in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Prior to working for Orbit Marine he was a Science Instructor at Seacamp Association Inc., in Big Pine Key, Florida where he taught classes about coral reef ecology and coral reef research.
ENS Pestone graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology. ENS Pestone became interested in marine biology when he started competitively swimming at a young age. Swimming led him to pursue a lifeguard and open water SCUBA certification. At the University of Rhode Island, ENS Pestone took many opportunities to further enrich his knowledge of marine biology. In 2010 he studied abroad at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and also volunteered in an algae ecology lab where he performed coastal health assessments on Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. The NOAA Corps was the perfect opportunity for ENS Pestone to combine his keen interest in marine science with his love for the water.
ENS Pestone currently holds his NAUI Rescue Diver, PADI Nitrox Diver, and PADI Night Diver certifications. He hopes to one day become a NOAA diver and is eager to begin serving his country by assisting in scientific research with the NOAA Corps.
Ensign Christopher Wood
ENS Christopher M. Wood reported to NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on January 9, 2014 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, ENS Wood was an Adjunct Professor at Washington State Community College and a Sales Consultant for Astorg Motors. Prior to teaching ENS Wood also managed a restaurant and was commissioned in the U.S. Navy where he served as a Student Naval Aviator and the Introductory Flight Screening Administrative Lead.
ENS Wood graduated from Clemson University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Astronomy. He then earned a Master of Science in Physics degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2007. Ensign Wood became interested in the NOAA Corps because of their history of service and dedication to scientific research.
Ensign Wood is excited to serve in whatever capacity he can. He hopes to be selected into aviation and eventually fly research missions into the center of a hurricane.