Members of NOAA Corps Basic Officer Training Class 129 at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, including ENS Jeffrey D. Calderon, ENS Michael D. Card, ENS Hillary K. Fort, ENS Michael P. C. Fuller, ENS Anna M. Hallingstad, ENS Gabriel E. Johnson, ENS Linda J. Junge, ENS Justin K. Miyano, ENS David T. Norman, ENS Jacquelyn M. Putnam, ENS Sony Vang, ENS Mary Claire Youpel.
Ensign Jeffrey D. Calderon
Ensign Jeffrey D. Calderon reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 11 January, 2017 to begin basic training with the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to his arrival Ensign Calderon was a contractor working at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). As a contractor he helped develop radiation transport software for government agencies interested in modeling radiation transport to aid in the detection of weapons of mass destruction. Before entering the civilian sector Ensign Calderon worked as an Undergraduate Researcher and later as Assistant Researcher at the University of Maryland at College Park. While working at the university he performed studies on radiation resistant liquid scintillators for upgrading Large Hadron Collider’s (LHC) Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment in Geneva Switzerland.
Prior to attending the University of Maryland at College Park, Ensign Calderon was a member of the United States Air Force. He enlisted in 2002 and served for 8 years active duty before leaving at the rank of Staff Sergeant. While serving he was trained as an Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE) Mechanic. After leaving the active duty Air Force Ensign Calderon joined the Maryland Air National Guard and attained the rank of Technical Sergeant and 7 Level AGE Journeymen. His service includes two deployments, including a tour to Afghanistan while a member of Maryland Air National Guard.
Ensign Calderon completed his B.S. in Physics from the University of Maryland at College Park in 2015 and finished his B.S in Social Science from the University of Maryland University College in 2010.
Ensign Michael D. Card
Ensign Michael D. Card reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 11 January, 2017 to begin basic training with the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign Card served 6 years of enlisted service with the Air Force as a seismic technician conducting monitoring in support of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. He also worked as a Project Engineer for Sound Ocean Systems in Redmond, WA, and a support manager for a fleet of autonomous underwater diesel generators for an oil exploration company in Norway. Additionally he founded his own business serving as a consultant to Oil and Gas Exploration companies and to International Submarine Engineering in Vancouver, Canada. He spent the last two years before joining NOAA as a technician for Oceaneering Inc. maintaining and flying work class Remote Operated Vehicles.
Ensign Card graduated magna cum laude from the Florida Institute of Technology with a Bachelor's Degree in Ocean Engineering, with an emphasis in Subsea Systems. He has a passion for sonar systems and underwater technology, and feels most comfortable taking a “hand’s on” approach to solving problems.
Ensign Card wishes to complete his career at sea with the NOAA Corps, advancing our Hydrographic mission to provide the most accurate charting data in the world. His future professional goal is to serve as the Commanding Officer of the Marine Operations Center-Pacific overseeing all five NOAA vessels that provide services to the peaceful sea.
Ensign Hillary K. Fort
Ensign Hillary K. Fort reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 11 January, 2017 to begin basic training with the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign Fort was a petroleum geologist working offshore in East Africa.
Ensign Fort has worked on multiple vessels globally analyzing subsurface sediments. Ensign Fort graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. Ensigns Fort’s geology degree focused on environmental science as well as the carbon dating of carbonate sands in the Bahamas.
Ensign Fort’s professional certifications include offshore Fluid Logging and Analysis in Real time as well as Fluid Loss and Gain Engineering in deep water environments.
Ensign Michael P. C. Fuller
Ensign Michael P. C. Fuller reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 11 January, 2017 to begin basic training with the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign Fuller was a tropical ecologist working in a lab at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science’s Department of Marine Biology and Ecology. In addition to working in this lab, he was a teaching assistant in the Geology and Marine Science departments.
Ensign Fuller graduated with departmental honors from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science with a degree in Marine and Atmospheric Science with a minor in Geology. His interests extended into his research, pursuing studies related to organismal ecology and the interactions between organisms within the same ecosystem.
Ensign Fuller discovered the NOAA Corps through his time in Miami, interacting with a local officer. His desire to use his skills in a practical manner combined with his desire to continue his family’s service tradition drove him to join.
Ensign Fuller’s other areas of expertise include being an SSI certified Advanced diver, as well as knowledge of the Spanish and Portuguese languages. He aims to complete the NOAA Diver training course to use his skills to their fullest extent. With a particular interest in ocean exploration, Ensign Fuller looks forward to serving NOAA and his country in every way possible.
Ensign Anna M. Hallingstad
Ensign Anna M. Hallingstad reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 11 January, 2017 to begin basic training with the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign Hallingstad worked as the citizen science coordinator for Pacific Biodiversity Institute's Salish Sea Ecosystem Health Initiative. In this role, she worked with volunteers to collect observational data on the harbor porpoises of Washington State. Prior to working with Pacific Biodiversity Institute, Ensign Hallingstad served as a full-time AmeriCorps member at Our City Forest, an urban forestry nonprofit in San Jose, California.
Ensign Hallingstad graduated from Stanford University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Earth Systems with a focus on Oceans. Her love for the natural world, especially the ocean, began as a child growing up on Fidalgo Island, Washington. She was driven to a career in the ocean sciences by her desire to discover and preserve the natural wonders of the sea for future generations.
Ensign Hallingstad's hobbies include hiking, reading, cooking, traveling, and spending time outdoors at every opportunity. She is fascinated by the ocean exploration mission of the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, but looks forward to a career full of adventure, service, and discovery wherever the needs of the NOAA Corps require her.
Ensign Gabriel E. Johnson
Ensign Gabriel E. Johnson reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 11 January, 2017 to begin basic training with the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining the NOAA Corps, Ensign Johnson worked for the Northeast Fisheries Observer Program (NEFOP) as a Data Editor. In this role, he reviewed data from government observers on commercial fishing vessels from North Carolina to Maine. Prior to working as a Data Editor, Ensign Johnson worked as a Commercial Fisheries Observer for NEFOP, where he accomplished 207 sea days observing a wide variety of fisheries and gear types. Prior to working for NEFOP, Ensign Johnson worked as a Research Assistant at Washington State University, where he helped develop chemical systems for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel.
Ensign Johnson graduated from Washington State University in 2012 with a Master of Science in Inorganic Chemistry, and Grinnell College in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry. Ensign Johnson’s desire to put his scientific abilities to service for the environment and his country, as well as his sense of adventure, led him to choose a career with the NOAA Corps over one in academia.
Ensign Johnson enjoys birding, reading, writing, hiking, and off-roading. He hopes to work in a variety of operational and geographic areas over the course of his NOAA Corps career, and develop a broad-based understanding of NOAA’s many missions.
Ensign Linda J. Junge
Ensign Linda J. Junge reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 11 January, 2017 to begin basic training with the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign Junge was a fisheries observer reporting to NMFS and the State of Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Prior to working as a fisheries observer she was a fisheries technician for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, working in remote locations across Alaska.
Ensign Junge graduated from Western Washington University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cell Biology and minor in Chemistry. Ensign Junge has always loved being out on the open water, and she was driven to apply for the NOAA Commissioned Corps for the opportunity to combine a seafaring life with a career filled with purpose.
Ensign Junge has been trained and certified to observe in three diverse fisheries, discovering new places and fish species along the way. Although her background is in fisheries, she hopes to serve aboard a hydrographic vessel on her first sea tour to learn the intricacies of surveying. She is enthusiastic to learn as much as she can, and aims to be survey Coxswain, MPIC and a NOAA diver on her ship. Ensign Junge is excited for this new adventure, and is incredibly proud to be serving her country and the scientific community while at sea.
Ensign Justin K. Miyano
Ensign Justin K. Miyano reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 11 January, 2017 to begin basic training with the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign Miyano was an operations assistant and a marine technician assistant at the University of Hawaii Marine Center (UHMC) performing daily warehouse operations as well as providing shore-side support for research cruises conducted by the two university research vessels. During his time at the UHMC, he also completed an internship with the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) program, where he sailed onboard USCGC Healy for a month in the Arctic learning shipboard oceanographic and meteorological data acquisition and instrumentation.
Ensign Miyano graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, a minor in Anthropology, and a Marine Option Program certificate in coral reef research. During his undergraduate career, he interned in a marine ecology laboratory at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology participating in research projects looking at ocean acidification effects on coral reef ecosystems. Here, he developed his research skills both in the lab and in the field, and strengthened his interests in coral reef research and ecology. Through his research mentor at this lab he learned about the NOAA Corps and joining the service had been his dream ever since.
Ensign Miyano holds a PADI Rescue Diver Certificate, Safe Boating Certificate, 15 Ton Forklift Certificate, and is fluent in Japanese. He loves hiking, taking long walks, binge watching sci-fi TV shows, and cross-training. Ensign Miyano is honored to serve in the NOAA Corps and is excited for the opportunity to be at the forefront of the nation’s oceanographic and climate research. He hopes to begin his career on a fisheries vessel and see the world throughout his NOAA Corps career.
Ensign David T. Norman
Ensign David T. Norman reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 11 January, 2017 to begin basic training with the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining the NOAA Corps, Ensign Norman was a full time student. In addition to his studies, Ensign Norman worked as a data processor for the Seafloor Mapping Laboratory of the California State University of Monterey Bay.
Ensign Norman graduated from the California State University of Monterey Bay in 2015 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Marine Science. He is driven by a passion to explore the oceans and is eager to see all there is to see. His passion started at a young age and he had earned his basic open water diving license at the age of 15. Ensign Norman learned of the NOAA Corps and its mission through his career in research diving and seafloor mapping. He was drawn in by the scientific mission of the Corps combined with the opportunity to apply his education in the service of his country.
Ensign Norman is dedicated to sail underway on a hydrographic survey vessel and to chart the unknown. He also registered as an American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) diver and a NAUI Divemaster. He hopes to further his diving career as a NOAA diver and to bring his love for being underwater to further NOAA’s hydrographic mission.
Ensign Jacquelyn M. Putnam
Ensign Jacquelyn M. Putnam reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 11 January, 2017 to begin basic training with the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign Putnam was a GIS Technician for an architectural and engineering firm in Virginia Beach, VA.
Ensign Putnam graduated from the University of North Carolina – Wilmington in 2015 with a Master of Science in Geoscience with a concentration in Geospatial Science and in 2014 earned a post baccalaureate certificate in Geographic Information Systems from the same institution. Her Master’s thesis applied GIS techniques to determine the effectiveness of emergency shelters in Eastern North Carolina during hurricane events. Shortly before graduating, Ensign Putnam began to explore career opportunities with FEMA when the NOAA Corps was suggested to her. The NOAA Corps’ unparalleled field opportunities and leadership development instantly attracted her to join. Ensign Putnam is also a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in History in 2010.
Ensign Putnam hopes to leverage her educational and professional experience aboard a hydrographic survey vessel. She looks forward to making a significant contribution to the scientific community and travelling the world with NOAA.
Ensign Sony Vang
Ensign Vang reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 11 January, 2017 to begin basic training with the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining the NOAA Corps, Ensign Vang was an AmeriCorps member for the Watershed Stewards Program where he worked with the San Joaquin River Partnership in river restoration efforts and salmonid recovery. In his role, he worked with multiple agencies that included the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct redd and carcass surveys on the San Joaquin River.
Ensign Vang graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies with a focus in Conservation Biology. Ensign Vang had a passion and interest in fisheries at a young age and has worked extensively with the National Marine Fisheries Service in salmon recovery projects and rockfish early life history projects. NOAA Corps was the perfect opportunity to serve in a capacity that offered both science and adventure.
Ensign Mary Claire Youpel
Ensign Mary Claire Youpel reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 10 January, 2017 to begin her basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA Corps, Ensign Youpel worked as an independent contractor with the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission where she worked on researching historical fisheries regulations for the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. She worked with GCR Inc. Consulting and Technology Solutions in New Orleans, Louisiana as Coastal Division Fisheries Policy Intern. As an intern, she assisted as outreach coordinator and Gulf coast fisheries policy analyst.
Ensign Youpel graduated from Louisiana State University in 2015 with a Master of Science in Oceanography and Coastal Science and a Master of Public Administration with a focus in Public Policy. She graduated from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources and Environmental Science.
Ensign Youpel is excited for the opportunity to expand upon her leadership skills aboard one of NOAA’s fisheries vessels. She is looking forward to being a part of the NOAA Corps and hopes to use her background in public policy and fisheries science to further the missions of NOAA and the NOAA Corps. She enjoys traveling, spending time with her family, and learning to play new sports.