Front Row (L-R): Ensign Emily Ruhl, Ensign Brianna Villalon, Ensign Allegra Menniti, Ensign Alexis Ferguson
Ensign Alexis Ferguson
Ensign Ferguson graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Policy with a concentration in policy. She led efforts to increase energy efficiency and sustainability through management of personnel and funding during her time in St Petersburg, FL. Shortly thereafter, she spent two years working as a marine mammal and endangered species observer aboard a number of different dredging vessels. She continued her studies in sustainable policy at the University of South Florida’s Patel College of Global Sustainability masters of arts program.
Ensign Ferguson is a PADI Open Water SCUBA diver and recreational boating-enthusiast, who's passionate about the health and sustainability of the marine world. She is proud to serve in the NOAA Commissioned Corps.
Ensign Michael Fulton
Ensign Fulton graduated from Marietta College in Ohio with a Bachelor of Science in Geology in 2015. He spent two summers interning in Pittsburgh, Pa. at the natural gas production company EQT, examining the geology of the Appalachian Basin. Ensign Fulton then graduated from the University of Delaware with a Master of Science in Geosciences in 2018. His thesis analyzed fossilized pollen and sediment cores to correlate the stratigraphy and interpret the sedimentology of the Potomac Formation in the mid-atlantic. He most recently worked as a hydrologist at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s water supply section, conducting aquifer modeling and drawdown calculations on freshwater resources. During his time at Marietta College he played four years of varsity baseball, winning a National Championship in 2012. Ensign Fulton looks forward to the science, adventure, and team atmosphere that comes with being a NOAA Corps Officer.
Ensign Tyler Hall
Ensign Hall graduated from Purdue University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, and again in 2013 with a Master of Science in the same. After college, he proceeded to Seattle, Washington where he began working as an engineer for a company that specialized in aircraft assembly automation. There he designed, built and programmed large machine tools used to assemble aircraft. Most recently, he focused on the development of the software for autonomous industrial vehicles. Ensign Hall learned to dive in Seattle which led to his current interest in ocean science and exploration. He looks forward to supporting the various scientific missions of NOAA.
Ensign Skyler Hall
Ensign Jordan graduated from Denison University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2013. Following graduation he joined a field team of biologists studying birds on the Alaskan tundra. After his return he studied herds of captive antelope at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas and then travelled to Equatorial Guinea where he studied population ecology of tropical monkeys and sea turtle reproduction. He then began work as a land steward and wildland firefighter at the Albany Pine Bush Preserve in upstate New York. His biological work resumed after that as he worked on an ornithology project in New Mexico and managed a nature reserve in tropical Ecuador. After another season of land stewardship and prescribed burns, he attended the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, where he earned a Master of Science in Oceanography in 2020. During graduate school, he worked as a paleomagnetism technician aboard the research vessel JOIDES Resolution during a two-month cruise in the Southern Ocean.
Ensign Jordan particularly looks forward to engaging in the wide range of missions that NOAA Corps officers are an integral part of. From managing Antarctic research stations to supporting national marine sanctuaries, he is eager to work at sea, on land, or in the air in service to NOAA.
Ensign Allegra Menniti
Prior to joining the NOAA Corps, Ensign Menniti taught chemistry, physics and biology in rural Jharkhand, India for a non-profit organization, which worked to provide young women the opportunity to obtain a better education. She was also a long-term volunteer on the island of Lesbos, Greece, where she aided in humanitarian relief and search and rescue efforts to help prevent casualties in migrants making the treacherous journey across the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Europe. She also spent time working in Moria and Skaramangas refugee camps. Ensign Menniti graduated from California Polytechnic State University with a degree in biological sciences. While attending university she worked with graduate students researching the northern elephant seal where she fell in love with coastal and marine research. She tagged and weighed elephant seal pups as well as monitored the rebounding population of seals. The opportunity to combine both operational and scientific missions ultimately led her to apply to the NOAA Corps.
Ensign Emily Ruhl
Ensign Ruhl graduated Cum Laude from Gettysburg College with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and a minor in Biology in 2013. After working several years as an environmental educator with the North Carolina Aquariums and Delaware Department of Natural Resources, she earned her Master of Science in Marine Biosciences from the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment at the University of Delaware in 2018. During this time, she earned her Rescue Diver and Scientific Diver certifications. She then went on to serve as a research biologist in the Cognitive Ecology and Ecohydraulics Research Lab with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers where she worked on developing invasive species deterrence methods in the Mississippi River. Ensign Ruhl loves spending time in nature with her dogs, kayaking, and experimenting in the kitchen. Her passion for environmental conservation, education, and stewardship inspired her to join the NOAA Corps, and she is honored to be able to serve alongside an exceptional fleet of officers.
Ensign Ian Searles
Ensign Searles graduated Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa Society from Iowa State University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences and a minor in Journalism and Mass Communications. Through his program, he was involved in a paleoclimate research project that used growth rates and isotopic variation in Arctica islandica clam shells to analyze changing ocean conditions in the Gulf of Maine. During undergrad, Ensign Searles worked aboard the E/V Nautilus as a video engineering intern and at NASA Johnson Space Center as an education communication specialist intern. He earned his PADI Advanced Open Water diver certification and Nitrox diver certification in 2017. In his free time, he enjoys sailing, hiking, SCUBA diving, camping, and playing guitar. Ensign Searles looks forward to serving science and the planet as a NOAA Corps Commissioned Officer.
Ensign Jonas Veazey
Ensign Veazey graduated from St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York in 2019 with a double major in Chemistry and Mathematics. He had been involved in a variety of research projects including a published public health study on healthcare and lab values of transgender people at the University of Texas Southwestern Hospital in Dallas, TX. Ensign Veazey is passionate about climate research and data collection as well as other environmental topics affecting the lives of marginalized people.
During college he was a 4-year member and 2-year captain of the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Water Polo team and member of the college’s swim and dive team. Ensign Veazey enjoys most outdoor activities and is excited to begin his career in the NOAA Corps.
Ensign Brianna Villalon
Ensign Villalon graduated from Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology. As an undergraduate, she participated in several research projects, focusing on coastal restoration ecology and marine genomic analysis of elasmobranchs. In 2018, she attended Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University where she conducted socio-ecological studies concerning small scale fishery dynamics in Baja California, Mexico. In 2019, she helped conduct research at the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Narragansett, Rhode Island with the Apex Predator program. During her time in Rhode Island, she monitored benthic shark species’ composition, distribution, and migration for NOAA highly migratory species stock assessments. Prior to joining the NOAA Corps, she was a surf rescue guard in Port Aransas, Texas and later became a field biologist instructor in Key Largo, Florida. Ensign Villalon is proud to serve in the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps and looks forward to applying her passions of oceanic science and exploration while contributing to NOAA’s missions.