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New Executive Officer at the NOAA Diving Center

Aug 10
Portrait of LT Faith Knighton scuba diving

LT Faith Knighton diving on the wreck of USNS Mission San Miguel at Maro Reef in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

On Monday, August 1, LT Faith Knighton began her tour as the new Executive Officer (XO) at the NOAA Diving Center (NDC). She is an experienced diver and scientist, and the NOAA Diving Program (NDP) is proud to welcome her to our headquarters!

The Executive Officer (XO) position at NDC is a rotating billet that is filled by NOAA Corps Officers during their land assignments. It is a key position for the NOAA Diving Program: while the XO runs the day to day activities at the NOAA Diving Center (under the supervision of the NOAA Diving Center Manager), the XO also works on program-wide administrative tasks and participates in NOAA Diving Control and Safety Board (NDCSB) meetings where policy issues are discussed.

LT Faith Knighton comes to NDC from the NOAA Ship Hi’ialakai, where she served as the Operations Officer, overseeing one of the most high-paced diving platforms in the NOAA fleet. In fact, last year, over 5,000 dives were conducted by NOAA Divers and NOAA Reciprocity Divers from the NOAA Ship Hi’ialakai, some of which were the deepest dives conducted by rebreather divers in the Program (down to 300 ft.) That year, Faith was part of the team that was honored with the NOAA Ship of the Year Award for 2015.

Faith was certified in open water scuba in 1999 and participated in the academic diving program at Florida State University, where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology. As a Junior Officer on the NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson she received her NOAA Working Diver (2007) and NOAA Divemaster (2008) certificates, as well as undergoing training as a Diving Medical Technician (DMT). While working as a Staff Scientist at the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center in Honolulu, Faith worked as a NOAA Small Boat Vessel Operations Coordinator and Dive Master in support of diverse research dive missions around the Pacific. During this time, she also completed a Master of Arts in Geography and a Graduate Certificate in Ocean Policy at the University of Hawai’i in 2013.

Faith’s passion for diving and the sciences place her in a unique position to understand and support the needs of NOAA Divers who conduct dives under OSHA regulations and the scientific exemption. She will be working with former XO, LCDR Justin Keesee to get up to speed on NDC and NOAA Diving Program procedures before Justin heads out to his next assignment as XO of the NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker in December. He is currently serving as the Acting NOAA Diving Center Manager while the NDP searches for a permanent manager.

Welcome to NDC Faith!



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