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NOAA Corps

BOTC 104

NOAA Basic Officer Training Class 104

NOAA Corps Basic Officer Training Class (BOTC) 104 along with retired U.S. Navy vice admiral and NOAA Admistrator Conrad Lautenbacher. BOTC 104 members include ENS Silas Ayers, LT Les Cruise, ENS Michael Davidson, ENS David Fischman, ENS Amanda Goeller, ENS Leah Harman, ENS Abigail Higgins, ENS Paul Householder, ENS Sarah Jackson, ENS Jason Mansour, ENS Tri Nguyen, ENS Brent J. Pounds, LT(jg) Dan Price, ENS Timothy Salisbury, ENS Mike Stevenson, and ENS Briana Welton.

December 1, 2003

Ensign Silas Ayers

ENS Ayers hails from Southeastern Pennsylvania. He earned his BSED in Environmental Science in 1998, and his MA in Physical Science in 2000, from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He has served the past three years as an enlisted member of the United States Army, where he studied and practiced Intercept and Electronic Warfare Systems Repair. He hopes that his experiences in the NOAA Corps will equip him for his long-term career objective of working in Earth Science Education.

Lieutenant Les Cruise

LT Cruise is a Public Health Service Officer assigned as the medical officer aboard the NOAA research vessel RONALD H. BROWN. LT Cruise has a BS and MS in Nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has worked as a registered nurse and Adult Nurse Practitioner for seven years. He also has a BS and MS in Meteorology from North Carolina State University and served as a weather officer in the Air Force for ten years. LT Cruise is attending BOTC to gain the navigational and nautical skills needed to qualify for underway OOD watches.

Ensign Michael Davidson

ENS Davidson hails from the University of Alabama where he is finishing a Master's Degree in Applied Physical Geography with emphasis in GIS and Remote Sensing. In addition to his graduate studies, Ensign Davidson has also earned a Graduate Certificate in GIS and a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Science from the University of Alabama. While searching for a job in the intelligence community, Ensign Davidson happened to visit the NOAA Corps website and immediately realized that NOAA Corps offered the perfect career opportunities for him. When he is not working or going to school, Ensign Davidson enjoys scuba diving, snow skiing, and traveling to new places. Upon completion of BOTC, he looks forward to his first sea assignment upon a hydrographic survey vessel and the opportunity to attend NOAA dive training.

Ensign David Fischman

ENS David Fischman was born and raised in Kings Park, NY on Long Island. He graduated with a B.S in geology from the State University of New York College at Cortland. He went on to obtain a M.S. in geology from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Upon graduation, he moved to Newport, Rhode Island where he worked as a database manager for the computer consulting firm Advanced Systems. Not enjoying sitting behind a computer, he found employment as a scientist with SAIC. Some of his many duties included data management and conducting various oceanographic surveys around the country. Feeling the constraints of living in the same area for many years, Ensign Fischman decided to move on to new and more exciting places. Missing the deadline for the NOAA BOTC class of 102 by 1 week, he embarked on a journey aboard NOAA ship RAINIER as a survey technician. There, he conducted multi-beam surveys of the Alaskan coast for nautical charts. Later, he served on NOAA ship KA`IMIMOANA also as a survey technician. There, he conducted CTD operations and managed the scientific data collection of several oceanographic and atmospheric instruments. Ensign Fischman left the KA`IMIMOANA for BOTC class 104. Ensign Fischman plans on spending at least 20 years in the NOAA Corps continuously traveling and learning something new.

Ensign Amanda Goeller

ENS Amanda Goeller was born and raised in Snow Hill, Maryland. She graduated from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL with a BS degree in Marine Science and a minor in Mathematics. She enjoys traveling and has been to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Tanzania, where she hiked to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Costa Rica, and Panama. Some pastimes she enjoys include SCUBA diving, cheering for the Baltimore Ravens, and swimming. The NOAA Corps is the perfect opportunity for her to have a career in which she can combine her love for the oceans with hard work and teamwork.

Ensign Leah Harman

ENS Leah Harman originates from land-locked Florence, Colorado. In 1999, she earned a BS degree in marine biology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Since then she has been working as a NMFS fisheries observer aboard commercial fishing vessels in Alaskan and Hawaiian waters. She was first attracted to NOAA Corps by the prospect of serving aboard a NOAA fisheries vessel but also looks forward to gaining experience in NOAA's other missions. Her hobbies include backpacking, kayaking, scuba diving, sailing, and surfing.

Ensign Abigail Higgins

ENS Abigail Higgins is very excited to be joining the NOAA Corps. ENS Higgins is from Virginia Beach, Virginia and graduated from the University of Virginia in May 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences. She has long been interested in the NOAA Corps, following in the path of her grandfather, Captain Edmund Jones. ENS Higgins is looking forward to being involved with oceanographic research and a long and interesting career with the Corps.

Ensign Paul Householder

ENS Paul Householder comes from Frazeysburg, Ohio, a small town near Zanesville. Staying close to home, he graduated from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland with a BS and MS in chemical engineering. While on a cooperative education assignment at IBM, Paul developed a toxic waste treatment method for plating solutions, constituting his master's project. Following graduation, he returned full time to IBM in Burlington, Vermont to work as a process engineer in a microchip fabrication facility. After being laid off a year ago, ENS Householder desired a position that would be a great mix of science, travel, and service. Despite having no seagoing experience, Paul found the NOAA Corps to be an excellent career opportunity. In his spare time, he enjoys sailing, hiking, and woodworking.

Ensign Sarah Jackson

ENS Sarah Jackson hails from Woodbridge, Virginia. She recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from Mary Washington College with a bachelor's degree in biology. While in college she did several internships including a legal intern position for the Department of Social Services. Last summer she had the opportunity to conduct population genetics research on two species of endemic flies in Hilo, Hawaii. Jackson also worked in Volcanoes National Park conducting aquatic invertebrate and yellow jacket surveys. After graduation she worked for the American Type Culture Collection as a biologist in their molecular bio-production unit. Feeling the need for adventure and for a challenge, Sarah accepted appointment into NOAA's 104th BOTC class.

Ensign Jason Mansour

Growing up in Maryland, ENS Mansour graduated Cum Laude from CSU Monterey Bay with a B.S. in Earth System Science and Policy in May of 2003. With original intentions to be a naval aviator after graduating college, ENS Mansour joins the NOAA Corps with an strong ambition to continue fishery and oceanographic research. Ultimately, he hopes to earn his wings as a NOAA aviator and join the P-3 Hurricane Hunter squadron. In his free time, ENS Mansour enjoys cycling, hockey, scuba diving, flying and surfing.

Ensign Tri Nguyen

ENS Tri Nguyen lived in Fort Lauderdale, Florida before arriving at BOTC 104. He graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science from Florida Atlantic University at Boca Raton in December 2002. He joined the NOAA Corps because of his interest in working for the government in a scientific and research capacity. He thinks that NOAA's mission fits well for him. He enjoys jogging, swimming, and listening to music.

Ensign Brent J. Pounds

ENS PoundsBrent is originally from Pueblo, Colorado and being from a completely land locked state felt that it was only prudent to accept a job with an ocean going service. He recently graduated with high honors from the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering. While at CSM he was involved in many student organizations and academic projects. These projects included the development of the Knecht Martian Mining System for the NASA HEDS-Up Forum at Johnson Space Center, where his design team took top honors in a field of over twenty top universities from across the country. More recently he has been involved in a robotics project to develop a totally autonomous robot incorporating Infrared obstacle avoidance and GPS mapping and locating technology. Brent first became interested in the NOAA Corps at the CSM Career Fair and visited the NESDIS solar weather research center in Bolder, CO. He is eager to complete his training and head out for his first sea assignment.

Lieutenant JG Dan Price

LTJG PriceLTJG Price, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, transferred to the NOAA Corps from the U.S. Navy. During his 11 year Navy career, he served in the nuclear submarine, aviation, and oceanography communities. He discovered the NOAA Corps while working as an oceanography officer at the Naval Pacific Meteorology and Oceanography Center in San Diego, California. Although he regularly provided environmental support to NOAA ships operating in the Eastern Pacific, he remained unaware of the NOAA Corps until an opportune visit from a NOAA Corps officer. LTJG Price was especially attracted to opportunities in undersea exploration and marine science, as well as the professional mariner aspect of NOAA Corps service. Having realized that he could best pursue his interests and contribute to the nation as a NOAA Corps officer, he requested an inter-service transfer. LTJG Price enjoys all outdoor activities, especially those involving the ocean or the wilderness. His favorite activities are ocean kayaking, SCUBA diving, and backpacking with his wife, Heather.

Ensign Timothy Salisbury

ENS Timothy Salisbury was born in Bethesda, Maryland. He began attending Simon's Rock of Bard College at age16 and graduated with his B.S. in Physical Science from Salisbury State University at age19. He worked for the Defense Mapping Agency as a GS-11 Geodesist until the Soviet Union collapsed, peace broke out, and the DMA was discontinued. His second career was in Telemedicine, where Mr. Salisbury worked as a project officer and lead instructor for the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) at Fort Detrick. With the project he traveled to various bases around the world implementing prototype medical equipment. His travels include Haiti, Kuwait, Germany, Macedonia, Honduras, four months in Bosnia and a year in Kosovo. Upon returning form Kosovo, he went back to school where he performed in several plays and earned an A.A. degree in Dance. When not traveling, Mr. Salisbury teaches self-defense with D.C. IMPACT and he is the proud father of Ashley. Mr. Salisbury and his wife, Merrily, are expecting their son to be born sometime before October 31st, 2003.

Ensign Mike Stevenson

ENS Stevenson was born and raised in Pensacola, FL. He attended college at Bucknell University, earning a BS in Electrical Engineering in 2000, and at the University of West Florida, where he earned a BSBA in Management Information Systems in 2003. After learning about the NOAA Corps at a school career fair, ENS Stevenson felt that he had finally found his calling. He hopes to enjoy a long career with NOAA, and greatly looks forward to the opportunity to experience life while serving his country.

Ensign Briana Welton

ENS Briana Welton spent her first eighteen years growing up in southeastern Arizona, along the U.S.-Mexico border, where her parents, two younger sisters, and horse still live. Her first taste of adventure came after high school when she lived a year in So Paulo, Brazil, as a Rotary International Exchange Student, soaking up the culture and becoming proficient in Portuguese. In December of 2001, she graduated from Smith College with her bachelors in mathematics. She joins the 104th BOTC from Tucson, Arizona, where she was most recently employed as a Research Technician at the University of Arizona College of Public Health. Briana was introduced to the NOAA Corps during college when she interned with NMAO Program Services and Outsourcing Division. Throughout life she has enjoyed swimming, riding horse, camping, biking, traveling, reading, and discussing the meaning of life with friends.

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Reviewed: December 23, 2015. Contact us with page issues.

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