Members of NOAA Corps Basic Officer Training Class (BOTC) 124 and U.S. Coast Guard Officer Candidate School class 1-15 at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, where they train together. BOTC 124 members inlcude ENS Matthew Bissell, ENS Kyle Cosentino, ENS Patrick Debroisse, ENS Tyler Fifield, ENS Christopher Gallagher, ENS Marybeth Head, ENS Lindsay Jacobs, ENS Benjamin Kaiser, ENS Philip Manougian, ENS Melissa Mathes, ENS Samuel W. McKay, ENS Christopher Pickens, ENS Kathryn Richwine, ENS Bryan Stephan, and ENS Brian Yannutz.
Ensign Matthew Bissell
ENS Matthew Bissell reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 7 August 2014 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Bissell worked as a science educator at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point. In addition to teaching at Ocean Institute he served as lab technician aboard their 65-foot research vessel as well as deckhand aboard their two tall ships.
ENS Bissell graduated from the University of Southern California in 2014 with a Master's of Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology. His thesis involved using volunteered geographic information and remotely sensed data to create habitat suitability models for pacific blue whales. Previously, Ensign Bissell earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Earth System Science from San Francisco State University in 2008.
ENS Bissell is a Master SCUBA diver with the American Association of Underwater Scientists. He hopes to utilize his diving experience and GIS skills on one of NOAA's hydrographic vessels.
Ensign Kyle Cosentino
ENS Kyle Cosentino reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 7 August 2014 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. ENS Cosentino graduated from Eckerd College in May 2014 with a B.S. in marine science and a minor in chemistry. During his time at Eckerd he developed a strong interest in understanding the fundamental components and mechanisms of the natural world.
ENS Cosentino received the 2012-2014 Hollings Scholarship, which granted him a summer internship in 2013 with NOAA at the Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, CO. He became a co-author of a publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research entitled "Characterizing Interplanetary Shocks for Development and Optimization of an Automated Solar Wind Shock Detection Algorithm" as a result of his work. His curiosity in a career in the NOAA Corps developed after attending a NOAA Corps recruitment session for Hollings Scholars in Boulder.
ENS Cosentino is interested in pursuing an oceanographic or fisheries research vessel during his first sea assignment. He is also very interested in entering the NOAA dive program and is considering the NOAA aviation program as a potential career path after his initial sea assignment. His primary recreational interests include fishing, windsurfing, running, and traveling.
Ensign Patrick Debroisse
ENS Patrick J. Debroisse reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 7 August 2014 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, ENS Debroisse was a design engineer using 2D CAD modeling to construct custom fire apparatus in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania.
ENS Debroisse graduated from Norwich University, The Military College of Vermont, in 2012 with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering. His strong sense of duty and service as well as the desire to use his degree for the common good inspired him to pursue service in the NOAA Commissioned Corps.
ENS Debroisse hopes to serve on an oceanographic research or hydrographic vessel. He hopes to become a NOAA working diver and earn a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering. He also wants to be involved in the design of new equipment to help NOAA accomplish its future missions.
Ensign Tyler Fifield
ENS Tyler P. Fifield reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 7 August 2014 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, ENS Fifield was a full time student, while working on both training and commercial vessels between semesters.
ENS Fifield graduated from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Safety and Environmental Protection with a minor in Marine Biology. ENS Fifield has experience in Aquaculture systems management at the New England Aquarium, focusing on crustaceans. Raised in Gloucester, Massachusetts, ENS Fifield has developed a passion for the ocean studies and the uniformed services since a very young age; observing firsthand the importance of proper fisheries management in small coastal communities.
ENS Fifield's other interests include SCUBA diving and snowboarding. Current NOAA goals include Oceanic Exploration, Environmental Assessments, and Fisheries Research missions; aspiring to sail on the East Coast or in Hawaiian waters.
Ensign Christopher Gallagher
ENS Christopher Gallagher reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 7 August 2014 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, ENS Gallagher completed a wide range of internships in college dealing with different aspects of his major from wastewater research to marine biology research.
ENS Gallagher graduated from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in June 2014 with a B.S. in Marine Safety and Environmental Protection with a minor in Marine Biology. He was a member of the Buccaneer baseball program for four years. He has had an interest in the ocean since he was a child growing up on Cape Cod. ENS Gallagher completed two semesters at sea while at MMA, serving as a cadet instructor his senior year teaching the freshman environmental and vessel safety classes. Since learning about the NOAA Corps at a career fair at MMA his freshman year, ENS Gallagher set his goals on becoming a NOAA Corps Officer. In 2012, he volunteered aboard the R/V Sharp on a NOAA Sea Scallop Survey. During the winter of 2013, ENS Gallagher completed an internship with the Biology Department at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution annotating images from the Habcam underwater vehicle and working on an underwater observatory to be placed off of Okinawa.
ENS Gallagher is honored to be a part of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps, and is very excited to begin his initial sea assignment. He would like to become a NOAA certified medical person in charge. ENS Gallagher looks forward to serving his country and is interested in all aspects of NOAA research but is particularly interested in the fisheries vessels on the East and Gulf Coast.
Ensign Marybeth Head
ENS Marybeth Head reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 7 Aug 2014 to begin basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, ENS Head was an Assistant Dive Safety Officer at the Oregon Coast Aquarium where she managed the guest snorkel program and guided divers in the exhibits. She also worked with the scientific divers and participated in offshore species collection dives. Prior to working at Oregon Coast Aquarium, she worked at Yaquina Bay Charters as a first mate and earned her 50-ton Masters Near Coastal license. She spent time at Hatfield Marine Science Center working as a marine biologist studying coloration of juvenile Lingcod. She has also worked as a lab technician at Oregon State University estimating fecundity in Pacific Ocean Perch as well as larval dispersal in Damselfish.
ENS Head completed a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife with a specialization in Marine Ecology at Oregon State University in 2010. She was a coxswain on the Oregon State Women's Rowing Team. She has her PADI Divemasters Certification and AAUS Scientific Divers Certification. She is also an AMSEA Safety Drill Leader for Commercial Fishing Vessels.
ENS Head grew up on a small farm on the Applegate River that fostered her love of water and exploration at an early age. She hopes to become a NOAA diver and work on a hydrographic vessel for her first sea assignment. The NOAA Corps is a dream come true for her and there is no other job in the world she would rather do.
Ensign Lindsay Jacobs
ENS Lindsay Jacobs reported to the NOAA Officer Training Center on August 7 2014 to begin the NOAA Commissioned Corps Basic Officer Training Class 124. Before accepting the offer to be part of BOTC 124, ENS Jacobs worked as an Environmental Compliance contractor for the United States Air Force at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Previous to this opportunity, Ensign Jacobs trained dolphins and sea lions to protect nuclear submarines in the United States Navy Marine Mammal Program at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia.
ENS Jacobs graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation with minors in Zoology and Environmental Science from the University of Florida in 2007. She also completed an Associate's degree while on active duty in the U.S. Air Force in the field of Bioenvironmental Engineering Technology in 2003. Ensign Jacobs' interest in the NOAA Corps stemmed from a love of the ocean and the comradery of being a part of a military service branch.
To help supplement her work with the Earth's many resources, Ensign Jacobs has obtained certifications as a NAUI SCUBA Divemaster, a HAZWOPER technician, and as a professional CPR/First Aid responder. She also has a great interest in studying to become a Coast Guard licensed captain and a NAUI Working Diver and Rescue Swimmer and looks to find an afloat billet that will allow her to travel all over the world.
Ensign Benjamin Kaiser
ENS Benjamin C. Kaiser reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 7 August 2014 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, ENS Kaiser was an Office Manager at North Coast Seafoods in Boston, MA, where he was in charge of helping to oversee operations for the largest fresh seafood provider in the Northeast.
ENS Kaiser graduated from Boston University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marine Science with a minor in Biology, and was the recipient of academic and athletic scholarships. ENS Kaiser has had an interest in marine science since a young age and has participated in Marine Antarctic Benthic Ecology internships in Moss Landing, CA and Large Pelagic Species Surveys in his home state of Rhode Island.
Ensign Kaiser's other areas of expertise includes being a NCAA Division I varsity swimmer, volunteer collegiate coach, and a former open water surf lifeguard. ENS Kaiser is also an avid recreational sailor, rock climber, and hiker. Ensign Kaiser has interest in working on fisheries research vessels based in the Pacific, in order to fulfill his desire to study fisheries while getting the chance to serve in a different part of the country.
Ensign Philip Manougian
ENS Philip J. Manougian reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 7 August 2014 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA Corps, ENS Manougian worked at FIT Aviation, LLC as a Line Service Technician. Prior to working at FIT Aviation, ENS Manougian Interned at the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center at MacDill AFB as a Flight Operations Coordinator where he helped compile the flight schedules, assist in daily operations, train in Water Survival and Physiology classes, as well as aid in PUMA UAS operations.
Ensign Manougian graduated from Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL with a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Meteorology with Flight Option. ENS Manougian realized his passion for weather after being exposed to the field while flight training during his first semester. During his four years at Florida Tech, ENS Manougian earned his Commercial Multi-Engine and Single-Engine Pilot Certificates as well as an Instrument Rating and numerous endorsements.
An avid rock climber, athlete, and scientist, ENS Manougian hopes to combine his love for the outdoors, sense of adventure, and education into a rewarding career with the NOAA Corps. His ideal first assignment is to become a NOAA Corps Aviator, but he is equally as excited to apply his background in science and weather onboard a NOAA vessel.
Ensign Melissa Mathes
Ensign Melissa D. Mathes reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 7 August 2014 to begin her basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, ENS Mathes was the assistant manager at the Galveston County Animal Resource Center. Prior to working for the Galveston County Health District, she served in the US Army Reserves as a Non-Commissioned Officer during college. She provided guidance to junior soldiers as a Squad Leader and trained as an animal care specialist. Prior to the U.S. Army, she also served in the U.S. Navy as an Aviation Electronics Technician and Leading Petty Officer.
ENS Mathes graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas A&M University in 2013 with a Bachelor's of Science in Marine Biology. Ensign Mathes was a member of the Tri-Beta National Biological Honor Society and the Student Veterans Association. Ensign Mathes became aware of the NOAA Corps from her volunteer work with NOAA at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. She felt that the NOAA Corps aligned perfectly with her career goals in marine science and continuing service to her country.
ENS Mathes' other areas of expertise include diving; she is an AAUS certified Scientific Diver, cavern diver, and a PADI Master Diver. She was also qualified as a victim advocate in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army Reserves. ENS Mathes is honored to be a part of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps and is primarily interested in fisheries and conservation to ensure healthy oceans for future generations. She also aspires to become a NOAA diver.
Ensign Samuel W. McKay
ENS Samuel W. McKay reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 7 August 2014 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, ENS McKay performed research on nondestructive methods of damage detection in metal structures and also the fluid flow around thin, highly cambered airfoils. In 2011 he performed oceanographic research aboard the tall ship Corwith Cramer, tracking water masses in the Atlantic.
ENS McKay graduated from North Carolina State University in 2014 with a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He previously graduated from Carleton College in 2011 with a Bachelor of Art in Physics and Astronomy. He attended the Sea Education Association as part of the C-233 class. Sailing with SEA sparked ENS McKay's interest in ships and oceanographic research and led him to apply for the NOAA Corps.
ENS McKay hopes to work on either oceanographic or hydrographic vessels and have the opportunity to attend NOAA dive training. He looks forward to serving wherever the NOAA Corps needs him.
Ensign Christopher Pickens
ENS Christopher H. Pickens reported to the NOAA Corps Training Center on August 7, 2014 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, ENS Pickens was involved in two separate research projects at Oberlin College. Under the mentorship of Dr. Dennis Hubbard he examined fossil reef organisms to understand reef declines in the Caribbean. Alongside Dr. Angela Roles and Dr. Justin Welsh he monitored changes in herbivorous reef fish behavior on the Great Barrier Reef in response to induced macroalgal phase shifts. In his hometown of Monterey, California he interned at the Monterey Bay Aquarium where he coached and mentored high school students in their pursuit to learn skills in customer service, interpretation and communication as they interacted with Aquarium guests. At the Aquarium he also interned for Seafood Watch, where he supported outreach efforts to increase public awareness of sustainable seafood.
ENS Pickens graduated from Oberlin College in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Geology. In 2012 he was awarded the NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship, which allowed him to participate in the Kasitsna Bay Lab phytoplankton monitoring program in the Central Gulf of Alaska. His work with NOAA and his passion for marine conservation led him to pursue a career with the NOAA Commissioned Corps.
ENS Pickens grew up as a competitive swimmer and was a captain on the Oberlin College swim and dive team. He aspires to use this experience on NOAA vessels as a diver or rescue swimmer. He hopes to serve on vessels focusing on ecosystem assessment or fisheries research.
Ensign Kathryn Richwine
ENS Kathryn A. Richwine reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 7 August 2014 to begin her basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign Richwine was a geologist working for the U.S. Geological Survey in St. Petersburg, FL, working on paleoclimate and environmental change studies in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
ENS Richwine graduated from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Science, concentrating in geology. While at Eckerd College, Ensign Richwine was a member of the Eckerd College search and rescue team (EC-SAR), a non-profit, volunteer maritime search and rescue team that responds to boaters in Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. During her four years serving, ENS Richwine was involved in tactical rescues ranging from disabled vessels, medical emergencies, boat fires, vessels taking on water and overturned vessels. Through these experiences, ENS Richwine knew she wanted to pursue a career that catered to both the operational aspect and scientific side that the NOAA Commissioned Officer's Corps blends together.
Ensign Richwine also holds an advanced open water diving certification. She has sailed with the Sea Education Association (SEA) as a student on the SSV Corwith Cramer and also deck handed on the SSV Robert C. Seamans. Ensign Richwine is interested in sailing on one of NOAA's oceanographic research vessels and hopes to one day fly for NOAA.
Ensign Bryan Stephan
ENS Bryan Stephan reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on August 7, 2014 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign Stephan was a ski instructor in Telluride, Colorado. Prior to teaching skiing Ensign Stephan was an environmental policy intern for Senator Christopher Coons in Washington, D.C. His additional work experience includes being an undergraduate marine policy intern for the Mid Atlantic Regional Association for Coastal Ocean Observing (MARACOOS) and also 6 summers as a sailing instructor on his home waters of the Long Island Sound.
ENS Stephan graduated from the University of Delaware in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and was a member of the varsity swim team. He developed a love for the ocean and the outdoors at an early age while growing up in Fairfield, CT spending his summers sailing and many weekends on camping trips with the Boy Scouts. ENS Stephan learned about the NOAA Corps through a professor at the University of Delaware and felt it was the perfect intersection of his passions for adventure and sustainability.
ENS Stephan also loves to surf, run and travel in his free time. He is excited to go to sea on any ship in the NOAA fleet but hopes to be a NOAA diver and get involved in ecosystem based resource management. He looks forward to meeting the rest of his NOAA Corps shipmates and begin a career of stewardship and exploration.