Members of NOAA Corps Basic Officer Training Class 127 at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, including ENS Mason L. Carroll, ENS Nicole L. Chappelle, ENS Sarah S. Donohoe, ENS Joshua W. Fredrick, ENS Dale J. Gump , ENS Michelle M. Levano, ENS Bethany N. McAcy, ENS Alyssa N. Thompson.
Ensign Mason L. Carroll
Ensign Mason L. Carroll reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 6 January, 2016 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign Carroll was a manufacturing and automation design engineer in Charlotte, NC. In this role, he developed renewable energy systems and consumer level products for the international market. In 2015, Ensign Carroll traveled to Tanzania to install a pathfinder solar powered clean-water system of his own design. Prior to living in Charlotte, he was the lead technology intern for a sustainable development firm in Raleigh, NC.
Ensign Carroll graduated cum laude from North Carolina State University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering. In 2013, he traveled to Mysore, India and Wichita, KS to collaborate in an undergraduate research project to design a new commercial aircraft. For over a year, he worked as a Co-op for GE Aviation in North Carolina and Ohio performing various assignments in jet engine development. Before reporting to basic training, Ensign Carroll was living in Colorado pursuing his passion for exploration.
Ensign Carroll earned his Private Pilot License in 2011. He was drawn to NOAA by a desire to have a career in earth science. Ensign Carroll is an amateur astronomer and enjoys cosmology, spaceflight, adventure sports, and live music. He hopes to work on a hydrographic survey vessel during his first sea assignment. Professional goals in the future include serving in Antarctica or on a NOAA aircraft.
Ensign Nicole L. Chappelle
Ensign Nicole L. Chappelle reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 6 January, 2016 to begin her basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign Chappelle worked as an aquarium diver at Sea World Orlando. Prior to working for Sea World she worked as an elephant keeper, scuba instructor, and wildland fire fighter.
Ensign Chappelle graduated from Oregon State University in 2012 with a B.S. in Zoology and a B.S. in Speech Communications. Ensign Chappelle loves the outdoors and enjoys seeing remote places. She has a passion for animals and nature which encouraged her interest in the NOAA Corps.
Ensign Chappelle's other areas of expertise includes being a PADI certified Master Scuba Diver Trainer and an Emergency First Response Instructor. She enjoys horseback riding, scuba diving, hiking, and playing soccer. She is looking forward to all the opportunities she will have to learn new things while working for the NOAA Corps.
Ensign Sarah S. Donohoe
Ensign Sarah S. Donohoe reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 6 January, 2016 to begin basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign Donohoe worked as a contractor at the NOAA Little Port Walter Chinook research hatchery in Southeast Alaska and as a wilderness camp counselor near Berner's Bay, Alaska.
Ensign Donohoe graduated from the University of Portland in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. An Ernest F. Hollings Scholar and Harry S. Truman Scholar, Ensign Donohoe is passionately dedicated to the stewardship of our global environmental resources. She has a diverse background that spreads from spending her elementary-school years living on an alpaca farm in Pennsylvania to growing up in Juneau, Alaska and working as a zipline guide in the Tongass National Forest. More recently, Ensign Donohoe interned with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as a data technician at the Lowrie Island Steller sea lion colony and with the harbor seal program tracking seal-vessel interactions in the Tracy Arm Fjord near the face of the South Sawyer Glacier. She studied abroad in Ecuador and spent three months living with local Galapagueños. While on Isla San Cristóbal, she assisted with Galápagos sea lion population counts and stable-isotope analysis of Galápagos sea lion skulls for research on historical ENSO events and feeding patterns in the Galápagos sea lion.
Ensign Donohoe has a vibrant enthusiasm for learning new things and is looking forward to opportunities for medical person in charge, environmental compliance officer and NOAA diver certification training. She is a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver and hopes to serve on an oceanographic research or fisheries vessel on the West Coast.
Ensign Joshua W. Fredrick
Ensign Joshua W. Fredrick reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 6 January, 2016 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining the NOAA Corps, Ensign Fredrick worked in the scientific and recreational dive industry. In 2014 he spent a year in Beqa Lagoon, Fiji, working as the Dive Operation Coordinator for Projects Abroad Fiji – Shark Conservation Team. He developed the scientific dive program to educate volunteers to survey shark, ray and fish abundance and distribution. The project included juvenile shark tagging, baited remote underwater video (BRUV) surveys, shark feeding dives, mangrove reforestation as well as local education and aid.
Ensign Fredrick graduated from Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology. He worked in the Ichthyology Lab at NSU's Oceanographic Center as a scientific diver and captain for the NOAA funded Reef Visual Consensus (RVC) Fish Count Project in Southeastern Florida. Ensign Fredrick was first introduced to a NOAA Corps Officer at this time. Meanwhile, Ensign Fredrick doubled as a captain and PADI Open Water Dive Instructor at Sea Experience Dive Shop & School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Between his scientific and recreational diving experience, ENS Fredrick has logged over 1200 scuba dives and is a fish identification and ecology specialist.
In his journey to become a marine biologist/diver, Ensign Fredrick spent a year at Florida Keys Community College where he earned his diving certifications and interned with Mote Marine Laboratory culturing hard corals and spiny sea urchins for coral reef restoration. From a young age, Ensign Fredrick has loved and respected the ocean and her organisms. He grew up running offshore fishing charters out of Ocean City, Maryland, catching pelagic species such as marlin, tuna, wahoo, mahi-mahi and striped bass.
Ensign Fredrick hopes to become a NOAA Diver and Navigation Officer on a fisheries vessel during his first sea assignment. Ensign Fredrick's other interests include cooking, hiking and free-diving. Ensign Fredrick looks forward to making a difference in the marine environment while embracing the travel and adventure that comes with being a NOAA Corps Commissioned Officer.
Ensign Dale J. Gump
Ensign Dale J. Gump reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 6 January, 2016 to begin his basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign Gump spent 11 years in the U.S. Navy. From 2005 – 2008 he served aboard the fast-attack submarine USS MEMPHIS stationed in Groton, CT. From 2008-2011 he was a Work Center Supervisor on the Chief of Naval Operations, Information Dominance/Director, Naval Intelligence staff at the Pentagon in Arlington, VA. From 2011 until his arrival at BOTC, Ensign Gump was an Anti-Submarine Warfare specialist serving in multiple operational theaters around the world including Pearl Harbor, HI, Naples, IT, and Norfolk, VA. Ensign Gump was also assigned to Active Duty for Training at the Naval Observatory in Washington, DC where he worked on staff for the Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy.
Ensign Gump graduated from Columbia University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Earth Science. While attending the university, he participated in the Cascadia Initiative, allowing him to spend time at sea aboard the R/V Thomas Thompson. The focus of the study was on collecting ocean bottom seismology data from the Pacific Northwest along the Juan de Fuca and Gorda plates. In 2015, Ensign Gump completed a Master's of Science degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo in Geology. His thesis work was conducted in collaboration with scientists at the University of Bergen, in Bergen, Norway, with the goal of improving chronology of Scandinavian Ice Sheet deglaciation in southwest Norway using 10Be dating. Ensign Gump's continuing dedication to science and service led him to the NOAA Corps.
Ensign Gump is a native of Buffalo, NY where he grew up as an avid fisherman on Lake Erie. He spends his free time traveling and enjoying outdoor recreation as well as being an active member of several veterans' advocacy groups including the American Legion, Team Red, White, and Blue, and the Wounded Warrior Project.
Ensign Michelle M. Levano
Ensign Michelle M. Levano reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on January 6, 2016 to begin training to begin her basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign Levano was an assistant manager of algae production for aquacultured clams and oysters on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Prior to working in the aquaculture industry, she was a naturalist for the Rhode Island Audubon, specializing in the care of birds of prey and a research diver for Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.
Ensign Levano graduated from Roger Williams University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science and minors in Marine Biology and Sustainable Studies. During her final year of college she presented her undergraduate research on the intake of heavy metals in juvenile quahogs within Narragansett Bay at the American Chemical Society National Undergraduate Convention in Denver, CO in March 2015. She also interned with the Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean and served as a mate, a guest researcher, a diver observer on lobster cannibalism, and a marine debris educator along the Gulf of Maine. She has lived on the water her entire life, and has always had a desire to be a mariner. Being a Commissioned Officer in the NOAA Corps was a perfect fit for her maritime aspirations and long term scientific career goals.
Ensign Levano is a PADI Advanced diver and has been performing scientific research dives for over two years previous to the NOAA Corps. She wishes to attend NOAA dive training and hopes to be stationed on a hydrographic research or ocean exploration vessel because of her enthusiasm for marine and navigational discoveries.
Ensign Bethany N. McAcy
Ensign Bethany N. McAcy reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 6 January, 2016 to begin her basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to reporting for training, Ensign McAcy was a graduate instructor for the University of West Florida. She taught and assisted in undergraduate science labs including zoology, general biology, botany, comparative animal physiology, ecology, marine biology, and biology for non-majors.
Ensign McAcy graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2012 with Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance and Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. She volunteered in the university's aquatic toxicology lab, assisting with research projects focused on water quality and the effects of agricultural runoff on fathead minnows.
Ensign McAcy holds a Masters degree in Biology from the University of West Florida (2015) with a concentration in marine ecophysiology. Her thesis research quantified the thermal habitat and acclimation patterns of diamond killifish in salt marshes of the Gulf of Mexico. She was also involved in the shark genetics lab and primarily assisted with fieldwork and projects studying multiple paternity in sixgill sharks. Ensign McAcy learned to scuba dive while in grad school and completed her rescue diver certification in 2014 before working as a deckhand on a local dive charter. She hopes to continue diving for NOAA throughout her career.
Ensign Alyssa N. Thompson
Ensign Alyssa N. Thompson reported to the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center on 6 January, 2016 to begin her basic training in the NOAA Commissioned Corps. Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign Thompson was an intern for University of Florida and Old Dominion University conducting research supporting a variety of projects involving coral reef surveying, lobster disease dynamics, and sponge restoration in the Florida Keys.
Ensign Thompson graduated from Virginia Tech in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science. Ensign Thompson's experience growing up in Florida snorkeling, water skiing and diving as well as being a competitive swimmer conditioned her for a love of the ocean and marine life. Her aspiration to have a career in NOAA Corps was solidified when she spent her college summers in Florida tagging and collecting research data on sharks and sting rays. While in the Florida Keys seeing a NOAA vessel underway and getting a tour of a NOAA vessel, she was inspired to join the NOAA Corps.
Ensign Thompson is a PADI certified open water diver and enjoys SCUBA diving, snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, fishing, biking and travelling. Ensign Thompson is excited for her new career in the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps and looks forward to developing her leadership and operational skills. She is thrilled to serve her country in uniform and to make a positive difference in her country and the world.