Members of NOAA Corps Basic Officer Training Class 131 at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, including (top to bottom, left to right) ENS Kermit R. Farrow Jr., ENS Tyler J. Aldrich, ENS Luke M. Evancoe, ENS Cabot A. Zucker, ENS Alexander F. Lee, ENS Nathaniel Park, ENS Ryan A. Musick, CDR Keith Golden (Commanding Officer of the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center), ENS Emily G. Bell, ENS Stefanie L. Coxe, LTJG Calandria DeCastro (Executive Officer of the NOAA Corps Officer Training Center), ENS William Abbott, ENS Samantha L. Flounders, ENS S. Harper Umfress
Ensign Cabot A. Zucker
Ensign Cabot A. Zucker graduated from the University of Florida in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife ecology and sustainable development. While at the University of Florida he conducted research under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation on eutrophication in Irish marine ecosystems. He also worked on post-harvest storage research with the World Vegetable Center in Asia. In addition to this, Ensign Zucker completed an undergraduate thesis looking at alternative waste storage methods that led to the development of pilot projects in Florida and South Carolina.
Ensign Tyler J. Aldrich
Ensign Tyler J. Aldrich attended the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay, MA. He received a Bachelor of Science in marine safety and environmental protection in June of 2017. Ensign Aldrich held multiple leadership roles as a cadet at the academy including Orientation Squad Leader, Company Executive Officer, and was the Track and Field team captain his junior and Senior year. He volunteered for organizations such as the Buzzards Bay Coalition and the Coastal America Foundation as a marine scientist. Most of this time was spent monitoring water quality and various benthic habitats in the bay-wide area. He spent the summer before his senior year volunteering on a hydrokinetic barge used to determine the effectiveness of underwater energy sources as well as any biological impacts it may have had. Before joining the NOAA Corps Ensign Aldrich also volunteered on the NOAA R/V Gloria Michelle during the annual Gulf of Maine Shrimp Survey.
Ensign Luke M. Evancoe
Ensign Luke M. Evancoe is a former sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. He was stationed in Washington, DC while on the U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Team, and then in Camp Pendleton, CA as an infantry rifleman in preparation for his deployment to Helmand Province, Afghanistan. After finishing his enlistment, he attended Virginia Commonwealth University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a Master of Arts in Teaching secondary science. Ensign Evancoe’s undergraduate scientific research was focused on the bacterial consumption of carbon in varied aquatic environments as well as a city-wide investigation of recycling behaviors in Richmond based on socioeconomic status and education.
Feeling a call to return back to the uniformed services, Ensign Evancoe saw the NOAA Corps as the perfect combination of science and service to his country.
Ensign Ryan A. Musick
Ensign Ryan A. Musick served 6 years of enlisted service with the Air Force as a Respiratory Therapist, treating patients at the Department of Defense’s largest level one trauma center, San Antonio Military Medical Center North Brooke Army Base prior to joining the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps. There he volunteered for a deployment as aircrew in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia.
Ensign Musick graduated from University of the Incarnate Word in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in meteorology with a minor in mathematics. Ensign Musick has had an interest in meteorology since high school. He worked as an intern at the largest municipally owned energy company creating and tuning weather models to increase both safety and monetary margins for the residents of San Antonio Texas.
Ensign S. Harper Umfress
Ensign S. Harper Umfress received a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the University of Washington in June of 2017. During his undergraduate studies, Ensign Umfress focused on flight dynamics, control systems, and aerospace applications. During this time, ENS Umfress also worked at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the spacecraft LISA Pathfinder, supporting launch preparation, software testing, and mission operations.
Ensign Samantha L. Flounders
Ensign Samantha L. Flounders was a fleet service technician for a sailing school in the San Francisco Bay Area prior to joining the NOAA Corps. She also worked as an eco-tour guide in Hawaii taking people kayaking, snorkeling, and sailing while educating them on the marine environment and organisms around them.
Ensign Flounders graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in marine biology. During her undergraduate career, she interned in a marine botany laboratory at Anuenue Fisheries Research Center. She researched the germination of native Hawaiian algae to be transplanted to the reefs of Waikiki to combat invasive algae. While studying at UHM she met her first NOAA Corps Officer in her marine botany class and was highly intrigued by the well-kept secret of the NOAA Corps.
Ensign Nathaniel Park
Ensign Nathaniel Park graduated magna cum laude from UCLA in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science with a minor in atmospheric and oceanic sciences. In college, he was involved in sustainability research including native habitat restoration, biodiversity surveys, and integrated pest management. He also grew an appreciation for oceanic and atmospheric research which led him to discover the NOAA Commissioned Corps.
Ensign Stefanie L. Coxe
Ensign Stefanie L. Coxe was a wildlife technician who enjoyed performing field work and contributing to research to help solve scientific questions prior to joining NOAA. She used her capacity to adapt and learn diverse subjects to work at the Daniel Boone National Forest, the Biological Resources Division of the United States Geological Survey, and the Philadelphia Zoo. Some of the numerous projects she contributed to as a civilian included planting seedlings in riparian zones to prevent erosion, conducting radio telemetry on tortoises, surveying prairie wildlife to collect baseline data, and tagging horseshoe crabs during spawning season.
Ensign Coxe gained professional experience via various short-term assignments and internships during and after graduation from Delaware Valley University in May of 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in conservation and wildlife management. Ensign Coxe is also a NAUI certified open water diver.
Ensign Alexander F. Lee
Ensign Alexander F. Lee was enlisted in the United States Coast Guard as a Marine Science Technician (MST) where he served as a pollution responder and port safety and security inspector in the San Francisco Bay Area prior to joining NOAA. He was also assigned to the Coast Guard Cutter Crocodile out of Saint Petersburg, FL. Its missions include marine fisheries enforcement and search and rescue. On the Crocodile, Ensign Lee worked in the Deck Department and earned qualifications as an import officer of the day, crewman of the watch, and boarding team member. Ensign Lee graduated from The University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental studies with a concentration in coastal management.
Ensign Kermit R. Farrow
Ensign Kermit R. Farrow Jr. graduated from North Carolina State University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science degree in natural resources (marine and coastal). While at NCSU, Ensign Farrow focused on the major oceanographic principles and coastal policy. His passion for the ocean and its complex processes led him to be actively involved in NOAA’s North Carolina Sea Grant as an Environmental Policy intern for a majority of his college career. Ensign Farrow grew up on the ocean commercial fishing with his family in his hometown of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Ensign Farrow holds multiple Firefighting and Technical Rescue certifications from the NFPA and IFSAC. He also worked as a first responder and ocean rescuer with the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Ensign William Abbott
ENS William Abbott graduated from the University of South Florida in 2015 with a Master of Science degree in chemical oceanography. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in environmental studies/natural science with a certificate in Geographic Information Systems from the University of West Florida in Pensacola, FL in 2010.
Ensign Abbott worked as a technician at the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science Nutrients Laboratory in St. Petersburg, FL analyzing sweater samples for inorganic nutrients. He was a member of the scientific party onboard the Research Vessel Icebreaker Nathaniel B. Palmer in 2016 investigating the spring bloom of diatoms in the West Antarctic Peninsula and the Southern Ocean, which solidified his interest in oceangoing service.
In 2008, ENS Abbott enlisted in the USCG and was stationed at Sector Mobile, Alabama. He attended Marine Science Technician “A” school in 2009 and was activated for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response in 2010 where he served as a member of emergency response teams from Mississippi through Florida. He transferred to Sector St. Petersburg, FL in 2011 and subsequently advanced to First Class Petty Officer. He served as a pollution responder, facility inspector, and container inspector. In 2017 he was activated in response to Hurricane Irma.
Ensign Emily G. Bell
Ensign Bell graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in marine science. During her undergraduate career she completed internships at the Oceans Research Institute in South Africa studying the biology of Great White Sharks and at NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center in the Highly Migratory Species Lab.
Prior to joining NOAA, Ensign Bell was a marine science technician working for Pi Environmental, LLC. Before her time as a consultant, she worked as a research assistant for the Shark Bay Ecosystem Research Project studying tiger shark ecology in Western Australia and completed research projects on fish community structure at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Ensign Bell also holds a PADI Divemaster certification as well as an AAUS Scientific Diver certification.