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Meet the Crew: Bailey Glessner, Second Cook

Bailey Glessner in the galley of NOAA Ship Oregon II

NOAA's professional mariners play a key role in improving our understanding of the ocean and atmosphere. They also bring a mariner's know-how to NOAA's scientific research by directly participating in the operation and handling of scientific gear in the tumultuous ocean environment. Meet Bailey Glessner, Second Cook on NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow

What is your role at NOAA and what do you do?

I am a Second Cook aboard NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow. My previous position was on NOAA Ship Oregon II, which is homeported in Pascagoula, Mississippi. As a Second Cook, I help the Chief Steward prepare meals, make sure everything is stocked, and take care of the mess deck and galley. The ship is a home away from home for many people, and it’s my job to make sure there’s always food to eat and a friendly face to serve it.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Freeland, Michigan before moving to Minnesota a few years ago.

Where did you get your training and experience before joining NOAA? 

I don’t have formal culinary training, however, I have been cooking for a very long time in restaurants and at home. One of my pandemic hobbies included teaching myself how to bake various goodies. After the pandemic, I sailed as a Second Cook on a coal freighter on the Great Lakes, which is where I started my maritime career.

What inspired you to work for NOAA Marine and Aviation Operations?

Making people happy with food is a great passion and joy of mine. Few things feel better as a cook than to hear someone say “thank you” when they get done with a meal after a long day of work. Most sailors really appreciate what we do in the galley, and it feels nice. After cooking on the Great Lakes, I decided I wanted to see a little bit more of the world, and experience life on the seas. I saw an ad for a Second Cook for NOAA and the rest was history. 

What was one of your favorite missions or experiences?

I only started with NOAA recently, but my favorite experience so far has been having some down time in port to socialize with the crew, have a cookout, and share stories. I also enjoy going out on deck in the morning and seeing dolphins swimming around the pier. 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to work for NOAA?

My advice would be to go for it. Have a really good conversation with your friends and family back home about it, get the credentials you need to sail, and come join the fleet. NOAA has a really good quality of life and you will really enjoy it.

It helps to bring a hobby or activity out here with you to help the time go by. When you’re away from home, you really need a good amount of discipline to stay focused, relieve stress, and be a good shipmate. It may seem intimidating to live and work with the same people for weeks or months at time, but it is a very rewarding experience. 

What does Pride Month mean to you?

To me, Pride Month means to defy stereotypes and show everyone that you are just a regular person, working hard to support your family. It’s a time where people come together and show community. 

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love to be at home with my fiancé and my pets. Being away from home makes you really value the time you have at home. I also enjoy cooking, traveling, and working out.