Director's Message


If you're a friend of mine on Facebook, you'll know that I have just returned from sailing as Acting CO aboard NOAA Ship Pisces. Consequently, as I bask in the pride and satisfaction of a "glory days" augmentation assignment and a project well done I don't have much on my mind related to the NOAA Corps right now. As such, this installment of "From the Director's Desk" will be relatively short.

I have to admit, when my staff reminded me that the bi-weekly publishing deadline for the Cyberflash was due and I had yet to submit my content, I panicked a little. I immediately went to thoughts of reshuffling my workload and pushing back on some of my commitments for the day in order to provide some "deep thoughts." I think we can all relate to this situation. We've all been there, and as an organization, our culture is one where neglecting yourself (personally or professionally) in favor of executing the mission is all too common.

Then, I got to thinking "What if I just skip this installment?" And then I started thinking, "Why am I rushing to put something out there and willing to neglect personal commitments to throw some rushed content to the masses?" It was then that it struck me; I'm allowing organization culture to guide my actions. I got caught behind the 8-ball because I was sailing as CO of Pisces. I was sailing as CO of Pisces so I could allow the permanent skipper to attend a wedding. Ironically, as I'm currently working to transition back to my day job as Director, I'm thinking I'll skip a planned gathering for a close friend's wedding in order to develop my Cyberflash content. Or not.

So, to model the way toward changing organizational culture to reflect better work-life balance, prove that the metaphorical ship will sail without me, and take the time to recharge myself by enjoying some time with friends, I'm providing you with one of my favorite pictures from the NERACOOS project conducted by the great ship Pisces from October 4th to 13th. Thanks to my Pisces shipmates for continuing to execute the NOAA mission with pride and dedication. It was an honor and a true pleasure to sail as your CO (again.)

Semper serviens,

CAPT Amilynn E. Adams, NOAA
Director, CPC

On the Horizon

17 October 2016 REFTRA Begins
20 October 2016 BOTC-128 Billet Night
2017 NOAA Corps Centennial Events
20 May 2017 NOAA Corps "Century of Service" Anniversary Dinner

Approved Resignations, Separations and Retirements

LT Shannon Hefferan 14 Oct 2016
LTJG Carina Ream 01 Nov 2016
LTJG Kasey Sims 30 Nov 2016
LT Eric Younkin 01 Dec 2016
ENS Samuel McKay 16 Dec 2016
LT Lindsay Morrison 30 Dec 2016
LT Timothy Smith 01 Jan 2017
LCDR Guinevere Lewis 31 Jan 2017

History: What's in a Name?

There's a not-so-hidden history written in the maps and charts of the North American continent. Patton, Oceanographer, Murray, Lydonia, Whitney, Whiting, Wildcat, Tucker, Pioneer, Guide, Tison, and Pathfinder -- these are all names of geographic features that commemorate officers of the Coast and Geodetic Survey or their ships. A review of maps and charts of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, the continental shelf and slope of the United States, and the adjacent shores reveals hundreds of names associated with the old Coast and Geodetic Survey.

This tradition has been continued in NOAA Corps. Oceanographer Fracture Zone, Whiting Dome, Mitchell Dome, Researcher Ridge, and Fairweather Seamount have all been named for NOAA ships. Most recently, four basins in the Gulf of Mexico have been named for the NOAA Corps officers who surveyed them. There is even a Coast and Geodetic Survey Seamount Province in the North Pacific southwest of Kodiak Island. Next time you're examining a chart or a map, keep an eye out for these little nods to our heritage and take a moment to appreciate our professional ancestors. The success of our NOAA mission, even today, rests on the foundation they built.

Our mission

To understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts, to share that knowledge and information with others, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources.

Emergency Notification Dependent Information

Hurricane Matthew's path last week made the possibility of mandatory evacuation orders a real possibility for many along the southern East Coast. CPC was busy reaching out to all NOAA Corps officers and/or their dependents in the areas that had potential for mandatory evacuations. CPC has a database, HRMS, that makes it possible to produce lists of NOAA Corps officers and their dependents based on location but it is only as good as the information feeding the system. That information comes from you and your OPF Online account! Updating the address and contact information for you and your dependents in OPF Online during the End of Year package window (November February) feeds the HRMS database. If any of that information changes during the year (PCS, dependents move in with family while spouse at sea, etc) it is critical that you immediately update your OPF Online to ensure CPC can reach individuals that may be affected by an emergency/disaster. Your information can be viewed and edited by clicking on Member Profile (right hand side of the dark blue ribbon towards the top of the OPF Online webpage). Your dependent's information can be viewed and edited by clicking on the Dependent Information tab along the left hand side.

It is also important to keep your information updated in the NOAA Staff Directory as that is what feeds the NOAA Emergency Notification System. Highlights of that program can be found at

Ask CPC Webinar

The Ask CPC Webinar on 31 October from 1430-1600 will start with a presentation on OERs and the Officer Evaluation System by CAPT Brakob (Chief, OCMD). Other CPC personnel on the webinar will be CAPT Adams (Director, CPC), Monica Matthews (Deputy Director, CPC), Katherine Raymond (Chief, OPMD) and Sherrita Irby (NOAA Corps Policy Program Manager).

CPC will try to answer all questions asked during the webinar but if you have a specific question you would like to ask please email it to the OCMD ( by COB, Monday, 24 October, so we can do research in order to provide the best answers.

NOAA Corps officers in the National Capitol Region are invited to attend the webinar in person in the OMAO Large Conference Room. A link to the webinar will be sent out the week prior to the event.

From the Assignment Desk:

US National Ice Center(USNIC) Science Tranisition Officer(STO) Opportunity

NESDIS is looking for a highly motivated officer for an O-2 billet (#6010) as the Science Transition Officer (STO) at the US National Ice Center (USNIC), located at the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, MD. The USNIC is a Tri-Agency Center, consisting of personnel from NOAA, US Navy, and US Coast Guard, that provides global to tactical scale ice and snow products, ice forecasting, and other environmental intelligence services for the United States government. The STO develops and facilitates the USNIC's long-range project management strategy which supports ongoing and future projects relevant to data stewardship as well as operational product process and development. He/she works across the departments on the evaluation of new products and systems, and works closely with the Chief Scientist and Science Officer to ensure proper application development and product transition activities. An interactive assessment of user needs and a working knowledge of mature scientific research and applications are developed through training, engagement, and travel. The officer is involved in test-bed and operational activities in the polar environment through field opportunities. The STO also acts as program manager for the US Interagency Arctic Buoy Program and the US Interagency Program for Antarctic Buoys under the guidance of the Chief Scientist and assists the Deputy Director in NOAA-related contracting and strategic planning initiatives. Collateral duties may include Public Affairs Officer and other responsibilities for the command. This billet is currently available.

For more information please contact CDR Jeffrey Shoup at