College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Environmental Science & Policy

Two ENSP alumni join the NOAA Commissioned Officers Corps

ENSP alumni Blair Delean (Marine & Coastal Management, 2010) and Dustin Picard (Marine & Coastal Management, 2013) are newly-commissioned ensigns in the NOAA Commissioned Officers Corps.  ENSP alumni work for NOAA in a variety of capacities; Blair and Justin, however, are the first to become commissioned officers.  

NOAA Commissioned Officers are an integral part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and can be found operating one of NOAA's 19 ships or 12 aircraft that support NOAA's missions. Duties and areas of operations can range from launching a weather balloon at the South Pole, conducting hydrographic or fishery surveys in Alaska, maintaining buoys in the tropical Pacific, flying snow surveys and into hurricanes.

Blair writes, "(Dustin) is currently on a ship docked on the west coast, but he indicated that his vessel might be making its way out to Hawaii where I am to be stationed fairly soon. I am currently underway off the coast of Guam and have been taking some nice photos, to include some transiting the Pacific on the outer edges of a typhoon..."

New NOAA Corps officers participate in a very demanding and fast-paced program with three principal objectives:

  • Introduction and orientation to the NOAA organization and its missions;
  • Introduction to the customs, duties, responsibilities, and the way of life as a commissioned officer in a uniformed service;
  • Development of maritime and nautical skills, with emphasis on shipboard operations, organization and management, small boat handling, marine navigation, shiphandling, seamanship, and related subjects.

Approximately 50 percent of the training curriculum is provided during formal classroom instruction and the remainder takes place during field activities, labs, and underway training. Comprehensive exams and practical demonstrations of leadership, management and seagoing skills are important aspects of the program.

To learn more about the NOAA Commissioned Officers Corps, go here (link is external).  Dustin graduated with the BOTC122; Blair with BOTC123.

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