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Officers and Crew

The officers are women and men responsible for safely operating the research vessel. They are trained in ship handling, navigation, weather observation, safety, and shipboard emergencies. The Captain, or Commanding Officer (CO) is in command of the ship. The Executive Officer (XO) handles the administrative functions of the ship, hires and/or dismisses employees, supervises all department heads (with the exception of the Chief Marine Engineer), and acts as the ships safety officer. The Field Operations Officer (FOO) handles logistics with scientific parties, making sure scientific activities can be performed aboard the ship and that all science equipment is onboard. The Navigation Officer (NAV) is in charge of navigation equipment, nautical charts and publications, meteorological data, and maintaining the overall condition of the bridge. The Medical Officer is responsible for the general health of everyone on the ship. All the NOAA Corps officers stand watches on the bridge.

CDR Mark Pickett
LT Richard Hester
ENS Phoebe Woodworth
ENS Benjamin LaCour
  CDR Bruce Topey (medical officer)  

The deck department operates the many cranes and winches which load everything required for a cruise, from food stores to scientific gear. They are responsible for the rigging and deployment of scientific equipment such as surface and subsurface moorings. They operate and man the work and rescue boats.

Bosun Roger Stone BGL James Donovan DU Chris Kaanaana
AB Matt Jefcoats    

The engineers are responsible for the highest light on the main mast to the lowest pump in the bilge, and everything mechanical in between. In short, they keep the ship running smoothly.

Chief Marine Engineer Fred Richardson  
2AE Patrick McManus*  
EU Verne Murakami GVA Jason Akers

The ship's Electronics Department is staffed by rotating Electronics Technicians (ET's) from the Marine Operation Center's, Mission Support Division (MOP3). There is one ET aboard during each cruise. They are responsible for all electronic equipment, including navigation systems, network system, and communications including e-mail.

Rotating ET Don Jones* Rotating ET Joe Roessler


The chief survey technician is responsible for:

  • Operation and maintenance of the NOAA fleet-standard Scientific Computing System (SCS).
  • Operation and maintenance of the suite of permanently installed meteorological and oceanographic sensors.
  • Configuration of custom logging files of individual ship's sensor sets to support project needs.
  • Provision of full and custom data sets to scientific complement at conclusion of cruises.
  • Maintenance of files on ship's sensor calibration records.
  • Routine ship's sensor maintenance tasks.
  • Training and assistance on operation of ship's upper-sir sounding system, autosals, CTD system, Seabeam, Bathy2000, shipboard computer network and other specialized shipboard systems.
  • Photographer for daily real-time update

The stewards cook three delicious meals each day, starting with eggs-to-order at breakfast and ending with anything from Thai curry chicken to prime rib and baked potato. They also maintain the ship's laundry and make sure everyone gets clean sheets and towels.

Chief Steward Clementine Lutali 2nd Cook Carrie Mortell

*indicates personnel not presently onboard the Ka'imimoana (on leave or transferred)

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NOAA | Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
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