APL Colloquium

January 19, 2018

Colloquium Topic: The NOAA Corps: Celebrating a Century of Service (1917-2017)

The NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps (NOAA Corps) is one of the nation’s seven uniformed services. NOAA Corps officers are an integral part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and serve with the special trust and confidence of the President.

With 321 officers, the NOAA Corps serves throughout the agency’s line and staff offices to support nearly all of NOAA’s programs and missions. The combination of commissioned service and scientific expertise makes these officers uniquely capable of leading some of NOAA’s most important initiatives.

The NOAA Corps is part of NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) and traces its roots to the former U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (C&GS), which dates back to 1807 and President Thomas Jefferson. With America’s entry into the World War I, a commissioned service of the C&GS was formed on May 22, 1917 to ensure the rapid assimilation of C&GS technical skills for defense purposes. In 1970, NOAA was created to develop a coordinated approach to oceanographic and atmospheric research and subsequent legislation converted the commissioned officer corps to the NOAA Corps.

The NOAA Corps today provides a cadre of professionals trained in engineering, earth sciences, oceanography, meteorology, fisheries science, and other related disciplines. Corps officers operate NOAA’s ships, fly aircraft, manage research projects, conduct diving operations, and serve in staff positions throughout NOAA.

Colloquium Speaker: CAPT Scott Sirois

Captain Scott M. Sirois is the Acting Director of the OMAO Platform Acquisition Division, is responsible for the management and execution of ship acquisitions supporting the NOAA Fleet plan. Prior to that he was Commanding Officer of the Marine Operations Center- Atlantic (MOC-A) where he commanded nine ships and had oversight of facilities, ports and personnel in five states.

A native of Salem, Massachusetts, he worked in private sector marine operations for five years before starting with NOAA in 1998 as a civilian wage mariner. Other operational assignments include; port engineer, information logistics support manager for the construction of the NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow, Executive Officer of the NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow, and Commanding Officer of the NOAA Ship Bell M Shimada. As an operational risk manager he is looked at as an expert mariner, his extensive experience covers 12 NOAA ships, five as Commanding Officer or acting Commanding Officer.

Captain Sirois’ staff and headquarters assignments include fleet services analyst in the office of Program Analysis and Evaluation at NOAA headquarters, Program and Risk Management Analyst at DOC in the Office of Program Evaluation and Risk Management, and NOAA Liaison to the United States Coast Guard. In response to the 2011 Japanese tsunami he was asked to co-lead the NOAA team and U.S. Government response to the event. While at the Department of Commerce he was part of the team tasked with standing up a new Department level office for program evaluation and risk management and was on the cross government team standing up the White House military families initiative. Further cross government work was conducted during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill where he served as Chief of the Subsurface Monitoring Unit in New Orleans.

Has extensive project management and personnel management experience; managed multiple large projects, including MOC-A dredging, facility renovations, ship construction and fleet acquisition. Was part of the Management team during the recent negotiations of a new collective bargaining agreement between OMAO and Marine Engineers Beneficial Association.

Captain Sirois is a 1993 graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. He is also a 2007 graduate of Old Dominion University where he received his MBA with a concentration in Maritime Management and Port Operations. He most recently completed leadership programs at the Brookings Institution and the American Management Association.

Captain Sirois has received numerous commendations and achievement medals. The highest honors being, two NOAA Administrators Medals in 2012, 2016.