Office of Coast Survey
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

May 22, 2019

Good afternoon Coast Survey - buenas tardes Coast Survey!

For those of you who may not know me, my name is Lorraine Robidoux, and I am the deputy chief of the Hydrographic Surveys Division (HSD). My job is to work in close partnership with my division chief to monitor the day-to-day operations of HSD's technical programs, budget, and personnel. Of course that does little to describe what I actually do. On any given day, I might analyze pay issues for HSD employees (and advocate for a speedy resolution), plan HSD's annual procurements, respond to congressional taskers, help coordinate with internal and external partners, or simply act as a sounding board for someone who's struggling with an issue. What keeps this job interesting for me is that I never know what new challenge is coming my way next — and of course the deadlines come fast and furious. One of the things that I love most about being deputy is the opportunity to interact with so many talented, dedicated, and hard-working individuals — both inside and outside of HSD. We are one passionate group!

HSD, like so much of Coast Survey, has been going through major operational changes over the past year, as we have said good-bye to the HCell, hello to the National Bathymetric Source (NBS), and fully embraced external source (bathymetric) data. Though it has not been without its challenges (and some hiccups), we continue to push forward and I am proud of everyone for sticking with us, and for providing both positive and constructive feedback to HSD leadership. The Atlantic and Pacific Hydrographic branches are adapting to the new, and still-evolving workflow, and jumping feet first into NBS. The Operations Branch continues to meet all of HSD's operational requirements, despite being extremely understaffed. Thankfully this is changing soon for the better with our new hires coming on board this summer and fall. Thank you to all of HSD for your active participation in these changes and to our Coast Survey partners for their patience and understanding as we continue to course correct and evolve.

Before I go, I wanted say an extra thanks to Coast Survey IT (critical IT support in rebuilding our database to enable the upgrade of the PostgreSQL version), Meredith Payne (coordinating, writing, and posting), and Kristen Crossett (invaluable editorial review), for their hard work in publishing our 2019 hydrographic survey plans online. NOAA’s hydrographic survey ships and our hydrographic contract partners recently kicked-off the 2019 hydrographic survey season. The areas that they will be working in are outlined in Coast Survey’s “living” story map — the list includes survey activity in almost every U.S. region, including the Great Lakes. One of the coolest things about our survey plans story map is that you can not only see where we are planning to survey this year, but as we move through the field season and with our bi-weekly story map updates, you can see our progress as we go!

Have a great day -- que tengan buen día!

Lorraine Robidoux
Deputy Division Chief, Hydrographic Surveys Division