February 28, 2018
Hello Coast Survey,
This week, the Navigation Services Division (NSD) held its annual meeting in Silver Spring, Maryland. For the first time in seven years, we brought together all of the field personnel from both the Customer Affairs Branch (CAB) and the Navigation Response Branch (NRB). More than 30 people from locations around the coast traveled to participate.
Navigation managers from CAB are Coast Survey’s representatives in the field, interacting with the maritime community and helping to identify the challenges facing marine transportation. They focus on educating and soliciting feedback on NOAA's navigation products and services from the maritime community.
The navigation response teams from NRB are small, mobile survey teams strategically located around the country. They are on call to rapidly respond to emergencies, like hurricanes or maritime incidents, as well as emergent survey requests from partner agencies and users of NOAA products.
Because our navigation managers and navigation response teams are at the forefront of stakeholder engagement, this four-day meeting allowed them to discuss regional issues and maintain expertise on the latest services that NOAA provides. The group also had the opportunity to review the 2017 hurricane season and best prepare for future storm seasons.
We were fortunate to receive presentations from Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet (USN, ret)., NOAA assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and acting NOAA administrator, as well as Dr. Russell Callender, assistant administrator for NOAA's National Ocean Service and Rear Adm. Shep Smith, director of the Office of Coast Survey. All three leaders shared their priorities for the division and reiterated their commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce. They also held a joint question and answer session, allowing field staff the opportunity to gain further insight into their vision for the future of NOAA’s navigation services.
I would like to thank Rachel Medley, chief of the Customer Affairs Branch, for her hard work in hosting the meeting and developing the extensive agenda.