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April 16, 2012Top StoriesNAVOCEANO Using Airborne Laser to Survey in BelizeBy George Lammons, CNMOC Public AffairsFor almost two months, since early February 2012, the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) has beenusing airborne laser and imagery systems to conduct cooperative hydrographic surveys in the coastal watersof Belize.The survey work is part of an ongoing, long-term project to survey the western Caribbean Sea off the coasts ofBelize, Honduras and Nicaragua, based on U.S. 4th Fleet oceanography, hydrography and bathymetry (OHB)survey requirements."This is just a piece of a much bigger program," said Bill Elenbaas, head of NAVOCEANOs Airborne CoastalSurveys branch. "There are a lot of miles to cover."The surveys are designed to improve safety of navigation by mapping the seafloor and locating shallow reefsand other obstructions in the approaches to Belizes major ports, Belize City and Big Creek, and are beingconducted in cooperation with the government of Belize. The airborne laser system, called CompactHydrographic Airborne Rapid Total Survey (CHARTS) system, is particularly effective in the Caribbean Seabecause of the water clarity. Laser systems are useful OHB survey tools in clear and/or shallow water becausethe system uses light to map the bottom. U.S. and Belize governments will use the data to make new charts."Comparison of the survey data with existing navigation products showed significant discrepancies in thelocations of charted features," Elenbaas said. "In addition to improving the safety of navigation in coastalwaters, these data can be used for maritime security, environmental management and to support Belizesimportant eco-tourism industry."Big Creek is the countrys major oil port as well as an important agriculture port. The nation also is building anew Coast Guard base at Big Creek. New charts will allow the port to increase its traffic and consequently itsbusiness because all of the obstructions and channels will be clearly and accurately mapped. The area ishome to one of the worlds largest coral reef systems, which makes it environmentally sensitive as well asdifficult to navigate."This (project) will be important to their economy as well," said Eric L. Villalobos, U.S. Naval Forces SouthernCommand/C4F Representative for the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (NMOC), the parentcommand of NAVOCEANO.
He said the socio-economic development value of the work attracted the attention of the U.S. Ambassador toBelize, Vinai Thummalapally, and the Deputy Chief of Mission, Margaret Hawthorne, who made a 90-minutevisit to the NAVOCEANO mission field office in Belize City.Last week, the Commander of the Belize Coast Guard, Capt. Elton Bennet, and the PortsCommissioner/Harbor Master of the Belize Port Authority, Maj. (ret) John Flowers, visited the field office for anhour.Last year, the operation was in Honduras. Villalobos said that crews worked two months in 2010 in Nicaraguaand expect to work here again for about two months this year."We are chipping away at a large C4F requirement," he said.Naval Academy Contributes to Chesapeake Bay Oyster RestorationBy Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Danian DouglasA U.S. Naval Academy team of researchers and Navy divers completed a year of collecting oyster samplesfrom the Severn River March 20 as part of an ongoing effort to study and restore oyster populations in theChesapeake Bay watershed.The team helps rejuvenate the declining oyster population by monitoring water quality and testing thecollected samples.The project was initiated two years ago, when a group of oceanography and ocean engineering faculty andstaff working independently on Chesapeake Bay-related issues saw the Army Corps of Engineers wasreconstructing local oyster reefs.The USNA group contacted the Armys engineers to suggest that the Naval Academy could play a role,said Louise Wallendorf, an ocean engineer, who works in the academys hydromechanics laboratory.Oyster larvae need a hard surface on which to attach, so they can change to young oysters called "spat,"and grow. Normally larvae settle on the shells of oysters that make up the bays reefs, but overharvest andchanges in the oyster reefs have led to a dramatic decline in oyster populations.Oyster restoration involves building reefs made of oyster shells, granite, recycled concrete and slag andplacing them in known oyster breeding spots, including an area in the Severn River near the NavalAcademy yard.The Academy works with researchers from the University of Maryland who hatch oyster larvae and growthe spat on shell, and the Oyster Recovery Partnership, which coordinates placement of the oyster spat onthe Armys artificial reefs, said Wallendorf.The Naval Academy Sailing Center also became involved, supplying boats for the researchers to placewater quality instrumentation and the Navy divers to collect oyster samples from the reefs."What we do on each dive is harvest a certain amount of oysters from each type of reef," said Navy Diver2nd Class Casey Mrozek, of Lake Zurich, Ill. "The Academy team then conducts biological tests todetermine which areas promote the best growth rates."Cecily Steppe, associate professor in the Oceanography Department, examines the maturity and gender ofthe oysters under microscopes and compares it to measurements of the waters salinity, temperature anddissolved oxygen at each reef site. This helps determine the oysters ability to survive and reproduce.Reports are then sent to the Army Corps of Engineers for evaluation.
Only since diving for the project did Mrozek realize how important the oyster culture is to the community."Its cool to know that youre part of something thats helping the environment and the whole ecosystemaround here," he said. "Participating in projects like this shows that the Navy is not just concerned aboutdefense. Were concerned about the environment that we need to live in and sustain ourselves."PersonnelLt. Cmdr. Michael Vancas Retires After 20 Years of ServiceBy Lt. Bethany McDonald Lt. Cmdr. Michael Vancas, Naval Ice Center (NAVICE) retired March 1, during a ceremony held at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. Vancas enlisted in the Navy as a nuclear machinist’s mate in 1992 and served the first four years of his career aboard USS Bainbridge (CGN 25). He attended Texas A&M and received his commission through the Enlisted Commissioning Program in 1999. Upon graduation, he entered the Surface Warfare Officer pipeline before being selected for lateral transfer to the meteorology and oceanography community in March 2004.Cmdr. John Simms IV, commanding officer, Naval IceCenter, presents Lt. Cmdr. Michael Vancas, Naval IceCenter, with a command-signed picture frame during hisretirement ceremony, Washington, D.C., March 1. U.S.Navy photo by Aerographer’s Mate 1st Class AdamFroehlig Lt. Stanley Rogers reenlists Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Ashante Hammons, March 21, Fleet Numerical Meteorology & Oceanography Center. U.S. Navy photo by Paul Frawley
AwardsStamper receives PDC Civilian of the Year awardMr. William O. Stamper was recognized as the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography ProfessionalDevelopment Center Civilian of the Year for 2011. Stamper delivered over 700 hours of instruction and conducted nine OA team trainers and 13 mobile environmental team trainers. His ability to flex teams in a "train like they fight" environment was consistently praised during strike group oceanography team post-deployment briefs. He also conducted multiple AREPS and TAWS mobile training teams supporting Fleet Numerical Meteorology Oceanography Center and the U.S. Marine Corps. As a recognized METOC tactical decision aid (TDA) subject matter expert, he frequently provided technical support to deployed Navy and Marine Corps units and the Weather Services Director of Operations (WxSvc DOO).Cmdr. John Daziens, commanding officer, Naval Meteorology Stamper’s other passion is photography. An activeand Oceanography Professional Development Center, and member of the Virginia Beach Photography Club, heChief Aerographer’s Mate (AW/SW) Leonard McCoy, acting assists in photography training sessions and hasofficer-in-charge, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography been the winner of several club photo contests, toProfessional Development Detachment Atlantic, present Mr. include nomination as the club’s Photographer of theWilliam O. Stamper with the Naval Meteorology and Year.Oceanography Professional Development Center Civilian ofthe Year for 2011 award, Fleet Weather Center Norfolk,March 19.JMAPS team receives 2012 Superintendent AwardMembers of the Joint Milli-Arcsecond Pathfinder Survey (JMAPS) team receive Superintendent’s Awardcitations from Capt. Timothy Gallaudet, superintendent, U.S. Naval Observatory. From left to right: Capt.Gallaudet, Mr. Daniel Veillette, Dr. Rachel Dudik, Mr. Christopher Dieck, Dr. Paul Barrett and Dr. BrianDorland Not pictured: Dr. Ciprian Berghia, Dr. Gregory Hennessy and Dr. Valery Makarov. U.S. Navy photoby Geoff Chester
Coward, Bryant Named NAVOCEANO’s Civilians of the YearBy Kaley TurfittCapt. Paul Oosterling, commanding officer, Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO), announced ChrisCoward (senior grade) and Danielle Bryant (mid-grade) as the civilians of the year March 22.Chris Coward, Mine Warfare Department, was nominated for his position as the leader of the environmentalpost mission analysis (EPMA) system and for his stint as acting division director. He oversaw three builds ofthe EPMA architecture, which resulted in it becoming a leading candidate as the backbone for the net-centricsensor analysis.Coward also supported numerous exercises throughout the year including FOAL EAGLE, FRONTIERSENTINEL, TRIDENT FURY, COMFIFTHFLT TACEVAL and the Kings Bay Limited Objective Experiment.Danielle Bryant, Oceanographic Department, was nominated for her exemplary contributions to the littoralbattlespace sensors-glider (LBS-G) program. She was the primary facilitator between the four agenciesinvolved and is applauded for her professionalism.Bryant also visited Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC) to refine glider continuityof operations MOA requirements and co-authored a paper titled, “Naval Oceanographic Office and SPAWARSystems Center Pacific conduct Southern California Glider Survey.”Items of InterestCOMET Publishes New ModuleThe COMET Program has published a new module, "The U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO): Mission, Products,and Services."Intended as an introduction to the USNO, this module examines how the observatory goes about its missionand describes the science behind its observations and publications.The intended audience is the operational community and general public interested in the measurement ofprecise time and the positions of celestial bodies and how these measurements are applied.Follow this link to begin the module: The U.S. Naval Observatory: Mission, Products, and Serviceshttps://www.meted.ucar.edu/training_module.php?id=883Social MediaFollow Naval Oceanography and Rear Adm. Jonathan White on Facebook and @navyoceans onTwitter to keep up with all the latest news and images from the Naval Meteorology andOceanography community
Rear Adm. Jonathan W. White, USNCommander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography CommandNaval Meteorology and Oceanography Command News1100 Balch Boulevard, Stennis Space Center, MS 39529The editorial content of this newspaper is edited and approved by the public affairs officeof the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command.Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command editorial staff: Public Affairs Officer/Editor Cathy L. Willis Public Affairs Assistant/Writer George M. Lammons Editorial Assistant/Writer/Layout Kelly LeGuillon Design Jenni T. ErvinThis newspaper is an authorized publication for members of the military services. Its contents do not necessarily reflect the officialviews of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Navy and do not imply endorsement thereof. NMOC News is a biweekly electronic internal newsletter, distributed by the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command Public Affairs Office. To obtain guidelines for contributing information to NMOC News, or for any other questions, please contact: Tel: (228) 688-4384 • Fax: (228) 688-4880 • E-mail: email@example.com