NOAA Ship Oregon II Celebrates 50 Years at Sea

To commemorate the 50 years of service of NOAA Ship Oregon II, NOAA Fisheries Mississippi Laboratories, Southeast Fisheries Science Center, hosted an open house on October 5, 2017, followed by a dockside celebration where NOAA Ship Oregon II was recognized for her many accomplishments. This event recognized the ship’s successful history, and the unwavering pride and professionalism of the crew and officers in service to our nation. The dedication, commitment, and collective efforts of the ship’s wardroom, crew, and rotating scientific complement have proved invaluable to supporting NOAA’s mission and environmental intelligence. NOAA Ship Oregon II has often been called a “teaching ship” due to the willingness of her personnel to help newcomers to the research vessel learn all there is about life at sea and what is required to obtain fisheries data.

In 1990, Oregon II and her personnel were the first to host a Teacher at Sea. Since 1990, over 75 teachers have worked alongside the crew of Oregon II. This has allowed these teachers to share fisheries science with thousands of students. On behalf of the NOAA Teacher at Sea Program, Jennifer Hammond gave special presentations to the first NOAA Teacher at Sea, Debora Mosher and Master Dave Nelson, NOAA Commanding Officer, NOAA Ship Oregon II. Ms. Hammond gave them both a book full of pictures and quotes from the NOAA Teachers at Sea who sailed aboard Oregon II. In addition, Teacher at Sea alum, Jenny Goldner, presented Master Dave Nelson with a certificate from the Cherokee Nation recognizing “NOAA Ship Oregon II and NOAA’s Teacher at Sea Program for its contributions in educating Cherokee Youth attending Jay, Oklahoma Public Schools.” Goldner also presented Master Nelson with artwork from a student whose life was positively impacted by his teacher’s NOAA Teacher at Sea experience.

At the dockside celebration, there were numerous presentations made to Master David Nelson, NOAA Commanding Officer, NOAA Ship Oregon II. These presentations were made by LT Joe Carrier, NOAA Chief Operations, Marine Operations Center- Atlantic; CAPT Todd Bridgeman, NOAA Director, Marine Operations; Dr. Bonnie Ponwith, NOAA Director, Southeast Fisheries Science Center; Ms. Jennifer Hammond, NOAA’s Teacher at Sea Program; and Mr. Benjamin Friedman, NOAA’s Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere.

For the open house, 9th graders from Jackson County Mississippi Schools were invited to tour the Mississippi Lab, followed by a tour of NOAA Ship Oregon II. Following the student tour, special guests were invited to tour the facilities. The theme of the tour was “All Hands-on Deck” Science for Sustainable Fisheries. This tour included the following: Introduction, Overview of the Teacher at Sea program, Data Analysis Unit, Reef Fish Unit, Protected Resources Unit, Plankton Unit, National Seafood Inspection Lab, Bottom Longline Unit, Harvesting Systems Unit, and Oregon II/Trawl Unit.

The NOAA Teacher at Sea Program would like to thank the personnel of NOAA Ship Oregon II for their education of fisheries science. Thank you for taking our teachers along on your journeys to the sea. We look forward to many more journeys to come!

Two women and a man are outside and are standing in front of a podium with a NOAA emblem on it. All are standing in front of a NOAA ship. One of the women is handing an award to the man.
Jennifer Hammond, NOAA Teacher at Sea Program, and Ben Friedman, NOAA's Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere present an Oregon II text to the first TAS, Debora Mosher. (L-R) Debora Mosher, Ben Friedman, and Jennifer Hammond