The last crew to sail aboard Albatross IV. Photo taken by Tom Kleindinst before the last science cruise departed Woods Hole on November 3, 2008.
NOAA Ship Albatross IV: Crew, Start to Finish
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Officers and Crew
Through the years hundreds of men and women have sailed aboard Albatross IV as officers and crew. Each with specific duties, they are part of NOAA's Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) which is composed of both civilians, many with merchant marine documentation, and the 299 commissioned officers of the NOAA Corps, one of the nation's seven uniformed services.
NMAO operates NOAA's 19 ships and 12 aircraft around the country in support of the agency's environmental and scientific missions, including the vessels Albatross IV and Delaware II homeported in Woods Hole and several local aircraft used for aerial surveys of marine mammals.
Albatross IV typically carried 14-16 officers and crew and up to 15 scientists. All members of the crew, upon the ship's decommissioning, have taken other NMAO assignments around the country. Several will remain in the Northeast to serve aboard the 155-foot Delaware II and the 209-foot Henry B. Bigelow, which is replacing the Albatross IV.
The NOAA Corps
The NOAA Commissioned Corps traces its roots back to the former US Coast and Geodetic Survey, the oldest scientific agency in the US Government, which dates back to 1807 and President Thomas Jefferson. The NOAA Corps today provides professionals trained in engineering, earth sciences, oceanography, meteorology, fisheries science, and other related disciplines. Officers operate ships, fly aircraft, manage research projects, conduct diving operations, and serve in staff positions throughout NOAA. Duties range from conducting fisheries and hydrographic surveys, maintaining buoys, flying surveys into hurricanes, and launching weather balloons.