Prior to Brian’s Hollings internship experience, he traveled on a sailing vessel for 15 days, which whetted his appetite for life at sea. Brian was a 2008 Hollings scholar from the University of Hawaii at Hilo, where he earned his B.S. in marine science.
During his summer internship, Brian conducted research in Seattle, WA, at the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (part of NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research). Brian was engaged in water quality sampling from hydrothermal vents aboard the R/V Atlantis, using the Alvin submersible from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He used high definition video from another remotely operated vehicle to measure the relationship between hydrogen sulfide concentrations and shrimp densities in hydrothermal vent communities near the Juan de Fuca Ridge.
While in Silver Spring, MD, for final presentation week, Brian learned about the NOAA Corps, and began considering the Corps as a potential career path. In the summer of 2012, while he was doing field work on a marine debris cruise in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands, Brian decided it was time to apply. He graduated BOTC training in fall of 2014 with Chris and Kyle. Brian says that the NOAA Corps is the ‘best kept secret’ of NOAA.
Brian began his first assignment in December 2014 aboard the Oregon II. He will be based in Pascagoula, MS, and mainly serving on research cruises in the Gulf. His field season began in March and this season he will serve on groundfish cruises during the summer and fall, as well as a few shark longline cruises. Brian hopes to become a confident ship driver and navigator, and is very excited that his vessel facilitates NOAA’s shark research. Within 3-5 years, Brian hopes to become a NOAA Working Diver, and eventually a Dive Master. Brian serves as the Environmental Compliance Officer on his ship, and he hopes other NOAA vessels will implement some of his ideas to become more environmentally sustainable.