Live from CSO: NOAA Rear Admiral Shepard M. Smith

Meet Rear Admiral Shepard Smith of the "NOAA Navy."

Rear Admiral Shepard M. Smith is the Coast Survey Director for NOAA, a man dedicated to advancing the Coast Survey initiatives of modernizing digital charting, increasing use of autonomous systems for hydrography, and improved integrated navigation services for seaports. This is  America's Scientific Navy!

Rear Adm. Smith serves as a presidentially-appointed member of the Mississippi River Commission that oversees navigation and flood control projects on the largest river system in the United States. Smith also serves as the chair of the International Hydrographic Organization’s (IHO) Council that comprises 30 leading IHO member nations and oversees performance management and the business side of the IHO.

Hallmarks of Smith’s career have been his leadership in the modernization of NOAA’s charting systems and transformation of NOAA’s hydrographic technologies. That leadership and experience expands Coast Survey’s data capabilities and supports a data-enabled maritime economy, among other challenges. Smith was commanding officer of NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson, on which he served three tours during his NOAA career. During his latest tour, Smith became NOAA’s first commanding officer to operationalize autonomous surface vehicles for mapping shallow areas previously inaccessible and uncharted. While chief of Coast Survey’s Marine Chart Division, he changed the nation’s charting tradition, established in the 19th century, by restructuring chart production and distribution. This modernization makes U.S. navigational data more accessible to the public through a wider range of electronic formats.

Smith holds a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University and earned a master of science degree in ocean engineering from the University of New Hampshire. He received a direct commission to the rank of ensign in the NOAA Corps in 1993.

Catch up with America's Scientific Navy on this Episode of the American Shoreline Posdcast from the Coastal States Organization Meeting in South Padre Island, Texas.

Peter Ravella & Tyler Buckingham

Peter and Tyler joined forces in 2015 and from the first meeting began discussing a project that would become Coastal News Today and the American Shoreline Podcast Network. At the time, Peter and Tyler were coastal consultants for Pete’s firm, PAR Consulting, LLC. In that role, they worked with coastal communities in Texas, Florida, and North Carolina, engaged in grant writing, coastal project development, shoreline erosion and land use planning, permitting, and financial planning for communities undertaking big beach restoration projects. Between and among their consulting tasks, they kept talking and kept building the idea of CNT & ASPN. In almost every arena they worked, public engagement played a central role. They spent thousands of hours talking with coastal stakeholders, like business owners, hotel operators, condo managers, watermen, property owners, enviros, surfers, and fishermen. They dived deep into the value, meaning, and responsibility for the American shoreline, segment-by-segment. Common threads emerged, themes were revealed, differences uncovered. There was a big conversation going on along the American shoreline! But, no place to have it. That's where CNT and ASPN were born.