Shepard Smith on his NOAA Career and New Position at XOCEAN

May 22, 2022

Talking the transition from NOAA to XOCEAN

On this episode, hosts Peter Ravella and Tyler Buckingham talk to Rear Adm. (Ret.) Shepard Smith about his retirement after 28 years at NOAA, and his new position as s chief technology officer (CTO) at XOCEAN. At NOAA, Smith rose to the rank of Rear Admiral and was closely involved in advancing state-of-the-art hydrography and nautical cartography. His ten years of working at sea included tours in Alaska, the Pacific and the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, and four years as the Commanding Officer and Chief Scientist of the NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson. In his final role with NOAA, he served as Director of the Office of Coast Survey, where he oversaw the U.S. national programs in hydrography and nautical cartography. Smith also represented the United States at the International Hydrographic Organization and regional hydrographic commissions.

Using Uncrewed Surface Vessels (USVs), XOCEAN provides data collection services to surveyors, companies and government agencies. In his new role, Shep will lead the company into its next phase of growth, developing a new technology roadmap, advancing the boundaries of USV tech, and driving the technical vision for the business.




Show Transcription
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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.