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National Geodetic Survey

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MEET: Ronnie Taylor

Deputy Director, National Geodetic Survey

As Deputy Director of the National Geodetic Survey (NGS), I monitor the day-to-day functions of technical and administrative programs and advise the Director on the resolution of various issues. I assist with the overall management of NGS, and in the absence of the Director, assume full responsibility for the overall management.

Jan Roletto

What do you like most about working at NOS?

The best things about working at NOS are the people I work with and the working environment. Everyone takes great pride in providing the best products and services possible.

What is the hardest part of your job?

The hardest part of my job is keeping up with all of the policies and procedures, and ensuring that all of them are met while still allowing the scientists to provide the good science for which NGS is recognized.

What is your educational background?

I attended Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Kentucky, the Advanced Geodetic School at the Defense Mapping Agency in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

What inspired your interest in the ocean and coasts?

Although I grew up in Kentucky, my family spent summers in Florida where I fell in love with the ocean. Later, when I began working with NOAA, I installed tide gauges to measure tidal datums and then ran levels (vertical control) in all areas of the United States and to tide gauges along the coast. By working on both the Tides and Geodesy (Geodetic) sides of the agency, I understood that there was a great need to have accurate heights across our entire country. I quickly realized that heights and their relationship to ocean tides were absolutely critical in coastal areas.

How did you end up working at NOAA?

After returning from service in the U.S. Army, I took a job with NOAA on a field party until I could find a “better job” in engineering. I fell in love with the agency, first because of the men and women with whom I worked, and second because of the great pride everyone took in their work. There has always been a commitment to ensure “no stone is left unturned.” One thing about scientists, engineers, and surveyors: Ask five of them a question and you will get six answers! This is a good thing, because from this will come the best science.

What advice do you have for young people wanting a career in the "ocean realm"?

Set your goals high, take an internship with one of the offices within NOAA, and complete graduate school!