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Office of Coast Survey

Navigation Response Teams

 

 

MEET: Bob Ramsey

Team Lead , Navigation Response Team 2, Office of Coast Survey

As the Team Lead of Navigation Response Team 2, I head up a three-person team that responds to emergencies related to marine transportation issues such as ship grounding, aircraft crashes over the water, hurricanes and other natural disasters, search and targeting requests from state and federal agencies, as well as standard hydrographic survey operations. We travel throughout the United States when required, and operate from North Carolina through Florida in non-response situations.

Bob Ramsey

What do you like most about working at NOS?

The constant need to be self-sufficient in the field, utilizing all facets of the experience required to conduct field operations 365 days a year, year in and year out. There's never a dull moment. The people we meet are also great and so appreciative of our work and capabilities. They are always amazed by how rapidly we do our work and strive to provide them with the products and services they need.

What is the hardest part of your job?

Training people to conduct the multifaceted operations required for the working environment. Field operations at a continual level require a certain type of individual, and although we bring good, talented people on board, many simply cannot cope with the high demands of constant travel. This can be a loss when we put so much effort into bringing them up to speed to become qualified operators.

What is your educational background?

I studied underwater technology at the Florida Institute of Technology, and got a lot of education and advanced technical training in the military.

What inspired your interest in the ocean and coasts?

I grew up in a Navy family, served in the U.S. Coast Guard, and have worked on, around, and under the water my entire life, both here in the U.S. and overseas. It's in the blood.

How did you end up working at NOAA?

When I returned from my last overseas Navy contract, which involved running supply boats in Diego Garcia, I just decided to try something new that had a bit more stability. I never thought I would still be here after 25 years! However, field operations are like a family. It’s hard to say goodbye.

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

Talk to people in the field you are interested in, and ask them, point blank, about the good and the bad. Understand the requirements in terms of one’s knowledge base, physical demands, and the risks of working in various environments. Then ask yourself if this is what you really want, or merely something you thought you wanted. The rewards are many, but the demands can be as well. What’s most important in life is truly enjoying what you do, and giving it your best. The rest is the ride!