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Office of Coast Survey

Rear Admiral Glang's Biography

NOAA Names Glang Nation's Hydrographer, Director of Coast Survey

August 15, 2012
Rear Admiral Gerd Glang

Rear Admiral Gerd Glang will oversee the NOAA office that supports the nation's maritime economy. Glang is the 28th leader of the Coast Survey since the first superintendent, Ferdinand Hassler, was appointed in 1816. He is the 12th admiral to serve in the position.

Following his promotion on Aug. 14 from captain to rear admiral, Gerd Glang was named as director of the NOAA Office of Coast Survey and the nation’s chief hydrographer, responsible for mapping and charting of all United States coastal waters. On Aug.2, the U.S. Senate confirmed his nomination by President Obama to the rank of rear admiral (lower half), now a prerequisite for the position.

Glang will be responsible for overseeing NOAA’s hydrographic services, vital to the nation’s $1.9 trillion maritime economy and supporting President Obama’s National Export Initiative.

Glang succeeds Capt. John E. Lowell, who retired in June after a 29-year career in the NOAA Corps, serving the last three years as director of NOAA's Office of Coast Survey and U.S. national hydrographer.

Glang has spent the past two years as the co-deputy lead of NOAA’s planning efforts to make America’s coastal communities¬† resilient and¬† strengthen the coastal economy—an economy supporting 66 million U.S. jobs.

NOAA’s navigational services provide critical support to our nation’s maritime economy and position it for future growth,” said David Kennedy, NOAA assistant administrator for the National Ocean Service. “As NOAA faces demands for the acquisition and use of hydrographic data for—and beyond—the maritime transportation system, Gerd Glang is the right person, in the right place.”

A NOAA Corps officer since 1989, Glang has a strong background in the hydrographic surveying and sea floor mapping sciences that are the foundation of Coast Survey’s primary mission. In addition, as a result of an 18-month sea tour as commanding officer of NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown when they mapped the ocean in support of tsunami modeling and conducted deep water coral studies, he has the experience to broaden the applications of hydrographic data acquired for updating charts.

Glang initially gained his hydrographic expertise on three sea tours, as commanding officer of NOAA Ship Whiting, as executive officer of NOAA Ship Heck, and as junior officer on his first sea assignment with NOAA Ship Rainier in 1989. It was during his tour as the commanding officer of Whiting that Glang helped lead NOAA’s survey response to the crash of Egypt Air 990, and in the search for John Kennedy Jr.’s, downed aircraft in 1999. Glang received the Department of Commerce Silver Medal and the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, respectively, for his leadership in these two emergency responses.