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Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services


MEET: Carol Smith

Program Analyst, Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services

In my position as a program analyst, I focus on all things related to budgets, finances, and acquisitions.

Carol Smith


What do you like most about working at NOS?

I love to tell people where I work because I am proud of this agency and what it accomplishes every day for the American people.

What is the hardest part of your job?

I think it’s sitting at a desk all day. I’ve been doing it for 32 years and it’s the nature of the job, but every now and then it would be good to get out from behind the desk and experience something different.

What is your educational background?

I started working for NOAA right after high school, having focused my education on courses in business and finance.

What inspired your interest in the ocean and coasts?

As a child, I lived on the Eastern Shore in both Maryland and Virginia. I lived on Chincoteague Island, Virginia, during the historic Ash Wednesday Storm in March of 1962. We ended up with three feet of water in our house and the U.S. Coast Guard had to evacuate us to the mainland. I saw firsthand how devastating tides and winds can be when these powerful forces combine in the right – or wrong – way.

How did you end up working at NOAA?

To be honest, NOAA was the first place that offered me a job. I had two job interviews scheduled that day: My NOAA interview took place in the morning, and I interviewed at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard that afternoon. I didn’t know what NOAA was, but my father did, so he filled me in and off I went. It must have been a pretty good interview because later that very same day, NOAA called to say I got the job!

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

I would tell them to study hard and to find a mentor if they can. I would also tell them that a career with NOS/NOAA is guaranteed to be interesting and rewarding. Every job we do here, whether it be administrative, scientific, or managerial, is critical to the overall success of the organization. With all that the agency does, one’s career possibilities here are endless – and you will be rewarded in knowing that your contribution makes a difference.