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Office of Coast Survey

Marine Chart Division



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Ocean Fact: How do I get NOAA nautical charts?


Meet: Captain Doug Baird

Chief, Marine Chart Division, Office of Coast Survey

As Chief of the Marine Chart Division within NOS’s Office of Coast Survey, my job is to ensure that the division’s employees have the abilities, tools, and resources to produce nautical charts for all U.S. coastal waters.

What do you like most about working at NOS?

I like providing a useful service to the public. We are doing something for people, not to them.

What is the hardest part of your job?

The hardest part of my job is managing the many conflicting requests and demands made upon both personnel and production systems.

What is your educational background?

I obtained a bachelor of arts and then a master of science in geography from the University of Tennessee. Go Vols!

What inspired your interest in the ocean and coasts?

I had the desire to travel around the world and see parts of it that most folks do not get to visit.

How did you end up working at NOAA?

I met a NOAA Corps recruiter at a job fair while waiting for another interview. Our ensuing conversation led to an interview, and my eventual selection for a commission as an Ensign in the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps, one of the seven uniformed services of the United States.

The NOAA Corps traces its roots back to the former Survey of the Coast, which President Thomas Jefferson established in 1807. Today’s NOAA Corps officers are trained in engineering, Earth sciences, oceanography, meteorology, fisheries science, and other related disciplines. We operate ships, fly aircraft, facilitate research projects, conduct diving operations, and serve in staff positions throughout NOAA.

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

Go for it! Now, if you think you may be interested in a career in the NOAA Corps, keep in mind that spending 30 consecutive days at sea can alter someone's personality. So don't make assumptions about other people’s sense of humor!