Meet Tim Battista, Biological Oceanographer

National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science

Tim Battista

I am an oceanographer with NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. My work focuses on the use of airborne, underwater, ship, and space-based remote sensing technologies (multibeam sonar, LIDAR, underwater systems, and satellite imaging) to map and assess the condition and distribution of marine habitats and biota in coastal marine environments. I have been fortunate to work in waters extending as far west as the Republic of Palau, to the equator, U.S. Caribbean, and coastal states from Alaska to Florida.

What do you like most about working at NOAA?

The most enjoyable thing for me is the satisfaction of seeing the results of our work making a positive difference to the betterment of ocean and coastal management. We work very closely with state and territorial resource managers to ensure the products we produce and science we conduct are targeting the information they need to make more informed decisions.  

What is your educational background?

I have a bachelor’s of science in biology from Middlebury College. I have a master’s degree in oceanography from the University of Maryland at Horn Point.

How did you end up working at NOAA?

I started as a Knauss Sea Grant Fellow with NOS in 1996.

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

In ecology, you have to start by getting your hands dirty in the field. Finding a mentor willing to a host student is irreplaceable in terms of experience, professional growth, and developing a realistic career path forward. I always tell my interns students that I need individuals that can “think” and write. If a student can demonstrate an ability to craft their own ideas, solve problems, and be able to communicate results, then a career in the ocean realm will develop naturally.

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