NOAA 2000-804
Contact: Jeanne Kouhestani

Home ported in Charleston, ship is conducting sediment studies off Myrtle Beach

Lt. Cmdr. Scott Kuester of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Commissioned Officers Corps takes command today of the NOAA coastal research ship Ferrel, which is home ported in Charleston, S.C.

Ferrel is currently working in the Myrtle Beach area, collecting surface and core sediment samples to help calibrate a recently completed bathymetric survey, and to enable scientists to determine the nature, transport, and deposit of sediment on the South Carolina inner shelf as part of a long-term study.

Kuester replaces Cmdr. Paul Moen, NOAA Corps, who has commanded Ferrel for the past two years. The change of command ceremony is being held at NOAA's Pier Romeo at the Charleston Navy Yard.

"I have every confidence that Lt. Cmdr. Kuester will continue the professionalism, leadership and high standards of Cmdr. Moen," said Rear Admiral Evelyn J. Fields, director of the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations. "Lt. Cmdr. Kuester has the mariner skills and deep appreciation of the scientific programs needed to make an outstanding commanding officer."

Kuester's command of Ferrel follows two years as executive officer of Gordon Gunter. His shipboard experience also includes positions as operations officer of John V. Vickers and junior officer aboard Researcher.

Kuester holds a bachelor of science degree in marine transportation from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (1982) and a master's degree in environmental policy from the University of Maryland (1997). He is a native of Sparta, Wisc.

The Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, composed of civilians and commissioned officers, manages and operates the agency's fleet of ships and aircraft. All NOAA Corps officers hold degrees – many of them advanced – in science, engineering or mathematics. The NOAA is the nation's seventh uniformed service.