NOAA 2001-R805
Contact: Jeanne Kouhestani


Cmdr. Michael Abbott, NOAA Corps, has taken command of the NOAA ship Albatross IV, relieving commanding officer Cmdr. Derek Sutton.

Albatross IV is a 187-ft. stern trawler that conducts fishery research and living marine resource stock assessments off the northeast Atlantic coast in support of NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center. The data acquired by the ship is critical to fisheries management in its service area. Albatross IV is home ported in Woods Hole, Mass.

An officer with the NOAA Commissioned Corps since 1984, Abbott has six years of experience aboard NOAA ships as well as diverse experience on shore. His sea assignments have been aboard the hydrographic survey ships Fairweather, operating in Alaskan waters; Mt. Mitchell out of Norfolk, Va., and Heck in the Gulf of Mexico; in addition to mapping the seafloor for nautical charts, he served as an advanced diver and divemaster during these assignments. On shore his experience ranges from chief of recruiting in Silver Spring, Md., to solar forecaster at NOAA's Space Environment Laboratory in Boulder, Colo., to manager of an optical and radio wave solar telescope at a remote facility in Learmonth, western Australia, which is operated jointly by NOAA, the U.S. Air Force, and an Australian government agency. His most recent assignment was as port captain for NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole and executive officer aboard Albatross IV.

Abbott has received numerous NOAA awards and citations, including a NOAA Commendation Medal for "outstanding accomplishment in minority recruitment" and, most recently, a U.S. Coast Guard Commendation and Unit Citation for serving as a senior watch officer during the search and recovery of John F. Kennedy Jr.'s aircraft.

Abbott is a native of Durham, N.H., and graduated from Oyster River High School in 1977. After spending three years in the Army, he attended the University of New Hampshire, Durham, and obtained a bachelor's degree in geology in 1984. He received a masters degree in general administration, information systems from the University of Maryland in 1996.

Abbott currently resides in Falmouth, Mass., with his wife, Kristin, and children, Matthew and Shayna.

As part of the NOAA fleet of research ships and aircraft, Albatross IV is operated and managed by the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, composed of civilians and commissioned officers. The NOAA Corps is a uniformed service of the United States, composed of officers–all scientists or engineers–who provide NOAA with an important blend of operational, management and technical skills that support the agency's programs at sea, in the air, and ashore.