NOAA 99-R825
Contact: Jeanne Kouhestani


Rear Admiral John C. Albright of the NOAA Commissioned Corps retires today, after 31 years of distinguished service with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its predecessor agency, the U.S. Environmental Science Services Administration.

Albright has been director of NOAA's Pacific Marine Center in Seattle, Wash., since May 1992, and in July 1995 became director of the agency's Atlantic Marine Center in Norfolk, Va., as well. The position of director requires confirmation by the Senate, and carries with it promotion to rear admiral, lower half. The marine centers manage NOAA's fleet of 15 research and survey ships.

"Admiral Albright is to be commended for his outstanding leadership during a long and distinguished career," said Rear Adm. Evelyn Fields, director of the Office of NOAA Corps Operations. "He was able to provide NOAA programs with continuous, excellent support, while maintaining high morale among his people, throughout the most difficult times of tightening budgets and federal downsizing. Management of the two marine centers was also successfully consolidated under his leadership, despite the challenges presented by running two centers on different coasts. He will be sorely missed."

The Atlantic and Pacific Marine Centers are part of the Office of NOAA Corps Operations, composed of civilians and commissioned officers of the NOAA Corps, the nation's seventh uniformed service. ONCO operates and manages NOAA's fleet of environmental research and survey ships and aircraft. The ships support the management of the nation's ocean fisheries; provide nautical charts for at-sea navigation to commercial, recreational, and military ships; and conduct coastal and deep water oceanography, including climate and global change studies. Of the 15 ships, eight are managed by the Atlantic Marine Center and seven by the Pacific Marine Center

Before becoming director of the marine centers, Albright served as chief of the Nautical Charting Division, Coast and Geodetic Survey, where he managed production of the nation's nautical charts, bathymetric maps, and related navigational products and services.

Albright's ten years of service at sea include combined hydrographic operations aboard the NOAA ships McArthur, Fairweather and Rainier, the latter as both executive officer and commanding officer. His field assignments have included leveling parties surveying California and Utah, and chief of a triangulation party surveying Louisiana and Georgia. He has served as assistant chief of the Operations Division, Pacific Marine Center, providing coordination and support to hydrographic vessels; staff in the Office of Marine Pollution Assessment; West Coast representative for the NOAA Diving Office, coordinating operational and specialized diving support to field units; staff assistant for labor relations in the Office of Marine Operations, responsible for fleet-labor management relations with six maritime unions; and chief of planning and operations, Office of Marine Operations, responsible for fleet allocation planning, monitoring of vessel scheduling, and evaluation of overall fleet performance.

Albright is a Presidentially-appointed member of the Mississippi River Commission; serves on the National Board of Directors of the Society of American Military Engineers; and is a member of the Hydrographic Society. He has received the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award, two NOAA Corps Commendation Medals, and seven NOAA Special Achievement Awards. In 1967, the Antarctic geographical feature Mount Albright was named in his honor in recognition of his survey work there.

Albright is a native of Madison, Wis., and attended the University of Wisconsin where he was awarded both bachelor's and master's degrees in civil engineering. He currently resides in Seattle with his wife, Viki Dianne Canafax.