NOAA 99-R826
Contact: Jeanne Kouhestani

Anderson is a resident of Rapid City, South Dakota

Captain Alan D. Anderson of the NOAA Commissioned Corps has retired after 27 years of distinguished service with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an environmental science agency under the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Anderson last assignment with NOAA was as commanding officer of the NOAA ship Rainier, where he oversaw the complete upgrade of survey technology to state-of-the-art, expansion of the ship's capabilities, and record-setting production. Rainier operates primarily in Alaskan waters and is the only ship on the West Coast that does major hydrographic surveys for nautical charts. During this time, he received six awards for outstanding performance, including a bronze medal - NOAA's highest award - and the Karo Award from the Society of American Military Engineers.

"Capt. Anderson is an outstanding officer whose accomplishments during his career significantly improved NOAA's ability to provide accurate nautical charts for commercial and recreational mariners," said Rear Adm. Evelyn Fields, director of the Office of NOAA Corps Operations. "He will be sorely missed by his fellow officers in the NOAA Corps."

Anderson's career with NOAA concentrated on hydrographic surveying, marine engineering and technology development. His shore assignments included chief of field operations at the Pacific Marine Center in Seattle, Wash.; chief of the Marine
Engineering Division at the Atlantic Marine Center in Norfolk, Va.; and chief of the Systems Technology Division at the Office of NOAA Corps Operations in Silver Spring, Md. At sea, Anderson served aboard the Fairweather, Rude, and Rainier; he was commanding officer of Rude as well as Rainier. He received numerous awards for outstanding performance during these years.

Anderson resides with his wife, the former Susan Hepper, in Rapid City, S.D. His children, Heidi and Curtis, are studying civil engineering at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Anderson was raised in Sturgis, S.D., and is the son of Sturgis residents Ervin and Evelyn Anderson.

Anderson received his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 1971. He also holds an M.S. degree in management from the Naval Postgraduate School.

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.