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[MES]sing Around

(Academics, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Hosley Photo Hello everyone and happy fall! I wanted to take this opportunity to blog about my major (the best major) here at the Academy and that is MES or Marine and Environmental Sciences. Within my major, I focus on two of the three intended tracks which are biology, physical oceanography and chemistry (I study biology and physical oceanography). I may be a little bit biased but I promise I am not exaggerating when I say that MES majors have the most fun at the Academy. We are constantly in the labs doing hands-on dissections, or out trawling for fish on the Thames River. Any other major will admit that they are jealous of the countless field trips we have to the beach, the Inner Space Center at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography, or the Mystic Aquarium. I also find that learning about the environment that we will be operating in and around as officers is not only beneficial, but absolutely essential to our futures.


The one thing about being an MES major that makes me a little bit different is my directed study program, which goes on outside of class. My directed study is focused on stress physiology in marine mammals. More specifically I am working with Mystic Aquarium to determine if saliva samples collected from the exhale of whales will be indicative of stress levels present in hormones like cortisol and aldosterone that are present in blood samples. Every Thursday afternoon I head over to the aquarium’s labs located on the UCONN Avery Point Campus in Groton, Connecticut. At the labs, I work on a variety of tasks for the project including the analysis of samples (from 9 different Beluga whales captured and released in Bristol Bay, Alaska) in the flow cytometer; as well as archiving blood samples from past veterinary records for the Belugas at the aquarium along with stranded animals that the aquarium has rehabilitated or blood samples received for other studies. Along with my lab work, I also get to travel over to the aquarium to collect the actual samples as well, which involves working with the whales, always an absolute dream come true!!


Along with my work with the Aquarium, I also work with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) out on Cape Cod. WHOI currently has a buoy deployed off of Martha’s Vineyard that contains a hydrophone and satellite system to record and transmit noise picked up in the vicinity. The noise we are looking for is whale calls. Based on the songs the buoy hears, we can identify the species of the whale in the area, which is especially important for the conservation efforts of the critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whale. The website designed and created by WHOI is in the process of being turned over to me and a couple cadets for constant analysis and publication regarding the resulting species in the area


Another thing I was lucky enough to participate in this past summer, which was associated with my major, was the discovery of the S.S. Coast Trader, a shipwreck off the coast of Vancouver, along with the team at the University of Rhode Island (URI) and on the Nautilus (a research vessel operated by the graduate school at URI). There is so much more I could say about my major, but I know no one has the time to read all that. Anyway, in conclusion, I could not be any happier with my major and the incredible opportunities I’ve had thus far here at the Academy. I will continue to happily [MES]s around here at school with my fish, my whales, and of course my homework and I hope to keep you all updated! Don’t hesitate to email me with any and all questions.


More about Cece.


Management Major Life

(Academics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo Here at CGA, I am a proud Management major. Here’s what it’s all about!


The Academics
Our major is probably the most diverse major in terms of different types of major classes and electives. This year, electives include Psychology, Intermediate Accounting, Personal Finance, and Negotiations, among others. Management is the only department that offers applied math courses such as Accounting, Finance, and Economics, while simultaneously offering qualitative classes such as Leadership and Organizational Behavior, Psychology, Organizational Development, and Diversity Management. Our major is also fulfilling the Commandant’s call to beef up our cyber capabilities, now offering electives in Programming and Cyber Security.

The major is applicable to junior officer life in the Coast Guard, as our graduates know both what makes people tick, and can also manage the financial books of their unit. This summer, I discovered that the junior officers aboard afloat units play a large role in their unit’s budgeting and auditing process. They allocate the funding given to their unit from the larger Coast Guard using real accounting principles and organizational skills learned in our major. Each year, every senior is administered the Educational Testing Service exam for business. Our major is an AACSB accredited business school, which means that we are on the score board with other top American business schools. Our major has offered field trips to Washington D.C. to visit the President’s Situation Room, the Pentagon, and other places of high national security. Management majors have also attended regional information technology summits that discuss cutting edge issues and solutions in the cyber realm.


Our Core Group
Academics are important for Management majors, but the real thing that “makes” our major is the people. We have a great core group of curious students, but we are still social creatures. At least twice a semester, we organize get-togethers in the Officers’ Club and mingle with our instructors. The Investment Club also organizes events educating other members of the corps about the cadet career starter loan and how to use that money wisely. People in my major are tight knit and enjoy working together, hanging out together, and take leadership positions among the Corps of Cadets on Regimental and Company staff.


Future Potential
Management majors are eligible to study for the Coast Guard Certified Financial Manager Exam. 1/c cadets can study for this exam and pass it at the end of their 1/c year, making them certified to handle and evaluate Coast Guard finances. We also have attended excellent internships at CG Headquarters for human resources, acquisitions, financial management, and other internships abroad, often interacting with senior leaders such as captains and admirals, presenting their findings at the end of their internship. Our instructors have attended top flite schools such as MIT, William and Mary, Harvard, and Boston University. Management majors are also eligible to apply for the CG law school program and can potentially become Coast Guard Judge Advocates, or attorneys.


More about William.


A Busy Second Class Year

(Academics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2018) Permanent link
H. Eshleman Photo Second class year has begun and the whirlwind of activities and events occurring at the USCGA is just getting started. This semester, I have 18 credit hours, but all except for four are finally engineering focused. I am really enjoying getting to concentrate on my major in McAllister Hall (the engineering building) for the majority of the day and learning about thermodynamics, fluid systems, naval architecture, and electrical circuits and machines. The workload is heavy, but I am interested in everything I am learning about, which makes it all worthwhile. My one class not in McAllister Hall is Maritime Watch Officer (a.k.a. Nautical Science III). I’m enjoying this class as well because it is extremely fleet-applicable and soon our labs are going to be moved from the simulators to T-boats down at waterfront.


Besides a lot of homework, my schedule has been busy with Glee Club. We have 30 performances this semester alone. Today we got the honor of performing God Bless America and America the Beautiful down at City Pier in New London. This performance was for a 9/11 memorial service held by the Groton Submarine Base. Getting to interact with a lot of Navy active and retired personnel, local police, and civilians on this day helped remind me how great our country is and how we truly come together, especially in times of need.


More about Hannah.


Graduation is Fast Approaching

(Academics, Athletics, The Cadet Experience) Permanent link
Daghir Photo I am happy to say that the year has picked up to its usual tempo, complete with more homework, less sleep, and more things on my to-do list than I can actually articulate from memory. If there is one thing I have learned between this school and yoga is that all you need to do is take a deep breath and start at the top of the list. This week is a little hectic because it is not only a four day week, but it is in fact spirit week, completely devoted to the football game we have coming up on Saturday: Bears versus the Mariners. Merchant Marine Academy and Coast Guard Academy rivalry is something that is ingrained in us constantly for about the first month of school and then we take a year off and wait to start alllllll over. It should be a fun time, even with the required morale events like our pep rally and actual attendance of the football game.


But enough on required morale, the real excitement stems from the prospect that I will be getting my billet list (the list of all available jobs for me to choose from) sometime very soon, possibly tomorrow! I will then have a little less than a month to put together my top picks, of which I will submit and wait. I will be following the same timeline as OCS for this, so my billet night, the night when I figure out where I am going, will be with the OCS class that will be graduating in November! I will be graduating on December 16th! Something that I also just found out this week…


So in addition to preparing for graduation and figuring out all of the real world aspects of my life that I will be in charge of very soon, I have been staying busy with a plethora of activities. Lacrosse just started this week officially for the fall, and although I will not be playing in the spring, I am looking to get one last season of play in, especially while the weather is nice. My teammates are really an amazing group and since my classmates have graduated, I would say that I feel even closer to my lax girls. We have started practicing every day and working with our lifting coach every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. In addition to lacrosse, I have been doing community service at the New London Homeless Shelter on Wednesday nights, where a group of cadets brings dinner to the people staying at the shelter.


School is a lot of fun, my schedule is nice and not too packed although this is a bit deceiving as I am actually signed up for a lot of extra work in the form of independent studies. I am taking scuba, of which we have completed three in-pool dives and, after one more, we will be venturing out to the open water. For my independent studies, I am doing an analysis of a treaty that we are working on as chair of the Arctic Counsel with Canada. Basically the treaty will make it so that countries will be permitted to conduct Arctic research in other countries’ Economic Exclusive Zones, a practice that is currently being exercised by some and not others. The paper will hopefully be used to outline the Coast Guard’s role in the application of the treaty and also look into similar historic events in which countries in the Arctic worked through treaties even in tense political times, giving us an idea of what to expect. The other study I am completing is a continuation of my summer work with GIS in which I will be finishing my Geographic Response Plans for the sectors New York and Long Island Sound. I like to be busy because it makes the time go that much faster, taking me closer to graduation! Sorry about another lengthy post. GO BEARS!


More about Lucy.


Halfway There...

(Academics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Williamson Photo The summer went by really fast, but it was filled with many great experiences. I learned a lot and I also learned there is so much that I do not know. Second class summer is centered around the idea of practicing leadership in many forms, from being cadre to being watch captain on coastal sail. You need to be well informed on different topics, as well as have good people skills, which is a lot easier said than done. As I move from an underclassman to an upperclassman, I will have to constantly deal with these issues. I am excited for the challenge!


Also worth noting this summer, I participated in an internship at the Army Research Labs in Aberdeen, Maryland. I was there continuing my corrosion research through the Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office in the Department of Defense. While I was there I got to meet a lot of very smart and very kind people there who shared an incredible amount of knowledge in a short duration of time. I learned all about electroplating and new electrochemical methods to evaluate metals. For a nerd like me, that was awesome! Through our collaboration, future officers at the Academy will be better informed about corrosion and the effect it has on our service. If anyone has questions about research here, please email me.


But enough of that, let’s talk about second class year so far! I am having a great time. I already love my classes (almost all science-based), my rugby team is really fun, and I have a great group of friends. My first two years were filled with hard work and I wouldn’t trade them for anything, but I am glad to move on. I am looking forward to the back half of my cadet career! As a 2/c cadet, I can now wear civilian clothing on liberty and have “shorts” (which means I get Saturday night to Sunday off). Also, at this point, I have paid off my initial clothing allowance, so I am seeing a lot more in my paychecks. Needless to say, when you mix civilian clothes, shorts, and more money together, you have a lot of fun. It’s going to be a great year!


More about Cody.