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CADET BLOGS

cadet blogs

A Full Fall Semester

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Haerr Photo Hey, everybody! Long time since I’ve updated you about life at the Academy. This is now the fall of my 2/c year – crazy how fast three years went!

 

This summer was especially rewarding to be able to embark on many adventures and learn so much about my leadership style. I participated in the Coastal Sail Program, navigating my way to Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Block Island, and several other ports with five of my closest shipmates. It was quite the experience to learn how to navigate safely and efficiently, planning every step and calling every move. I also got to lead the Class of 2020 in their journey to become successful cadets here at the Academy. I was Cadre 2 for Swab Summer, which means I worked with my classmates to develop the swabs for the last four weeks of their summer experience. We taught them drill, basic indoctrination of the Coast Guard, and physically conditioned them. It was a difficult yet rewarding challenge to decide how we would train the swabs.

 

This fall I’m busy with Civil Engineering classes, cheerleading, and being a Master at Arms or MAA. Officially taking major-specific classes has been so exciting, especially because we got our very own hard hats! In the labs, we have made our own asphalt concrete, Portland cement concrete, and have conducted many safe drinking water tests. We’ve taken multiple field trips. Our most recent field trip was to the Groton Waste Water Treatment Plant, where we toured their facilities. In cheerleading, we have progressed many of our stunting skills and sharpened our cheers. We’ve done multiple basket tosses, extensions, half-ups, and full downs! As an MAA, I get to work directly with the 1/c and the department, as well as with the 4/c in Alfa company. It’s kind of the best of both worlds because I get to make positive changes within the department, as well as continually help develop the Class of 2020 and maintain that close relationship with them.

 

As the fall semester continues, I’m nervous for the cold approaching. However, it’s predicted that we will have an exciting winter! We already got our first snowfall last week!

 

More about Kathryn.

 

The Great Boat Race

(Academics, Just for Fun, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Eshleman Photo Another October breezes by at the United States Coast Guard Academy. I barely realized the month was over until, well, writing this blog in fact, because this is the first time I’ve taken a breath to reflect on the events of this past month. For this post I’m going to focus a little more on my major – Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. In my graduating class, there are only 23 of us. I really love that it is a small group. For our Principles of Naval Architecture class, our first truly nav arch specific class, we have a three hour lab every week. This week we started a three week long lab where we are going to create our own boat. This lab is called “The Great Boat Race” because for the last session of the semester we will compete against other lab groups to see whose boat has the best overall mission efficiency. The goal is to carry as many sodas (weight) as possible while still moving at a decent speed. We are using programs such as Orca3D to design the hull. At first we started looking at a double catamaran design in order to make our ship light and fast, but unfortunately due to dimension restraints on beam width we could not make two hulls fit with room for soda cans and space in between. So, we decided on a planning hull and we are in the midst of designing it right now. ShopBot is going to cut out our boat using a plastic material and then we will epoxy/paint it to get some aesthetic points. Fingers crossed the race will be a success!

 

More about Hannah.

 

Life as an Electrical Engineer

(Academics, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Pourmonir Photo I once heard that if you love what you do, then you will never work a day in your life. While this used to sound like one of those sayings that doesn’t make much sense, I have found the truth in this adage since I entered one of the smallest majors at the Academy. While there are not very many of us, we are definitely the closest and proudest major. The Electrical Engineering Department is a family here at the USCGA. In the Class of 2017 alone, we only have 15 cadets who are electrical engineers. While it is challenging and often frustrating, it is also the most rewarding experience academically I have had thus far.

 

As I entered into my final year here at the Academy, I realized that I have yet to regret a single moment since I joined the few who may call themselves electrical engineers. I should point out that a major reason I decided on electrical engineering had to do with its prevalence in today’s world, and its relevance to the future of technology and innovation. With the cyber strategies that we are developing, and the vulnerabilities being exploited faster than they can be detected, the field of electrical engineering will be a prosperous one for years to come. That being said, the people are what convinced me to stick with it when I faced hard times. While some teachers are committed to their students’ growth and understanding, there are also teachers that are not. While this sad fact has proven to be true, it miraculously cannot be said about any of the faculty and staff in the Electrical Engineering Department here at the Academy. When I realized that every teacher was willing to do whatever it took to help me succeed, I knew that this department was meant for me. We work with technology and circuits, and I have learned more than I ever could have imagined. The teachers will work with you one-on-one whenever you need the extra help. The people are what make the environment, and I can honestly say there is not a single place I work harder than in my engineering classes for the amazing faculty in the Electrical Engineering Department. They have inspired me to someday be as knowledgeable and passionate about the field as they all have grown to be. I can honestly say that I love what I do, and I haven’t worked a single day since I made the decision to be an electrical engineer. While I’m sure I have already sold you on switching majors, I must also point out that they always have M&M’s and coffee avialable here in the Electrical Engineering Department.

 

More about Keemiya.

 

ORCA, Not the Whale

(Academics, Athletics, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Friedman Photo Time flies when you’re having fun…or really busy. I always forget how that saying goes. The school year has quickly ramped up and I can’t believe we’re at midterms and selecting classes for next semester. I’m an Operations Research and Computer Analysis (ORCA) major, which is applied math. I just started my in major classes, Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra, and so far I love the major. The focus of the major is using math and logic to solve problems. I was that kid in high school that was asking the teacher when we would ever need to know this in ‘real life.’ Thankfully, I don’t have that question anymore because the teachers relate what we’re learning in class to what we’ll do in the fleet as officers or civilians once we transition out of the Coast Guard. I look forward to getting even more in depth with ORCA next semester when I take Differential Equations, Linear Optimization, and Discrete Mathematics.

 

Outside of the classroom, rugby season is in full swing. As I write this, the women’s team is four games into the season, 4-0, have four consecutive shut outs, and are 14th in the nation. We may only be a club sport but beyond our sport we’re tight knit and take care of each other on and off the pitch. I mention rugby because while cadets are required to play sports two of the three seasons each year and can fulfill this obligation through playing intercompany sports. Many play varsity or club sports because they supply an oasis from the monotony and grind of Chase Hall. Teammates provide an additional outlet and support system inside Chases Hall. When considering the Academy, I recommend looking into a sport, club or varsity, whether you’ve played the sport before or not, it offers a support system, break from the day, and a another family.

 

If you have any questions feel free to email me Jill.M.Friedman@uscga.edu.

 

More about Jill.

 

[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.