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Corrosion Research on the USS Arizona

(Academics, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Williamson Photo December 7th, 2016, marked the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the sinking of the USS Arizona. For the occasion, members of the Coast Guard Academy’s corrosion research team (including myself) were invited to Hawaii by the U.S. National Park Service to present research about the corrosion of the Arizona. We were also given the opportunity to dive on the ship to appreciate the Americans who died there and to view the physical condition of the structure.


The Arizona is the gravesite for over 1,000 sailors and marines who died on December 7th, 1941 from the attack. The mighty battleship rests on the bottom of Pearl Harbor as a memorial to the sacrifice of these Americans in service to their country. Along with the crew, the USS Arizona took hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil trapped within the hull to the bottom of the harbor. Since the attack (and to this day) leaking oil has been observed from the ship. Since oil in the water is an environmental concern, the U.S. National Park Service has been conducting research to understand the rate of oil leakage and if there are any factors that may impact the long term structural integrity. One of the greatest areas for concern is corrosion, which it the degradation of a material due to chemical reactions with the environment. Corrosion has slowly been eating away the ship since is became submerged. As corrosion wares away the metal, the rate of oil leakage could increase. As a result, on January 23rd, 2015, the U.S. National Park Service gave the Coast Guard Academy custody of hull and rivet samples from the Arizona to conduct corrosion research on.


Since given the samples, 1/c Azzari, 1/c Naylor, and I have been working to understand more about the corrosion of this vessel. Along with the guidance and help of Captain Sanders and LCDR Crettol, our corrosion team has conducted many meaningful experiments. These tests include looking at long-term environmental exposure corrosion and galvanic interactions between the hull and rivets. Our results directly related to the long term structural integrity of the Arizona, and therefore were important to the National Park Service. Thus, the Academy corrosion team was invited to present this research and also dive on the ship to visually identify the corrosion that has occurred.


My experience with both the corrosion research team and the U.S. National Park Service has been amazing and very rewarding. My advisors were extremely knowledgeable and always steered us toward success. They allowed me to struggle through the difficulties of the research, and encouraged me when I felt lost. Additionally, the National Park Service has been extremely welcoming to the Academy, the corrosion team, and me personally. They genuinely wanted to collaborate with us and work toward learning more about corrosion of the Arizona. Specifically, Dr. Dave Conlin, who is chief of the Submerged Resources Center for the U.S. National Park Service, came to talk at the Academy about the Arizona and has consistently provided support to our team. Dr. Conlin is a well-trained diver and has dove on the Arizona many times. With his expertise, he took us on an incredibly meaningful dive on the submerged ship.


I am extremely humbled and awestruck by the opportunity afforded to me by the Academy and the National Park Service. Every person I have met and worked with along the way has had an extremely positive impact on my life. After this amazing experience, I only hope to honor the Americans who died by ensuring their sacrifice leads to valuable lessons, both in science and in humanity.


More about Cody.


Civil Engineering for the Non-Civil Engineer

(Academics, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Kokomoor Photo People expect that the cadets at the Academy have their entire lives planned out; a well-researched sequence of events that will take you from the end of high school until retirement. I can tell you right here and now that that is not necessarily the case. As I dive into my first semester filled with major-specific classes as a Civil Engineer, I am certain that this is not what I imagined for myself as a senior in high school.


I chose the Civil Engineering major purely because it sounded cool to me at the time of application. I was open to ideas and I thought, “Hey, I think I could have fun doing that!” And that was it, two and a half years later and I am a Civil Engineer in the making! Spoiler alert: I am absolutely having a blast! I chose the right major and even though it was purely by chance everything seems to have fallen into place this semester. Sure, it’s hard work, but when you get to smash concrete cylinders after a hard day of classes you can’t help but to smile!


Long story short, I had doubted myself and my choices up until this point in my studies. The prospective jobs of a Civil Engineer are not always the most glamorous. But I stuck with my gut feeling, just to find out that it was in fact the perfect one for me. Between my professors and my classmates I have never felt more at home here at the Academy and I have never been more eager to go to class to learn about my completely unplanned future and what it has to hold for me!


More about Jacklyn.


Hump Week

(Academics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2020) Permanent link
Turner PhotoMidterms! This past week marks the halfway point of the first semester. Nine weeks of stress, lack of sleep, and late night group study sessions has finally ended, only to lead into another nine weeks of the exact same thing. These nine weeks have been a rough transition from high school. The ability to manage sports with classes, and military obligations, while keeping up your grades is a challenge. One thing that helped me get through the first part of this semester, would be the 4-5-2 class periods. These classes allowed me to effectively plan my obligations and assignments for the upcoming week, and while it may sound simple, it’s extremely helpful. When it comes to getting work done, you need to be able to find those small breaks that you have and use them effectively. Thus, you save so much more time at night, allowing you to do other activities such as going to bed early!


In terms of the grading process, the first part of the semester is almost completely homework. You won’t believe the amount of homework that you have. I remember my senior year, I had eight classes and I could get my homework done in a few hours. Now, I have 4 classes and depending on the number of military obligations I have, it can take all night. While it may sound rough, don’t worry it pays off in the end. I told my division head about my progress, and she advised me to push a little harder in the latter half of this semester, and I’ll have a gold star. Now, the latter half of this semester is going to be a little harder. The first half was plagued with homework, and now the latter half is plagued with exams. No worries though, it’s still going to be a good semester!


Until the next scheduled programming.


Anthony Turner


More about Anthony.


Recruiting Leave Epiphany

(Academics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Mills Photo I had the opportunity to go on recruiting leave for the first time this past November the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Walking into a high school after being away from one for six years was to say the least very thought provoking. I began to think about myself in high school and what I valued most and how it compared to my values now. High school Sydney was uninterested about academics for the most part, concerned more about what I was going to wear than what I was going to learn in school. My passion was performing with the band as a member of color guard and spending crazy amounts of time after hours with the program. Seeing the high schoolers before me, I imagined many of them had similar values as I once had. Not focusing too much on academics or the future but enjoying extracurricular activities in the present.


Although I thoroughly enjoyed my high school experience and living in the present is so important, I am so glad I found the Academy, which has evolved my values. My interest in education has increased immensely and I have the best study habits I have ever had (not saying they are good now, but compared to before). I am more focused on my future, choosing my extracurricular activities based around those future goals. Being able to go back to a high school and promote the school I love so much was a great experience. I have so much pride in my school and I want everyone to know how valuable it has been to my growth as a person, a student, and a leader. I secretly implore all the young adults I saw in the high schools to focus on what really matters, filling their brains with the knowledge that they gain in class. Nothing will take you further. Knowledge is the key to growth in all aspects of life and the Coast Guard Academy has just opened the door for me to grow into the person I want to be. Go Bears!


More about Sydney.


Going to College…And Then Some

(Academics, Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Horacek Photo Being afforded the opportunity to attend the Coast Guard Academy is a great deal. First and foremost, it is a fantastic school. Having small classes allows us to spend more one-on-one time with the extraordinary faculty, a luxury I now take for granted that many of my civilian college counterparts don’t share. That, among other things, makes for a remarkable degree program in whatever discipline you choose at an even better value ($0!!)


However, most of us don’t come to Academy just to be excellent engineers or managers, we are here for college plus a little (maybe more than a little) extra something on the side. That more than a little extra something is what takes us from college grads to competent Coast Guard officers. During my time at the Academy, I’ve experienced being pushed to my limits during Swab Summer to skippering a million dollar sailing yacht around Martha’s Vineyard, with a whole lot in between.


That’s why I decided to start blogging, to tell all you cadet hopefuls out there about the little extra something that really makes the Coast Guard Academy special to us, and what makes it all worth it at the end of day. I hope y’all enjoy whatever crazy ride this blog goes on. Semper Paratus and GO BEARS!


More about Brandon.