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Lisa Thompson, M.S., Commander, USCG

Associate Professor, (Permanent Commissioned Teaching Staff) Marine and Environmental Sciences Department of Chemical and Environmental Science

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Commander Lisa Thompson earned a B.S. (with honors) in Marine and Environmental Science from the Coast Guard Academy in 2008. Her first assignment after graduation was as a Deck Watch Officer on USCGC WILLOW (WLB-202) in Newport, Rhode Island. CDR Thompson then transferred to District Five Waterways Management and later to the National Aids to Navigation School, where she served as the Operations Section Chief and Instructor. She served temporarily on USCGC SEQUOIA (WLB-215) in Apra Harbor, Guam as the Operations Officer. She then served as Executive Officer of USCGA ASPEN (WLB 208) in San Francisco, California. Her last operation tour before the Academy was as Commanding Officer for USCGC JAMES RANKIN (WLM-555) in Baltimore Maryland. CDR Thompson is a permanent cutter man and member of the Prevention Afloat community. CDR Thompson earned her M.S. in Physical Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island in 2019. CDR Thompson’s research at the University of Rhode Island ice formation in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. CDR Thompson was selected for Permanent Commissioned Teaching Staff in 2021. She currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Chemical and environmental science. In addition to teaching, CDR Thompson is also an advisor for the Congressionally Mandated Advisory Board on Women and the Interim head of the Chemical and Environmental Sciences Department.


  • M.S. Physical Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, 2019
  • M.A. Transportation and Logistics Management, American Military University, 2017
  • B.S. Marine and Environmental Science, United States Coast Guard Academy, 2008

Courses Taught

  • Atmospheric and Marine Science
  • Oceans I: Air and Sea
  • Geospatial Science 1
  • Chemistry 1
  • Chemistry 2
  • Science Ethics Seminar
  • Environmental Policy and Law

Professional Memberships

  • Society for Women in Marine Science

Selected Publications and Presentations:

  • Ackley, S.F., Stammerjohn, S., Maksym, T. Smith, M., Cassano, J., Guest, P. Tison, J-L., Delille, B. Loose, B., Sedwick, P. DePace, L., Roach, L., Parno, J. (2020). Sea-ice production and air/ice/ocean/biogeochemistry interactions in the Ross Sea during the PIPERS 2017 autumn field campaign. Annals of Glaciology, 61(82), 181-195.* Published as DePace, L.
  • Thompson, L., Smith, M., Thomson, J., Stammerjohn, S., Ackley, S., & Loose, B. (2020). Frazil ice growth and production during katabatic wind events in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. The Cryosphere, 14(10), 3329-3347.
  • Poster Presentation- POLAR 2018 Conference. (POLAR2018 is a joint event from the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research SCAR and the International Arctic Science Committee IASC)
  • Poster Presentation- International Glaciological Society Sea Ice Symposium 2019

Contact Information

Sponsor Family Application

Thank you for submitting your application to be part of the Sponsor Family Program. Your application will be processed in the upcoming week. Coast Guard Academy’s policy on background screening now requires all adults (everyone 18 and older living in the home) who volunteer to mentor, teach, coach or sponsor cadets, whether on or off Coast Guard Academy grounds, to be screened every 5 years. They are required to provide personal information (name, birth date and social security number) for the purpose of conducting a criminal background check.

The Security Officer at the Coast Guard Academy, CWO2 Gina Polkowski, is overseeing this process. Her email is:

Sponsor Family designations fall into several different categories. Below are the guidelines to help you determine how best to meet the background screening requirement:

  1. If you are Coast Guard active duty you do not need to apply for an additional Background Check. You will be vetted through the Coast Guard system by CWO2 Polkowski.
  2. If you are a Civilian working for the Coast Guard you do not need to apply for an additional Background Check. You will be vetted through the Coast Guard system by CWO2 Polkowski.
  3. If you are non-Coast Guard Active Duty, you are required to provide proof of your current security clearance or National Agency Check that is to be emailed by your Command Security Officer (CSO)/ Security Office to CWO2 Polkowski at
  4. If you are non-Coast Guard civilian who has a current security clearance or National Agency check, you are required to provide proof of your current security clearance or National Agency Check that is to be emailed by your Command Security Officer (CSO)/ Security Office to CWO2 Polkowski at
  5. All civilians in the families who are 18 years or older and do not have a security clearance or a National Agency Check are required to be vetted through Mind Your Business, the third party vendor hired by the Coast Guard Academy for the vetting process.

After you complete your application, please e-mail the Sponsor Family Program Coordinator at In your e-mail, you must include the e-mail address and phone number of every adult living in the home. The Sponsor Family Coordinator will then initiate the background check process and you will receive an email with further instructions.

Important things to note:

There is a Sponsor Family Training that is a one-hour training which we ask sponsors to attend once every four years. This training is designed to give you an overview of the program, what is expected of you as a sponsor, and what you can expect from your cadets. This training will also help familiarize you with the cadet regulations onboard CGA. You will be notified via e-mail once the training is scheduled.

The matching process of swabs to families will occur during July and August. Please bear with us and remain flexible through this process. There will be a meet and greet scheduled on Campus, typically in late August. This will give families an opportunity to formally meet their cadet if they have not already done so. Details on this will also be via email.

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