Captain Michele Finn retired from the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps with over 25 years of service to the United States. The NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The service, consisting of approximately 350 commissioned officers, is an integral part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The NOAA Commissioned Corps traces its roots back to the former U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, which dates back to 1807 and President Thomas Jefferson. The NOAA Corps today provides a cadre of professionals trained in engineering, earth sciences, oceanography, meteorology, fisheries science, and other related disciplines. Officers operate ships, fly aircraft, manage research projects, conduct diving operations, and serve in staff positions throughout NOAA.
Following her first assignment as a deck officer on a coastal research vessel - the NOAA Ship Ferrel - that focused on pollution studies of the waters along the entire East Coast and Gulf of Mexico; Michele continued to support environmental science and policy initiatives with a very diverse career. She functioned as a marine biologist, remote field camp leader and logistics coordinator for the National Marine Fisheries Service team studying endangered species throughout the remote islands of the Northwest Hawaiian Island Chain. Instead of returning to sea duty, Michele was selected to join NOAA's flight program. Initially flying NOAA's Twin Otters in support of a wide range of scientific missions, she ultimately earned an Airline Transport Pilot license and Gulfstream IV type rating and became a Gulfstream IV instructor pilot flying in support of severe storm surveillance while holding the top management positions of Chief, Aircraft Maintenance Branch and Chief, Operations Division of NOAA's Aircraft Operations Center.
Throughout the years, Michele also served as the Assistant Superintendent of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in California, the Chief of Staff of the National Ocean Service in Silver Spring, MD and the Deputy Director of the NOAA Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center. She has an undergraduate degree in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University of Galveston and a Master of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Hawaii.
She currently works for A.I.S., Inc. as the Gulf of Mexico Operations Manager. A.I.S., Inc. is a nationwide company based in New Bedford, Massachusetts that provides accurate marine biological data to its customers. This data provides valuable information that is used by scientists and industry members to manage fisheries and marine environments.