NOAA Capt. David A. Score assumed command of the agency’s Marine Operations Center-Atlantic in Norfolk, Va., which manages the day-to-day operations of the nine research and survey ships in NOAA’s Atlantic fleet.
Each year these NOAA ships conduct dozens of missions to assess fish and marine mammal stocks, conduct coral reef research, collect seafloor data to update nautical charts, and explore the ocean.
Capt. Score served most recently as commanding officer of NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter, which conducted key research missions during the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill response, including missions to detect subsurface oil and study marine life in the Gulf of Mexico.
Score relieves Rear Adm. (select) Michael S. Devany, who has served as the center’s commanding officer since June 2009. The December 3 change of command ceremony was presided over by Rear Adm. Philip M. Kenul, director of NOAA’s marine and aviation operation centers.
Since his commission as a NOAA Corps officer in 1990, Score has served aboard six NOAA vessels, including NOAA ships Miller Freeman, Ferrel and Nancy Foster. These ships conducted operations from the Bering Sea to the Caribbean Sea. Score is an accomplished NOAA diver and dive master and has supervised more than 2,000 dives.
Score has also served in a variety of management and operational roles at Channel Islands, Gray’s Reef and Florida Keys national marine sanctuaries. As the superintendent of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, he oversaw a complex regulatory program and partnerships with three state and six federal agencies.
Score has a strong record of achievement. He has received eight NOAA special achievement awards, two Department of Commerce bronze medals, and was the 1999 NOAA National Association of Commissioned Officers Junior Officer of the Year. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marine biology and advanced research from the Florida Institute of Technology and studied biology at Georgia Southern University.