NOAA Capt. Anne K. Lynch has 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 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.
Lynch relieves NOAA Corps officer Anita Lopez, who has served as the center's commanding officer since June 2012. Lopez has been promoted to rear admiral (lower half) and appointed deputy director for operations of the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations and deputy director of the NOAA Corps.
"Like her predecessor, Capt. Lynch is a dedicated leader and manager who brings a wealth of experience to her new position," said Rear Adm. David A. Score, director of OMAO and the NOAA Corps.
Lynch most recently served as director of the the NOAA Corps Commissioned Personnel Center, which provides administrative support for officers of the NOAA Corps, one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. As CPC director, Lynch managed all aspects of the NOAA Corps' personnel system.
Lynch has had a diverse career with both sea duty and a variety of scientific, management and leadership positions ashore. Her experience at sea includes sailing both oceanographic and fisheries research vessels in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans from the Arctic to the Antarctic.
Lynch has served aboard NOAA ships Surveyor, Ronald H. Brown, Miller Freeman, and Henry B. Bigelow. In 2011, she completed a 2½-year tour as commanding officer aboard NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow. From 2006 to 2008, Lynch was the officer in charge of the NOAA Corps' Basic Officer Training Class, where she oversaw the training of 110 new officers.
Lynch has been recognized for superior performance throughout her career, and has received four NOAA Corps commendation medals, and seven NOAA Corps achievement medals. She holds a bachelor's degree in physics from the College of William and Mary. Lynch (nee Nimershiem) has returned to her native Norfolk, Va., where she lives with her husband and two sons.
The NOAA fleet of ships and aircraft is operated, managed and maintained by the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, which includes commissioned officers of the NOAA Corps and civilian wage mariners.