Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Wingate Assumes Command of NOAA Ship Ka`imimoana

NOAA Corps Lt. Cmdr. Matthew J. Wingate has assumed command of NOAA Ship Ka`imimoana, a 224-ft. research vessel dedicated solely to climate research.

During a ceremony last week, Wingate relieved Lt. Cmdr. Stephanie Koes, who served as the ship’s commanding officer since June 2009.

“I have every confidence that Lt. Cmdr. Wingate will continue the standards of excellence established by Lt. Cmdr. Koes as commanding officer of Ka`imimoana,†said Rear Adm. Jonathan W. Bailey, director of the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations and the NOAA Corps.

Wingate’s previous sea assignments include a tour aboard NOAA Ship Whiting, a hydrographic survey ship that worked in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, and the Hawaii-based NOAA oceanographic research vessel Hi`ialakai, on which he served for three years as operations officer and executive officer.

Wingate has also served in various scientific and technical support roles with NOAA. He was assigned to a geodetic field party performing GPS surveys at small airports across the Midwest before relocating to Silver Spring, Md., where he provided technical support to the NOAA National Geodetic Survey’s Space and Physical Geodesy Branch.

Wingate has also served with the Engineering Development Division at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Lab in Seattle and, most recently, in New England as NOAA’s navigation manager for northeast region.

Born in Westerly, R.I., and raised in Voluntown, Conn., Wingate has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology from University of Maine.

Homeported in Honolulu, Ka`imimoana (Hawaiian for “ocean seekerâ€) is dedicated solely to climate research, through its support of NOAA’s Tropical Atmosphere-Ocean Project. The project is designed to improve our understanding of the role of the tropical ocean in modifying the world’s climate. The ship deploys, recovers and services deep sea moorings that measure ocean currents, ocean temperatures, and atmospheric variables in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. The ship also continuously measures upper ocean currents, surface salinity, carbon dioxide content, and sea-level atmospheric conditions while underway.

The NOAA fleet of aircraft and vessels is operated, managed and maintained by the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, which includes civilians and officers of the NOAA Corps. The NOAA Corps is one of the nation’s seven uniformed services. Its commissioned officers have degrees in engineering, science or mathematics and provide NOAA with an important blend of technical, operational and leadership skills at sea, in the air and in program offices throughout the nation.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. Visit us at or on Facebook at

By Professional Mariner Staff