Ramos assumes command of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer

NOAA Corps Cmdr. Ricardo Ramos has assumed command of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, the only federal ship dedicated to systematic exploration of the planet’s largely unknown ocean.

Ramos relieved Cmdr. Robert Kamphaus on Nov. 20 during a change-of-command ceremony in Davisville, R.I., the ship’s homeport. Under Kamphaus’s command, Okeanos Explorer and its embarked ocean exploration team mapped gas plumes in the Gulf of Mexico's deep-ocean water column, conducted the longest plankton sampling on record, and discovered a historic wooden-hulled vessel which is believed to have sunk as long as 200 years ago. Kamphaus’s next assignment will take him to Honolulu, where he will manage the operations of NOAA’s Hawaii-based ships.

“Cmdr. Kamphaus's service as commanding officer of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer has been exemplary,” said Rear Adm. Michael S. Devany, director of the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations and the NOAA Corps. “We look forward to more exciting discoveries and exploration firsts by Okeanos Explorer under the command of Cmdr. Ramos, a proven leader who consistently provides the highest level of science and service to the nation.”

Ramos was commissioned in the NOAA Corps of Commissioned Officers in 1991. He has served aboard NOAA ships Rainier, Ferrel and Oregon II in support of NOAA’s nautical charting and fisheries management missions.

Ashore, Ramos has served as a member of the Atlantic Hydrographic Party, as the station chief of NOAA’s Atmospheric Research Observatory at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, as the NOAA National Ocean Service’s hydrographic database manager in Boulder, Colo., and as the deputy chief of operations at the Marine Operations Center-Atlantic in Norfolk, Va. Ramos most recently served as the executive officer of the NOAA Fisheries Service’s Office of Science and Technology.

Ramos has a master’s degree in public administration from Averett University, and a bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering technology from the Oregon Institute of Technology. He is also a graduate of Harvard’s Senior Executive Fellows program. Ramos has been awarded two NOAA Corps commendation medals, four NOAA special achievement medals, and a NOAA Corps director ribbon. He has served as president of the Association of Commissioned Officers-Washington, D.C. section and is an active member of the NOAA Officers’ Family Association and the National Military Family Association.

Ramos is the son of Jose Reyes and Martha Ramos from Klamath Falls, Ore. His wife, Melissa, and their two daughters currently reside in Maryland.

The 224-ft. NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer is operated, managed and maintained by NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, which includes commissioned officers of the NOAA Corps and civilian wage mariners. NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, operates, manages and maintains the cutting-edge ocean exploration systems on the vessel and ashore, including a state-of-the-art multibeam sonar mapping system, telepresence capability, exploration command centers ashore, and terrestrial high-speed communication networks.

By Professional Mariner Staff