- B.S. General Sciences – University of Puerto Rico, 2010
LT Erick Estela is the Marine Operations Coordinator at the NOAA Fisheries laboratory in Milford, CT, which is part of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC). He manages and operates small boats, and is the Officer in Charge of 49-foot Research Vessel Victor Loosanoff. Additional duties include close collaboration with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to process Geographic Information Systems and multi-beam data for offshore wind energy areas, NOAA Corps in recruiting, and education and outreach coordination to highlight NOAA Fisheries and the NOAA Corps. A firm believer in contributing to the community, LT Estela volunteers as a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program during his free time.
LT Estela is a qualified Officer of the Deck and proficient in a wide range of scientific sampling operations from his experience aboard NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow. During this tour he was the navigation and medical officer. He is in the process of applying for a USCG National 3rd Mate Unlimited license and Dynamic Positioning System Operator certificate with the Nautical Institute to further strengthen his maritime skills and expertise. Recognition for his outstanding performance includes a NOAA Corps Commendation Medal, Public Health Service Citation Medal, (4) NOAA Corps Director’s Ribbons, and a NOAA Unit Citation Award.
LT Estela has a diverse background and is rich with experiences. LT Estela became a first generation college graduate with B.S. in Natural Sciences from the University of Puerto Rico. During college, he spent time abroad in Europe and Central America. For two summers, he conducted field work in Sierra Las Minas, Guatemala in collaboration with the Ohio State University. In 2008, he participated in one year international exchange program with the University Autonomous of Madrid, Spain. Upon graduation, he was also fortunate to spend time as an Agroforester for the Peace Corps in Senegal and in Puerto Rico working in the ecotourism industry as a lead water sports guide leading up to his Commission in the NOAA Corps, these experiences led him to develop cultural awareness, comprehension of four languages, flexibility, creativity, public speaking, and leadership.