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Meet the Photographers

Meet the Photographers -  Edward Budd Christman

Picture of Edward Budd Christman with a seal

Captain Christman transferred into the NOAA Corps in October, 1976, and was assigned to the NOAA Ship SURVEYOR based in Seattle, Washington. He served as Deck Officer and Chief Helicopter Pilot aboard the ship until 1980. Much of this time was in support of environmental assessment in Alaska including marine mammal studies of ice and harbor seals, sea lion rookeries, and walrus populations. In 1980, he was reassigned to NOAA's Aircraft Operations Center and continued flying in Alaska supporting seismic studies, polar bear habitats, beluga whale migration, ice pack movement and under-ice currents. Several of the studies made in the early Eighties provided a baseline as he returned to Alaska in 1987 to support NOAA's efforts in the response to the EXXON VALDEZ grounding.

Captain Christman relates, "Growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y., Alaska was just a place on the map, a million miles away. Having the opportunity to fly there, especially considering the hands-on marine mammal and polar bear programs was a once in a lifetime experience. It's hard to describe seeing the ocean end and the ice pack begin. The first few times I landed to tag a seal pup, I simply couldn't comprehend that I was actually standing in the middle of the ocean on a sheet of ice only 2 feet thick."

In addition to his flying assignments, Captain Christman worked in NOAA's Office of Budget and Finance; in 1992, he received a Department of Commerce Fellowship and was assigned to the staff of Congressman Leon Panetta, then Chairman of the House Budget Committee. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from West Texas University and an MBA degree from Florida International University. Before his retirement in 1999, Captain Christman was assigned as Chief, Career Development Division for the NOAA Corps.

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September 30, 2009