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cadet blogs

Corrosion Research on the USS Arizona

(Academics, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Williamson Photo December 7th, 2016, marked the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the sinking of the USS Arizona. For the occasion, members of the Coast Guard Academy’s corrosion research team (including myself) were invited to Hawaii by the U.S. National Park Service to present research about the corrosion of the Arizona. We were also given the opportunity to dive on the ship to appreciate the Americans who died there and to view the physical condition of the structure.

 

The Arizona is the gravesite for over 1,000 sailors and marines who died on December 7th, 1941 from the attack. The mighty battleship rests on the bottom of Pearl Harbor as a memorial to the sacrifice of these Americans in service to their country. Along with the crew, the USS Arizona took hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil trapped within the hull to the bottom of the harbor. Since the attack (and to this day) leaking oil has been observed from the ship. Since oil in the water is an environmental concern, the U.S. National Park Service has been conducting research to understand the rate of oil leakage and if there are any factors that may impact the long term structural integrity. One of the greatest areas for concern is corrosion, which it the degradation of a material due to chemical reactions with the environment. Corrosion has slowly been eating away the ship since is became submerged. As corrosion wares away the metal, the rate of oil leakage could increase. As a result, on January 23rd, 2015, the U.S. National Park Service gave the Coast Guard Academy custody of hull and rivet samples from the Arizona to conduct corrosion research on.

 

Since given the samples, 1/c Azzari, 1/c Naylor, and I have been working to understand more about the corrosion of this vessel. Along with the guidance and help of Captain Sanders and LCDR Crettol, our corrosion team has conducted many meaningful experiments. These tests include looking at long-term environmental exposure corrosion and galvanic interactions between the hull and rivets. Our results directly related to the long term structural integrity of the Arizona, and therefore were important to the National Park Service. Thus, the Academy corrosion team was invited to present this research and also dive on the ship to visually identify the corrosion that has occurred.

 

My experience with both the corrosion research team and the U.S. National Park Service has been amazing and very rewarding. My advisors were extremely knowledgeable and always steered us toward success. They allowed me to struggle through the difficulties of the research, and encouraged me when I felt lost. Additionally, the National Park Service has been extremely welcoming to the Academy, the corrosion team, and me personally. They genuinely wanted to collaborate with us and work toward learning more about corrosion of the Arizona. Specifically, Dr. Dave Conlin, who is chief of the Submerged Resources Center for the U.S. National Park Service, came to talk at the Academy about the Arizona and has consistently provided support to our team. Dr. Conlin is a well-trained diver and has dove on the Arizona many times. With his expertise, he took us on an incredibly meaningful dive on the submerged ship.

 

I am extremely humbled and awestruck by the opportunity afforded to me by the Academy and the National Park Service. Every person I have met and worked with along the way has had an extremely positive impact on my life. After this amazing experience, I only hope to honor the Americans who died by ensuring their sacrifice leads to valuable lessons, both in science and in humanity.

 

More about Cody.

 

Civil Engineering for the Non-Civil Engineer

(Academics, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Kokomoor Photo People expect that the cadets at the Academy have their entire lives planned out; a well-researched sequence of events that will take you from the end of high school until retirement. I can tell you right here and now that that is not necessarily the case. As I dive into my first semester filled with major-specific classes as a Civil Engineer, I am certain that this is not what I imagined for myself as a senior in high school.

 

I chose the Civil Engineering major purely because it sounded cool to me at the time of application. I was open to ideas and I thought, “Hey, I think I could have fun doing that!” And that was it, two and a half years later and I am a Civil Engineer in the making! Spoiler alert: I am absolutely having a blast! I chose the right major and even though it was purely by chance everything seems to have fallen into place this semester. Sure, it’s hard work, but when you get to smash concrete cylinders after a hard day of classes you can’t help but to smile!

 

Long story short, I had doubted myself and my choices up until this point in my studies. The prospective jobs of a Civil Engineer are not always the most glamorous. But I stuck with my gut feeling, just to find out that it was in fact the perfect one for me. Between my professors and my classmates I have never felt more at home here at the Academy and I have never been more eager to go to class to learn about my completely unplanned future and what it has to hold for me!

 

More about Jacklyn.

 

2016: The Year in Review

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Glick Photo This year is one that has been filled with surprises, joys, concerns, and milestones. In January, we began work on preparing for the arrival of the Class of 2020. The spring semester flew by and before we knew it, there were 300 swabs at our doorstep. This summer was excellent, as we trained more swabs than ever with less cadre and resources. This summer I got to see Alaska and the great American west, which was an awesome experience. I went on search and rescue cases, swam with icebergs, and earned my in-port junior officer of the day qualification. This semester I was assigned to the community service logistics division again, and we are in the process of finishing a house for Habitat for Humanity in downtown New London. We are also hoping to sponsor a house in the coming months for the Class of 2018 and beyond to construct.

 

I became very involved in my local United Methodist Church this semester as well. I am taking a 40-week bible study with a group led by our pastor, and I am attending a conference in January for people interested in the ministry. I am also considering pursuing ministry after my commitment to the Coast Guard. One step at a time, however…

 

This semester I also honed my golf game. I spent many hours at the Stonington Country Club golf course, and I found myself a great new hobby to pursue when the weather is fair. Golf is a game where perfection is the standard and effort is the means, but nonetheless I am enjoying my time learning and improving my game.

 

Last month I was selected to serve as the spring Regimental Chief of Staff, which has obstacles of its own that lay ahead. I am looking forward to serving on Regimental Staff again, and graduation will be here before we know it!

 

More about William.