Cherokee Nation Strategic Programs Team Honored for Deepwater Exploration Guide

Cherokee Nation Strategic Programs employees have been honored by the NOAA for their dedication in helping explore and better understand the ocean. This coral image appeared on the NOAA’s Facebook page for coral week in December. (Courtesy NOAA/Facebook)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research is honoring a team of Cherokee Nation Strategic Programs employees for their dedication in helping explore and better understand the ocean.

CNSP employees Shannon Hoy, Samuel Candio, Elizabeth Lobecker and Derek Sowers authored the first NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration Deepwater Exploration Mapping Procedures Manual.

In a formal letter of recognition, Chief Rachel Medley of the OER’s Expedition and Exploration Division highlighted the team’s “extraordinary effort, initiative, and dedication” and noted the significance of their accomplishments, as well as the project’s role in helping guide ocean mapping initiatives and deepwater exploring “for many years to come.”

According to Medley, the manual is the first of its kind and represents years of accumulated knowledge, best practices and procedures through expeditions conducted on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer.

“Currently, only 15% of the world’s oceans are considered mapped to modern high-resolution standards,” said John “JC” Coffey, executive director of unmanned systems for Cherokee Federal. “With ocean mapping receiving a high degree of global focus, and initiatives such as Seabed2030 aiming to map the entire ocean floor by 2030, we’re honored to join NOAA in this very timely effort and are very proud to see our team recognized for their important contributions.”

The NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research is the only federal organization dedicated to exploring the global ocean. OER works with partners to explore the ocean to make discoveries of scientific, economic and cultural value; support innovations in exploration tools and capabilities; and encourage the next generation of ocean explorers, scientists and engineers to pursue careers in ocean exploration and related fields.

From intelligence and cybersecurity to vulnerability assessment and mission assurance, Cherokee Nation Strategic Programs delivers best-value solutions. Building on a reputation as a dedicated, disciplined and tightly knit organization, the tribally owned company supports the Department of Defense, NOAA and other government clients in the execution of critical, strategic and operational programs. CNSP is headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is part of Cherokee Federal, a team of companies that serve federal agencies globally.