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|Birth name||Pamela Chelgren|
Annapolis, Maryland, United States
|Years of service||1972–1995|
|Alma mater||University of California Berkeley|
Pamela Chelgren-Koterba (née Chelgren; born 1950) is a former officer of the United States' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Commissioned Officer Corps. The daughter of a career naval officer, she was the first woman to receive a commission in the history of the NOAA Corps and, in 1977, was appointed to what was then the highest shipboard posting ever held by a woman in the Uniformed Services of the United States.
Early life and education
Pamela Chelgren-Koterba was born in 1950 in Annapolis, Maryland, and raised at various locations in the United States. She was the third of seven children of Captain John Chelgren, a career U.S. Navy officer who served as the technical director of the anti-air warfare ship acquisition project (1969–1972), and Ruth Henderson, an opera singer.
As a child she learned piano and flute and excelled at mathematics; while attending high school in 1967 in Bremerton, Washington, she was selected to attend the competitive summer mathematics institute at Western Washington State College. She finished her high school studies in Point Mugu, California and enrolled as an undergraduate at the University of California at Berkeley studying bioengineering, from which she later also received a master's degree. At Berkeley, she worked at the Space Sciences Laboratory, where she was responsible for checking data tapes for the OGO 5 satellite.
In 1972, Chelgren joined the NOAA Corps and completed the NOAA Basic Officer Training Course in Kings Point, New York, thereafter being commissioned an ensign, the first woman to receive an officer commission in the service's history. At the time of joining the NOAA Corps, she was unaware there were no women members. In an interview, she stated that – while she agreed with the elimination of discrimination against women in the workplace – she did not belong to any women's liberation organizations and felt that "some of the real radicals seem to hate men, and I don't go along with that".
In October 1977, Chelgren – then a lieutenant – was made operations officer aboard the 162-foot (49 m) hydrographic survey ship NOAAS Peirce, what was then the highest shipboard posting ever held by a woman in any of the Uniformed Services of the United States.
In May 1995 Chelgren-Koterba retired at the rank of commander. She later went to work as a planning officer for the Washington State Maritime Cooperative, a hybrid public-private organization coordinating oil spill response in Washington state.
- Lillywhite, Harvey; Licht, Paul; Chelgren, Pamela (1973). "The Role of Behavioral Thermoregulation in the Growth Energetics of the Toad, Bufo Boreas". Ecology. 54 (2): 375–383. doi:10.2307/1934345. JSTOR 1934345.
- Hankins, Paul; Knutsen, Gregg; Chelgren-Koterba, Pamela (March 2001). "Alyeska Pipeline Service Company's Response Training Program". International Oil Spill Conference Proceedings. 2001: 65–71. doi:10.7901/2169-3358-2001-1-65.
- Vivien Crea – first woman to attain flag rank in the U.S. Coast Guard
- Alene Duerk – first woman to attain flag rank in the U.S. Navy
- Evelyn J. Fields – first woman to attain flag rank in the U.S. NOAA Corps
- NOAA. U.S. Department of Commerce. 1972. pp. 26–28.
- "John Chelgren". Kitsap Sun. June 6, 2000. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
- "Women in the NOAA Corps". Women in Action. U.S. Civil Service Commission. 1977. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
- Dictionary of Women Worldwide: 25,000 Women Through the Ages. Gale Research. 2006. ISBN 0787675857.
- "A Woman First". Cumberland News. July 7, 1972. Retrieved May 15, 2020 – via newspapers.com. (subscription required)
- "Making Waves: Notable Women in Ocean Science". National Ocean Service. NOAA. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
- "About". marexps.com. Washington State Maritime Cooperative. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
- WSMC Oil Spill Contingency Plan December 2013 Version Transmittal of Revision, Change # 6. Seattle: Washington State Maritime Cooperative. 2013.
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