Wait, did I just become a commodore?

From Wikipedia…

Traditionally, “commodore” is the title for any officer assigned to command more than one ship at a time, even temporarily, much as “captain” is the traditional title for the commanding officer of a single ship even if the officer’s official title in the service is a lower rank. As an official rank, a commodore typically commands a flotilla or squadron of ships as part of a larger task force or naval fleet commanded by an admiral.

If you’ve not been following me along on either Twitter or Instagram, you may not be aware of my great news.  As of July 1st and a rather eventful drive, I am now the presiding director for the Louisiana University Marine Consortium (LUMCON).  LUMCON is both a collaborative network for marine science among Louisiana universities and colleges and an oceanographic laboratory on the southern Louisiana coast.

Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 10.12.22 AMThe W. J. DeFelice Marine Center is located in Cocodrie, Louisiana, approximately 85 miles southwest of New Orleans.  You know that part of the map of southern Louisiana where you’re not sure is water or land? The DeFelice Marine Center is located in the part of Louisiana…outside the seawall.


RV Acadiana


RV Pelican

Part of my responsibilities in my new position is overseeing our fleet of vessels.  The two largest vessels are the 116’ RV Pelican, aptly named the “Workhorse of the Gulf”, and the 58’ RV Acadiana.  LUMCON’s fleets also includes several small boats ranging from a 38’ catamaran to a 14′ Jo Boat lovingly named the RV Swamp Thing.  And then there is fan boat, because Lousiana, the RV Marsh Bug.  Fan boat! Have I mentioned yet how much I love my new position?

RV Marsh Bug

RV Marsh Bug

So technically since I am the Director and I oversee this fleet of vessels, does that make me a commodore?  Joking aside, the ships are amazing platforms for all kinds of amazing science throughout the Gulf of Mexico.  This is largely due to the amazing captains and crews that operate these ships and I am honored to be now be working with them.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (http://deepseanews.com/), a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.

2 Replies to “Wait, did I just become a commodore?”

  1. Hi Craig,
    congratulations! I have a soft spot in my heart for LUMCON and the PELICAN from the time I did research there way back when. I wish you all the success at your new position! All the best,

  2. Hey, I thought you were just a youngster and was wondering what the hell you were doing. But then, I saw your picture, and see that your beard is gray, so looks like you are fully qualified!

    Have fun, Craig, Leading a marine lab can be exhilarating, but also a royal pain (I speak from experience!), But mostly you get to enjoy the science of others as well as that little you might get to do yourself.

    Best of luck in this new endeavour!

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