Samuel R. Pecota was appointed Interim Academic Dean in August 2015. After graduation from the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY, in 1980, Sam spent twenty years as a merchant officer, working his way up from 3rd mate to master. He served as captain MV Stuyvesant from 1989-2000.
In 2001 he joined the faculty at the California Maritime Academy in the Department of Marine Transportation and earned an M.A. degree in Transportation Management from American Military University in 2005. Sam has held every faculty position from lecturer to full professor. His specialties are marine electronics and the development of new Maritime Education and Training pedagogies, with special emphasis on practiced-based learning through simulation. He is author of the textbook Radar Observer Manual (6th Ed., 2006) and numerous technical papers on e-Navigation delivered at several international conferences. He served as the Chair of the Marine Transportation Department from 2009-2011. In 2013, Sam became one of two Cal Maritime faculty members awarded the title "Distinguished Professor" for his research and scholarly work. In 2014 he served as Conference Chair of "e-Navigation Underway North America," an international conference dealing with the latest developments in marine navigation equipment and vessel control systems, held on the Cal Maritime campus. In addition to Interim Academic Dean, he also serves as Director of Simulation, and Relief Master of the Training Ship Golden Bear.
Sam lives in Elk Grove with his wife Rose, a graduate of SUNY Stony Brook (Chemistry). They have two sons, Andrew and Quentin, graduates of UC Berkeley (History) and UC Davis (Civil Engineering) respectively.