Boy Scout Badge Day at NOAA by linzhengnd


									                                                                                      Volume 1, Issue 4 • July 2008

       Highlighting the
    achievements of NOAA
   people around the world                Boy Scout Badge Day at NOAA
                                       Caren Madsen, NOAA Office of Communications
        In This Issue
Meet Claire Fackler ………….…….. 2

Q&A with Dr. Carol Auer……..…… 3

New International Partnerships….. 4

Satellites Help Fight Wildfires…… 6

NOAA Launches New
Economics Web Site
Julie Bedford, NOAA Office of

     From quantifying the economic
benefits to the aviation industry by
improving satellite imagers and
sounders, to detailing the costs of
erosion from past hurricanes,
NOAA’s new Economics Web site
provides hundreds of examples of
how NOAA’s science brings value
to the American people.
     NOAA's National Climatic Data
Center partnered with NOAA's            Boy Scouts fashion their own anemometers as part of their Weather badge
Office of Program Planning and          requirements. Photo credit: Caren Madsen.
Integration to develop this new
Web site highlighting the economic         Be prepared. The message is simple. The motto has been used by the Boy
aspects of NOAA’s products and         Scouts since 1907, was later adopted by the Girl Scouts, and is an important part
services.                              of NOAA’s ongoing message to the public when extreme weather is predicted.
     “We often hear that NOAA               As 17 Boy Scout troops prepared to visit NOAA’s Silver Spring campus in
impacts most everyone each             mid-June to work on a weather merit badge, a tornado struck an 1,800-acre Boy
day. This Web site gives hundreds      Scout camp in Iowa, killing four and injuring dozens of the almost 100 present. In
of examples of exactly how big that    press stories, survivors told of using their Boy Scout emergency preparedness
impact is. We hope it will provide     and First Aid training to help out in the crisis.
people with a new understanding             “When we planned the badge program for the Boy Scouts, we had no idea
and appreciation for the benefits of   we would be presenting this in the wake of such a tragic loss for the boys,” said
NOAA’s products and services,”         Susan Buchanan of the NOAA Communications Office, who led the program and
said NCDC’s Adam Smith, who led        is active in Scouting with her 13-year-old son. “For the boys who visited our
the project’s development across       Silver Spring campus, they lost Boy Scout brothers that week.”

               (continued on page 8)                                                                  (continued on page 7)
                                 NOAA WORLD                               Volume 1, Issue 4 • July 2008              Page 2

  NOAA WORLD                     A Passion for the Ocean Leads to Life Work and
The NOAA WORLD newsletter
 is published monthly by the
                                 From an island girl exploring tide pools to an amateur photographer who documents the
        NOAA Office of           underwater world of America’s ocean and coastal treasures.
   Additional stories, news,     Claire J. Fackler, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, NOAA National Ocean Service
   photos, videos and other
    information resources,
    continuously updated,             I have always been fascinated with the ocean and marine life. This stemmed from
     can be found at the         being born and raised in the Hawaiian Islands, and as a little girl, investigating tide
   NOAA WORLD website:           pools and strapping on a mask and snorkel to observe life in the sea. Throughout my          childhood, I was absorbed by nature. It was quite easy, considering I grew up without
                                 electricity for ten years on the slopes of Mauna Kea and wasn’t distracted by television
We welcome your comments         or video games. Through these childhood experiences, my passion for the ocean and
  and suggestions to make        the environment grew.
NOAA WORLD more useful.               During my high school years in Hawaii, I had an opportunity to assist with research
 Please email our editors at     on threatened Hawaiian green sea
                                 turtles conducted by George
                                 Balazs of NOAA Fisheries.
    Managing Editors             Working with sea turtles, as well as
       Jeffrey Donald            with pinniped (seals and sea lions)
        Janet Ward               rehabilitation in California and other
                                 exciting projects provided valuable
    Line Office Editors          field experience and fueled my
                                 ambition to promote ocean
    NOAA Satellite and           conservation. Working with marine
    Information Service          life had a profound impact on my
        John Leslie              future, although I hadn’t realized it
                                 until a few years after college when
 NOAA Fisheries Service          I started as a volunteer for the
 Capt. Michael S. Gallagher      Channel Islands National Marine
      Edward Gorecki             Sanctuary in California.
                                      I graduated with a bachelor of
       NOAA National             arts degree in psychology from the
       Ocean Service             University of California, Santa
      Katherine Nielsen                                                                  Claire J. Fackler
                                 Barbara, which is quite an
                                 unconventional degree for                       Photo courtesy, Claire J. Fackler.
      NOAA National              someone working for our country’s
      Weather Service            leading oceanic and atmospheric agency. Yet this passion I have always had for the
        John Skoda               ocean allowed me the opportunity to work for NOAA. Anything is possible as long as
                                 you have the passion and diligence. This is an important message I often impart to the
     NOAA Research               school children with whom I work.
    Barry Reichenbaugh                Since 1999, I have been working for NOAA’s National Ocean Service, and I am
                                 currently a National Education Liaison for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. I
  NOAA Office of Marine          work with various partners, such as the National Geographic Society and the Institute
 and Aviation Operations         for Exploration, on national and regional educational programs that enhance public
    Jeanne Kouhestani            awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the marine environment.
                                      My interests in photography and in telling stories through compelling images
      NOAA Office of              expanded during a six-month trip around the world when I began photo documenting
        Education                my personal experiences to share with friends and family. Then armed with my first
      Robert Hansen              off-the-shelf underwater capable camera and continued positive reinforcement, I was
                                 able to expand my photography to capture the beauty of many of America’s
      NOAA WORLD                 underwater treasures -- our national marine sanctuaries.
    Design/Web Master                 Despite taking pictures with an ordinary point and shoot camera, many of my
        Janet Ward               pictures have been published widely, from The Ocean Conservancy Magazine to
       Julie Bedford                                                                                   (continued on page 3)
                                 NOAA WORLD                               Volume 1, Issue 4 • July 2008               Page 3

(continued from page 2)

National Geographic Society’s Strange
Days on Planet Earth. Anyone interested
in photography as a hobby should know
that you can certainly get good results
with low cost equipment, and as the
technology evolves, your results will
    As an avid diver who spends time
underwater for work and for fun, I have
captured images ranging from playful sea
lions in the kelp forests of the Channel
Islands to basking green sea turtles in
Hawaii. During a 28-day research trip to
the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in
summer 2006, I witnessed first-hand the
human impacts on the marine life and sea
birds of these remote, uninhabited atolls
and islands. As a result, I now am
committed not only to share images of the
splendor and magnificence of the ocean
world, but also of the tragic impacts
humans are having on our blue planet.     This photo of a colorful anemone from NOAA’s Channel Islands Marine
                                           Sanctuary is just one of Claire’s beautiful photos that are showcased on the
                                           NOAA WORLD web site. Photo credit: Claire Fackler.
                                           Visit for the full story.

Interview with a Scientist from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
Bud Ward, NOAA National Ocean Service

This interview with Dr. Carol Auer, NCCOS Oceanographer, focused on her project
titled “Ecological Effects of Sea-Level Rise.” The interview was completed in April 2007.
    Carol Auer is an oceanographer for the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science’s
Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research (NCCOS/CSCOR) in Silver Spring, Md. Much
of Carol’s current work focuses on managing a scientific research program called “The
Ecological Effects of Sea-Level Rise.” This research seeks to improve capabilities to predict
                       future water levels and effects of predicted sea-level rise and extreme
                       storm events on the coastal ecology. One goal of the pilot project,
                       located in North Carolina, is to develop mapping and modeling tools to
                       help coastal managers plan for the future. Carol speaks enthusiastically
                       of this project, which builds on her earlier work on tidal analysis, and
                       capitalizes on the professional bonds she established throughout her           Dr. Carol Auer
                       career with numerous NOAA offices.                                           Photo credit: NOAA

                         Q: Do you feel a personal sense of urgency for the work you are doing now, given the
                         increased attention on potential sea-level rise?
                         Dr. Auer: I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis, Md. My dad grew up on a small
island in Virginia -- one of two in the Chesapeake Bay that continues to have a resident human population. His father
made his living on the water as an oyster fisherman -- running a classic Chesapeake Bay skipjack out of Tangier Island.
Only two meters above mean sea level at its highest point, Tangier Island is
                                                                                                        (continued on page 6)
                                 NOAA WORLD                                Volume 1, Issue 4 • July 2008             Page 4

NOAA Takes-A-Kid-Fishing                                            As an American pastime, angling generates more than
                                                               $30 billion in economic impact and provides over 350,000
                                                               jobs. Take-A-Kid-Fishing continues to introduce young
Christopher Hayes                                              people to a great American tradition.
Knauss Fellow, NOAA Fisheries Service

     On June 2, approximately 350 elementary and middle
school students from the Washington, DC area converged
on Constitution Gardens, a pond on the National Mall, to
participate in the annual Take-A-Kid-Fishing event.
     Take-A-Kid-Fishing is a free event designed to
introduce area youth to the joys of fishing. The
                                 students learned to cast,
                                 tie a hook, and bait the
                                 hook. While the day was a
                                 bit short on actual fish,
                                 there was plenty of
                                 enthusiasm and sunshine.
                                 NOAA Fisheries Service’s
                                 Partnerships and
                                 Communications Division
                                 coordinated the event with
                                 the Department of the
                                 Interior, DC Fisheries
                                 Program, and the
                                 non-profit Recreational       Forbes Darby of NOAA Fisheries Service, Partnerships and
Boating and Fishing Foundation.                                Communications Division teaches a student to tie a hook.
                                                               Photo Credit: Christopher Hayes, NOAA Fisheries Service.

NOAA Science Gets a Boost from                                on Cooperation in Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences with
                                                              Ifremer (“French Research Institute for Exploitation of the
New International Partnerships                                Sea"). Ifremer coordinates bilateral partnership agreements
                                                              with Japan, the United States, Canada, Australia, and
Daniel Parry, Office of Communications                        European countries related to international research studies
NOAA Research                                                 on climate, environment, and biodiversity. The current MOU
                                                              emphasizes cooperation in coastal and marine resource
    NOAA Under Secretary Conrad Lautenbacher, Jr.             management, climate science and ocean observation
recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU)           systems, and ocean exploration. This agreement built on
                                                              links NOAA and Ifremer developed by holding a joint High-
                                                              Level Ocean Science Workshop at Ifremer in 2006. Specific
                                                              projects to be developed under the new MOU will be defined
                                                              during a workshop to be held in 2009 in the United States.
                                                                   In addition, Richard W. Spinrad, assistant administrator,
                                                              NOAA Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, and Toshihiko
                                                              Chiba, director, Washington D.C. Office of Japan Agency for
                                                              Marine-Earth Science and Technology met at NOAA’s Silver
                                                              Spring office to formalize a joint MOU signed in Japan earlier
                                                              this month by JAMSTEC President Yasuhiro Kato. This
                                                              MOU establishes a framework encouraging joint activities
                                                              related to ocean and climate research and technology
                                                                   “This agreement helps to increase the benefits and ef-
                                                              fectiveness of mutual programs related to ocean and
                                                              climate,” said Spinrad. “By expanding collaboration among
                                                              scientists, our agencies are equipped to reciprocate facility
Dr. Spinrad, with JAMSTEC representative Toshihiko            and cost sharing and technical data vital to the advancement
Chiba, formalize an MOU beneficial to marine science and
technology development between the two agencies.                                                       (continued on page 8)
 Photo credit: NOAA.
                                  NOAA WORLD                                 Volume 1, Issue 4 • July 2008                Page 5

NOAA Honors Vision to Create Mauna                                NOAA BIG Awards Students who will
Loa Observatory                                                   ‘Shape the Future’
Jana Goldman, Office of Communications                            Othel Freeman, NOAA BIG, NOAA National Ocean Service

NOAA Research

     Dr. Robert Simpson thought 60 years ago that the area
around Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano would make an
“incomparable natural laboratory.” He was honored for that
vision with NOAA’s Environmental Hero Award for Longtime
Achievement during a July 2 ceremony in the NOAA Library
in Silver Spring, Md.

                                                                  Barbara Tobe, Colleen Payne, Jonmarc Winfield, Irene
                                                                  Val-Addo, and Othel Freeman. Photo credit: Anthony
                                                                       The NOAA Chapter of Blacks in Government recently
                                                                  hosted a ceremony to honor 2008 scholarship award win-
                                                                  ners. This year’s event hosted entrepreneurs, a former
                                                                  recipient, the parents of the present recipients, NOAA
                                                                  employees, and a host of other supporters.
                                                                       This year’s award winners are Irene Val-Addo and
                                                                  Jonmarc Winfield. Irene will attend the University of Mary-
                                                                  land and plans to major in Biochemistry. Jonmarc is go-
                                                                  ing to Virginia Tech to major in Mechanical Engineering.
                                                                  Both students gave speeches and shared with the audi-
                                                                  ence their career goals and gratitude for receiving the
                                                                       Ms. Othel Freeman, President, NOAA Chapter BIG,
         Dr. Richard Spinrad and Dr. Robert Simpson.              opened the program with a warm welcome and words of
                      Photo credit: NOAA.                         encouragement to the students. The program’s theme,
                                                                  “Shape the Future,” emphasized to young scholars how
                                                                  to broaden their horizons through areas in academia.
     Dr. Simpson, whose name is more familiar as                       A former recipient, Alexis Tobe, challenged the stu-
co-creator of the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, was joined      dents to learn to their full potential and to strive to achieve
at the ceremony by his wife, Dr. Joanne Simpson -- also a         their dreams.
meteorologist -- and daughters Lynn Gramzow and Peggy                  Guest Speaker Colleen Payne, President and CEO of
Simpson.                                                          Universal Adaptive Consulting Services, spoke about her
     The award was presented by Dr. Richard Spinrad,              experiences as an entrepreneur and her lessons on
Assistant Administrator for NOAA Research.                        success.
     “I don’t need to overemphasize just how important the             Michael Washington, a former NOAA meteorologist,
idea, the concept, and then the manifestation of that             gave a musical performance.
concept in terms of the development of the Mauna Loa                   NOAA BIG scholarships are given out annually,
Observatory truly are,” Dr. Spinrad said. “We are                 primarily to the children of NOAA employees. NOAA BIG
extraordinarily dedicated to you, sir, for your foresight, your   has given more than $46,000 over the years through the
vision, and for making that happen.”                              continued generosity of NOAA employees and the com-
     Following the award presentation, Dr. Simpson talked         munity via the Combined Federal Campaign funds.
about his memories of Mauna Loa and the creativity needed              The criteria for applying for a scholarship include
to start something extraordinarily new in such a remote           maintaining a 3.0 grade point average, demonstrating
location.                                                         leadership skills and participating in community outreach.
                                          (continued on page 8)
                                    NOAA WORLD                                Volume 1, Issue 4 • July 2008             Page 6

Auer                                                                  NOAA Satellites Help in Effort to
(continued from page 3)                                               Fight Wildfires
vulnerable to both sea-level rise and land subsidence threat-         John Leslie, NOAA Office of Communications
ening its very existence.
      When I was a little girl, I went there all the time. I always         The 2008 wildfire season is off to a brutal start,
felt that the Chesapeake Bay was my heritage as the                    with almost three million acres torched in the United
daughter and granddaughter of Chesapeake Bay watermen.                 States through July 9. California has been hardest hit
                                                                       from fires, triggered in most cases by lightning strikes
     Q: How does your earlier career work with NOAA tie                throughout the parched landscape.
into the sea-level rise project you are working on now?                     January – June 2008 ranks third behind the same
     Dr. Auer: Starting in the 1970s, when I was at the Center         period for 2006 and 2002 in the amount of burnt
for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services                    acreage, according to the National Interagency Fire
 (CO-OPS), my colleagues and I completed work analyzing                Center (NIFC).
water level and coastal current oceanographic products, such                From space, NOAA geostationary and
as measuring and predicting tides throughout the nation. We            polar-orbiting satellites are critical in detecting and
also measured storms and hurricane changes in water levels.            monitoring the movement of these blazes, providing
     This project brings together people I worked with through-        invaluable information to firefighters on the ground.
out my whole career in NOAA, and the work we have been                 Each day, NOAA’s spacecraft provide 200 images of
doing with tide and bathymetric data over the years.                   the fires, pinpointing their current location and size.
It validates our gathering of these hourly data from the                    At the new NOAA Satellite Operations Facility in
beginning, when we were working with mainframe computers               Suitland, Md., data and images of the wildfires are
and punch cards. I remember the first time I saw a tide curve          captured from the spacecraft and are used to develop
being printed. I was just amazed to see 1 day of water level           fire weather forecasts.
information displayed visually rather than as numerical data!               NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS), the
                                                                       U.S. Forest Service, the Environmental Protection
     Q: You mentioned working with primitive computer                  Agency and state and local land and air quality manag-
technologies at the beginning of your career. What                     ers use fire and smoke products produced by NOAA’s
current technologies support your work on sea-level                    Satellite and Information Service.
rise?                                                                       “Satellite detection of fires and hotspots provides
     Dr. Auer: The power of the modern computer is amazing.            valuable information about the location of emerging fire
In the North Carolina Sea-level Rise Project, the final product        problems,” said Heath Hockenberry, a fire weather
is a landscape model focused at the mid-range and                      program leader at NIFC.
long-range, temporal and spatial scales for a watershed in                  “These satellite images are pivotal to the onsite
eastern North Carolina. Through this model, users can                  fire weather meteorologist, because it keeps them
explore the hydrodynamics and wetland interactions in this             aware of new fire locations and points out the potential
estuarine area that are projected to occur in the next 10 to           problem areas for others,” said NOAA’s George
100 years. The model includes morphological, biological,               Serafino. “In a real sense, the satellites are helping
hydrodynamic, and landscape change sub-modules, all                    government officials stay ahead of emerging fires,
interacting with each other to predict coastal habitat change.         allowing them time to position resources to the best
Horizontal resolution at 500 meters, five centimeters of               areas.”
vertical resolution, time frame is 100 years, and a time step of            Along with satellite coverage, part of NOAA’s
one day. We have the advantage of being involved with the              operational fire and smoke program includes the
Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI), which will tremen-            Hazard Mapping System (HMS), which spots the wild-
dously increase computational power through the use of high            fires and tracks the smoke. The HMS uses NOAA and
performance computing.                                                 NASA satellites to follow smoke from all wildfires burn-
                                                                       ing throughout North America and highlights the fires
                                                                       emitting the most smoke.
                                                                            A small team of meteorologists at the World
                                                                       Weather Building, in Camp Springs, Md., monitor
                                                                       swirling smoke plumes. They use the satellite imagery
        To read more of our interview with Dr. Auer visit              to identify the thickest areas of smoke, which can
                  NOAA WORLD online at:                                travel thousands of miles from the source fire. Using         the HMS, data is provided to air quality forecast
                                                                       models that will provide guidance to users throughout
                                                                                                          (continued on page 7)
                                  NOAA WORLD                                 Volume 1, Issue 4 • July 2008              Page 7

Be Prepared                                             Wildfires
(continued from page 1)                                 (continued from page 6)

     Weather safety and preparedness were two of        the country for the ensuing 48 hours.
several topics the Scouts learned about in meeting           “The smoke from these fires can be extremely harmful to air
their weather merit badge requirements. The             quality, which is a real threat to health and public safety,” said Mark
weather merit badge dates back to 1927. Other           Ruminski, a fire team lead with NOAA’s Satellite and Information
topics included an introduction to weather, clouds,     Service.
the water cycle, precipitation, acid rain, and              The HMS was created in 2001, three years after smoke from
                          weather forecasting.          Mexican fires blanketed the southern United States. That episode
                          As the Scouts moved from      prompted the NWS’ Storm Prediction Center to request integrated
                          station to station            satellite imagery and automated fire detection into a daily fire and
                          throughout the building,      smoke product.
                          they learned the causes of        “Our job is to closely track the smoke from fires, and develop
                          high and low pressure, the    products that help everyone on the ground know where the fires
                          difference between warm       are and where the potentially damaging smoke is headed,”
                          and cold fronts, as well as   Ruminski added.
                          what causes wind,
                          lightning, and hail. There
were also hands-on activities in which they had the
opportunity to build simple weather instruments,
such as rain gauges and anemometers, which they
would later use to take weather observations as
part of the merit badge requirements. At the end of
the day, each Scout received a certificate of
completion along with a list of requirements they
needed to meet in order to earn their badges.
     In addition to the learning stations, the Scouts
attended a career panel in which they learned
about different types of jobs in meteorology. The
panel included Chris Strong, warning coordination
meteorologist at Sterling, VA, Bill Blackmore, from
the NWS Upper Air Radiosonde Program, and Joe
Witte, a broadcast meteorologist from WJLA-TV in
Washington, DC. They were also treated to a bit of
weather "edutainment" in the form of the
interactive games "Leon Lightning" (which teaches
lightning safety) and "Weather Jeopardy" (which
focused on material learned throughout the day).
     The weather merit badge program at NOAA                            HMS fire product showing fire analysis.
had been in the making for five weeks prior to the             Available at:
Iowa tragedy and may become a model for a
national program based on the success of the
June event. A plan is also underway for Girl Scout        Visit NOAA World online at
troops from the Silver Spring area to visit NOAA in               for additional stories such as these:
the fall of 2008 to work on merit badges related to
weather and the environment.                            • Award-winning year for NOAA publications
                                                        • NOAA Launches PORTS® at Gulfport
                                                        • NOAA and Mexico Celebrate World Hydrology Day
                                                        • NOAA Ships Rescue 5
                                                        • NOAA Restores Louisiana Coastline
                                                        • Lubbock NWS Office Helps Make-A-Wish
                                                        • ESRL Scientists Win Award for Protecting Ozone Layer
                                 NOAA WORLD                               Volume 1, Issue 4 • July 2008              Page 8

Economics Web Site                                                               MOU
(continued from page 1)                                                          (continued from page 4)

     The economic information highlighted on the Web site was collected
from more than 150 sources of peer-reviewed literature and is organized by       of marine science.”
NOAA mission goal. Each goal is further broken down to provide information            Collaborative research on tsunami
based on data users, environmental extreme events and NOAA observing             detection and warning, global climate
systems.                                                                         modeling, effects of greenhouse gases,
     The Web site, intended for a general audience, provides a clear, concise    the TRIangle Trans-Ocean buoy Network
explanation of NOAA's value to society in easy to understand language. The       (TRITON) and work performed at the
recently updated "Economic Statistics for NOAA" booklet can also be ac-          Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
cessed through the new site.                                                     contributing to the Indian Ocean
     “NOAA's PPI, NCDC and others have been working over the last two            Observing System (IndOOS), are all
years to develop this project,” said NCDC’s Jesse Enloe, the project’s web       possible through this new cooperative
developer.                                                                       agreement. Research results developed
     “One of the great challenges will be to keep the socioeconomic              under this MOU can be made available
 information on the Web site up-to-date and relevant by keeping track of new     to scientists as part of a joint
activities and advances made by NOAA,” said Rodney F. Weiher, NOAA               commitment towards broader dissemina-
chief economist.                                                                 tion of information to the scientific
     To accomplish this, the team added “submit content” links throughout the    community.
Web Site, in which NOAA personnel are encouraged to use in suggesting                 U.S. and Japan delegations met in
edits or providing new information.                                              Colorado, June 30 - July 2, at the 12th
     The team hopes the information in the new site will illuminate everything   U.S.-Japan Workshop on Global Change
from presentations at conferences to conversations at cocktail parties as        to discuss in-depth collaborative
people seek to highlight the many ways NOAA benefits the public.                 activities with an emphasis on climate
                                                                                 outlook as it relates to combined human-
                                                                                 activity and natural occurring events con-
 Visit the NOAA Economics web site at:            tributing to greenhouse gases.

Dr. Simpson
(continued from page 5)

    He described the process as a “unique example of what can be motivated and achieved through constructive
cooperation -- scientific cooperation.”
    During his presentation, Dr. Simpson characterized his experience with Mauna Loa as “an encounter that will ever
remain a glittering diamond in the memories of my explorations of meteorology.”
    What began in a small building has grown to the Mauna Loa Observatory campus that includes a variety of
structures dedicated to monitoring and observing our planet.
    The Mauna Loa Observatory is best known for the continuous measurement of carbon dioxide known as the
“Keeling Curve,” which shows a steady increase in the greenhouse gas since the early 1950s.
    Dr. Simpson was nominated for the award by Russ Schnell, director of NOAA’s observatory program. The NOAA
Environmental Hero Longtime Achievement Award honors individuals or organizations that have had a longtime impact
on NOAA.
    “Last year, we celebrated 50 years of science and service at Mauna Loa, so it is appropriate that we now honor the
person who came up with the idea for an observatory at that site,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad
Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, in a press
release announcing the award.
    During the presentation, a photo of the 1957 dedication ceremony of the original, small building was shown, and
NOAA staff tried to identify Dr. Simpson among the faces. “Oh, that’s me in the safari helmet,” Dr. Simpson replied when
asked by a staffer to identify himself. The individual in the safari helmet had his back turned to the camera. “No wonder
we had trouble identifying you,” the staffer said.

Congratulations to July’s Employee of the Month,              Kurt Kier, from NOAA Marine & Aviation Operations
and to NOAA Ocean Service’s Theresa Goedeke, July’s Team Member of the Month! For more about Kurt and
Theresa, visit NOAA WORLD online at:

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