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					                            NESDIS NOMINATIONS
                              Glenn Kevin Rutledge Group
                                Gold Medal Nomination
                           Scientific/Engineering Achievement
                                         NESDIS
                                      Nomination # 1

The NOMADS Team

List of Nominees:

Glenn Kevin Rutledge
DOC/NOAA/NESDIS
ZP-1301-IV Physical Scientist
 - NOAA Administrator‘s Award

Jordan Charles Alpert
DOC/NOAA/NWS
GS-1340-14 Meteorologist
Previous Major Awards: None

Wesley Nobuo Ebisuzaki (eh-bee-sue-za-key)
DOC/NOAA/NWS
GS-1340-13 Meteorologist
- Gold Medal

Steven Charles Hankin
DOC/NOAA/OAR
GS-1550-14 Computer Scientist
- Technology Transfer Award
- OAR Research Employee of the Year
- NOAA Administrator‘s Award
- Bronze Medal

Ronald Jay Stouffer
DOC/NOAA/OAR
ZP-1301-5 Physical Scientist
- NOAA Administrator‘s Award
- 2002 Gold Group Medal
- 2005 Silver Group Medal




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Keith William Dixon
DOC/NOAA/OAR
ZP-1340-4 Meteorologist
 - 2005 DOC Silver Group Medal
 - NOAA/OAR Employee of the Year

Nominator: Thomas R. Karl, NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC Director

Category: Scientific/Engineering Achievement

What is the significance of this accomplishment?
Improvements to ocean, climate, and weather models require both U.S. and International
partnerships. NOMADS established a global framework to address these complex inter-
disciplinary sciences.

I. Certificate Text
For development of the NOAA Operational Model Archive and Distribution System the first
operational US National climate and weather model archive.

II. Program Booklet Text
The NOAA Operational Model Archive and Distribution System (NOMADS) Team created the
first operational U.S. National atmospheric model archive. Previous to NOMADS the weather
forecasts and climate change predictions generated by NOAA were discarded after use. By
fostering national and international partnerships and through the use of cutting edge technologies,
NOMADS not only retains model output but makes it easy to access the output for scientific
analysis, model improvement, and improved decision making.

III. Justification

Section 1 – Definitions

US-GEO: The White House Office and Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), US Group on
Earth Observations (US-GEO).

Weather and Climate Models: Numerical models which run on super-computers and provide
information about the weather, and past and future climate changes.

Section 2 – Award Justification

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department‘s mission and/or
strategic plan?

DOC/NOAA climate and weather forecasts are crucial to commerce and safety; to seasonal
planning of the Nation‘s agriculture and natural resources; and to our scientific understanding of
climate. Through the NOMADS Team efforts these model output records, previously lost, are now
retained in our National archives. The technological advances of NOMADS made such NOAA
model outputs accessible by a wide range of customers, supporting the DOC goal to advance
understanding and predict changes in the Earth‘s environment to meet America‘s economic, social,
and environmental needs. These contributions directly address the goals of the President‘s Climate
                                                  2
Change Research Initiative; the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; and the US Group on
Earth Observations (US-GEO). Internationally, users include the United Nations Food and
Agriculture Organization, and the World Bank.

What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

Prior to NOMADS the loss of model outputs was regarded as unfortunate but inevitable, due to the
volume and complexity of the data. Through personal initiative, perseverance, many
collaborations, and minimal funding, the NOMADS team overcame many barriers.

What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

The NOMADS Team partnered with national and international groups and implemented promising
but unproven approaches to distributing data on the Internet. This permitted users to extract precise
data from a vast model archive. The NOMADS group added a customer-oriented Web portal and
overcame the risks of applying innovative techniques to address NOAA operational needs.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

NOMADS systems serve 10 million downloads per month-more than 1000 times the typical
servers for weather and climate data. For the first time NOMADS provides specific elements that
give the research community the ability to analyze and improve models. Public use is growing, e.g.
Steve Fossett achieved his world record for the furthest non-stop flight in aviation history thanks,
in part, to NOAA weather technology available from NOMADS that steered him through the
jetstreams.

Section 3 – Additional Information

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

Pilot NOMADS servers were operational in 2003 and by 2006 had tremendous growth and global
recognition.

What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department‘s mission?

The establishment of the first operational U.S. Weather and Climate model data archive.

What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department‘s mission?

The open and distributed communication of weather and climate model output realized in
NOMADS enhances assessment of the models leading to their improvement and use of the model
output in climate change impact studies for decision support. Hailed as a prototype for managing
and providing access to large volume data, NOMADS accelerates progress towards global
integrated data management and demonstrates successful partnership in the Global community and
US-GEO.

                                                  3
Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If so, how?

Key to the success of NOMADS is its capacity for Federal and International Agencies to organize
their distributed information resources into a cohesive presence that is readily usable by public and
private activities in the research, operational, decision support and educational domains. In a letter
to NOAA, Dr. Bryan Lawrence, Director British Atmospheric Data Center (United Kingdom)
states:

‖NOMADS, being led from [NOAA], provides a single point of access to a large number of US
initiatives in data sharing. From an international perspective this is incredibly important, making
it possible for the first time to consider significant international data sharing without an enormous
number of time-consuming and expensive bilateral meetings to address technical and access
issues. From a technical stand point, [the NOMADS Team] has managed to bring together the
key players in the US, and for the first time, [we have] a degree of internal US, and US-Europe
convergence on data access technologies.‖

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or automation? If
so, how?

NOMADS is the first large scale archive and distribution system for climate and weather models.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as customer
service or administrative support? If so, how?

NOMADS access to model data by researchers with subsequent research and model improvements
enables improved weather forecasts and warnings to the general public and provides more accurate
information to decision makers.




                                                  4
                                          Paul S. Chang
                                   Gold Medal Nomination
                              Scientific/Engineering Achievement
                                            NESDIS
                                         Nomination # 2

Nominee
Paul Chang – NESDIS
Physical Scientist, ZP-1301-IV
Past Awards: 1999 Bronze Individual Award

Nominator: Alfred Powell, NESDIS, ORA/STAR Acting Director

Category: Scientific/Engineering Achievement

Significance of accomplishment: Created the first operational algorithms that make viable the
microwave passive polarimeter for application to next-generation ocean surface vector wind
observations.

CERTIFICATE TEXT: For leading the development of ocean wind vector retrievals from
passive polarimetry, enabling successful next-generation operational observations.

PROGRAM BOOKLET TEXT: Paul Chang led the successful development of a method for
obtaining ocean surface wind vectors using satellite passive polarimetry, providing the first
released wind vector retrievals from WindSat, thus showing, for the first time, that a satellite
microwave polarimetric radiometer was capable of retrieving the ocean surface wind vector. The
success of NOAA‘s first operational satellite ocean surface wind vector observations on the next-
generation operational polar-orbiting satellite is directly supported by this development.

JUSTIFICATION

Section 1 – Definitions

NOAA: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NASA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
DoD: Department of Defense
StAR: NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) Center
for Satellite Applications and Research
OSWST: Ocean Surface Winds Science Team
SSM/I: Special Sensor Microwave/Imager
TMI: Tropical Rainfall Microwave Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager
NWS: National Weather Service
NCEP: National Centers for Environmental Prediction




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Section 2 - Award Justification

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission and/or
strategic plan?

The critical challenge was proving a concept for obtaining ocean surface wind vectors using
satellite passive polarimetry, a crucial component of NOAA‘s next operational satellite system, yet
a goal never before achieved.

What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge, or problem?

The success of NOAA‘s, DoD‘s, and NASA‘s investment in the next generation of satellite remote
sensing of ocean surface winds is directly supported by the development of a methodology for its
passive polarimetric wind vector retrievals, to be tested via WindSat. This new technique will
provide NOAA‘s first operational satellite ocean surface wind vector observations, directly
addressing crucial requirements for the NWS, DoD, and the broader user community to provide
observations, forecasts, and warnings to protect public health, safety, and property.

What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge, or problem?

Paul Chang created and led the STAR Ocean Surface Winds science team in establishing a parallel
WindSat processing system at STAR; constructing spatially and temporally co-located WindSat
matchup datasets with QuikSCAT, SSM/I (F-13), TMI, the NWS/NCEP Global Data Assimilation
System (GDAS) analysis, and buoys; developing model functions for retrieving ocean surface
wind vectors and supporting parameters (sea surface temperature, integrated water vapor, and
integrated cloud liquid water); providing WindSat data to NWS its weather forecast offices; and
assessing operational impact.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

NOAA‘s OSWST‘s WindSat ocean surface wind vector retrievals were selected for release as the
first wind vector retrievals from WindSat. This accomplishment showed, for the first time, that a
satellite microwave polarimetric radiometer was capable of retrieving ocean surface wind vectors.
Subsequently, significant improvements have focused on regions of challenging environmental
conditions, such as in the presence of rain, and low or high wind speeds. This achievement has
made the next-generation instrument, passive polarimetry, viable for one of its fundamental
purposes.


Section 3 - Additional Information

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

This effort commenced in January 2003, with its initial major achievements released to the
scientific community in July 2004. This effort continues to refine and validate its
accomplishments, as well as prepare for operational implementation.


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What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

The short-term impact of this accomplishment is that a passive polarimeter is now technologically
viable for operational implementation. This accomplishment permits the development of the
operational algorithm and software. WindSat data can now be used in near-real-time by the NWS
to enhance spatial and temporal coverage of ocean surface wind observations in support of
analyses and forecasts.

What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Departments mission?

The long-term impact of this accomplishment is that passive polarimetry, a next-generation
technology, is viable for the next NOAA operational satellite, validating the nation‘s operational
investment in this technology and providing critical operational environmental observations in
support of NOAA‘s four mission goals, specifically marine ecosystem and climatological marine
wind fields, weather analyses and forecasts, and marine wind data and warnings for commerce and
transportation.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If so,
how?

This accomplishment directly affects many components of the federal government by providing a
crucial component for accurate weather analyses and prediction by providing accurate surface
wind vectors for ocean areas, approximately 72% of the globe, where there are minimal other
observations. Because NOAA‘s next-generation operational satellite addresses joint requirements,
this contribution also directly supports DoD observation requirements, particularly for the Navy.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or automation?
If so, how?

This accomplishment notably advances both technology and science by providing a capability for
using new technology for measuring operational observations and, through the use of that
technology, being able to derive additional previously unobtainable measurements of prime value
to science and NOAA mission goals.


Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as customer
service or administrative support? If so, how?

Yes. Customer service is supported through web access to the developmental data.




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                               Roger Heymann/Timothy J. Schmit
                                     Gold Medal Nomination
                               Scientific/Engineering Achievement
                                             NESDIS
                                          Nomination # 3

Nominees:

Roger W Heymann
National Satellite and Information Service (NESDIS)
Physical Scientist, ZP-1301-IV
Past awards-none

Timothy J. Schmit
National Satellite and Information Service (NESDIS)
Meteorologist, ZP1340-IV
Past awards- Bronze group medal (1999), Silver group medal (2000)

Nominator: Gary Davis, NESDIS, OSD Director

Category: Scientific/Engineering Achievement

What is the significance of this accomplishment?
Current data compression math was insufficient for full use of GOES-R data. This research
doubled compression effectiveness to triple and quadruple GOES-R data distribution and archive
ability.

I. Certificate citation:
For reducing costs and increasing satellite earth science global data distribution and archiving thru
world leading R&D in data compression

II. Program Booklet citation:
Mr. Heymann and Mr. Schmit are honored for technical accomplishments advancing NOAA‘s
satellite earth science data archiving and global distribution goals. Their work significantly reduces
costs and increases levels of satellite data archiving and distribution for the GOES-R satellite
series. Their R&D achieved unprecedented lossless data compression levels between 3 and 4 to 1
for three GOES-R sensors. Compression math reduces data volume for transmission and archiving
yet allows exact restoration for usage. Data compression is essential to accommodate the GOES-R
data stream.




                                                  8
III. Justification

Section 1 - Definitions

Compression mathematics - Mathematics directed at removing redundancy in data to
reduce its volume.

Compression (Lossless form) - Lossless compression means compressed data can be restored to
its original state exactly.

Compression (near Lossless) - Some loss of original data is acceptable with compression.

CR - Compression ratio: the amount data was reduced relative to its original size.

GEOSS - ―Global Earth Observing System of Systems‖: a global observing system to monitor the
Earth‘s environment. Open and low cost data distribution between nations is a major tenet of the
GEOSS program.

GOES-R - Next generation geostationary environmental satellites.

Grating spectrometer sounder - Hyper-spectral resolution sounder via a prism-type design.

Hyperspectral sounder – Sounding sensor with greater than 1000 spectral elements.

Imager - Instrument taking pictures (infrared and visible) at certain wavelengths..

Michelson sounder - Hyper-spectral resolution instrument based on interference fringes.

Multi-spectral Imager - Sensors of 1-100 spectral elements.

R&D – Research and Development

Sounder - sensor with various spectral channels where wavelengths peak at varying levels of the
atmosphere.

Wavelet mathematics - Relatively new field of mathematics only some 15-20 years old, similar in
importance to the math field as was the development of the Fourier series. It has emerged as a
powerful tool to compress some types of data, particularly 2 dimensional images. It has become
the foundation of the world for standards to compress pictures.

WMO – World Meteorological Organization




                                                 9
Section 2 - Award Justification

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission and/or
strategic plan?

GOES-R is NOAA‘s next generation geostationary environmental satellite. It will generate 50
times the data of the satellite it replaces. The new more capable imager and sounder sensors of the
GOES-R series satellites are expected to have a data volume 3 to 4 times greater than the satellite‘s
distribution capability. Yet NOAA, through agreements reached at the Earth Observation Summit,
GEOSS, and with the WMO is committed to a full and low cost satellite data distribution to world
nations. The goal is to make possible full data distribution.

What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

Prior to this effort, state of the art data compression had been developed largely by computer
scientists to address 2-dimensional tonal images. Lossless compression ratio of about 2 appeared
to be the limit. Mr. Heymann and Mr. Schmit recognized the challenge of meeting the data
distribution commitment of very large 3-dimensional data sets.

What specific actions did the nominee(s) take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

 Recognizing the challenge, Mr. Heymann and Mr. Schmit took the initiative to frame the issue,
solicit the resources to address it, and developed the research plan. They assembled a team of the
best thinkers in the areas of mathematics, atmospheric sciences, and satellite communications
engineering. The team found that existing mathematical approaches to compression were
inadequate to solve the GOES-R distribution and archive challenge. With the leadership of the
nominees, the team, in a significant paradigm shift, set about an unconstrained investigation based
on an end-to-end signal processing approach. Two competing teams of experts worked the issue to
increase the chances of success.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

Unprecedented lossless data compression rates between 3 and 4 have been achieved using
innovative mathematical approaches developed by the research team. These rates are sufficient to
meet NOAA‘s commitment to the world for full and low cost Satellite data distribution.

Section 3 - Additional Information

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

Work began in early 2002; the goal of meeting the GOES-R needs was achieved in 2005.
The team applied the novel math of adaptive clustering, vector quantization, and Laplacian
pyramids to the data compression demands of 3 principal GOES-R instruments. Two competing
teams published papers showing they had achieved a lossless CR of 3.7 for grating spectrometer
earth science data. A lossless CR of 3 for the multi-spectral imager and 4 for Michelson sounder
were achieved. This work has resulted in more than 50 scientific papers and presentations, 4
refereed articles, and 8 patentable results. While this is an area of ongoing scientific investigation,

                                                  10
meeting the GOES-R requirement and applying a new, innovative mathematical approach to this
area are definitive accomplishments.

What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
department’s mission?

The innovative approach demonstrated by this team can now be applied to other areas of earth
science data compression with commensurate reduction in costs and increased archive and
distribution levels. As a proof of concept, the results can now be incorporated in the design
architecture of the GOES-R data archiving and data distribution system.

What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

NOAA will be able to meet its commitment to distribute full satellite data sets at low cost. The
GOES-R system can be designed and implemented with the knowledge that this aspect of its
requirements is achievable. It further sets the stage for evaluation of considerably greater
compression with ―near lossless‖ conditions.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If so,
how?

The results of this innovative effort are in the open literature and can be applied wherever
beneficial.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how?

Yes, with many likely patentable. Widely used wavelets mathematics proved inadequate for
compressing earth science data. New math such as adaptive clustering and vector quantization
was needed to achieve the necessary lossless CR of 3 and greater.

6. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how

Yes: wherever the benefits of large scientific data sets are utilized for social good, the approach
taken by this work is potentially beneficial.




                                                  11
                                   LCDR John Adler Group
                                   Silver Medal Nomination
                                          Leadership
                                           NESDIS
                                        Nomination # 4

Nominees

LCDR John J. Adler, NESDIS, IPO
LCDR, NOAA Corps Officer
Deputy Chief of Algorithms Division
Past Awards: None

Howard Diamond, NESDIS
Physical Scientist, ZP-1301-V
Past Awards: None

John Jones, NWS
NWS Deputy Assistant Administrator, SES
Past Awards: None

Thomas Karl, NESDIS
National Climatic Data Center Director, SES-1340
Past Awards: 2002 Gold Group Medal

Lewis McCulloch, NESDIS
Management Analyst, ZA-343-III
Past Awards: None

Linda Moodie, NESDIS
International Relations Specialist, ZA-131-V
Past Awards:
2004 Gold Group Medal
2004 Bronze Group Medal
2004 Administrator‘s Award (Individual)
2000 Bronze Individual Medal
1999 Silver Individual Medal

Peter Steurer, NESDIS
Physical Scientist Administrator, ZP-1301-V
Past Awards: None

Marcia Weaks, NOS
Physical Scientist, GS-1301-14
Past Awards: None

Nominator: Brent Smith, NESDIS International & Interagency Affairs Director

Category: Leadership
                                               12
What is the significance of this accomplishment?

The Integrated Earth Observation System will meet our country‘s need for quality, global,
sustained Earth information as a basis for policy and decision making in every sector of society.

I. Certificate Text: For development of the Strategic Plan for the U.S. Integrated Earth
Observation System and leading 18 federal agencies to advance the system.

II. Program Booklet Text: The US Integrated Earth Observation System (IEOS) will meet our
country‘s need for high-quality, global, sustained information on the state of the Earth as a basis
for policy and decision making in every sector of our society. The strategic plan for IEOS, focused
on specific and achievable societal benefits, provides a framework for prioritizing actions,
addressing critical gaps, and integrating the nation‘s Earth observation capabilities to address those
imperatives. NOAA serves as co-chair of the US Group on Earth Observations, charged with
developing the IEOS.

III. Justification:

Section 1 – Definitions

Section 2 – Award Justification

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission and/or
strategic plan?

Enhanced benefit to society from Earth observations depends on development of a sustained and
integrated Earth observation system underpinned by science and technology. US and foreign
partner investments over the last decade have provided unprecedented views of the Earth as a set
of complex, interacting processes, yet our current system of observations is fragmented and
incomplete. Our national Earth observation system must be improved in order to realize enhanced
benefits for our people, economy, and planet.

What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

NOAA serves as co-chair of the U.S. Group on Earth Observations (USGEO), a new standing
subcommittee of the White House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR).
USGEO, composed of 15 federal agencies and three White House offices, is charged with
developing a U.S. Integrated Earth Observation System (IEOS). The immediate task was to
develop a strategic plan to integrate the government‘s Earth observation capabilities to realize
enhanced societal benefits.

What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

Nominees formed the U.S. Group on Earth Observations (USGEO) to initiate the coordination;
organized two national fora to develop an integrated Earth observation strategic plan; and hosted a
national forum for presenting the formal plan to the Nation. Nominees served on the USGEO
Planning and Integration Team to build the plan and to interface with the private and academic

                                                 13
sectors. Also, nominees were themselves the principal authors of the U.S. Integrated Earth
Observation System (IEOS) Strategic Plan.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

 In April 2005, the USGEO released the Strategic Plan for the US Integrated Earth Observation
System, as announced by the Director of the White House National Science and Technology
Council. The NOAA team spearheaded the interagency effort to draft the plan and develop the
consensus required to gain approval from the CENR. The plan meets USG and Department
objectives by providing a framework for prioritizing actions and addressing critical gaps while
maximizing return on investments.

Section 3 – Additional Information

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
deployed?

USGEO developed the IEOS Strategic Plan in 18 months. NOAA led the organization of two
public engagement workshops, drawing the public and private sectors and academia into
development of the plan. Lastly, NOAA led in the conduct of a public Earth Observation Forum in
May 2005 at which the Strategic Plan was presented.

What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

The IEOS Strategic Plan positions the U.S. for immediate contribution to an international Global
Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) including better response to disasters. Strong
department leadership was evident in Secretary Gutierrez leading the U.S. delegation to the Third
Earth Observation Summit to present the IEOS Strategic Plan as the US contribution to GEOSS.

What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

 NOAA-generated Earth information will be fully shared with and used by the U.S. (IEOS) and the
world (GEOSS) to better address societal needs in nine critical areas. Furthermore, the formation
of the USGEO as a standing White House subcommittee, with NOAA as Co-Chair, provides the
necessary process and infrastructure by which these benefits can be realized.
Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If so,
how?

The CENR established USGEO to develop and implement a coordinated, multi-year plan for Earth
observations. The OSTP/OMB FY2007 R&D Priorities memo points to the IEOS Strategic Plan
as providing guidance for Earth observation efforts, and urges agencies to work through the
USGEO to ensure the plan‘s implementation and continued strong US leadership in the
international community.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or automation
If so, how?

                                                14
This accomplishment will result in substantial advancement in information services, by reducing
observational data gaps, improving data inoperability across the globe, and enabling user access to
critical data never before achieved.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as customer
service or administrative support? If so, how?

The biggest challenge to create a truly integrated Earth observing system is institutional. A
stovepipe mentality that funds, acquires, and promotes single-use observing systems must be
overcome if the goals of the Strategic Plan are to be realized. The USGEO with strong NOAA
leadership is well poised to do this.

                                    Jane D’Aguanno Group
                                    Silver Medal Nomination
                                           Leadership
                                            NESDIS
                                         Nomination # 5

Recipients:

Jane D‘Aguanno, NOAA Satellite and Information Service
 Physical Scientist, ZP-1301-IV
Past Awards: 2005 Administrator‘s Award (Individual)

Doug Brauer, NOAA‘s Satellite and Information Service
International Relations Specialist, ZA-031-IV
Past Awards: 2004 Bronze Group Medals (Mr. Brauer received 3 group medals in 2004.)
2001 Bronze Group Medals

Michael Hales, NOAA‘s Satellite and Information Service
International Relations Specialist, ZA-031-IV
Past Awards: 2004 Bronze Group Medal

Jason Kim, NOAA‘s Satellite and Information Service
Technology Policy Analyst, ZA-1101-IV
Past Awards: None

John Pereira, NOAA‘s Office of Systems Development
Physical Scientist, ZP-1301-V
Past Awards: 2003 Silver Group Medal
2001 Administrator‘s Award (Group)

Brent Smith, NOAA‘s Satellite and Information Service
Director, NESDIS International and Interagency Affairs, ZA-0131-V
Past Awards: 2004 Gold Group Medal
2004 Bronze Group Medals (Mr. Smith received 2 group medals in 2004.)
1999 Silver Group Medal

Glenn Tallia, NOAA General Counsel
                                                15
Attorney Adviser (General), GS-905-15
Past Awards: 2005 Silver Group Medal
2004 Bronze Group Medals (Mr. Tallia received 2 group medals in 2004.)
2003 Silver Group Medal
2001 Bronze Group Medal

Kay Weston, NOAA‘s Satellite and Information Service
Supervisory International Relations Specialist, ZA-0131-V
Past Awards: None

Kim Wells, International Trade Administration (DoC/ITA)
International Trade Specialist, GS-1140-14
Past Awards: None

Fred Wentland, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (DoC/NTIA)
Associate Administrator for Spectrum Management, SES-391 (Telecommunications Series)
Past Awards: None

Nominator: Gregory Withee, NESDIS AA

Category: Leadership

What is the significance of this accomplishment?

Never before has the White House adopted five national security policies focused on a single
sector in the short span of three years.

I. Certificate Citation: For shaping the adoption and implementation of five Presidential-level
space policy directives.

II. Program Booklet Text: The National Space Policy, promulgated by President Bush in 2006,
provides an overarching framework for previously concluded NSPD policy documents including:
the Commercial Remote Sensing Space Policy; the Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and
Timing Policy; the Space Transportation Policy; and the Space Exploration Policy. One key
outcome included in the National Space Policy charges NOAA to operate civil environmental
space-based remote sensing systems and manage their associated requirements and acquisition
process.




                                                16
III. Justification

Section 1 Definitions

Section 2 – Award Justification:

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission and/or
strategic plan?

The directives that are used to promulgate Presidential decisions on national security matters are
designated National Security Presidential Directives (NSPDs). Staff from the Department of
Commerce and its agencies walked a very fine line to meet national security requirements while
defending the vital role industry has in providing goods and services for national security purposes.

What was the context in which the nominees addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

The Department/NOAA‘s policy staff actively developed and negotiated policy language at high
levels with their counterparts in an interagency forum led by the National Security Council
Director of Space Policy. These discussions were very comprehensive and sometimes turned into
heavy negotiations sessions among agencies and the White House.

What specific actions did the nominees take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

Department and agency staff assessed U.S. national security goals in juxtaposition to various
Department and agency goals. Department and agency staff proposed language that was
incorporated into the space policy documents. The resulting policies support the Department‘s
mission and equities to the fullest extent, while also addressing USG concerns regarding U.S.
national security.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

Results included approval and implementation of four NSPDs that support the overarching U.S.
National Space Policy. It should be noted that the Department, and NOAA particularly, spent
significant resources to implement the goals of the U.S. Commercial Remote Sensing Space
Policy. This policy (adopted in 2003) was the first of the four policies that support the National
Space Policy. The Department/NOAA has implemented numerous recommendations provided by
its Federal Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing, and has worked extensively on
implementation actions that support the advancement of the U.S. commercial remote sensing
industry.




                                                 17
Section 3 - Additional Information:
How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

The five NSPDs involving the commercial space sector were adopted over a period of 3 years. The
U.S. National Space Policy is the umbrella policy for the other four, completing the construction of
a new U.S. space policy framework.

What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

Short term impacts will result from the comprehensive direction provided by the Administration to
shape the Department‘s priorities for supporting the commercial space sector. Space is seen by this
Administration as being vital to national security and economy; and U.S. industry is viewed as a
key partner in strengthening U.S. national security capabilities.

NOAA‘s responsibilities are specifically noted in the U.S. Space Policy to include:

       •   Operational civil environmental space-based remote sensing systems and management
           of associated requirements and acquisition process
       •   Continuing role in civil/military polar-orbiting operational environmental sensing
           system
       •   Continuing program of civil geostationary operational environmental satellites
       •   Continuing work with NASA and other departments/agencies to transition mature
           research and development capabilities to long-term operations

What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

Long-term impacts include development of a stronger national security capability while shaping,
supporting, and maintaining strong industry growth in the space sector. This clear direction from
the Administration will help increase U.S. industry‘s international competitiveness for space-
related goods and services.

The U.S. will continue under this policy to support and promote space by all nations for peaceful
purposes.

NOAA will continue to determine environmental observation requirements and develop
operational systems and other agency capabilities to meet those requirements.




                                                18
Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Departments or other Federal agencies? If so,
how?

All five space policies were negotiated within intense interagency environments under the
direction of the National Security Council. They represent a very strategic framework of priorities
and responsibilities that are delicately balanced among many bureaus/Departments and Federal
agencies.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology or
automation? If so, how?

       No

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support. If so, how?

       No

                                     Fuzhong Weng Group
                                   Silver Medal Nomination
                              Scientific/Engineering Achievement
                                            NESDIS
                                         Nomination # 6

NESDIS Silver Medal Group Nomination

1. Full Names:
             Dr. Fuzhong Weng, NOAA/NESDIS/STAR
             Dr. Changyong Cao, NOAA/NESDIS/STAR
             Dr. Tsan Mo, NOAA/NESDIS/STAR
             Dr. Xiangqian Wu, NOAA/NESDIS/STAR
             Dr. Jerry T. Sullivan, NOAA/NESDIS/STAR
             Dr. Thomas Kleespies, NOAA/NESDIS/STAR
             Mr. Michael Chalfant, NOAA/NESDIS/STAR
             Mr. Anthony Reale, NOAA/NESDIS/STAR
             Dr. Alexander Ignatov, NOAA/NESDIS/STAR
             Dr. Lawrence E. Flynn, NOAA/NESDIS/STAR

2. Line Offices: NESDIS/STAR (Center for Satellite Applications and Research)

3. Position Title and Grade for each nominee:
        Weng, ZP-5 Supervisory Physical Scientist
        Cao, ZP-4 Physical Scientist
        Mo, ZP-4 Physical Scientist
        Wu, ZP-4 Physical Scientist
        Sullivan, ZP-4 Physical Scientist
        Kleespies, ZP-4 Physical Scientist
        Chalfant, ZP-4 Physical Scientist
        Reale, ZP-4 Physical Scientist
                                              19
       Ignatov, ZP-4 Physical Scientist
       Flynn, ZP-4 Physical Scientist

4. Past Awards:
      (Weng) DOC Gold Group Medal for Data Assimilation Techniques, 2005
               NOAA Bronze Group Medal for High Quality Microwave Products, 2004
               SPIE Scientific Accomplishment Award, 2002
               IPO Spirit of NPOESS Award, 2002
               The NOAA David Johnson Award, 2000
         (Cao) DOC Silver Group Medal for Intersatellite Calibration, 2005
               NOAA Bronze Group Medal, 2003
        (Mo) DOC Silver Group Award 1999
NOAA Bronze Group Medals - 2001, 2003
   (Kleespies) DOC Silver Medal, 1999
               NOAA Bronze Medals, 1998, 2003
               NASA Group Achievement Award, 1978

   (Chalfant) 2001 Bronze Group Award
               1999 Silver Group Award
      (Reale) NOAA Silver Medal, 2001
               NOAA Bronze Medal, 2000
    (Sullivan) DOC Silver Group Medal, 2005
               NOAA Bronze Medals, 1995, 2003
      (Flynn) EPA Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award 2005
               NOAA Bronze Medals, 2001, 2003
               IPO Spirit of NPOESS Award, 2002

Nominator: Dr. Alfred M. Powell, Jr., NESDIS/STAR

Category: Scientific/Engineering Achievement

What is the significance of the accomplishment?

The team developed an integrated system for calibrating NOAA-18 instruments that led to early
delivery of high quality satellite products and solutions for mitigating the HIRS/4 on-orbit
anomaly.

I. Certification Text

For developing an integrated system for accurately calibrating NOAA-18 instruments that lead to a
high quality of operational satellite products.




                                               20
II. Program Booklet Text

This team is recognized for developing an integrated system for accurately calibrating the NOAA-
18 instruments, near real-time diagnosis of instrument on-orbit performance that led to the finding
of the root cause for HIRS/4 long-wave channel anomaly (i.e. instrument high sensitivity to
dynamic disturbances and assembled with a loose lens). The team also developed advanced
algorithms and procedures for validating products which led to an early delivery of high quality
satellite observations from NOAA-18 for uses in NOAA operational forecast systems in the 2005
hurricane season.

III. Justification

Section 1: Definitions

AOD – Aerosol Optical Depth
ATOVS – Advanced TIROS Operational Vertical Sounder
AMSU– Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit
AVHRR – Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer
Cal/Val – Calibration and Validation
HIRS – High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder
METOP – Europe‘s polar-orbiting satellite dedicated to operational meteorology
MHS – Microwave Humidity Sounder
MSPPS – Microwave Surface Precipitation Product System
NDVI – Normalized Difference Vegetation Index
NOAA-18 - The 18th of NOAA TIROS series Polar-Orbiting Satellite
NWS – National Weather Service
OV – On-orbit Verification
SBUV – Solar Backscatter Ultra-Violet Radiometer
SST – Sea Surface Temperature
STAR – Center for Satellite Applications and Research
TIROS – Television InfraRed Observational Satellite
TOAST – Total Ozone Analysis from SBUV and TOVS
UV – Ultra Violet

Section 2: Award Justification

      What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s Mission
       and/or strategic plan?

The team produced a timely and correct diagnosis of a serious anomaly in performance of a
satellite instrument in orbit, which reduces the risk of failures on future satellites. Their
achievements contribute to NOAA‘s goal to assess, predict, and manage the Earth‘s resources and
to promote environmental stewardship.


      What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?



                                                21
The team faced three major challenges for NOAA-18 instrument calibration and product
validation: 1. To accurately calibrate all instruments including new HIRS/4 and MHS, 2. To
provide initial demonstration and assessments of NOAA-18 data for improving numerical weather
prediction, and validate more than 20 environmental data records for transition into operation, and
3. Provide critical analyses and information to the multi-agency team for the investigation of the
unprecedented HIRS/4 noise anomaly which became critical for finding the loose lens as the root
cause of the anomaly.

      What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

With the team initiative working beyond their performance duties, NESDIS/STAR, with minimal
funding, delivered high quality satellite observations to users within 45 days (a 50% reduction in
latency period) after satellite launch. Their efforts resulted in an early implementation of NOAA-
18 satellite observations in NOAA weather forecast systems during the 2005 hurricane season.

      What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

The STAR calibration and validation system for NOAA-18 led to an early delivery of high quality
satellite observations that were assimilated into NOAA‘s operational forecast model in the 2005
hurricane season. The early delivery resulted in an overall saving equivalent to 2.5% of the total
cost of the satellite, or about 5 million dollars. In addition, the team found the root cause of the
instrument performance anomaly, and provided strategies for reducing the noise in the data and
reducing the risk that the same problem would recur on future satellites.

Section 3: Additional Information

      How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
       completed/implemented/deployed?

The integrated calibration and validation system was developed in 2004/2005 and tested on
NOAA-18 instruments. Problems were resolved within 45 days after launch.

      What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau
       and/or Department’s mission?

Early delivered satellite observations from NOAA-18 have been assimilated into NOAA
operational forecast model in the 2005 hurricane season. This contributed to NOAA‘s objective to
increase development, application, and transition of advanced science and technology to operations
and services in order to achieve its goal to Serve Society‘s Needs for Weather and Water
Information.

      What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
       Department’s mission?

The calibration of instruments on soon-to-be launched METOP, NOAA-N‘, and NPOESS weather
satellites will be further enhanced by using our integrated system and will result in savings of
millions of dollars. As a result of the team‘s accomplishments, NOAA is better prepared to provide
early delivery of the data to improve operational weather forecasts.

                                                 22
    Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Departments or other federal
   agencies? If so, how?

Yes, the NWS uses NOAA-18 satellite data in its Global Forecast System to produce
forecasts. Agencies such as FEMA, FAA, DHS, DOD, state and local emergency management,
national and local media outlets depend on these forecasts. The improvement in the accuracy of the
global forecasts helps these agencies in their evacuation and other mitigation activities associated
with severe weather events.

      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology or
       automation? If so, how?

Yes, the integrated system was developed for the near real-time trending of satellite on-orbit
performance and the characterization of the instrument bias, and is a major advancement in
providing high quality satellite data through rigorous end-to-end calibration and validation. For the
first time in the history of the TIROS program, users can visualize the instrument performance in
near real-time and assess its impact on their products.

      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in a non-scientific area such as
       customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

Yes, the implementation of the new system for operational satellites provided a major
improvement in customer service; data users can now see the time series in near real-time to better
assess the impact of instrument performance on the quality of their products.




                                                 23
                               Brian Hughes/Thomas Renkevens
                                   Silver Medal Nomination
                              Personal and Professional Excellence
                                           NESDIS
                                        Nomination # 7

Submitted by OSDPD

Title: GOES Ingest NOAAPORT Interface (GINI) Data Processing Back-up System.

Nominees:
Mr. Brian Hughes        - NOAA Satellite and Information Service
  Office of Satellite Data Processing and Distribution
  Satellite Service Division
  Meteorologist, ZP-1340-IV
  Past Awards: None

Mr. Thomas Renkevens - NOAA Satellite and Information Service
  Office of Satellite Development
  Physical Scientist, ZP-1301-IV
  Past Awards: 2003 Silver Group Award

Nominator: Richard Barazotto, NESDIS, OSDPD Director

Category: Personal and Professional Excellence

Significance of the Accomplishment:

The team designed a system that eliminated a critical single point of failure for transmission of
NOAA satellite imagery, significantly enhancing capability to satisfy NOAA mission goal
requirements.

I. Certificate Text:

For designing a system to eliminate a critical single point of failure for NOAA satellite imagery to
ensure continuity of mission critical operations.

II. Program Booklet Text:

The group is honored for implementing an offsite back-up system to eliminate a critical single
point of failure and ensure continuity of operations for real-time processing and distribution of
Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) data. This GOES Ingest NOAAPORT
Interface (GINI) system is part of the NESDIS Critical Infrastructure Plan and provides satellite
imagery to support NOAA mission goal requirements for environmental satellite information. This
critical data is routinely used by NWS for production of severe weather forecasts and the
protection of life and property.


III. Justification:
                                                 24
Section 1 - Definitions

BNCF - Backup Network Control Facility
CDA     - Command Data Acquisition station
CIP     - Critical Infrastructure Protection plan
COOP - Continuity of Operations Plan
GOES - Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite
FB4     - Federal Building #4
GINI    - GOES Ingest NOAAPORT Interface system processes and distributes
   geostationary satellite image data.
GVAR - GOES VARiable data is real-time direct readout GOES satellite imagery.
NCF     - Network Control Facility
NWS     - National Weather Service
NESDIS - NOAA Satellite and Information Service

Section 2 – Award Justification

• What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission
and/or strategic plan?

The challenge addressed by the team resulted from a NWS/NESDIS study evaluating NOAA
responsiveness during Hurricane Isabelle in September 2003. This study focused on ―lessons
learned‖ and issued recommendations to improve NOAA hurricane and severe weather support
activities. It was determined that an offsite backup capability for the primary GINI system located
in FB4 in Suitland, MD was critical to national security and NOAA‘s mission to protect life and
property. The reason for this was GINI had no back up system, yet it provides mission critical
satellite imagery to the NWS.

• What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

Reinforced by the severity of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, the team worked with urgency to
design, develop and implement a backup GINI system that would ensure continuity of operations
for GOES satellite imagery. The GINI system ingests and processes real-time GVAR image and
sounder data into geo-located calibrated images that are transferred to the NWS
telecommunication circuits for distribution to Government users via the NOAAPORT system.

• What specific actions did the nominees take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

The action to implement the GINI backup system was closely monitored by NOAA senior
managers due to the high importance placed on implementing the system in a timely manner. The
team developed a system design, identified resources, selected the site and successfully installed,
tested and implemented into operations the GINI backup system. The team established and tested
failover procedures, adhered to configuration management practices and ensured network/system
security by negotiating cooperative service agreements between several NOAA organizations.
This work was done without any additional funding.

• What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

                                                25
The team eliminated a single point of failure for a data processing system that provides critically
important environmental satellite information to NWS Field Offices, NWS National Centers for
Environmental Prediction and many other Government agencies responsible for public safety and
the protection of life and property.

Section 3 - Additional Information

• How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

The team was assigned the task to draft and present a conceptual backup GINI system design in
February 2005. Resources were identified and management approval was obtained in May 2005.
The installation of the Wallops GINI system was completed in December 2005 with final
implementation scheduled for February 2006.

• What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

The primary and backup GINI systems provide satellite data that are critical for NOAA Mission
Goals and Programs to meet their mission objectives and requirements. Users such the NWS Field
Offices, National Hurricane Center and Severe Weather Center are ensured a continuous,
uninterrupted flow of near real-time GOES imagery for use in tropical storm prediction, flooding
and severe weather forecasts.

• What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

The successful development and deployment of the backup GINI system represents a first step for
planned IT backup operations that improve the reliability of NOAA data information to customer.

• Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If
so, how?

The establishment of the backup GINI system ensures the uninterrupted availability of GOES
satellite imagery that is used as a primary data source for ensuring the accuracy of severe weather
forecasts. GVAR data products are of critical importance to the NOAA Weather and Water
Mission Goal Team, the NWS, and Federal Government agencies charged with national security,
public safety, disaster planning and recovery and protection of life and property.




                                                 26
Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how?

The establishment of the backup GINI system was the first step in establishing critical
infrastructure protection for the delivery of mission critical GOES satellite imagery.

• Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

The backup GINI system improves the consistency and quality of NOAA customer service by
eliminating temporary outages and the loss or delay of critically important and time sensitive
satellite data. Surveys indicate that GINI image products and their availability are rated the
highest importance and value to user mission goals.

                                      Keith Mann Group
                                   Silver Medal Nomination
                              Personal and Professional Excellence
                                           NESDIS
                                        Nomination # 8

Nominees:

Mr. Keith Mann – NESDIS, OSO
GS-2210-13, IT Specialist
Past Awards: None

Mr. Dennis Mailhot – NESDIS, OSO
GS-1311-IV, Physical Science Technician
Past Awards: None

Mr. Michael Settles – NESDIS, OSO
ZP-1301-IV, Supervisory Physical Scientist
Past Awards: 2002 Bronze Group Medal

Mr. Albert McMath – NESDIS, OSO
GS-2210, IT Specialist
Past Awards: 2005 Bronze Group Medal

Mr. Greg Johnson – NESDIS, OSO
ZP-855-IV, Electronics Engineer
Past Awards: 2004 Bronze Group Medal

Ms. Diane Robinson – NESDIS, OSO
GS-2210-IV, IT Specialist
Past Awards: 2004 Bronze Group Medal




                                                27
Mr. Gary McBrien– NESDIS, OSO
GS-2210-IV, IT Specialist
Past Awards: 2002 Bronze Group Medal

Mr. Mark Noto – NESDIS, CIO
ZP-2210-IV, IT Specialist (INFOSEC)
Past Awards: None

Mr. Eric Clemons—NESDIS, OSO
ZP-1301-V, Supervisor Physical Scientist
Past Awards: None

Nominator: Kathy Kelly, NESDIS, OSO Director

Category: Personal and Professional Excellence

I. Certificate Text:

For excellence in management, technical support and teamwork in developing the first successful
Certification and Accreditation package for NOAA.

II. Program Booklet Text:

The group is honored for their efforts in the development of the GOES Certification and
Accreditation (C&A) package. The support and teamwork demonstrated in the GOES
Certification and Accreditation effort is unparalleled in NOAA. In less than one year, the
NOAA/NESDIS team developed and integrated a C&A package that was to be used for a model
for all Department of Commerce systems. The achievements of this group constitute an
extraordinary contribution of exceptional value in support of the Departments and NOAA‘s overall
goals.

III. Justification:

Section 1 - Definitions

C&A     – Certification and Accreditation
CIO     – Chief Information Officer
GOES    - Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites
OIG     - Office of Inspector General

Section 2 - Award Justification

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission and/or
strategic plan?

To serve society‘s needs for weather and water information. In particular, the Department‘s
Inspector General determined that weaknesses in the Certification and Accreditation process
merited the assessment of a Material Weakness. The team led efforts to remove the basis for this
assessment by developing acceptable C&A documentation and model processes.
                                                28
What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

This model process and package was a full C&A of a highly complex, national critical system,
subject to the scrutiny of the NOAA and DOC CIOs and the DOC IG. Toward the conclusion of
the FY05 C&A campaign, the Director of IT Security for the DOC CIO said that NESDIS ―earned
bragging rights across the Department‖ for its C&A leadership. A major portion of that leadership
was performed by the GOES C&A team.


What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

Development of a system security plan and risk assessment documents that fully addressed the
deficiencies noted by the OIG was a critical action in gaining OIG agreement that this area of the
Material Weakness was properly addressed.

The introduction of new processes into the GOES operational environment included automated
patch management; development of new configuration management boards and procedures; and
the installation of hardware for IT security monitoring.

After C&A submission, the group supported system audits and tests conducted by the NOAA
NESDIS IT security teams. All of this was accomplished on an operational National Critical
system during one of the busiest hurricane seasons on record. No data was lost during this time.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

This effort culminated in the ability to provide the Department of Commerce a model C &A
package that can be applied to other DOC systems. This effort increased the reliability of systems
by: Improving business continuity and contingency planning and testing; improving individual
accountability and user tracking; and improving system security management, operational,
technical, access, and physical controls.

Section 3 - Additional Information

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

The initial kick off meeting was at the NOAA NESDIS headquarters on November 10, 2004.

Certification test and evaluation for the GOES system was completed on May 20, 2005.

On May 31, 2005, the GOES C&A package was approved by the NESDIS Director, (the
Designated Approving Authority). Approval was granted after the successful review package from
the OIG.

What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?


                                                29
The intense effort and in the development of an acceptable system security plan and risk
assessment processes can be leveraged by other DOC organizations saving time and money.


What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

The effort was a seminal effort in the improvement of the C&A process, and its after-effects will
help ensure the security of all DOC IT systems.

GOES spacecraft will continue in providing this useful data in a secure manner. Continuity of
operations in the event of a site failure is greatly improved.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If so,
how?

This achievement created the impetus for Department of Commerce efforts to successfully remove
the Material Weakness. By providing a process and concrete examples of acceptable
documentation, other DOC organizations will be able to develop acceptable packages with an
economy of effort. Application of the process will help ensure DOC IT systems are secure.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how?

No

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

Prior to development of the package there was no evidence of a C&A process, nor was there any
demonstrated proof that a process could be developed and implemented to produce acceptable
C&A packages. The result of this effort was a significant advancement in the quality and
acceptability of C&A processes and documentation sufficient to drive substantive improvements in
the security of national critical systems.




                                                30
 Office of Satellite Operations, Engineering Management Team and Office of Satellite Data
                Processing and Distribution, Engineering Management Team
                                  Silver Medal Nomination
                                      Customer Service
                                           NESDIS
                                       Nomination # 9

OSO/OSDPD Support to Hurricanes Rita and Katrina

Nominees
The OSO and OSDPD Operations, Engineering and Management Teams

Nominators
Kathleen A. Kelly, Director of Office of Satellite Operations
Richard M. Barazotto, Director of Office of Satellite Data Processing and Distribution

Category: Customer Service

What is the Significance of this accomplishment?

The near flawless efforts of the OSO and OSDPD Operations, Engineering and Management
Teams accomplished the collection of critical satellite environmental data during hurricanes Rita
and Katrina.

Certificate Text:

For excellence in management and technical support in providing vital satellite data during the
peak of the 2005 hurricane season.

Program Booklet Text:

During the 2005 hurricane season, the US experienced a record twenty-seven tropical systems, of
which a record fifteen became hurricanes. In order to meet the surge in scheduled and unscheduled
data requests, OSO and OSDPD optimized their service, teamwork and ingenuity in the capture of
nearly 100% percent of the satellite data user requirements.


Section 1 Definitions

GOES - Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite
POES – Polar Operational Environmental Satellite
OSO – Office of Satellite Operations
OSDPD – Office of Satellite Data Processing and Distribution
NWS – National Weather Service
RSO – Rapid Scan Operations
SOCC – Satellite Operations Control Center (Suitland, Maryland)

Section 2 Award Justification

                                                31
What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission and/or
strategic plan?

OSO and OSDPD‘s specific goal was to maximize the collection, processing and dissemination of
NOAA vital satellite environmental data in order to enhance society‘s ability to plan, forecast,
respond, and prevent loss of property and lives during this highly active hurricane season

What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

During support to hurricanes Rita and Katrina, the nominees provided 99.86% of GOES and POES
data to the National Weather Service and other key government agencies. This was significantly
above our nominal operational standard of 98.5%.
The nominees provided unprecedented number of images from GOES satellites during the peak of
the hurricane season. At the request of the NWS, OSO and OSDPD provided images every 5
minutes to provide more precise monitoring of hurricane movement and severe storm
development. To accomplish this request the Team excelled by optimization of staff and ground
resources, development of new operations procedures, and teamwork. This effort enabled NWS to
provide accurate hurricane, tornado, and flood warnings in the effected areas. NOAA‘s satellites
provide over 90% of the data used in NWS prediction models.

What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

The Team came together and increased their performance by utilizing effective processes, first
time procedures and teamwork to ensure the delivery of all requested data during these critical
periods of National need.
These intense spacecraft and data processing operational activities were successfully planned and
flawlessly executed without interruption to user requests.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

In order to meet these increased data requests and ensure that all requirements were met, the
nominees were able to effectively utilize existing resources Their professionalism was exhibited in
the percentage of data delivery, while keeping management informed at all times of operational
systems status (staff and ground systems).

Section 3 – Additional Information

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

Hurricane Katrina support efforts were from 23 to 30, August 2005. Hurricane Rita support
activities were from 18 to 25 September 2005.




                                                32
What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

By successfully obtaining this data, NOAA was able to provide better forecasting and improved
products to its Customers in this time of National need.

What is the short-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

The data will be utilized by forecasters in determining future forecasts of hurricane activity. These
forecasts will come in the form of seasonal, pre-season and mid-season outlooks. These forecasts
will be beneficial in preventing serve damage to property and loss of life.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If so,
how?

The data affects other bureaus/line offices within NOAA that exploit and utilize this data for
prediction and post analysis. Successfully providing all the nominal and additional data allowed
Federal emergency activities to be planned around the hurricane activities and optimized at all
Federal levels.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how?

N/A

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how

The nominees improved customer service during the 2005 hurricane season by providing
additional products to NWS and other government agencies.




                                                 33
                                  Joseph Stinus Group
                                Silver Medal Nomination
                                    Customer Service
                                        NESDIS
                                     Nomination # 10

Nominees:   Joseph Stinus
            NOAA, NESDIS, NODC, NCDDC
            Director, NCDDC, ZP-1301-V
            Past Awards: None

            Russell H. Beard
            NOAA, NESDIS, NODC, NCDDC
            Oceanographer, ZP-1360-IV
            Past Awards: None

            Elizabeth Schenck-Gardner
            NOAA, NESDIS, NODC, NCDDC
            Oceanographer, ZP-1360-IV
            Past Awards: None

            Bradlee Nunn
            NOAA, NESDIS, NODC, NCDDC
            Computer Scientist, ZP-1550-III
            Past Awards: None

            Mary O‘Chery
            NOAA, NESDIS, NODC, NCDDC
            Administrative Officer, ZA-341-III
            Past Awards: None

            Susan Starke
            NOAA, NESDIS, NODC, NCDDC
            IT Specialist, ZP-2210-IV
            Past Awards: None

            Sharon Mesick
            NOAA, NESDIS, NODC, NCDDC
            Geographer, ZP-150-III
            Past Awards: None

            Eric Roby
            NOAA, NESDIS, NODC, NCDDC
            IT Specialist, ZP-2210-III
            Past Awards: None


            Julie Bosch
            NOAA, NESDIS, NODC, NCDDC
                                    34
               Technical Information Specialist, ZA-1412-III
               Past Awards: None

Line Office: National Coastal Data Development Center
             National Oceanographic Data Center
             National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service

Location of NCDDC: Stennis Space Center, MS

Nominator: Zdenka Willis
           Director, National Oceanographic Data Center

Category: Customer Service

Significance of this accomplishment:

In the days following Hurricane Katrina, NCDDC became operational in an extremely short time
and provided significant support to Local, State and Federal agencies during extreme conditions.

I. Certificate Text: For extraordinary service exhibited during the post Hurricane Katrina
Recovery of the National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC).

II. Program Booklet Text:

Through dedication and sacrifice, NCDDC was back in service days after Katrina. They provided
outstanding service to NOAA, FEMA, MDMR, MS and LA coastal communities. They
recognized a need for a Katrina web site to link/access imagery, data, maps, and models to assist
recovery programs (ex. FEMA). Within 60 days the website had over 1.5 million hits. MDMR lost
everything due to the storm surge. Coordinating with NESDIS, NCDDC ordered new equipment,
maintained their website and arranged for their archive recovery. In addition, NCDDC assisted the
recovery of others who had lost their homes.

III. Justification:

Section 1 – Definitions

COOP: Continuity Of Operations Program
EPA: Environmental Protection Agency
FEMA: Federal Emergency Management Agency
IT: Information Technology
LA: Louisiana
MEMA: Mississippi Emergency Management Agency
MS: Mississippi
MDMR: Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
NASA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NESDIS: National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Services
NCDDC: National Coastal Data Development Center
NOAA: National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
NRL: Naval Research Laboratory
                                             35
NAVOCEANO: Naval Oceanographic Office

Section 2 – Award Justification

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission and/or
strategic plan?

Minimize NCDDC‘s down time after the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. Establish a
base of operations to allow recovery of severely damaged ecosystem management activities and
allow other federal, state and local recovery activities to use our capabilities, facilities and staff.

What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

Shortly after Katrina, the team provided a staff head count and assessed the damage to the facility.
Once the Center was stabilized, a plan to assist other state and federal activities was developed.
The next phase of action was organizing work crews to assist employees who had lost their homes
to recover any salvageable property and gut their flooded homes.

What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

Restore power and LAN capability to allow staff to return to duty. Contacted MEMA and MDMR
to determine how NCDDC could support the local recovery process. Established a plan to replace
MDMR‘s damaged equipment. Secured funding and purchased the equipment. Worked with
MDMR to receive/setup the equipment. Designed, built and brought online a ―Katrina‖ web site
for post Katrina imagery, data and models. Gathered data from NOAA, NASA, EPA, FEMA,
Navy and state agencies and prepared search tools, metadata and Geospatial data layers. Within 60
days 1.5 million users had visited the site.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

NCDDC was up in a matter of days after surviving the worst national catastrophic event in history.
The Center supported federal, state and local agencies with their recovery. They assisted fellow
employees and their families with recovery of personal property and restoration of homes. MDMR
was back up and running within weeks using NOAA IT equipment which allowed them to conduct
ecosystem assessment and recovery programs. The Katrina website helped numerous citizens
recover their property, locate boats, determine best transportation routes, access damage to homes,
businesses and environment. NCDDC was there when the taxpayer needed coastal data and
information and actively assisted with the restoration of homes and coastal ecosystem.




                                                    36
Section 3 – Additional Information

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

The Center was back on line in days. Providing equipment to MDMR took weeks. The Katrina site
was completed in a few months. Work on homes started immediately and continued for months.

What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

NCDDC benefited COOP/Homeland Security and assisted ecosystem monitoring/restoration
programs within EPA, NOAA, and MDMR. Relationships with fed, state and universities
strengthened due to NCDDC‘s ability to deliver useful coastal data and information. NOAA‘s
credibility and reliability were enhanced.

What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

NCDDC's support to MDMR and work with FEMA, NASA & NRL to build the Katrina web page
will result in better preparation and post restoration for future hurricane seasons. NCDDC's
relationship with the community, state and federal agencies, as a "one stop" coastal data and
information provider will grow due to proven reliability. NOAA was there when the need for
information was greatest.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If so,
how?

NOAA was able to help MDMR become operational. The Katrina page assisted FEMA and
MEMA to link/post useful recovery data, including imagery to locate grounded boats.
Relationships with EPA GOM Program, NASA/Stennis Earth Science Division, NRL and
NAVOCEANO were enhanced by collaboration in sharing coastal ecosystem data. NCDDC
quickly made model output, data and imagery from these activities available to the public through
web access.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or automation?
If so, how?

The Katrina page resulted in a geospatial tool creation allowing merger of different imagery and
data types in a map environment. The user typed in a street address and viewed associated
imagery/data. This was an enhancement to the raw imagery that was originally posted and required
time consuming searches to find the desired site. A surge model/imagery display was developed
depicting flood surge and accessible statistics.




                                               37
Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as customer
service or administrative support? If so, how?

NOAA/NCDDC connected with the community and delivered data and information requests. The
Katrina page was a public service success and resulted in numerous requests. NCDDC was
recognized as a reliable/unique asset by the community and fellow state/fed agencies.

                              NMAO NOMINATIONS
                                Emile ―Todd‖ Wilson Group
                                 Gold Medal Nomination
                                         Heroism
                                         NMAO
                                      Nomination # 11

Nominees

Emile ―Todd‖ Wilson (―Emile‖ is pronounced eh-MEEL)
Vernon ―Tom‖ Swiger
Mondle ―Tim‖ Burrell

Major Line or Staff Office of Each Nominee

All nominees – NMAO

Position Title and Grade

Emile Wilson – Lead Fisherman, WM-9927-13
Vernon Swiger – Electronics Technician (Rotating), GS-0856-11
Mondle Burrell – Engineering Technician, GS-0802-12

Past Awards

Emile Wilson – None
Vernon Swiger – None
Mondle Burrell – None

Nominator’s name and major Line/Staff Office

LT Jeremy Adams, NOAA
Commanding Officer, NOAA Ship OREGON II
NOAA Marine and Aviation Operations

Mr. Francis J. Colohan
Chief, Electronics Engineering Division, Marine Operations Center
NOAA Marine and Aviation Operations

What is the significance of this accomplishment?

                                              38
The quick, decisive, and heroic action during the waning hours of Hurricane Katrina saved NOAA
Ship OREGON II from breaking free of her moorings, going adrift, and becoming a casualty of the
storm.

I. Certificate Text

For heroic acts in the waning hours of Hurricane Katrina that ensured the NOAA Ship OREGON
II remained secured at her mooring. (128 characters)

II. Program Booklet Text

On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina nearly tore NOAA Ship OREGON II from her moorings on
the east bank of the Pascagoula River. As Katrina moved inland and surge waters began to recede,
OREGON II was tenuously held to the dock by one mooring line. Lead Fisherman Emile ―Todd‖
Wilson, Rotating Electronics Technician Vernon ―Tom‖ Swiger, and Engineering Technician
Mondle ―Tim‖ Burrel met at the dock and immediately sprung into action to avert a catastrophe.
The quick action and heroic conduct of these three persons prevented the OREGON II from
becoming a casualty of Katrina‘s wrath.
(590 characters)

III. Justification

Section 1. Definitions

Heaving Line: a length of small diameter line, usually with a weight tied to one end, and the other
end tied to a mooring line. The heaving line is used to assist with passing the mooring line to a
dock.

Pad eye: A loop shaped fitting attached to the deck and used to secure a line to some part of the
ship.

Scupper: any opening through the bulwarks to allow water to run off a deck and back to the sea.

Storm Line: a heavy duty rope of extra long length used to secure a ship to the dock during bad
weather.

Section 2. Award Justification

• What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission and/or
strategic plan?

On August 28th, 2006 as Hurricane Katrina bore down on the Gulf Coast, the crew of the NOAA
ship OREGON II, tied up alongside the pier in Pascagoula, MS, was ordered to abandon ship and
find other shelter in which to ride out this major hurricane.

As this ferocious storm approached, the OREGON II was thrashed about by severe winds and
waves, breaking mooring lines and leaving just one line to secure the ship to the pier. This

                                                39
precarious situation surely would have ended in disaster for the ship had it not been for the actions
of three crew members.       (555 characters)

• What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

Facing great personal peril, two nominees boarded the ship and one remained on the pier to handle
lines through surging tidewaters and storm-forced winds. The three were able to piece together
enough parted lines to re-secure the ship and avert a possible collision with the other pier-side
NOAA ship, the GORDON GUNTER, or the nearby railroad bridge.
(353 characters)

• What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

Lead Fisherman (LF) Wilson left is family and ailing mother‘s bedside to check the condition of
the ship in the midst of the approaching Hurricane Katrina. Reaching the pier, he found the surge
waters impassible. Returning an hour later, he was able to reach the ship and climb aboard using
pad eyes and hull fittings for footholds and a scupper for a hand hold. Once aboard the dark ship
he gathered a flashlight and heaving line, and donned a lifevest.

Rotating Electronics Technician (RET) Swiger and Engineering Technician (ET) Burrell arrived
shortly after LF Wilson. ET Burrell climbed aboard ship to assist LF Wilson with salvaging
enough line to secure the ship while RET Swiger remained ashore to handle the fabricated lines
and secure them to the pier.
(780 characters)

• What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?
In less than two hours, the selfless and heroic actions of LF Wilson, ET Burrell and ET swiger
secured OREGON II and averted a certain disaster for the ship. Of the twelve total storm mooring
lines used to secure the ship, only one survived the wrath of Hurricane Katrina.
(273 characters – 1961 characters total)

Section 3 – Additional Information

• How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?
This event occurred on April 28, 2006 in the hours just prior to Hurricane Katrina‘s landfall.
(101 characters)

• What is the short-term impact (1-2) years of the accomplishment on the bureau/or Department’s
mission.
The OREGON II was saved from imminent severe damage due to the impending hurricane. Some
damage occurred pier-side but was able to be repaired relatively quickly in time for the SEAMAP
Groundfish Survey in support of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).
(263 characters)

• What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?
The OREGON II is a strategic tool used by NOAA to maximize U.S. competitiveness and enable
economic growth for the American Fisheries Industry. It is one of the busiest ships in the NOAA
                                             40
fleet with 243 sea days scheduled for FY06. A severely damaged or lost OREGON II without a
viable replacement online would have greatly hindered the stewardship responsibilities and goals
of NMFS, NOAA and DOC for years to come.
(417 characters)

• Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Departments or other Federal agencies? If so,
how?
Maintaining the viability of the OREGON II ensured that the critical role this ship plays in helping
NMFS to maintain cooperative partnerships with the many marine fisheries conservation offices
on the state, interregional and national levels will be sufficiently supported to further the goals of
all involved.    (311 characters)

• Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology or automation? If
so, how?
N/A

• Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as customer
service or administrative support? If so, how?
The extraordinary efforts of these nominees in securing and safe guarding their ship resets the bar
for customer service and is in the finest maritime traditions of the Agency, the Department and the
Country.
(208 characters – 1300 total)

                                  Aircraft Operations Center
                                    Gold Medal Nomination
                              Personal and Professional Excellence
                                            NMAO
                                        Nomination # 12

What is the significance of this accomplishment? (200 characters)

         NOAA‘s Aircraft Operations Center doubled its annual Hurricane flights in 2005, provided
7000 Katrina damage photos in 7 days, and delivered life saving supplies to NOAA teammates and
facilities.

I. Certificate Text: In recognition of the Aircraft Operations Center‘s outstanding effort during
the 2005 Hurricane season and after Hurricane Katrina landfall.

II. Program Booklet Text: During the Hurricane Season of 2005, the NOAA Aircraft Operations
Center (AOC) performed flawlessly, flying 123 Hurricane missions including post Hurricane
Katrina flights. During the same period, NOAA‘s Citation aircraft took over 7000 photos in 7
days following Katrina‘s landfall which allowed the public to download over 5 million photos of
the affected area. NOAA‘s helicopter crew delivered life saving supplies to both NOAA personnel
and facilities in Pascagoula, MS including the NOAA ships Gordon Gunter and Oregon II as well
as the National Data Buoy Center in Stennis, MS.

III. Justification
                                                 41
Section 1 – Definition of Terms

AOC -- Aircraft Operations Center

Hurricane Reconnaissance – aircraft missions flown into tropical cyclones used to document
current conditions and location of a hurricane for the purposes of providing warnings to the public.
Missions are tasked by NOAA‘s National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida.

Hurricane Research – aircraft missions flown into the tropical cyclone environment for purposes of
data collection used in studies to interpret future track forecast improvements, intensity forecast
improvements, or other information. Missions are conducted in conjunction with NOAA‘s
Hurricane Research Division in Miami, Florida.

NDBC -- the National Data Buoy Center in Stennis, MS.

NHC – the National Hurricane Center

RSD -- the NOAA National Ocean Service Remote Sensing Division

Section II – Justification

• What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission and/or
strategic plan?

NOAA AOC‘s capabilities were tested in its hurricane reconnaissance mission during the 2005
Hurricane Season which spawned a record 27 storms, well above seasonal forecasts resulting in the
most active hurricane season on record.

The post-Katrina Gulf Coast damage assessment was initially unknown while many NOAA
facilities were caught in the swath of destruction and left in dire need of supplies and immediate
support.
(364 characters)

• What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

AOC flawlessly performed its mission requirements of providing time-critical storm data to the
National Hurricane Center forecasters despite the demanding pace.

In conjunction with the RSD, AOC‘s remote-sensing Citation aircraft captured over 8000 high-
resolution photos of the devastated Gulf Coast region within days of Hurricane Katrina making
landfall.

Concurrently, NOAA‘s helicopter and crew delivered water, generators, medical supplies, and
other life saving materials to the NOAA ships Gordon Gunter and Oregon II, and the Fisheries Lab
in Pascagoula, MS, as well as the NDBC in Stennis, MS.
(595 characters)

• What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?
                                                 42
AOC delivered a 97% accomplishment rate of this time-critical mission to the NHC, while nearly
doubling the number of hours, and missions into tropical cyclones from 2004.

Professional and dedicated personnel captured, processed and posted the damage assessment
photography to the worldwide web within 24 hours of capture. This data was used extensively by
emergency responders.

Helicopter crews assisted in tide station repair, Hazardous material assessment for the USCG
Pollution, and provided supplies to NOAA facilities, employees and their families without clean
water and shelter.
(515 characters)

• What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?
The hurricane landfall forecasts and evacuation warnings given to millions of U.S citizens
minimizing loss of life during an unprecedented hurricane season.

Downloads of 5 million photos per day with a total 27 terabytes of data delivered to the public
within 7 days of the storm landfall enabling real time decision-making by emergency managers.

Working from remote camps with little or no support, the helicopter crews provided for the most
basic needs of our team members and families in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
(524 characters – 1998 total characters in section)

Additional Information:

• How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?
During the 2005 Hurricane Season, particularly during and after Hurricane Katrina.
(82 characters)

• What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of accomplishment on the bureau and/or Department’s
mission?
Showcased the capabilities of AOC during times of national duress which caught the attention of
Congress and helped to justify $54.6M in Hurricane Supplemental Funding for additional assets to
augment critical NOAA missions.
(224 characters)

• What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?
These accomplishments will allow NOAA to realize greater efficiencies in both the Hurricane
Reconnaissance/Research missions and the post-hurricane damage assessment missions. This will
result in more accurate hurricane track and intensity forecasts, as well as a greater national ability
to utilize the critical data from these missions and better assist emergency managers in responding
to storm-damaged areas.
(413 characters)

• Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Departments or other Federal agencies?

                                                  43
NHC products are used by DOD, DHS, DOT and DA, as well as federal, regional and local
emergency responders to determine evacuation areas and routes, impact areas, damage assessment
and rescue operations.
(203 characters)

• Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or automation? If
so, how?

As evidence of the extraordinary effort by the Aircraft Operations Center during 2005, the
following flight summaries provide tangible, objective data. AOC has not increased the number
of hurricane aircraft or manning during the measured period.

Flight Hours supporting Hurricanes for AOC and number of hurricane flights each season,
respectively:
2000 – 181, 26
2001 – 240, 31
2002 – 376, 54
2003 – 292, 43
2004 – 487, 67
2005 – 892, 123

Previous Awards received by the Aircraft Operations Center:

March, 2006 - NOAA Bronze Medal for support provided during 2004 hurricane season.
March 2005 - Richard Hagemeyer Award from the 59th Interdepartmental
Hurricane Conference, OFCM
March 2005 - National Hurricane Conference Outstanding Achievement
Award for Meteorology.
November 2004 - Unit Citation for 2004 Hurricane season.

The NOAA Aircraft Operations Center reports to NOAA‘s Office of Marine and Aviation
Operations in Silver Spring, Maryland.
(935 characters – 1857 Total)




                                               44
                                NMFS NOMINATIONS
                                          Vera Trainer
                                   Gold Medal Nomination
                              Scientific/Engineering Achievement
                                             NMFS
                                         Nomination # 13

Nominee
Vera Trainer
NOAA Fisheries Service, Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Supervisory Research Oceanographer
ZP 1360-04-02
Past Awards: Department Bronze Medal Group Award (2003)

Category

Scientific/Engineering Achievement

Nominator

William T. Hogarth, Ph.D
Assistant Administrator, Fisheries

Significance of the Accomplishment

Dr. Trainer established a research and monitoring program for early warning of harmful algal
blooms that reduces economic loss to US coastal fisheries and is being copied on the Russian
Pacific Coast.

Certificate Text

For establishing an internationally recognized research and monitoring program for early warning
of harmful algal bloom events.

Program Booklet Text

Dr. Trainer created a monitoring program for harmful algal blooms (HAB) that now is funded
from fees collected by Washington State for recreational licenses. She strengthened collaborations
between Department, state, and tribal partners to develop an early-warning system, using advanced
technologies, for transfer to Washington state managers. Reduced time
and area closures saved Washington coastal fisheries $3 million each year during bloom events in
2001 and 2003–2005. The HAB program is serving as a template for one in Oregon and the first-
ever HAB monitoring program on a Russian coast.




                                               45
Justification

Section 2 - Definitions
HAB = harmful algal bloom
HARRNESS = Harmful Algal Research and Response National Environmental Science Strategy
MERHAB = Monitoring and Event Response to Harmful Algal Blooms
ORHAB = Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom partnership

Section 3 – Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model

   1. What was the specific goal, challenge, or problem related to the Department’s mission
      and/or strategic plan?

   To protect, restore, and manage the use of coastal and ocean resources (Pacific razor clams and
   Dungeness crabs) through ecosystem-based management.

   2. What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

   Toxins from harmful algal blooms can be retained by shellfish, thereby reducing their
   availability to tribal, recreational, and commercial consumers, and endangering public health.


   3. What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

   Dr. Trainer led a diverse group in conducting the research and then operationalizing an early-
   warning system using advanced technologies. She strengthened collaborations within NOAA
   and with state, academic, and tribal partners, and successfully transferred technologies to state
   managers for routine use.


   4. What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

   Dr. Trainer‘s efforts resulted in an efficient monitoring program for harmful algal blooms that
   was transferred to Washington State agencies and Tribes. By enabling selective beach
   openings during bloom events in 2001 and 2003–2005, Washington coastal fisheries saved at
   least $3 million each year during those years.




                                                 46
Section 4 – Additional Information

   1. How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? Five years.

      When was the accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed?

   The optimized Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom partnership (ORHAB) monitoring
   program was transferred to Washington State in summer 2005 after 5 years of federal funding
   from the Department‘s Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research, under the National
   Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This program now receives stable funding from
   Washington State via a fee collected for recreational licenses, which was established based on
   the findings of Dr. Trainer‘s research.

   2. What is the short-term impact (1–2 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
      Department’s mission?

   The harvest of shellfish is managed using cost-effective, accurate methods that will allow for
   the restoration of fisheries harvest along the outer coast of Washington State.


   3. What is the long-term impact (3–5 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
      Department’s mission?

   The ORHAB data set will help identify how oceanographic and climate processes affect the
   dynamics of coastal phytoplankton species.


   4. Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
      If so, how?

   The Monitoring and Event Response to Harmful Algal Blooms (MERHAB) competitive
   research program (approximately $2 million available annually) is working to reproduce
   elements found in ORHAB (e.g., coordination between scientists and managers, serving as a
   test bed for new technologies, effective communications/outreach, garnering sustainable
   funding to make the research operational) in other programs around the nation. ORHAB is
   included in Harmful Algal Research and Response: A National Environmental Science
   Strategy 2005–2015 (HARRNESS) as an example program for prevention, control, and
   mitigation of HABs. ORHAB was used as a template for developing HAB monitoring
   programs in Oregon and for a proposal to develop the first-ever monitoring program for HABs
   on the east coast of Russia (Kamchatka Peninsula) in 2005–2006.




                                                47
   Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
   automation?

   ORHAB greatly reduced the number of shellfish samples needed for analysis by the
   Washington Department of Health, and thereby, created greater confidence in opening beaches
   in a timely fashion for shellfish harvest.


   5. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
      customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

   ORHAB generated higher public satisfaction with and confidence in recreational clam digging
   on Washington State‘s outer coastal beaches.

                                    William Richards Group
                                    Gold Medal Nomination
                               Scientific/Engineering Achievement
                                              NMFS
                                          Nomination # 14


Nominees
William Richards, Ph.D., Research Fishery Biologist, GS-15
NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Fisheries Science Center
   Silver Medal (1985)
   Distinguished Career Award (2003)

James G. Ditty, Ph.D., Research Fishery Biologist, ZP 3
NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Fisheries Science Center


Joanne Lyczkowski-Shultz, Ph.D., Research Fishery Biologist, ZP 4
NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Fisheries Science Center

Larry Massey, Ph.D., Operations Research Analyst, ZP-4
NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Fisheries Science Center

Jack C. Javech, Scientific Illustrator, NOAA-Fisheries, GS-11
NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Fisheries Science Center

Category Scientific/Engineering Achievement

Nominator

William T. Hogarth, Ph.D
Assistant Administrator, Fisheries

Significance of the Accomplishment

                                                 48
The Team, working with 70 international scientists, enhanced sustainable fisheries by publishing
previously unknown data identifying larvae that look different from the economically important
adults.

Certificate Text

For working with 70 international scientists to publish an extensive guide on economically
important fish larvae of the western central N. Atlantic.

Program Booklet Text

The Team, working with 70 international scientists, enhanced sustainable fisheries by publishing
previously unknown data identifying larvae that look different from their commercially and
recreationally important adult forms. The guide, Early Stages of Atlantic Fishes: An Identification
Guide for the Western Central North Atlantic, covers 2,285 species found in territorial waters of 40
nations. This early life history data is critical to predicting abundance of year classes at the time of
harvest and potential impacts of natural and human-induced environmental changes on fish
populations.

Justification

Section 2 - Definitions
Early Life History (ELH) – the period from fertilized egg to juvenile, when the fish is able to
control its own movements and closely resembles the adult.

Year Class – the fish spawned in a particular year.


Section 3 – Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model

   1. What was the specific goal, challenge, or problem related to the Department’s mission
      and/or strategic plan?

Understanding the ELH of fishes is fundamental to fishery science and management, as it is
needed for predicting the abundance of year classes at the time they are harvested and for
evaluating the potential impact of both natural and human-induced environmental changes on fish
populations. The fundamental challenge for ELH studies is that most fish larvae do not resemble
the adults and are therefore difficult to identify. For this reason, ELH studies are rare.


   2. What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

The waters of the western central North Atlantic are biologically diverse, with over 2,200 marine
fish species. Existing information for identifying early life stages in this area was widely scattered
and poorly known, and guidelines did not exist for identifying many species. Furthermore, the
identification of larval fishes requires highly detailed, graphic and distinguishing scientific
descriptions.


                                                  49
   3. What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

The Team thoroughly gathered existing published ELH information; conducted voluminous new
and original research on ELH; determined specific identifying characteristics for each species;
wrote much of the treatise; prepared over 600 original pen-and-ink drawings of specimens;
assembled and supervised more than 70 leading scientists worldwide; established an online
database for organizing, communicating, and reviewing this information worldwide in a variety of
formats (e.g., textual descriptions of families and line art illustrations); and edited all the content.
In addition to Department scientists, experts participated from other federal and state agencies,
academia, and non-governmental organizations, as well as international agencies and
organizations.

   4. What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

A widely and highly regarded masterwork, Early Stages of Atlantic Fishes presents detailed
scientific ELH information for 2,285 species. This guide directly advances new research,
previously hindered due to little information on early stages, which will result in the delivery of
new and urgently needed scientific advice to fishery managers.


Section 4 – Additional Information

   1. How long did it take to complete the accomplishment?

Early Stages of Atlantic Fishes represents the culmination of the Team‘s consistent, collaborative
efforts with 70 scientists and experts worldwide over 5 years.

       When was the accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed?

The volumes were published in August 2005.

   2. What is the short-term impact (1–2 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
      Department’s mission?

This body of knowledge serves as an immediate scientific reference that will enhance the caliber of
data and advice delivered by the Department‘s scientists to managers. This work also advances the
international research and management of marine resources.




                                                   50
   3. What is the long-term impact (3–5 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
      Department’s mission?

This collection of knowledge will serve as a valuable research reference for many years to come,
and will form the basis for ELH studies for the next several decades. Although it will be
supplemented by various research papers, it is unlikely that this work will be revised for another 20
years.

   4. Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
      If so, how?

Early Stages of Atlantic Fishes is of great utility to Federal scientists, including fishery and marine
biologists, oceanographers, ecologists and environmental scientists, who provide advice to marine
and coastal resource managers. The ability to identify larvae, allows scientists to predict future
abundance; and assess human-induced and environmental impacts on western central North
Atlantic species, thereby enabling managers to improve the conservation and management of these
invaluable resources.


   5. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
      automation?

This work presents the most up-to-date and scientifically detailed information on ELH stages of
fishes from the western central North Atlantic. Because of the large number of species covered
and the level of detail provided, no other similar work compares in breadth, depth and
completeness of information.


   6. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
      customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

N/A




                                                  51
                NOAA Fisheries Service: National Seafood Inspection Lab, et al
                                  Gold Medal Nomination
                           Personal and Professional Excellence
                                          NMFS
                                      Nomination # 15

Organizations

NOAA Fisheries Service
    National Seafood Inspection Laboratory
    Southeast Fisheries Science Center-Mississippi Laboratories
NOAA Corporate Services
    Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, Project Planning and Management Division
NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations

Category

    Personal and Professional Excellence

Significance of the Accomplishment

Despite vast destruction to personal residences, a unified NOAA Team resumed severely disrupted
NOAA Fisheries Service‘s Northern Gulf of Mexico operations within 10 days of Hurricane
Katrina.

Certificate Text

For expeditiously re-establishing NOAA Fisheries Service‘s Northern Gulf of Mexico operations,
under formidable post-hurricane Katrina conditions.

Program Booklet Text

Quickly resuming severely disrupted NOAA Fisheries Service‘s Northern Gulf of Mexico
operations, this One-NOAA Team accounted for employees and ensured temporary
accommodations; secured on-site hazardous materials; retrieved critical data, specimens and
equipment; and accelerated procurement of vital supplies and services. The Team flew aircraft to
assess hurricane impacts; swiftly resumed key survey cruises; collected critical data for the
Department to assess marine fishery resources post-Hurricane Katrina; and resumed
national/international seafood inspection for export/import services.

JUSTIFICATION

Section 1I – Definitions

GUNTER: Gordon Gunter, NOAA Research Vesse
USEPA: United States Environmental Protection Agency
FDA: U.S. Food and Drug Administration
NIH: National Institutes of Health
CDC: Centers for Disease Control
                                            52
DOD: Department of Defense
DOI: Department of Interior
Codex: Joint WHO/FAO International Food Standards Programme
USDA: United States Department of Agriculture
DOS: United States Department of State
TED: Turtle Excluder Device
Seafood Industries: The business community that harvests, processes, brokers, and markets
seafood.
Bycatch – Fish or other marine life taken in a fishery that are not the target of the fishery.


Section III – Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model

What was the specific goal, challenge, or problem related to the Department’s mission and/or
strategic plan?

The NOAA Fisheries Service‘s Northern Gulf of Mexico operations are strategically located to
monitor, support, and regulate the Gulf‘s intense level of fishing-sector activity via: surveys of
fish, marine mammals and sea turtles; evaluations of fishing gear in reducing bycatch; and
inspection of seafood to ensure regulatory compliance and seafood safety. Hurricane Katrina
severely disrupted these functions, devastated marine resources, and greatly damaged fishing and
seafood industries.

What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

Sustaining major structural damage, NOAA Fisheries Service‘s Northern Gulf of Mexico facilities
were without power, potable water, sewage services and communications; and contained
hazardous materials. 40% of employee residencies were uninhabitable. Gulf fisheries were
devastated with reductions of 97% in shrimp landings; 44% in reef fish catches; and 58% in
charter vessel economic activity. Despite personal devastation, employees executed duties to
assess and mitigate Katrina‘s impact on marine resources and related industries, and restored
national and international seafood safety services.


What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

A Command Center on the GUNTER was quickly established to provide accommodations, meals,
medical treatment, and communications. Allocating resources to areas of greatest need, personnel
conducted search and rescue operations; provided disaster counseling; airlifted supplies; secured
facilities‘ hazardous materials and biological agents; retrieved data, biological samples and critical
equipment; accelerated procurement of vital supplies and equipment; flew aircraft to assess
hurricane damage; implemented studies to assess impacts on marine resources; conducted a Fall
Groundfish survey; and resumed seafood inspection duties.




                                                  53
What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

Successful resumption of key operational activities activated development and implementation of
recovery strategies for the Gulf marine resources and associated fisheries and seafood industries;
and restored critical national and international seafood safety services.

Section IV – Additional Information

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

Personnel accountability, safety and support-- within 10 days; initial infrastructure -- within 60
days; stewardship responsibilities initiated -- between 10 and 60 days; programmatic successes --
between 10 and 120 days.

What is the short-term impact (1–2 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
Department’s mission?

Resuming marine resource assessments and seafood inspections, allowed the Department to
implement timely measures in the critical early stages of recovery, including support for the
fishing/seafood industries in their hour of greatest need and restoration of national and
international seafood safety services.

What is the long-term impact (3–5 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
Department’s mission?

Post-Katrina accomplishments established the foundation for monitoring and pursuing the
recovery of impacted resources, fisheries and seafood industries and ensuring the recovery of the
social, economic, and ecological values of this very important region.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If so,
how?

The GUNTER supported NOAA, the US Navy, the Coast Guard, and many state and local
agencies during recovery efforts. The USEPA, FDA, NIH, CDC, DOD, DOS (Import/Export
Control) and State public health and environmental quality agencies relied on the seafood
inspection information. Further, the studies of Katrina‘s impacts on marine resources are
applicable to coastal resource management responsibilities of agencies such as USEPA and DOI.


Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation?

Yes. Katrina provided unique opportunities to develop mitigation/recovery strategies for marine
resources/fisheries impacted by catastrophic hurricanes. The innovative ecosystem-based data
collection efforts represent pioneering steps in addressing impacts of natural catastrophes on
marine resources/fisheries/seafood industries and are applicable world-wide. These efforts will be
presented at a 2006 US-Mexico Bilateral Meeting on the science and monitoring of jointly
managed Gulf of Mexico marine resources.
                                                  54
Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

Services delivered by this One-NOAA Team to fishermen and seafood industry organizations
established a new, extremely high level of dedicated and exemplary customer service and a model
to follow in future disaster planning and recovery.

                                       Steven Murawski
                                    Gold Medal Nomination
                                          Leadership
                                            NMFS
                                       Nomination # 16


Nominee

Steven A. Murawski
Director of Scientific Programs & Chief Science Advisor
NOAA Fisheries Service
Senior Executive Service
Past Awards:           2003 DOC Bronze Medal Award

Category

Leadership

Significance of the Accomplishment

Under Dr. Murawski‘s leadership, assets across NOAA were swiftly integrated to evaluate safety
of Gulf seafood and potential ecosystem impacts to the Northern Gulf from Hurricanes Katrina and
Rita.
Certificate Text

For providing the vision, and scientific and organizational leadership across NOAA to respond to
devastating effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Program Booklet Text

Recognizing the breadth of challenges in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Dr.
Murawski swiftly integrated NOAA assets to evaluate potential impacts to seafood safety and
ecosystem deterioration. Under his guidance NOAA survey cruises were designed and executed to
monitor and assess presence of toxins and pathogens in seafood and surrounding wetlands. He
directed NOAA scientists to evaluate collected samples for potential contamination and to conduct
socio-economic analyses; and served as Departmental spokesmen to Congress and the public to
convey assurances of seafood safety.

Section 2 – Definitions
                                               55
None.

Section 3 - Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model

   1. What was the specific goal, challenge, or problem related to the Department’s mission
      and/or strategic plan?

   Devastating impacts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita included unparalleled damage to
   businesses and coastal areas along the Gulf of Mexico. Some fishing communities sustained
   near total loss of fleets and infrastructure, with an estimated value of $500M. Public concern
   regarding the potential for seafood contamination and destructive impacts of marine debris to
   wetlands and fishing grounds was pervasive. These conditions directly relate to the
   Department‘s Strategic Goals for environmental stewardship and sustainable economic growth.

2. What was the context in which the nominee(s) addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

    Short-term context:
     The aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita created complex, interdisciplinary issues
       regarding seafood safety, marine debris, health of ecosystems, and impact on fish
       abundance and fishing communities.
     Each required the vision to look across organizational boundaries to prioritize and quickly
       deploy existing resources. As an example, the ability to model waterborne contaminants
       requires swift action as toxics and pathogens soon travel from the immediate area.
    Long-term context:
        If well- planned with adequate knowledge of ecosystem conditions, the opportunity
            exists to promote long-term sustainability of Gulf fisheries.
3. What specific actions did the nominee(s) take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

           Recognized breadth of challenges requiring strong leadership across NOAA;
           Quickly ranked and deployed NOAA‘s assets to evaluate environmental, social, and
            economic issues related to Gulf fisheries;
           Authorized targeted studies on contamination and socio-economic impacts; and
           Began engagement of Fisheries Management Council, States, other Federal agencies,
            and Congress in unprecedented effort for recovery of the Gulf fishing industry.




                                                56
4. What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

      Quantitatively verified that toxic chemicals did not accumulate to harmful levels in Gulf
       seafood, thereby preventing a false impression by the public that it was unsafe and an
       associated economic loss to the seafood industry; and
      Request is now before Congress for $21M to map debris and begin recovery of Gulf
       fisheries.


Section 4 - Additional Information

1. How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

      Leadership efforts began the week of September 3, 2005.
      By December 2005, more than 400 samples were analyzed with 5 separate reports showing
       no harmful levels of contaminants in Gulf seafood.
      Recovery of the fishing industry sector work began in November 2005, and will require
       years to complete.


2. What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
Department’s mission?

      Due to Dr. Murawski‘s leadership and guidance, NOAA effectively and efficiently
       delivered federal services to hurricane impacted areas along the Gulf of Mexico.
      The safety of Gulf seafood was quickly confirmed and will continue to be monitored for
       some time.
      Initial steps to recover the Gulf fisheries to sustainable levels are occurring.


3. What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
Department’s mission?

      In the long-term, the impact of recovering the Gulf fisheries will be to create substantial
       economic benefits to the region.
4. Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If
so, how?

The socio-economic analyses authorized by Dr. Murawski provide data useful to the Small
Business Administration in assisting Gulf Coast fishermen to re-establish their businesses.




                                                 57
5. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how?

No.

6. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

Yes.
      Dr. Murawski‘s vision and leadership demonstrated an approach to ensure that sound
       management decisions are made to address complex and harmful conditions in the
       aftermath of a natural disaster.

                                     Nancy B. Thompson
                                    Gold Medal Nomination
                                         Leadership
                                           NMFS
                                       Nomination #17


Nominee

Nancy B. Thompson, Ph.D.
NOAA Fisheries Service, Southeast Fisheries Science Center
Director
ES-482
Past Awards: NOAA Administrator‘s Award, May 6, 2003

Category

Leadership

Significance of the Accomplishment

Despite personal and professional devastation wrought by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, the
Department‘s fisheries mission activities resumed within two weeks under Dr. Thompson‘s
leadership.

Certificate Text

For leadership in executing the Department‘s fisheries mission activities despite unprecedented
devastation due to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.




                                                58
Program Booklet Text

Dr. Thompson‘s leadership was instrumental in resumption of the Department‘s fisheries mission
activities in the Gulf of Mexico following the devastating impacts of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and
Wilma. Under her leadership, employees‘ physical, emotional and professional needs were
addressed, allowing employees to focus on accomplishing their work with minimal interruption.
Dr. Thompson‘s concern for her staff and tireless efforts on their behalf inspired them to pull
together and find solutions to otherwise overwhelming obstacles to resuming their work.

Justification

Section 2 - Definitions

Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC)
Department of Commerce DOC
Fisheries Survey Vessel (FSV)


Section 3 – Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model

   1. What was the specific goal, challenge, or problem related to the Department’s mission
      and/or strategic plan?

   The NOAA Fisheries Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) collects data used for
   assessments to create the scientific basis for resource management in the Gulf of Mexico.
   Continuity of the time-series data is crucial to successful management of Gulf living marine
   resources. These data also support DOC Strategic Goal 1 ―improve community capacity to
   achieve and sustain economic growth‖ and DOC Strategic Goal 3: ―observe, protect, and
   manage the Earth‗s resources to promote environmental stewardship.‖


   2. What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

   Hurricane Katrina rendered the Pascagoula Laboratory non-functional; 40% of staff lost homes
   or needed shelter; and staff were impacted emotionally by the changed landscape and the loss
   of family, friends and neighbors. Within a month Hurricane Rita threatened Galveston, TX
   and Lafayette, LA. In late October 2005, Hurricane Wilma made landfall in South Florida,
   forcing evacuation of SEFSC Headquarters and laboratory employees for the third time in the
   greater Miami area. During all three mandatory evacuations, research continued in support of
   resource management.
   3. What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

   -Provided on-site leadership and rallied staff 24-hours per day, seven days per week;
   -Coordinated relief efforts;
   -Accounted for all NOAA SEFSC employees within 10 days of storm landfall;
   -Provided satellite phones to employees to account for staff and property;
   -Provided equipment to employees to improve self reliance;
   -Reinstated work infrastructure by placing trailers on site and expediting repair of a usable
   wing of the main laboratory;
                                                 59
   -Brought in counselors for grieving support; and
   -Articulated needs of people, facilities, mission to Department leadership to ensure continuity
   of operations/mission and sustenance of employees.

   4. What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

   -Maintained continuity of Center operations and integrity of time-series data critical to
   resource management of living marine resources in the Gulf of Mexico; and
   -Incorporated lessons learned into a plan to extend hurricane/disaster resilience throughout the
   region.


Section 4 – Additional Information

   1. How long did it take to complete the accomplishment?

   The return to the Department‘s fisheries mission activities resumed within 2 weeks of
   hurricane landfalls, after accounting for employees. Within one week, Dr. Thompson resolved
   problems related to receiving paychecks. Within two weeks, a team was deployed to rescue
   captive-reared dolphins. Within one month, trailers were placed on site as temporary office
   space. By October 2005, the fall groundfish cruise embarked, maintaining the integrity of this
   time-series data, which extends back to the 1970‘s. Within 4 months, data were analyzed and
   results on impacts of the storm to living marine resources were provided to resource managers.


   2. When was the accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed?

      Started August 29, 2005, immediately after the storm eye passed inland; accomplishments
      focused in this order relative to priority:
      Accounting for employees and assessed their status: August 29 - September 9, 2005;
      Accounting for facility/safety and use: September 1, 2005;
      Starting mission: September 15, 2005 (gear work for turtle bycatch); and
      Groundfish cruise: October 2005.


   3. What is the short-term impact (1–2 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
      Department’s mission?

      Integrity of a critical long-term data stream was maintained, allowing for science-based
      management and policy decisions to be made for living marine resources in the Gulf of
      Mexico.


   4. What is the long-term impact (3–5 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
      Department’s mission?

      Lessons learned from this series of natural disasters were used to formulate a plan, now
      being implemented, to move toward a more hurricane/disaster-resilient workplace.

                                                60
   5. Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
      If so, how?

       Indirectly, as other agencies rely on data and scientific advice provided by the NOAA
       Fisheries Southeast Science Center and its laboratories.


   6. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
      automation?

       No


   7. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
      customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

       This leadership effort resulted in well-documented lessons learned on meeting the needs of
       employees and their communities in a crisis. Priorities were set within three key areas in
       order of importance – people, facilities, and mission. Lessons learned included activities
       such as building emergency communication networks, ensuring delivery of timely
       paychecks, flexible use of administrative leave, TSP withdrawals without penalties,
       evacuation pay, and mobilizing counselors.

                                   Louis Jachimczyk Group
                                   Gold Medal Nomination
                                           Heroism
                                            NMFS
                                      Nomination # 18

Nominees

Louis Jachimczyk, Assistant Special Agent in Charge (GS-13)
NOAA Fisheries Service, Office of Law Enforcement

Gregg Houghaboom, Special Agent (GS-12)
NOAA Fisheries Service, Office of Law Enforcement

Allan Coker, Special Agent (GS-12)
NOAA Fisheries Service, Office of Law Enforcement

Emanuel Antonaras, Special Agent (GS-9)
NOAA Fisheries Service, Office of Law Enforcement

Ross Lane, Special Agent (GS-12)
NOAA Fisheries Service, Office of Law Enforcement

Jeff Ray, Special Agent (GS-12)
NOAA Fisheries Service, Office of Law Enforcement

                                               61
Patrick Flynn, Special Agent (GS-12)
NOAA Fisheries Service, Office of Law Enforcement

Category:             Heroism

Significance of the Accomplishment:

Protecting the WFO in Slidell, LA from potential looting and supplying gas required for power
generators enabled continuous reporting of weather and flood data immediately following
Hurricane Katrina.

Certificate Text:

For providing the necessary security and supplies required by the WFO in Slidell, LA to continue
reporting weather and flood data to the public.

Program Booklet Text:

Special Agents from NOAA‘s Office of Law Enforcement placed themselves at risk for disease
and personal harm as they traversed the storm ravaged area of coastal Louisiana. Arriving at the
Weather Forecast Office in Slidell, LA, they provided security from potential looting and much
needed gas for power generators. Their efforts enabled continuous reporting of weather and flood
data to the public immediately following Hurricane Katrina; delivery of a vessel to state
enforcement partners for rescue operations; and access to restricted areas in New Orleans to repair
remote sensor sites.

JUSTIFICATION:

Section II. Definitions
       OLE: National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Law Enforcement
       WFO: National Weather Service, Weather Forecast Office
       JEA: Joint Enforcement Agreement; a program through which OLE federally deputizes
       state enforcement officers in partner states to enforce federal fisheries laws.




                                                62
Section III. Award Justification

1. What was the specific goal, challenge, or problem related to the Department’s mission
   and/or strategic plan?

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Department requested the OLE to provide support to
NOAA personnel and facilities, especially at the WFO in Slidell, LA, where personnel and the
facility were vulnerable to looting and power generators were short on fuel. Viable operations at
the WFO were critical to continued transmission of weather and flood data on a 24-hour basis to
the public and rescue response agencies.


2. What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal challenge or problem?

   OLE Special Agents initially responded to a call for assistance from WFO personnel who
   heard gunshots and were fearful that their facility would be vulnerable to roving groups of
   people who were looting in the area. Challenged with blocked roadways and harsh conditions,
   these agents swiftly traversed the storm ravaged coastal area.


3. What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

   Arriving at the WFO, the OLE Special Agents promptly established security measures.
   Further, they transported 500 gallons of gas to this area, which was in short supply, for power
   generators, vehicles, and vessels.

   OLE Special Agents also delivered a vessel to our JEA partner for rescue operations; searched
   for NOAA employees who were unaccounted for; enabled access to restricted areas in New
   Orleans to repair remote sensor sites; provided humanitarian assistance; facilitated the
   distribution of water and food, and provided medical assistance to victims of Hurricane
   Katrina.

4. What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?
   The presence of OLE Special Agents at the WFO provided heightened security during a time
   of fear and uncertainty along with supplies necessary for the continued delivery of weather and
   flood data during the multi-agency response to victims of Hurricane Katrina. The Special
   Agents‘ humanitarian efforts, partially at their own expense, rendered during the performance
   of their duties, exemplified the highest traditions of public service. Further, continuity of other
   NOAA operations were facilitated as the Agents located Department employees who were
   previously unaccounted for.

Section IV. Additional Information

   1. How long did it take to complete the accomplishment?

       Two weeks.

   2. What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
      Department’s mission?
                                            63
      Sustained the ability to provide critical weather and flood information and advisories to the
      public and responding personnel.

  3. What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
     Department’s mission?

      N/A

  4. Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
     If so, how?

      Yes, this information was critical to response and evacuation efforts. Additionally, the
      Special Agents located employees of the Department of Commerce who were previously
      unaccounted for.


  5. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
     automation?

      N/A

  6. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
     customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

      N/A


                                    Thomas Bigford Group
                                   Silver Medal Nomination
                                          Leadership
                                            NMFS
                                        Nomination # 19

Nominees

Name                           Grade        Line Office            Past Awards
Thomas Bigford, Fishery        ZP-V         NOAA Fisheries         Unit Citations 1982, 1984;
Administrator                                                      Special Act 1996; Gold Medal
                                                                   2004
Kerry Frederick Griffin,       ZP-III       NOAA Fisheries         Gold Medal 2004
Marine Resource Habitat
Specialist
Jane Serrita Hannuksela,       GS-15        NOAA General           Administrators Award 2002, Gold
Attorney                                    Counsel                Medal 2004
Melanie Spring Harris,         ZP-III       NOAA Fisheries         None
Marine Resource Habitat
Specialist

                                               64
 Mark A. Hodor, Attorney             GS-14      NOAA General        NOAA GC Award 2003, 2004;
                                                Counsel             Bronze Medal 2004;
                                                                    Administrator‘s Award 2005;
                                                                    Special Act 2005
 Dr. Garry F. Mayer, Fishery         ZP-V       NOAA Fisheries      Silver Medal 2000, Gold Medal
 Administrator                                                      2004
 Christopher D. Fontecchio,                     NOAA General        NOAA GC Award 2004; DOC
 Attorney                                       Counsel             GC Special Act 2005
 Brett Joseph, Attorney              GS-14      NOAA General        None
                                                Counsel
 Emily Rebecca Lindow                GS-        DOC/Secretary and   None
                                     14/ZP-IV   NMFS/AA

Category

Leadership

Nominator

William T. Hogarth, Ph.D
Assistant Administrator, Fisheries

Significance of the Accomplishment

The Team‘s leadership in a contentious interagency effort enabled timely implementation of
Energy Policy Act‘s hydropower provisions that increase public participation in license
negotiations.

Certificate Text

For expeditiously negotiating hydropower licensing procedures and regulations to improve
stakeholder participation and conserve fish habitat.

Program Booklet Text

The Team worked with representatives from CEQ, DOI, OMB, USDA, industry, and
environmental groups to develop administrative processes for public involvement in DOC
recommendations and regulatory language to implement provisions of the Energy Policy Act.
Contentious interagency debate on public review of recommendations for fish passage through
hydropower facilities began in 2004 and evolved into a 3-month sprint to meet the November 2005
deadline for a final rule to implement hydropower provisions mandated by the 2005 Energy Policy
Act. Despite formidable challenges, the deadline was met.

Justification

Section 2 - Definitions

Anadromous fish – Fish species that migrate as adults from the ocean into rivers to spawn, and
then return to the sea as juveniles.
                                               65
CEQ –White House Council on Environmental Quality.
DOC – Department of Commerce.

DOI – Department of Interior.

Energy Policy Act of 2005 – Law passed on August 8, 2005, that mandated the Department of
Commerce to work with other federal agencies to develop a final rule on fish passage issues by
November 2005.

Hydropower facility – Dam and power station designed to generate power from river flow, with
implications to trust resources and associated industries.

OMB – Office of Management and Budget.

USDA – US Department of Agriculture.



Section 3 – Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model

   What was the specific goal, challenge, or problem related to the Department’s mission
   and/or strategic plan?

   The goal was to resolve years of fractious debate about balancing environmental concerns in
   decisions related to hydropower facility licensing. The Team participated in contentious
   interagency discussions from 2004 until mid-2005, and then parlayed the strength of scientific
   information, natural resource policy, and legal insights into key aspects of an interim final rule
   implementing the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The rulemaking deadline mandated by the Act
   was met via a strong team representing national interests.

   What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

   This accomplishment addressed a congressional mandate to develop a final rule by November
   2005, in response to the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Eighteen months of preemptive,
   interagency work in anticipation of new energy legislation offered a solid footing for this 3-
   month task.




                                                 66
   What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

   The Team established a technical group in 2005, in anticipation of this new mandate. That
   group redoubled its efforts after the Energy Policy Act of 2005 was signed, thereby enabling
   the Department to speak with authority in interagency negotiations with Interior and
   Agriculture, under OMB and CEQ oversight. The interagency team completed a joint rule
   within the 90-day period mandated by Congress.

   What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

   The congressionally mandated final rule was published on November 17, 2005. This joint,
   integrated rule with DOC, Interior, and Agriculture met the Department‘s major obligation
   under the Energy Policy Act of 2005. By virtue of the rule, the Department established
   procedures to accept alternative approaches to protect anadromous fish and ways to analyze
   those alternatives. The rule also provides a 90-day process by which the public can seek
   review of the scientific underpinnings of the Department‘s conditions for fish protection at
   hydropower projects. The process began implementation in FY 2006.

Section 4 – Additional Information

   How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
   completed/implemented/deployed?
   DOC had addressed administrative, scientific, and legal issues associated with hydropower
   facility licensing for years. Efforts escalated in 2004, with rulemaking for public comment on
   Department recommendations to allow fish to pass by hydropower facilities. That baseline
   effort with federal partners and the private sector was crucial as the Team toiled to meet the 90-
   day congressional mandate for a final rule. The final rule was published on November 17,
   2005.

   What is the short-term impact (1–2 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
   Department’s mission?

   These actions satisfied a mandate for a final rule on an important issue to the hydropower
   industry and a crucial aspect of the Administration‘s energy package. The new process
   satisfies industry concerns for balance in the licensing arena.

   What is the long-term impact (3–5 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
   Department’s mission?
   Long-term prospects are for greater support from Congress and improved collaboration
   between the Department and its interagency partners. The new process should provide a
   greater choice of alternatives to allow fish past hydropower facilities, thereby improving the
   prospects for rebuilding imperiled fish stocks.




                                                67
   Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If
   so, how?
   The Department worked closely with the Department of Interior (Fish and Wildlife Service,
   Bureau of Indian Affairs, Geological Survey, Solicitor‘s Office, Office of Policy) and
   Department of Agriculture (Forest Service, Solicitor‘s Office) to develop this joint rule. The
   collaborative effort was mandated by Congress and prompted by shared jurisdiction. The
   Department‘s success was aided by close partnerships with CEQ and OMB.

   Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
   automation?
   The new regulations improve stakeholder opportunities to submit alternatives for fish passage
   and other environmental measures. Alternatives include more efficient use of technology to
   count fish diverted away from the facility, resulting in a more profitable and efficient
   hydropower project.
   Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
   customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

   Administrative procedures encompassing legal and scientific issues add opportunities for
   public participation in licensing. New avenues are available to challenge mandatory
   conditions, with greater access to government operations/decision-making.


                                 Jerome Pella/Michele Masuda
                                   Silver Medal Nomination
                              Scientific/Engineering Achievement
                                             NMFS
                                         Nomination # 20

Nominees
 Jerome Pella, Ph.D., Mathematical Statistician – ZP/1529/IV
       NOAA Fisheries Service
       Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Auke Bay Laboratory, Juneau, Alaska

 Michele Masuda, Mathematical Statistician – ZP/1529/III
       NOAA Fisheries Service
       Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Auke Bay Laboratory, Juneau, Alaska

Category

Scientific/Engineering Achievement

Nominator

William T. Hogarth, Ph.D
Assistant Administrator, Fisheries

Significance of the Accomplishment
                                                68
       New method facilitates fisheries ecosystem management by recognizing, for the first time,
       individual populations in a mixed-population sample without specific genetic descriptions
       of the populations.

 Certificate Text

       For creating a method that for the first time recognizes individual fish populations in a
       mixed-population sample with no baseline genetic data.

 Program Booklet Text

       The Team developed a genetic program for estimating the number of fish populations in
       samples with no prior knowledge of individual populations. Although required for
       ecosystem management, knowledge of individual fish populations is lacking in most
       fisheries. Collecting data via this new method enables use of specific harvest limits to
       reduce risk of over-harvesting smaller populations and maximize yield from larger ones.
       Also, ecosystem management will become more efficient as new genetic data on the
       world‘s fish, bird, and mammal populations are collected at significant cost savings.


Definitions
       Baseline – a genetic description of the individual populations that make up a specific
       fishery.

       Mixed populations – a group of populations in a specific fishery or area.

       Population – used in the sense of ―local population,‖ Mendelian Population, stock, or Deme
       that refers to locally interbreeding groups.

Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model

       1. What was the specific goal, challenge, or problem related to the
          Department’s mission and/or strategic plan?

       NOAA‘s Strategic Plan, Mission Goal #1, reads: ―Protect, restore, and manage the use of
       coastal and ocean resources through an ecosystem approach to management.‖ To exercise
       an ecosystem approach to management, individual populations need to be known. In most
       fisheries, individual populations are neither identified nor readily sampled. The challenge
       was to devise a method of segregating populations in a fishery without prior descriptions of
       the baseline populations.




                                                 69
      2. What was the context in which the nominees addressed the goal, challenge or
         problem?

      The Team approached the problem knowing that in most cases the baseline populations
      could not be readily sampled. They worked on a method to segregate individual
      populations in a mixed population sample by relatedness in genetic composition. This was
      a novel approach, because most scientists believed the only way to identify individual
      populations would be to sample them when they are segregated during spawning.

      3. What specific actions did the nominees take to address the goal, challenge
         or problem?

      The Team developed a complex software program that searched for genetic linkages
      between individuals in a mixed-population sample and then combined the related
      individuals into groups or populations.

      4.   What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative
           terms?

      The Team developed a software program that provides accurate estimates of population
      composition in mixed harvests without prior genetic knowledge of the baseline populations
      that contribute to the mixed harvest.


Additional Information

      1. How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the
         accomplishment completed?

      The Team began developing the mathematical procedures for this program about 4 years
      ago, and the concerted effort to complete a manuscript took about 1 year. The manuscript
      was submitted to the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences in March 2005
      and accepted for publication in September 2005. It was available for world distribution in
      February 2006.

      2. What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s
         mission?

      World recognition of this achievement will occur rapidly, as the paper is now available via
      the Internet. Early use of the program to evaluate stock structure in some fisheries has
      already begun, but it will probably be several years before major uses of the program are
      reported in the literature.




                                               70
3. What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s
   mission?

The long-term impact will be on NOAA Mission Goal Numbers 1 and 5, by providing a
critical tool to better accomplish an ecosystem approach to management in national and
international fisheries at lower costs than previously possible.

4. Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal
   agencies? If so, how?

This program will improve management of fish, bird, and mammal populations under other
federal, state, or international jurisdiction by lowering the cost of collecting required
information.

5. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
   automation? If so, how?

This effort is a major scientific breakthrough in international genetic population analysis.
Prior to this new method, identification of different populations required sampling the
individual populations (e.g., Pacific or Atlantic salmon) when they are segregated during
spawning or mating. In most cases, the location of individual populations when they are
segregated is unknown. This achievement provides researchers and managers with the first
tool to estimate the number of populations in many marine fisheries. Bird, marine
mammal, and terrestrial mammal management also will benefit from this sophisticated
approach to population identification.

6. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas
   such as customer service or administrative support?

   N/A




                                         71
                                       David Boughton Group
                                      Silver Medal Nomination
                                 Scientific/Engineering Achievement
                                                NMFS
                                            Nomination # 21

Nominees
David Boughton, Ph.D.
NOAA Fisheries Service, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Fisheries Ecology Division
Position Title: Ecologist
Series-Grade/Pay Band: ZP-0408-3

Peter Adams, Ph.D.
NOAA Fisheries .Service, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Fisheries Ecology Division
Position Title: Research Fishery Biologist
Series-Grade/Pay Band: ZP-0482-4

Churchill Grimes, Ph.D.
NOAA Fisheries Service, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Fisheries Ecology Division
Position Title: Fisheries Ecology Division Director
Series-Grade/Pay Band: ZP–0482-5
Past Awards: NOAA Bronze Medal Recipient (1996)

Category

Scientific Achievement

Nominator

William T. Hogarth, Ph.D
Assistant Administrator, Fisheries

Significance of the Accomplishment

The California Coastal Salmonid Monitoring Plan marks the first attempts to collect recovery data for
California ESA salmonid populations. The data will be the basis for ESA decisions and delistings.

Certificate Text

For leading the Coastal California Salmonid Monitoring Plan to measure recovery of California‘s
Endangered Species Act salmonid listings.

Program Booklet Text

The Team demonstrated outstanding leadership in developing a joint plan with the California
Department of Fish and Game to monitor anadromous salmonids. The plan, the first for California,
is essential to the recovery of threatened or endangered salmonids, and it will have a direct and
lasting impact on the ability of the Department to meet Pacific salmon recovery goals. Criteria
established in the plan are based on a coastwide scientific analysis and consensus among many
                                                  72
partners, and are expected to be the basis for future recovery plans of ESA-listed salmonids in the
region.

Justification

Section 2 – Definition

Endangered Species Act = ESA

Section 3 – Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model

   1. What was the specific goal, challenge, or problem related to the Department’s mission
      and/or strategic plan?

   The California Coastal Monitoring Plan is an essential step toward recovery of ESA-listed
   salmonids. The lack of measurable recovery standards has led to great uncertainty and lack of
   confidence about the recovery planning process.

   2. What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

   Developing the California Coastal Monitoring Plan was a complex and difficult process due to
   the large number of agencies and groups involved in the plan and their often conflicting goals.
   The process included the States of California and Oregon, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
   the U.S. Forest Service, and many other government, private and industry groups. Bringing
   consensus to this process was a difficult but essential requirement.


   3. What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

   The monitoring plan process began with two workshops. The first workshop, which reviewed
   existing monitoring plans in California and elsewhere on the West Coast, resulted in a strategy
   for developing monitoring plan goals. The second workshop identified specific monitoring
   goals and needs for each recovery area. Subsequently, a writing team was formed to develop
   the plan. This two-year process included extensive comment and review by all partners at
   almost every stage of the plan.


   4. What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

   The development and acceptance of the monitoring plan allows the California ESA salmonid
   recovery process to begin in earnest. The ability to assess salmonid population status and
   trends is central to any ESA decision.


Section 4 – Additional Information

   1. How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
      completed/implemented/deployed?

                                                 73
The monitoring plan process took 2-1/2 years. The initial plan was completed in July 2005,
with comments and revisions continuing for another 6 months.


2. What is the short-term impact (1–2 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
   Department’s mission?

The short-term impact on the Department will be to build the Southwest ESA salmonid
recovery process on a strong scientific foundation and allow recovery planning to begin in
earnest.


3. What is the long-term impact (3–5 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
   Department’s mission?

In the long term, the monitoring plan will impact nearly all of NOAA Fisheries Service
activities in the Southwest. The monitoring plan will provide necessary data for a range of
agency activities.


4. Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
   If so, how?

Actions of all federal natural resource–oriented agencies, particularly the US Fish and Wildlife
Service and the US Forest Service, were limited because of the lack of California salmonid
population data. These agencies now will be more scientifically informed and better able to
make and evaluate decisions about resource management affecting salmonids.


5. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
   automation?

The monitoring plan will base the Southwest ESA-listed salmonid recovery process on a sound
scientific foundation. Although population monitoring itself is not a major scientific
advancement, the lack of population monitoring has been a major shortcoming.


6. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
   customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

The knowledge that recovery decisions are based on a sound scientific process brings
confidence and acceptance from stakeholders. This recognition is tremendously important,
because ultimately it will be the stakeholders themselves who accomplish salmonid recovery.




                                             74
                                       Clay Porch Group
                                   Silver Medal Nomination
                              Scientific/Engineering Achievement
                                             NMFS
                                         Nomination # 22


Nominees

Clay E. Porch III, Ph.D., NOAA Fisheries Service, SEFSC, GS-14, Research Fisheries Biologist
       Bronze Medal (2004)

Stephen C. Turner, Ph.D., NOAA Fisheries Service, SEFSC, GS-14, Research Fisheries Biologist

Gerald P. Scott, Ph.D., NOAA Fisheries Service, SEFSC, ZP-V, Supervisory Fisheries Biologist

Elizabeth N. Brooks, Ph.D., NOAA Fisheries Service, SEFSC, GS-12, Statistical Mathematician

Shannon Cass-Calay, Ph.D., NOAA Fisheries Service, SEFSC, GS-12 , Research Fisheries Biologist
       Bronze Medal (2004)

Guillermo A. Diaz, Ph.D., NOAA Fisheries Service, SEFSC, GS-12, Research Fisheries Biologist

Scott Nichols, Ph.D., NOAA Fisheries Service, SEFSC, ZP-V, Supervisory Fisheries Biologist

Mauricio Ortiz, Ph.D., NOAA Fisheries Service, SEFSC, GS-13, Research Fisheries Biologist

Joshua S. Nowlis, Ph.D., NOAA Fisheries Service, SEFSC, GS-13, Research Fisheries Biologist

Category

Scientific/Engineering Achievement

Nominator

William T. Hogarth, Ph.D
Assistant Administrator, Fisheries

Significance of the Accomplishment

The Team developed leading-edge analytical tools, including a complex mathematical model, to
assess the overfished Gulf of Mexico red snapper stock, which is of high commercial and
recreational value.

Certificate Text
For developing leading-edge assessments of Gulf of Mexico red snapper stock by integrating new
and diverse sources of biological and fishery data.

Program Booklet Text

                                                75
The Team developed a mathematical model with analytical tools to capitalize on recent
improvements in data collection. These tools form a major advancement in quantitatively linking
voluminous, diverse, and higher resolution data into an integrative model for providing fisheries
management advice. Resource managers now are receiving greatly improved scientific advice on
balancing competing uses of red snapper stock by recreational and commercial fishermen and by
the economically valuable Gulf of Mexico shrimp trawl fisheries, in which juvenile red snapper is
a bycatch species.


Justification

Section 2 - Definitions
Bycatch – Fish or other marine life taken in a fishery that are not the target of the fishery.

Bycatch Reduction Device (BRD) – Gear modification, commonly used with shrimp trawls, to
reduce bycatch while fishing.

Discards – Economic discards are catches that are the target of a fishery but are not retained
because they are of an undesirable size, sex, or quality, or for other economic reasons. Regulatory
discards are catches that may not be retained because of existing regulations (e.g., size or trip
limits, closed season, etc.).

GMFMC – Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

GOM – Gulf of Mexico.

Section 3 – Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model

   1. What was the specific goal, challenge, or problem related to the Department’s mission
      and/or strategic plan?

To improve techniques and models for assessing the overfished GOM red snapper stock and
provide scientific advice to the GMFMC.

   2. What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

GOM red snapper has dominated the attention of fishery managers for years. Management of this
stock is controversial due to its economical importance to competing interests of recreational and
commercial fishermen; and the bycatch of juvenile red snapper in the shrimp fishery (the most
economically valuable fishery in the GOM) significantly impedes the rebuilding of the stock.
Despite reductions in fishing mortality, GOM red snapper remains severely overfished. Prior to
the 2005 assessment, scientists knew that existing data was inadequate for successfully managing
this complicated fishery. Large research investments greatly advanced the red snapper information
base, but existing analytical tools could not fully utilize the new, sophisticated datasets.

   3. What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?


                                                  76
The Team developed an innovative and mathematically rigorous assessment model with new
analytical techniques to capitalize on massive gains in red snapper data. Using these powerful
methodologies to analyze geographic and temporal substructures of the data, the Team produced a
highly credible stock assessment. It explored alternative stock hypotheses; developed new
techniques to create abundance indices; constructed a catch history reaching more than 130 years;
and predicted costs and benefits of management options. Using an open and highly scrutinized
process with stakeholder participation, the effort culminated in the review and acceptance of the
techniques/model by an independent panel of experts.


   4. What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

This advanced stock assessment of red snapper allows fisheries managers to allocate resource use
to commercial, recreational, and shrimp trawl fisheries. The new techniques also are applicable to
economically important stocks such as bluefin tuna and billfishes; and will facilitate the analysis of
voluminous and diverse datasets required for an improved ecosystem approach to management.

Section 4 – Additional Information

   1. How long did it take to complete the accomplishment?

The model required 2 years of intensive study, preceded by 5 years of greatly enhanced data
collection efforts.

       When was the accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed?

The GOM Red Snapper Assessment was completed in fall 2005.


   2. What is the short-term impact (1–2 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
      Department’s mission?

These new analytical tools provided immediate and credible scientific advice to the Gulf of
Mexico Fisheries Management Council (GMFMC) for developing appropriate and specific
management measures for rebuilding the GOM red snapper stock.

   3. What is the long-term impact (3–5 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
      Department’s mission?

One of NOAA Fisheries Service‘s Strategic Goals is to achieve sustainable fisheries that ensure
fish stocks are available for commercial, recreational, and subsistence uses. Because the GOM red
snapper stock is severely depleted, rebuilding to optimal levels will require decades, even in the
absence of fishing. In this context, the long-term objective defined by the GMFMC is to rebuild to
optimal levels by 2032. In a 3- to 5-year time frame, the 2005 red snapper assessment provides a
sound scientific basis for the GMFMC to achieve specific rebuilding targets by 2010, which will
lead to the achievement of the 2032 goal.



                                                 77
   4. Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
      If so, how?

The scientific approach developed by the Team is of great value to all federal agencies pursuing
ecosystem approaches to resource management, where vast and varied data sets must be
quantitatively integrated into rigorous analytical models for delivering scientific advice to resource
managers.


   5. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
      automation?

The tools represent major advancements in the scientific methods of quantitatively incorporating—
in a realistic and credible manner—voluminous, diverse, and higher resolution data into an
integrative model for providing fisheries management advice.


   6. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
      customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

   N/A




                                                 78
                                      Chris Jordan Group
                                   Silver Medal Nomination
                              Scientific/Engineering Achievement
                                             NMFS
                                         Nomination # 23

Nominee

Chris E. Jordan, Ph.D.
NOAA Fisheries Service, Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Program Manager, Mathematical Biology and Systems Monitoring,
ZP-482-IV
Past Awards: Department of Commerce, Bronze Medal Award (2005)

Kim W. Kratz, Ph.D.
NOAA Fisheries Service, Northwest Regional Office
Senior Policy Advisor,
ZP-482-IV
Past Awards: Department of Commerce – Bronze Medal Award (2005)

Mary H. Ruckelshaus, Ph.D.
NOAA Fisheries Service, Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Team Leader, Salmon Risk Evaluation group,
ZP-482-IV
Past Awards: Department of Commerce – Bronze Medal Award (2005)
             Department of Commerce – Bronze Medal Award (2004)
             Department of Commerce – Bronze Medal Award (2000)

Michael R. Crouse
NOAA Fisheries Service, Northwest Regional Office
Assistant Regional Administrator, Habitat Conservation Division;
ZP-480-V
Past Awards: Department of Commerce – Bronze Medal Award (2004)

Category

Scientific/Engineering Achievement

Nominator

William T. Hogarth, Ph.D
Assistant Administrator, Fisheries




                                             79
Significance of the Accomplishment

Linking recovery plans for 17 distinct salmon populations, the Team‘s approach advances the
Department‘s ability to work with stakeholders to rank and sequence recovery efforts for each
population.

Certificate Text

For development of a science-based monitoring and adaptive management methodology for
salmon and steelhead recovery in the Pacific Northwest.

Program Booklet Text

The Team is honored for developing a decision and adaptive management approach through a
collaborative effort among department scientists for use in recovery plans in four Pacific
Northwest recovery domains that contain 17 salmon and steelhead listed ESUs. The approach
integrates statutory, regulatory, and policy requirements with the best available science. This
approach will be applied by local recovery planners to develop and refine adaptive management
and monitoring programs and report the effectiveness of these efforts on salmonid recovery and
rebuilding.

Justification

Section 2 - Definitions

Anadromous – A fish species migrating as a juvenile from freshwater to the ocean and then
returning as an adult to spawn in freshwater; most Pacific salmon are anadromous.

Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU) – An ESU is a population that (1) is substantially
reproductively isolated from conspecific populations and (2) represents an important component in
the evolutionary legacy of the species.

Recovery Plan – The Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires NOAA Fisheries Service to develop
and implement recovery plans for conservation and survival of listed species. Recovery plans must
describe specific management actions; establish objective, measurable criteria for delisting; and
estimate the time and cost to carry out measures needed to achieve recovery.

Recovery Planning Domain – A recovery planning area that may consist of multiple ESUs.

Technical Recovery Team (TRT) – A NOAA-appointed team of qualified scientists charged with
developing ESA delisting criteria for listed salmon and steelhead, as well as providing other
scientific input to the recovery planning process. The TRT consists of experts in salmon biology,
population dynamics, conservation biology, ecology, and other disciplines relevant to the recovery
domain.

Viable – A viable salmonid population (VSP) is an independent population of any Pacific
salmonid (genus Oncorhynchus) that has a negligible risk of extinction due to threats from
demographic variation, local environmental variation, and genetic diversity changes over a 100-
year time frame.
                                               80
Section 3 – Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model

   1. What was the specific goal, challenge, or problem related to the Department’s mission
      and/or strategic plan?

   The Team‘s challenge was to create guidance for local planners to develop recovery plans in
   four Pacific Northwest recovery domains that contain 17 salmon and steelhead listed ESUs to
   be completed by December 2006. This challenge directly relates to NOAA‘s mission to
   recover protected species through an ecosystem approach to management, and DOC‘s strategic
   environmental stewardship mission.

   2. What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

   Each year the Department provides millions of dollars to states and tribes in the Pacific
   Northwest to implement conservation actions for listed anadromous species. Millions more are
   spent annually by other federal, regional, and local entities to fulfill obligations under the
   Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Northwest Power Act and to implement conservation
   programs. Local recovery planners require consistent and scientifically sound guidance to
   develop and refine adaptive management and monitoring programs and report the effectiveness
   of salmonid recovery and rebuilding efforts.


   3. What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

   The Team developed an approach that identifies key questions to consider when determining
   whether an ESU‘s condition and its associated threats warrant a delisting. The science-based
   guidance enables planners to determine where funds can be expended to gain the most
   significant results. This relationship provides the context for recovery actions by the
   Department, and other federal, regional, and state conservation programs. The adaptive
   management and monitoring approach ensures that benefits of implemented actions can be
   demonstrated and reported.

   4. What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

   Federal, state, tribal, and local entities are using this guidance to develop and implement
   conservation programs for listed ESUs. The successful use of this guidance now is a template
   for a region-wide approach to recovery plan development, implementation, and monitoring.
   This success will enhance completion of recovery plans by December 2006, implementation of
   the plans, and future salmonid conservation management.

Section 4 – Additional


   1. How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the
      accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed


                                               81
The Team initiated development of this decision and adaptive management strategy in July
2005, and its use in recovery plans began in December 2005.


2. What is the short-term impact (1–2 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
   Department’s mission?

The Team created a tool for use by all stakeholders involved in developing adaptive
management programs for recovery plans, implementing actions, and reporting effectiveness
that advances NOAA‘s mission to recover protected species.


3. What is the long-term impact (3–5 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
   Department’s mission?

The Team contributed to NOAA‘s objective to manage ecosystems by applying scientifically
sound observations, assessments, and conservation science to promote the sustainable use of
resources and to balance competing uses of coastal and marine ecosystems. The Team‘s
achievements represent a major contribution to NOAA‘s objective to achieve balance among
ecological, environmental, and social influences, through an ecosystem approach to
management, and advance DOC‘s strategic environmental stewardship mission.


4. Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
   If so, how?

The guidance affects regional and national federal agencies using their authorities to
implement the Endangered Species Act through effective adaptive management programs for
the management and conservation of anadromous salmonids.


5. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
   automation?

The Team integrated scientifically sound observations, assessments, and conservation findings
to facilitate the recovery of species at an unprecedented scale. The framework distills a core
set of conservation attributes that define salmon viability from the complex approaches taken
by four different TRTs. The viability attributes are applied in the decision framework in a
clear and logical manner, providing a science-based context for the multiple regional entities
implementing conservation and monitoring programs.


6. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
   customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

Given the complexity of salmon and their recovery, and the limitations of funding for action
implementation and monitoring, this approach advances the Department‘s ability to work with
all salmon recovery partners to implement a region-wide approach to efficiently assess and
report progress in the rebuilding of listed salmonid species.
                                               82
                                     John Catena/Eric Hutchins
                                      Silver Medal Nomination
                                             Leadership
                                               NMFS
                                           Nomination # 24


Nominees
John G. Catena
NOAA Fisheries Service
Supervisory Marine Habitat Resource Specialist
Series 401, Band IV
Past Awards: Silver Medal (2000), Bronze (2000), General Counsel's Award (1998)

Eric Hutchins
NOAA Fisheries Service
Marine Habitat Resource Specialist
Series 401, Band IV
Past Awards: Silver Medal (2000), Administrator's Award (2004)

Category

Leadership

Nominator

William T. Hogarth, Ph.D
Assistant Administrator, Fisheries

Significance of the Accomplishment

The Team forged a cooperative regional approach to Gulf of Maine habitat restoration among US
and Canadian authorities yielding effective projects, scientific project assessment and local
stewardship.




                                                83
Certificate Text

For leadership in working with US and Canadian partners in conceiving, developing, and
implementing the Gulf of Maine Habitat Restoration Strategy.

Program Booklet Text

The Team led the United States–Canadian Gulf of Maine Habitat Restoration Committee in
developing the Gulf of Maine Habitat Restoration Strategy, which was adopted by the Gulf of
Maine Council on the Marine Environment in October 2004. Providing a blueprint for
international ecosystem-based restoration of coastal habitats, this strategy already is resulting in
the implementation of specific restoration projects and the development of comprehensive,
science-based monitoring protocols for salt marsh and riverine habitats.


Justification

Section 2 - Definitions

The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment (GOMC) is a collaboration of public and
private entities established to enhance, improve, and protect the estuarine, coastal, and marine
resources of the Gulf. In 1989, the Governors of Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, and
the Premiers of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia passed a resolution stating that each jurisdiction
is committed to the Council's mission ―to maintain and enhance environmental quality in the Gulf
of Maine (GOM) and to allow for sustainable resource use by existing and future generations.‖
The Department, represented by the NOAA Fisheries Service, is a voting member of the Council.


Section 3 – Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model

   1. What was the specific goal, challenge, or problem related to the Department’s mission
      and/or strategic plan?

The Gulf of Maine Habitat Restoration Strategy establishes a framework within which partners
throughout the region can work collaboratively to identify and restore priority habitats through an
ecosystem-based approach. This approach directly supports the NOAA Strategic Plan.


   2. What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

Working under the auspices of the GOMC, the Team established the Council's Habitat Restoration
Committee, composed of governmental and non-governmental representatives, to guide restoration
efforts in the region. One of the first accomplishments of the Committee was completion of a
restoration strategy consolidating the region‘s disparate restoration efforts, identifying priority
habitat types, and leveraging federal, state, and local funding.


   3. What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

                                                  84
The Team provided critical leadership to the GOMC to create the Committee and then to develop
and implement the Strategy. Developing the strategy document required extensive communication
between various regional organizations. Unlike many efforts, where strategies are adopted and
then forgotten, the Team made sure the Strategy's recommendations were implemented. They
directed habitat restoration projects, and developed and implemented standardized monitoring
protocols for salt marsh and river restoration projects to better evaluate project success.

   4. What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

The Team‘s efforts led to establishment of priority habitat restoration actions for the region;
initiation of dozens of habitat restoration projects on both sides of the Gulf of Maine that address
the priority habitats outlined in the strategy; and implementation of Gulf-wide monitoring for salt
marsh restoration projects and of a Gulf-wide monitoring protocol for river restoration projects.

Section 4 – Additional Information

   1. How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the
      accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed?

The Strategy was developed over two years, adopted by the GOMC on June 14, 2004, and publicly
released at the Gulf of Maine Summit in October 2004 in St. Andrews, New Brunswick.


   2. What is the short-term impact (1–2 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
      Department’s mission?

The Department and its restoration partners are beginning to see an increase in the quantity and
quality of habitat restoration projects in the region. The Strategy helps the Department and NOAA
allocate scarce funds to the region‘s highest priority projects and provides a way to evaluate the
success of these funding efforts. This increased habitat restoration directly supports the NOAA
Strategic Plan goal to restore coastal and ocean resources.


   3. What is the long-term impact (3–5 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
      Department’s mission?

The Strategy will facilitate even more high-quality habitat restoration projects in the next 3 to 5
years. As more projects are initiated, secondary benefits (e.g., enhanced protection and
management of Department trust resources, ocean literacy) will accrue. These secondary benefits
also support the NOAA Strategic Plan.


   4. Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
      If so, how?

The Habitat Restoration Committee, composed of representatives from every level of state,
provincial, and federal governments in both the United States and Canada, led development of the
strategy. Many nonprofit organizations (e.g., Ducks Unlimited, American Rivers, and Trout

                                                 85
Unlimited) also participated in the process, are formal members of the Committee, and are
working to implement the Strategy‘s recommendations.

   5. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
      automation?

The Strategy led to new restoration techniques and scientific monitoring of Gulf of Maine
restoration projects. The Committee now is working to develop a standardized set of river
restoration monitoring protocols to ensure that quality science is incorporated into the growing
number of habitat restoration projects.


   6. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
      customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

The adoption of the restoration Strategy gives municipalities, non-governmental organizations,
schools, citizen groups and the public a common understanding of the region‘s priority habitats
and serves as an impetus for citizens to engage in restoration activities.

                                     Edward Little Group
                                   Silver Medal Nomination
                              Personal and Professional Excellence
                                            NMFS
                                        Nomination # 25


Nominees

Edward Little- NOAA Fisheries Service, SEFSC, GS-11, Fishery Biologist

Jay Boulet - NOAA Fisheries Service, SEFSC, GS-11, Fishery Reporting Specialist

Debbie Batiste - NOAA Fisheries Service, SEFSC, GS-7, Fishery Reporting Specialist

Charles Armstrong - NOAA Fisheries Service, SEFSC, GS- 9, Fishery Biologist

Albert Gable – NOAA Fisheries Service, SEFSC, GS -9, Fishery Biologist

Kathleen Hebert - NOAA Fisheries Service, SEFSC, GS-11, Fishery Reporting Specialist

Gary Rousse - NOAA Fisheries Service, SEFSC, GS-11, Fishery Reporting Specialist

Linda Guidry - NOAA Fisheries Service, SEFSC, GS-11, Fishery Reporting Specialist

Elizabeth Bourgeois - NOAA Fisheries Service, SEFSC, GS- 11, Fishery Biologist

Ted Flowers - NOAA Fisheries Service, SEFSC, GS-11, Fishery Reporting Specialist

Category
                                                 86
Personal and Professional Excellence

Significance of the Accomplishment

Provided eyewitness reports of damage to the Gulf fishing industry immediately following
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which were invaluable to Federal efforts to determine the extent of
the disaster.

Certificate Text

For operating under adverse post-hurricane conditions to provide critical eye-witness reports on
hurricane-devastated fishing communities.



Program Booklet Text

This Team sustained severe personal devastation and major disruptions at work locations due to
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Demonstrating extraordinary resilience and professional
commitment in the first 30 days following hurricane landfall, they organized search and rescue
missions for other Port Agents; and re-established contact with, and gave support to local fishing
communities, often as the only Federal presence. Their detailed reports were crucial to informing
NOAA social scientists, and state and Federal agencies on damage to fishing communities and the
commercial fishing industry.

Justification

Section 2 - Definitions

N/A




                                                87
Section 3 – Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model

   1. What was the specific goal, challenge, or problem related to the Department’s mission
      and/or strategic plan?

      The Department is responsible for timely assessment of impacts of natural disasters on
      fishing communities and operations, and for determining and implementing appropriate
      responses.


   2. What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

      Port Agents are located in strategic and often remote locations, where their job demands
      maintaining close relationships with local fishing interests. After Hurricanes Katrina and
      Rita, the Port Agents experienced devastation first-hand, both in their personal lives and at
      their duty stations. Fishing communities were severely impacted; communications were
      virtually impossible and roads were impassable. The Port Agents functioned largely as
      independent and isolated units, and often were the only Federal presence.


   3. What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

      Port Agents in evacuation zones returned to work sites within hours or days, traveling great
      distances; negotiating impassable roads; and making repeated trips into the worse-hit areas.
      They collected detailed information, conducted accurate damage assessments, and arranged
      with local fishermen for Federal contractors to conduct vital long-term impact assessments.
      Their reports included photographs and quantitative descriptions of the conditions of
      fishing communities and the commercial fishing industry, including vessels, ports,
      dockside facilities, seafood dealers and seafood processors. These Port Agents continued
      to be critical points of contact for many months following the storm. Further, several Port
      Agents drove great distances with supplies to rescue fellow Port Agents in areas greatest
      hit.


   4. What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

      The reports submitted by Port Agents assisted in determining the true economic impact of
      Katrina and Rita on fishing enterprises by presenting a realistic picture of the devastation to
      the fishing industry. State and Federal government entities and resource managers used
      these reports to guide their responses to the devastation to fisheries and local economies.




                                                88
Section 4 – Additional Information

   1. How long did it take to complete the accomplishment?

      Initial reports and damage assessments were provided within one to three days after the
      hurricanes. Both reports and support for local fishing communities were ramped-up within
      a week and continue to the present.


   2. What is the short-term impact (1–2 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
      Department’s mission?

      The reports submitted gave accurate preliminary estimates of the damage sustained by the
      commercial fishing industry and local economies; supplied economists with information
      for attaching an estimated dollar-value to the damage; gave legislators and fishery
      managers details on the scope and depth of the devastation and immediate steps needed,
      including financial and non-monetary assistance, and regulations, for achieving short-term
      recovery.

   3. What is the long-term impact (3–5 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
      Department’s mission?

   The reports provided new baseline fishery data for monitoring the long-term recovery of
   fishing communities and the commercial fishing sector; assessing the success of post-hurricane
   recovery programs; and ensuring the continued relevance and effectiveness of federal
   government recovery programs.

   4. Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
      If so, how?

      Fishery economists are using the reports and information provided by the port agents to
      estimate dollar value of losses to the fishing industry and communities in the Gulf of
      Mexico. These economic reports validate the need and aid required to the industry in the
      form of loans, grants and subsidies from Federal assistance programs. Additionally, other
      Federal agencies are using these reports to develop strategies for responding to the impact
      of the hurricanes on the fishery-related, local economy in the Gulf of Mexico (e.g.
      restaurant trade; equipment supplies).

   5. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
      automation?
   N/A

   6. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
      customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

      For the fishing community, the Port Agents were, and continue to be, an invaluable source
      of support, information, and service. Meeting with members of the fishing community on a
      routine basis, the Port Agents excelled in providing critical information, assisting in

                                               89
       completion of applications for aid; and conveying the plight, issues and conditions faced by
       the fishing sector to state and Federal agencies.

                                Susan Abbott-Jamieson Group
                                   Silver Medal Nomination
                              Scientific/Engineering Achievement
                                             NMFS
                                         Nomination # 26


Nominees
Susan Abbott-Jamieson, Ph.D.
NOAA Fisheries Service, Office of Science & Technology
Social Scientist
ZPIV

Rita Curtis, PhD.
NOAA Fisheries Service, Office of Science & Technology
Supervisory Economist
ZPV

Stephen Holiman, PhD.
NOAA Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office
Supervisory Economist
GS14

Palma Ingles, Ph.D.
NOAA Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office
Social Scientist
GS13

Larry Perrusso, Ph.D.
NOAA Fisheries Service, Southeast Fisheries Science Center
Industry Economist
ZPIII

James Waters, Ph.D.
NOAA Fisheries Service, Southeast Fisheries Science Center
Supervisory Economist
ZPIV

Category

Scientific/Engineering Achievement




                                                90
Significance of the Accomplishment

The Team quickly provided systematic quantitative assessments of hurricane impacts to the fishing
industry and coastal communities to aid in forming strategic decisions to rebuild the impacted area.

Certificate Text

For conducting a rapid assessment of Gulf fishing communities post-Katrina and ongoing
assessments of impacts to / recovery of Gulf fishing industry.

Program Booklet Text

The Team is honored for implementing a rapid, systematic assessment of Gulf fishing
communities immediately following Hurricane Katrina and for on-going analyses of the economic
impacts to and recovery of the fishing industry. These assessments document extensive damage to
fleets and marine-related firms and infrastructure caused by Katrina. Results enabled policy
makers to make informed decisions on how to allocate rebuilding funds and aid; provided a new
baseline for fishery management; and contributed to the basis for the President‘s supplemental
funding request for Katrina to Congress.

Justification

Section 2 - Definitions

None.

Section 3 – Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model

   1. What was the specific goal, challenge, or problem related to the Department’s mission
      and/or strategic plan?

   Post-Katrina, the immediate challenge facing the Department was to assess the impacts of the
   hurricane on Gulf fisheries and fishing communities, including fisheries-related infrastructure
   and businesses. Social and economic analyses are routine to the Department‘s operational
   research and monitoring effort. However, the magnitude of the destruction, geographic scope
   of the assessment, and the intensity of demand for timely information put unprecedented
   demands on the program.


   2. What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

   Damage assessments required extensive fieldwork in regions lacking basic infrastructure and
   virtually no reporting capability. The high priority policy makers placed on timely, accurate
   assessments meant the Team had to quickly deploy experienced field workers and establish an
   assessment framework that could meet the accelerated timetable.

   3. What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?


                                                91
   Building upon initial assessments by NOAA port agents that presented initial descriptions of
   conditions in the communities, the multi-disciplinary team of social scientists deployed to the
   region to systematically assess damages to fishing vessels, and shore-side firms and
   infrastructure. The Team‘s assessment efforts included multi-sector monitoring and analysis of
   commercial fisheries, recreational fisheries, and seafood trade.

   4. What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

   The Team developed an independent, systematic documentation of Katrina‘s impacts on Gulf
   fisheries and fishing communities. Results demonstrated that virtually every aspect of the
   marine-related infrastructure (docks, piers, shipping), businesses (seafood dealers, processors,
   bait shops) and the commercial harvest and for-hire charter and head-boat fleets in Mississippi
   and eastern Louisiana had experienced major losses, with many sectors still operating at 80%
   or less three months post Katrina. These results were used in NOAA, DOC and Congressional
   briefings; Congressional testimony; and a weekly report to the President; and contributed to the
   basis for the President‘s supplemental funding request for Katrina to Congress.


Section 4 – Additional Information

   1. How long did it take to complete the accomplishment?

   Within two weeks of landfall, NOAA deployed a team of social scientists to assess Katrina‘s
   impact on Gulf fishing communities. Concurrent to this field work, which required three
   months to complete in all states, the Team began a now six month effort to assess the initial
   economic impacts and the recovery of the fishing industry in fishing-dependent communities.


   2. What is the short-term impact (1–2 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
      Department’s mission?

   The suite of assessments conducted by the Team demonstrate the tremendous utility gained by
   maintaining baseline socioeconomic information on commercial fleets, recreational fishing
   participants and fishing communities, including shore-side firms and marine-related
   infrastructure. The Team‘s efforts significantly increased knowledge of the Gulf of Mexico
   fishing industry and fishing communities, and, in turn, redefined the requirements for
   economic and social impact assessments.




                                               92
3. What is the long-term impact (3–5 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
   Department’s mission?

The initial baseline and subsequent social and economic impact analyses are proving
invaluable to policy-makers and demonstrate the need to provide similar strategic information
for all coastal communities.

4. Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
   If so, how?

No other federal agency is providing the Administration and lawmakers with as in-depth and
comprehensive detail on industry losses as those provided by this Team on the fishing industry
and fishing communities. These assessments significantly redefine the major issues that
federal agencies need to be prepared to address in the case of an emergency.

5. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
   automation?

This work sets a new standard for the state-of-the-art in economic and socio-cultural
monitoring and impact assessments.

6. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
   customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

The damage assessments to fleets, shore-side firms and infrastructure provide a major service
to those engaged in the fishing industry in this region. Theses assessments provide
independent, systematic evaluations of damage for policy makers rather than the anecdotal or
splintered assessments provided to them by other agencies.




                                            93
                              Northwest Fisheries Science Center
                                   Silver Medal Nomination
                              Scientific/Engineering Achievement
                                             NMFS
                                         Nomination # 27


Organization

Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Category

Scientific/Engineering Achievement

Significance of the Accomplishment

Conducted time-critical analyses to assess seafood safety of fishery resources from the northern
Gulf of Mexico following Hurricane Katrina, providing crucial data to support a $700M fishery.

Certificate Text

For quickly analyzing seafood from the Gulf of Mexico to assure its safety for public consumption
following passage of Hurricane Katrina.


Program Booklet Text

Following Hurricane Katrina, intense public concern existed regarding safety of seafood from the
Gulf of Mexico. Within two weeks of Katrina, NOAA‘s Northwest Fisheries Science Center
received over 400 samples of water, fish and shellfish for analysis of chemical and microbial
contamination. Laboratory staff worked around the clock to complete multiple analyses of
samples within ten weeks, with five separate reports of no harmful impacts. Timely provision of
this scientifically credible data was critical to assure the public that seafood from hurricane-
affected areas was safe and wholesome.

Justification

Section 2 - Definitions

NWFSC=Northwest Fisheries Science Center; PAHs=polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons;
PCBs=polychlorinated biphenyls.




                                                94
Section 3 – Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model

   1. What was the specific goal, challenge, or problem related to the Department’s mission
      and/or strategic plan?

   To determine seafood safety for the Gulf of Mexico fishery as rapidly as possible following
   Hurricane Katrina.

   2. What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

   Following Hurricane Katrina, intense public concern existed regarding safety of seafood from
   the Gulf of Mexico. The challenge was to determine whether a basis existed for closing the
   fishery due to contamination by chemicals or microbial pathogens. A swift determination was
   necessary in order to provide data for a timely management decision.
   Due to the hurricane damaged facilities at the National Seafood Inspection Laboratory in
   Pascagoula, Mississippi, the NWFSC was asked to use their longstanding expertise to provide
   state-of-the-art laboratory analyses.

   3. What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

   In less than two weeks, the NWFSC staff scaled up analytical capacity to analyze water,
   sediment, and fish and shellfish samples for chemical (e.g. PCB and PAH) and microbial
   contaminants, including Vibrio sp. and enteric bacteria. Analytical equipment ran 24 hours a
   day, seven days a week. More than 400 samples from the Gulf of Mexico were analyzed, all of
   which were done with very low limits of detection and robust quality assurance/quality control.
   The resulting data could be used to evaluate the risk to human health by a wide range of
   agencies and user groups.


   4. What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

   The chemical and microbiological analyses verified the safety of seafood in the Gulf of Mexico
   fishery. Five separate reports were produced and posted to NOAA‘s Internet site, some within
   weeks of the first sampling, and were the first reports to demonstrate that the seafood from the
   northern Gulf of Mexico was safe to eat. Reports of these analyses were widely cited in the
   media. This scientifically credible dataset was instrumental in allowing the $700 million
   fishery in the Gulf of Mexico to remain open. Public confidence in the seafood supply was
   maintained.




                                               95
Section 4 – Additional Information

   1. How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? Ten weeks

        When was the accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed?

   By December 31, 2005, more than 400 samples were analyzed, and 5 separate reports were
   provided to the Department.


   2. What is the short-term impact (1–2 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
      Department’s mission?

   This achievement demonstrates that Department scientists can mount a rapid large-scale effort
   to assure seafood safety in the face of intense public scrutiny and concern. It also provides a
   valuable example for evaluating human health concerns related to a fishery after a major
   hurricane or another catastrophic event releases hazardous materials into nearshore ecosystems.
   It is anticipated that similar emergency responses will be needed in the long-term in the Gulf
   and in other coastal areas. Analytical facilities will need to be prepared for similar
   emergencies, and the laboratories of the NWFSC provide a template for such preparedness.

   3. What is the long-term impact (3–5 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
      Department’s mission?

   The effective response to this environmental emergency shows that such responses can save
   millions of dollars, as well as human lives in the event of actual widespread biological and
   chemical contamination.

   4. Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
      If so, how?

   The accomplishment provides an example of how federal environmental agencies should
   respond to emergency situations to address concerns regarding oceans and human health. This
   issue is currently being addressed by an interagency Oceans and Human Health working group
   of the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology.

   5. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
      automation?

   No




                                               96
6. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

   Yes. The service provided by the NWFSC demonstrates how public concerns about unknown
   hazards in the nation‘s fisheries can be effectively addressed. Moreover, a timely and credible
   response was required to protect public health in the event that severe contamination was
   present. In the past, fisheries were closed in the absence of timely information. The
   accomplishments of this analytical facility provided an invaluable service to the nation‘s
   fishing industry.

                                  Bernadita Anulacion Group
                                   Silver Medal Nomination
                              Scientific/Engineering Achievement
                                             NMFS
                                         Nomination # 28


Nominees

Bernadita Anulacion
NOAA Fisheries, NWFSC
Oceanographer, GS-11

Jon Buzitis
NOAA Fisheries, NWFSC
Research Chemist, GS-11

Tracy Collier
NOAA Fisheries, NWFSC
Supervisory Research Chemist, ZP-5

Shailer Cummings
NOAA Research, AOML
Oceanographer, ZP-4

William Mowitt
NOAA Corps (current billet NWFSC)
Lieutenant

Mark Peterson
NOAA Fisheries, NWFSC
Microbiologist, GS-12

Linda Rhodes
NOAA Fisheries, NWFSC
Microbiologist, GS-12

Elizabeth Scott-Denton
NOAA Fisheries, SEFSC
                                               97
Research Fishery Biologist, GS-12

Sean Sol
NOAA Fisheries, NWFSC
Oceanographer, GS-11

Gina Ylitalo
NOAA Fisheries, NWFSC
Supervisory Research Chemist, ZP-4

Category

Scientific/Engineering Achievement

Significance of the Accomplishment

Two weeks after Hurricane Katrina, hundreds of Gulf of Mexico fish and shellfish samples were
collected and available to analyze for safety of the seafood, minimizing potential large economic
losses.

Certificate Text

For conduct of field operations immediately following Hurricane Katrina that were vital for
ensuring that seafood was safe for public consumption.

Program Booklet Text

Organizing in less than 24 hours, the Team mounted a crucial field effort on the NOAA Ship Nancy
Foster to address public concern regarding seafood safety in the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane
Katrina. The Team was underway within 72 hours, using their expertise in field assessment,
toxicology and microbiology, to collect samples around the clock and in the face of unknown
hazards. Ten days later, hundreds of Gulf of Mexico fish and seafood were delivered to NOAA
laboratories for analysis of their safety for public consumption, thereby saving millions of dollars
in potential fishery losses.

Justification

Section 2 - Definitions

COC = chain of custody; NAS = Naval Air Station; QA = quality assurance.




                                                98
Section 3 – Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model

   What was the specific goal, challenge, or problem related to the Department’s mission
     and/or strategic plan?

   To assemble a Team with expertise in field operations, toxicology, and microbiology, deploy
   to coastal areas hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina, obtain samples that could be tested for
   seafood safety, and accomplish this within days of notification.

   What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

   Intense public concern regarding seafood safety in the Gulf of Mexico existed after Hurricane
   Katrina (Nature 437:462). The challenge was to rapidly determine whether there was a basis
   to close the fishery due to contamination by chemicals or pathogens. Simultaneously, many
   facilities and vessels in the region were damaged or destroyed. Thus, expertise from outside
   the region was required; and scientists from several NOAA laboratories were asked to organize
   and meet this challenge. In addition to extraordinary logistical considerations, there were
   unknown biological and chemical hazards in the waters to be sampled.

   What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

   Within 6 hours of notification on a Friday morning, the Team assembled over 1400 pounds of
   heavy sampling gear that could not be transported as baggage on airline flights; so it was
   shipped via courier to the Pensacola NAS. During the next 24 hours, a ton of additional gear
   was assembled and packed. The Team was on-board the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster by
   Monday. During this same time, the Team wrote field sampling protocols, developed the
   cruise plan, devised safety precautions for dealing with unknown chemical and biological
   hazards, and rigged for trawling and sediment operations on a vessel that was not designed for
   it. Samples were collected using COC and QA procedures and delivered to analytical labs
   within 10 days of setting sail.

   What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

   This Team was the first from an agency to survey coastal waters for environmental damage and
   contamination, post-Katrina. The rapid collection of hundreds of samples allowed the
   Department to verify the safety of Gulf of Mexico seafood. The resulting scientifically sound
   dataset was instrumental in enabling the $700 million fishery in the Gulf of Mexico to remain
   open.

Section 4 – Additional Information

   1. How long did it take to complete the accomplishment?

   Two weeks.

      When was the accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed?



                                               99
By September 19, 2005, more than 400 samples of fish, crab, shrimp, water, and sediments
were collected, documented, and delivered to analytical facilities. All samples were collected
using high levels of QA and maintained under COC until delivery.


2. What is the short-term impact (1–2 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
   Department’s mission?

 In the short-term, this accomplishment supported the Department‘s and NOAA‘s missions to
ensure the safety of the Nation‘s seafood supply. It also contributed to preventing the potential
loss of millions of dollars from the region‘s fisheries, having an estimated annual value of
$700M.

3. What is the long-term impact (3–5 years) of the accomplishment on NOAA’s or the
   Department’s mission?

This effective response to the environmental emergency indicates that such responses can
potentially save hundreds of millions of dollars, as well as human lives in the event of actual
widespread biological and chemical contamination. Lessons learned are expected to lead to the
development of a national seafood safety assessment capability that will include a robust field
response capability.

4. Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
   If so, how?

This sampling operation provides a template for all agencies with human health and safety as
elements of their missions for collecting critical data under extreme duress in emergency
situations, thereby addressing concerns regarding impacts of environmental catastrophes on
human health.

5. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
   automation?

No.

6. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
   customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

Yes, the Team‘s achievement demonstrates an effective approach for addressing public
concerns about unknown hazards in the Nation‘s fisheries. In the past, fisheries were closed in
the absence of timely information. Moreover, in the event of actual severe contamination, a
timely and scientifically credible response will be required to protect public health. The
accomplishments of this first response Team provided an invaluable service to the nation‘s
fishing industry.

                              NOS NOMINATIONS


                                            100
                                      Christopher Parish
                                    Gold Medal Nomination
                                           Heroism
                                             NOS
                                       Nomination # 29


Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Response

1. Full name of nominee:                     Christopher A. Parish

2. Type of Recognition:                      Gold

3. Category:                                 Heroism

4. Major Line or Staff Office:               National Ocean Service

5. Position title and grade:                 Engineering Technician, GS-11

6. Past awards:                              None

7. Nominator:                                Michael Szabados
                                             NOAA/NOS Center for Operational Oceanographic
                                             Products and Services (CO-OPS)

8. Significance of Accomplishment: Chris Parish aided the survival of Hurricane Katrina victims
by personally providing food, water, and fuel to those without means; and later, as a Federal
volunteer, continued to aid thousands more.

9. Certificate text: For providing post–Hurricane Katrina humanitarian aid to victims in rural
Mississippi and exemplary Federal volunteer program support in Louisiana.

10. Program Booklet text: Chris Parish is honored for providing humanitarian aid to the victims of
Hurricane Katrina. He initially traveled to rural Mississippi to assist his elderly parents. Seeing
others in distress, he chain-sawed his way into neighborhoods, brought in fuel and water from
great distances, secured meals for the poor, and provided critical assistance to emergency
personnel. Chris returned to the Gulf under the Federal volunteer program and served with great
distinction as a liaison officer to St. Charles Parish, where he coordinated daily activities of a
dozen organizations providing critical aid.




                                                101
Definitions:

FEMA – Federal Emergency Management Agency

11. Award Justification:

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission and/or
strategic plan?

When disaster struck and his nation needed him, Mr. Parish responded at all levels, personally,
professionally, and organizationally, to help bring assistance to Americans in need.

What was the context in which the nominees addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

Mr. Parish initially traveled to Hattiesburg, MS, to assist his elderly parents through the
devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Food and fuel were scarce, people were trapped in
neighborhoods by large downed trees, and food banks, slow to be set up, had no mobile services to
assist those without transportation.

What specific actions did the nominees take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

Mr. Parish realized that no immediate help was on the way, so he checked on neighbors, friends,
and others in the community. He chain-sawed trees and propped up power lines so vehicles could
move about. He made numerous trips and traveled hundreds of miles to unaffected areas to find
and bring back fuel, food, ice, and water. He secured and distributed Meals Ready to Eat to the
most needy. He helped the elderly, mothers and babies that had no food or milk for over three
days. Mr. Parish put himself at personal risk of robbery and dodged looters. He provided local
knowledge to emergency response personnel when they arrived and began to set up local
operations.

He returned home and immediately applied to the Federal volunteer program. He was selected and
extended several times as a liaison officer for St. Charles Parish, where he managed rescue,
recovery, and assistance operations of a dozen agencies: National Guard air and water rescue, Red
Cross, Corps of Engineers, Social Security, Small Business Administration, public assistance,
community relations, housing inspectors, security detachments, and private contractors hired to
pick up debris.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

Mr. Parish‘s personal actions enabled dozens of citizens to survive the first few weeks of Katrina‘s
aftermath. The critical Federal volunteer work done by Mr. Parish directed Federal resources to
where they were most needed, aiding thousands of citizens. All of his actions were above and
beyond the normal call of duty.




                                                102
12. Additional Information:

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

Chris Parish personally provided aid to the hurricane victims from August 30 through September
12, 2005, and served in the FEMA Federal volunteer program from October 10 through December
20, 2005.

What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

Mr. Parish‘s local knowledge and professionalism helped make and facilitate connections between
the local community and federal response teams when they arrived, ensuring that assistance was
efficiently directed where it was most needed. While a FEMA volunteer, his affiliation as a
Department employee was known and his outstanding professionalism reflected extremely well on
the Department‘s organizational excellence. The St. Charles Parish President sent a letter to
NOAA stating, ―I send few letters of commendation but having Chris work here in St. Charles
Parish has made a real difference to my staff and me. St. Charles Paris is a better place because of
his efforts.‖

What is the long- term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

Mr. Parish established many good contacts and developed excellent working relationships with
Department constituents throughout the Gulf region that will be of great benefit in the future
development of partnerships to further Departmental missions. His accomplishments significantly
advanced the Department‘s credibility in the region by the outstanding manner in which he
conducted himself. He demonstrated professionalism and dedication to duty in all his daily
contacts with numerous Federal, state, and local agencies.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If so, how?

His excellent work ethic and competent leadership reflected positively on the Department and was
a critical support to the FEMA response efforts in the area by directly aiding in the survival,
recovery and improved quality of life of thousands of storm victims. Mr. Parish‘s actions helped
FEMA regain some of the confidence lost by the local community as a result of the initial slow
response effort. His experience in the Federal volunteer program was the one positive highlight
cited in a January 30 article in the Federal Times that was critical of the Federal volunteer effort.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or automation? If
so, how?

N/A

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as customer
service or administrative support?

N/A
                                                 103
                                 Frances Dortch Group
                                Gold Medal Nomination
                               Organizational Development
                                          NOS
                                    Nomination # 30

New England Red Tide Response

1. Full Names of Nominees:
       Frances Quay Dortch (pronunciation Frances Kway Dorch)
       Marc Suddleson (pronunciation Mark Sud-del-son)
       Susan Banahan (pronunciation Susan Ban-a-han)
       Bruce Vogt (pronunciation Bruce Vote)
       Kevin Chu (pronunciation Kevin Chew)
       Alicia Jarboe (pronunciation A-lee-sha Jar-bo)

2. Type of Recogoniton
      Gold Medal

3. Award Category
     Organizational Development

4. Major Line and Staff Office for Each Nominee
      Frances Quay Dortch (NOS/NCCOS/CSCOR)
      Marc Suddleson (NOS/NCCOS/CSCOR)
      Susan Banahan (NOS/NCCOS/CSCOR)
      Bruce Vogt (NOS/AA)
      Kevin Chu (NMFS/NER)
      Alica Jarboe (NMFS/MB)

5. Position, Title, and Grade for Each Nominee
      Frances Quay Dortch, Oceanographer, GS-1360-14
       Marc Suddleson, Oceanographer, GS-1360-14
       Susan Banahan, Oceanographer, GS-1360-14
       Bruce Vogt, Program Analyst, GS-343-11
       Kevin Chu, Fishery Policy Analyst ZP-4
       Alicia Jarboe, Program Analyst ZA-4

6. Past Awards for Each Nominee
       Marc Suddleson: Bronze Medal Award 2002, 2003
       Susan Banahan: Bronze Medal Award 2002

7. Nominator’s Name, Line, and Staff Office
      Robert Magnien, Ph.D., NOS/NCCOS/CSCOR

What is the significance of this accomplishment?


                                            104
A cross-NOAA team helped Federal/State managers respond to a health emergency due to a
massive toxic HAB in the Gulf of Maine. No human illness occurred and regional HAB response
ability improved.

I. Certificate Text

For quick action and exceptional initiative helping shellfish managers protect human health in the
face of the 2005 New England harmful algal bloom.

II. Program Text

In 2005, New England experienced its worst toxic harmful algal bloom in over 30 years. Some
shellfish concentrated so much algal toxin that eating even a few could have been fatal. The
NOAA team responded to this health emergency with exceptional speed, dedication and initiative.
NOS funded and coordinated efforts to monitor the bloom. NMFS implemented management
measures to prevent consumption of toxic shellfish. No human shellfish poisoning occurred,
regional coordination for HAB response improved, and processes are in place to respond if there is
a recurrence in 2006.

III. Justification

Section 1 – Definitions

Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) – unusual growth of algae that has a negative impact on people,
other animals, or the environment. Most are harmful because they produce potent toxins that can
cause serious illness and/or death. In some cases these toxins accumulate in shellfish consumed by
people.

Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP)—human illness caused by consumption of shellfish
contaminated with potent neurotoxins (saxitoxins and derivatives) produced by several groups of
algae. The illness is characterized by tingling, numbness, ataxia, giddiness, drowsiness, fever, rash,
and staggering. The most severe cases result in respiratory arrest within 24 hours of consumption
of the toxic shellfish.

FDA – U.S. Food and Drug Administration

GOMOOS – Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System




                                                 105
Section 2 - Award Justification

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission and/or
strategic plan?

NOAA responded to a massive toxic HAB that spread rapidly throughout New England. Shellfish
became extremely toxic to humans within days, requiring an immediate response, but management
responsibilities were fragmented. States normally conduct shellfish monitoring in state waters and
close shellfish harvesting to protect human health. In federal waters FDA determines health risks
but NOAA manages shellfish harvesting. In NOAA, NOS funds regional ecosystem research to
improve HAB detection and prediction while NMFS has regulatory authority. The team members
had to develop a One-NOAA response, rapidly forging new communications lines to assist state
monitoring, predict bloom movement, regulate shellfish harvesting in federal waters, and inform
NOAA and Congress about the severity and impacts of the bloom to minimize economic losses
and protect public health. These activities support the Department‘s Strategic Plan Goal 3 to
protect, restore, and manage the use of coastal and ocean resources through an ecosystem approach
to management.

What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

New England experienced the worst HAB in 30 years in 2005.

What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?
 NOS approved immediate emergency HAB sampling to monitor bloom extent, providing
   essential data to inform development of Federal and State strategies to protect human health.
  NMFS invoked emergency measures to close federal waters within a week (normally takes
   months).
  NMFS coordinated NOAA response to States‘ petitions to the Secretary for a declaration of a
   commercial fishing failure.
  NOS awarded $540K to continue sampling through 2006 within 3 weeks (normally 6-9 mo).
   Staffed Undersecretary Lautenbacher at press conference in Boston to announce funding.
  Nominees ensured NOAA decision-makers had timely information on the bloom by
   developing a situation report, updating web pages, and briefing interested Congressional staff.
  NMFS held a follow-up workshop to prepare for a coordinated response to a possible
   reoccurrence.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

No human illnesses were reported.




                                               106
Section 3 - Additional Information

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

NOAA‘s response began in May 2005 within days of initial bloom reports and lasted until the
bloom dissipated in September 2005. Funding and response capability are in place for monitoring
for a recurrence in 2006.

What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

In September 2005 NOAA reopened federal waters closed by the bloom to the harvest of most
bivalve mollusks. States also reopened many areas to shellfish harvesting. Key partnerships
between NOAA, FDA, state government, academia and affected industry were forged to sustain
future responses.

What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

These efforts will help State and Federal fisheries managers monitor bloom recurrence and will
further longstanding NOAA goals to develop regional, predictive HAB models for forecasting
future blooms. The bloom highlighted issues about New England shellfish management with
regard to HAB toxins in federal waters that NOAA will address in future efforts.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If so,
how?

NOAA efforts are critical to support efforts of FDA and State health and fisheries agencies to
ensure that seafood available through normal retail markets and restaurants remains safe to eat.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how?

The NOAA response utilized new detection and prediction of HABs developed through ongoing
Gulf of Maine ecosystems projects, and relied on data from GOMOOS. The new information
gained during this event will feed back into modeling efforts to improve future monitoring, and
predictions to further mitigate health threats and economic damage from such blooms.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

Prior to this event, coordinated response capability for HAB events of this magnitude did not exist
in New England. The One-NOAA response produced a Federal, State, and academic partnership
that prevented any known cases of PSP. Rapid action to collect, analyze and communicate critical
scientific information to managers allowed quick decisions to protect human health through State
and Federal shellfish harvest closures. NOAA and its partners are committed to solidifying these
relationships, increasing regional readiness for the next major HAB event.

                                                107
                               Office of Response and Restoration
                                    Gold Medal Nomination
                              Personal and Professional Excellence
                                              NOS
                                         Nomination # 31

ORR Response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

1. Full name of nominee(s): NOAA Office of Response and Restoration

2. Type of Recognition (Gold or Silver): Organizational Gold Award

3. Category: Personal and Professional Excellence

4. Major Line or Staff Office for each nominee: NOS

5. Position title and grade for each nominee: N/A

6. Past awards: Bronze Award 2005

7. Nominator’s name and major Line or Staff Office: Thomas Callahan, ORR/NOS

What is the significance of this accomplishment?
The organization provided critical scientific support in response to 8 million gallons of oil released
throughout a widespread area from TX to AL.

I. Certificate Text:
For outstanding response in mitigating the environmental impacts caused by Hurricanes Katrina
and Rita on the Gulf Coast.

II. Program Booklet Citation:
The organization is honored for outstanding response to the environmental impacts caused by the
hurricanes. ORR mobilized instantly and was one of the first agencies to respond on-scene. ORR
scientific support actions in the ensuing months greatly aided federal and state agencies and private
industry in responding to over 8 million gallons of oil and hazardous materials released and
identifying thousands of stranded vessels. The swift and effective work of ORR mitigated the
adverse impacts to the environment and resulted in a more effective and efficient cleanup
throughout the Gulf region.




                                                 108
III. Justification:

Section 1. Definitions

ORR - NOAA Office of Response and Restoration

USCG – United States Coast Guard

USEPA – United States Environmental Protection Agency

NGS – National Geodetic Survey

GOM – Gulf of Mexico

Section 2. Justification

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission and/or
strategic plan?
The challenge was to protect and restore the coastal resources of the GOM states impacted
by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This directly supports the DOC goal (3.2) to enhance the
conservation and management of coastal and marine resources to meet America‘s
economic and environmental needs.

What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?
The magnitude of the impacts to the environment was unprecedented. Over 8 million gallons of oil
were released, and thousands of vessels were sunk or stranded. The number of incidents,
magnitude of the spills, disruption of the region‘s infrastructure, and difficulty of bringing support
staff into the region made for an extraordinary emergency.

What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?
ORR was one of the first federal agencies to respond on-scene, staffing multiple command posts,
providing USCG, USEPA and states with critical scientific information to support cleanup and
recovery. This included the assessment, prioritization and mitigation of over 400 hazardous
materials releases. ORR provided essential management support by graphically documenting
pollution cases, waterway closures, New Orleans flood levels, and locations of sunken and
stranded vessels. ORR staff collected data at the larger spill sites for damage assessment and
restoration purposes. This work was accomplished by dedicated ORR scientists with unique skills
and experience, working in areas with little or no infrastructure. Their dedication enabled them to
overcome personal hardships, including the loss of personal residences and the lack of normal
lodging, while sustaining long working hours over many months.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?
The actions of ORR resulted in a more efficient and effective cleanup, thereby mitigating
environmental impacts. ORR identified hundreds of pollution incidents, and through careful
monitoring and coordination, cleanup operations were performed effectively, enhancing
environmental recovery and restoration. Assessment work at the largest oil spills enables the
pursuit of prompt restoration to minimize natural resource impacts.

Section 3. Additional Information
                                                 109
How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?
ORR‘s response began even before the hurricane made landfall on 8/31/2005. Local ORR staff
evacuated with their response gear, returning after the passage of the hurricanes to staff multiple
command posts. Response and damage assessment work is still ongoing and will be for many
months.
What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?
Effective spill cleanups, guided by ORR, minimized the environmental impacts of the spills and
enabled many facilities to return to operation sooner than expected, thus fostering the region‘s
economic recovery and the nation‘s fuel supply.

What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?
Due to the magnitude of environmental degradation, restoration of the region will take many years.
ORR is engaged with federal and state trustees and industry to develop partnerships and pursue
restoration through natural resource damage assessment.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If so,
how?
ORR‘s coordination of scientific information in support of the response has enhanced NOAA‘s
reputation as a leader among federal, state, and industry emergency responders. For their
outstanding support, ORR received a Meritorious Team Award from the USCG.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how?
ORR utilized remote sensing technology to great advantage. Aerial imagery from NGS was used to
scale the impacts to oil facilities and coastal communities. ORR employed the latest technology,
producing high-end graphics and providing situation awareness for multiple command posts.
These products captured the magnitude of the hurricanes‘ impacts at a detail that would not have
been possible using standard technology.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how?
ORR provided exceptional service under extraordinary conditions to federal, state, and industry
response partners. ORR‘s integrated scientific support team dedicated itself to complex,
demanding response operations over an extended period of time. It was a total office effort
requiring on-scene responders, support team scientists, and administration staff. By supporting our
partners in this emergency, ORR provided extraordinary service and stewardship to the region and
the Nation.




                                                 110
           NOS, National Geodetic Survey and NMAO, Aircraft Operations Center
                                 Gold Medal Nomination
                                    Customer Service
                                          NOS
                                     Nomination # 32

1. Full name of nominee(s)

NOAA National Ocean Service, National Geodetic Survey
NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, Aircraft Operations Center


2. Type OF Recognition (Gold or Silver): Gold

3. Category: Customer Service

4. Major Line or Staff Office for each nominee:

NOAA National Ocean Service, National Geodetic Survey
NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, Aircraft Operations Center

5. Position title and grade for each nominee

N/A

6. Past awards (excluding Cash-in-Your-Account and Special Act Awards) for each nominee

N/A

7. Nominator‘s name and major Line or Staff Office

Nominator: Mike L. Aslaksen, NOAA National Ocean Service, National Geodetic Survey


8. Justification:

Gold Medal as Joint Organizational Award for the ―Rapid response acquisition and distribution of
post Hurricane Katrina airborne imagery‖, including two organizations

Nominator: Mike L. Aslaksen, NOAA National Ocean Service, National Geodetic Survey

NOAA National Ocean Service, National Geodetic Survey
NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, Aircraft Operations Center




                                                  111
What is the significance of this accomplishment?

Following Hurricane Katrina the team rapidly acquired and disseminated over 8300 aerial images
of the Gulf coast region. Imagery was used by victims of the storm and as an aid to emergency
personnel.

Certificate Text: maximum of 150 characters

     For the rapid response acquisition and distribution of post Hurricane Katrina airborne
   imagery and critical support of government response efforts.

Program Booklet Text: maximum of 600 characters; not required for Bronze nominations.

The organizations are honored for their rapid response acquisition and distribution of post
Hurricane Katrina aerial imagery. NOAA began damage assessment flights on August 30, 2005
and collected over 8300 images. The images were distributed through the NOAA website within
12 hours and were used to support critical emergency response efforts. NOAA used the imagery
internally to identify areas of shoreline change and marine infrastructure damage, which assisted
nautical charting efforts, hazardous material and oil spill response and damage assessment.

Justification

Section 2 - Award Justification (Maximum number of characters for all four questions in this
section cannot exceed 2000.)

• What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission
and/or strategic plan?

The nominees‘ response to Hurricane Katrina is related to DOC‘s strategic goal 3 to observe,
protect and manage the Earth‘s resources to promote environmental stewardship and NOAA‘s
mission goal of Commerce and Transportation. The activities directly supported the nation‘s
commerce with information for safe, efficient and environmentally sound transportation.

• What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina there was a dire need for up-to-date airborne imagery to support
damage assessment and recovery efforts. The NOAA Cessna Citation quickly responded to meet
this imagery requirement because of its fast speed and flexibility to meet mission requirements.

• What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

The NOAA crew rapidly mobilized and began imagery acquisitions the day after Hurricane
Katrina made landfall in Louisiana. The experienced crew adeptly overcame weather constraints
without delay to the mission. The nominees worked exceptionally long hours and used innovative
methods to post an unprecedented amount of data to the NOAA website. These images were
critical to response efforts led by federal and state agencies including the Department of Homeland
Security (FEMA and the U.S. Coast Guard), the Department of Defense (Army Corps of
Engineers, Navy, Army, and NGA) and the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The
                                                   112
quick action of the nominees in placing the images on-line allowed the images to be freely used by
citizens to determine the status of property and homes. Images were further integrated into Google
Earth‘s web services, allowing private firms such as insurance agencies to expedite insurance
claims.

• What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

Results were quantifiable in terms of the amount of data collected. Over 8300 individual aerial
images were acquired, processed and disseminated along with over 70 million web hits posted and
60 million image file downloads as of September 9, 2005. NOAA‘s web servers experienced
record ―hits,‖ demonstrating both the public service value and the unique visibility that this effort
provided for NOAA.

Section 3 - Additional Information (Maximum number of characters for all six questions in this
section cannot exceed 2000.)

• How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

The acquisition of the post-hurricane airborne imagery took place between August 30 and
September 8, 2005. In the weeks following the acquisition much time went into maintaining the
web delivery system, processing the navigation files from the flights to create geographic
information system (GIS) products and maps as well as fielding questions about the imagery from
our partners and the public.

• What is
       the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?
   The short-term accomplishment related to NOAA‘s mission was the rapid acquisition and delivery of the post-
   hurricane digital imagery. The nominees delivered data to the people in need within 12 hours. In an emergency
               situation such as Hurricane Katrina the timeliness of data delivery is a critical element.

• What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

The long-term accomplishment related to NOAA‘s mission is that the rapid response experience
helped to formalize the role of NOAA remote sensing capabilities in the National Response Plan.
Emergency Service Function (ESF) #13 within the Department of Homeland Security National
Response Plan is related to public safety and security. Under this ESF NOAA provides law
enforcement and security capabilities, nautical charting, surveys, tidal and geodetic services, and
geo-referenced coastal imagery in the event of a national disaster or emergency.




                                                       113
   Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If so,
   how?

   This imagery along with its timely delivery was critical to the emergency response, recovery and
   search and rescue efforts of both federal and state agencies.

   • Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
   automation? If so, how?

   The nominees set a new standard of delivery. The data was captured, processed, and delivered to
   customers within 12 hours of flight resulting in advancements in automation.

   • Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
   customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

   The accomplishment resulted in a major advancement in customer service support. NOAA remote
   sensing capabilities have been utilized in previous post-hurricane projects; however, the timeliness
   of data delivery for this event had never been matched. By implementing an all-digital workflow
   the data was captured, processed and delivered to the customers within 12 hours of flight.

                                            Kurt Brown Group
                                          Gold Medal Nomination
                                               Leadership
                                                  NOS
                                             Nomination # 33


   Category:              Leadership


   Nominees:

                                                                 Position
                     Pronunciation           Line or              Title
Full Name               of Name            Staff Office         and Grade       Past Awards
                                       National Ocean             Physical
                                       Service                    Scientist
Kurt E. Brown                          Office of Coast Survey      GS-9
                                       National Ocean             Supvy.
Howard P. Danley,                      Service                  Cartographer
Jr                                     Office of Coast Survey      GS-15
                                                                   Phys.
                                       National Ocean             Science
                                       Service                      Tech
Lucy A. Massimillo   Mas-see-mill-lo   Office of Coast Survey      GS-10
                                                                   Phys.
                                       National Ocean             Science
                                       Service                      Tech       2002 Bronze
Mark J. McMann                         Office of Coast Survey      GS-11       Medal




                                                       114
                                                                         1998 NOAA
                                                                         Administrator
                                    National Ocean           Physical    Award
                                    Service                  Scientist   2003 Bronze
Timothy R. Osborn                   Office of Coast Survey    GS-14      Medal
                                                              Phys.
                                    National Ocean           Science
Edmund O.                           Service                   Tech
Wernicke              Wer-nick-ee   Office of Coast Survey    GS-9
                                    National Ocean                       Organizational
                                    Service                              Bronze Award
                                    Office of Response                   Athos I Spill
Bradford Benggio      Ben-gee-o     and Restoration                      Response, 2005
                                    National Ocean                       Organizational
                                    Service                              Bronze Award
                                    Office of Response                   Athos I Spill
Charles Henry                       and Restoration                      Response, 2005
                                    National Ocean                       Organizational
                                    Service                              Bronze Award
                                    Office of Response                   Athos I Spill
Gary Ott                            and Restoration                      Response, 2005

                                    National Ocean                       Organizational
                                    Service                              Bronze Award
                                    Office of Response                   Athos I Spill
LT William Whitmore                 and Restoration                      Response, 2005



  Organizations:         NOAA/NOS Office of Coast Survey (OCS) and
                         Office of Response and Restoration (ORR)

  What is the significance of this accomplishment?
  NOAA deployed navigation and spill responders, enabling the Coast Guard to address oil/chemical
  releases and reopen all 13 major Gulf ports and waterways within days after Hurricanes Katrina
  and Rita.

  I. Certificate Text: For outstanding response efforts after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, enabling
  prompt reopening of all 13 economically vital Gulf ports and waterways.

  II. Program Booklet Text: These leaders effectively minimized environmental impacts, restored
  services and kept maritime commerce moving through 13 economically vital Gulf ports and
  waterways within days after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. NOAA‘s navigation and scientific
  response teams, regional navigation managers and headquarters senior staff worked around the
  clock and under the harshest conditions to survey waterways for underwater hazards and chemical
  and oil releases, and coordinated a large- scale response effort with the U.S. Coast Guard, Army
  Corps of Engineers, Navy, FEMA, and state and local governments.


  Nominated By:          Kathryn L. Ries
                         Deputy Director
                         NOAA-Office of Coast Survey

                         Captain Ken W. Barton

                                                    115
                        Deputy Director
                        NOAA-Office of Response and Restoration

III.    Justification

Section 1. Definitions

Hydrographic survey—A survey of a water area, with particular reference to submarine relief and
any adjacent land.

Hydrography—The science that deals with the measurement and description of the physical
features of the oceans and adjoining coastal areas, with particular reference to their use for
navigational purposes.

Nautical chart—A special purpose map generally designed for purposes of navigation.

Navigation Response Teams (NRTs)—Three-person, mobile emergency response teams that are
deployed in emergencies as requested by federal, state and local governments/port authorities.
They have trailerable small survey launches equipped with side scan sonar to survey waterways for
wrecked vessels and oil rigs, large debris, and shoaling that can damage or ground passing vessels.

NOS – National Ocean Service

OCS—Office of Coast Survey, NOAA‘s National Ocean Service

OR&R - NOAA Office of Response and Restoration

Side scan sonar--Side scan sonar is a specialized sonar (SOund NAvigation and Ranging)
system for searching and detecting objects on the sea floor.

Scientific Support Teams (SSTs) – Interdisciplinary teams comprised of spill responders,
scientists, and technical staff to address NOAA mandates and interests associated with an oil or
hazardous materials release.

USACOE – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

USEPA – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

USCG – U.S. Coast Guard

Section 2. Award Justification

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission and/or
strategic plan?

These activities directly support both the DOC strategic goal to ―provide the information and tools
to maximize U.S. competitiveness and enable economic growth‖ and the related NOAA goal to
―support the nation‘s commerce with information for safe, efficient and environmentally sound

                                                116
transportation.‖ The Gulf ports and waterways are vital to the transport of food, relief supplies, oil
and coal.

What was the context in which the nominee(s) addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

The hurricanes caused over 400 oil and chemical releases and unprecedented impacts to the area‘s
coastal marshes and waterways. In the aftermath, waterways had to be surveyed and cleared of
wrecks and debris before vessels could safely transit the area. Ships have gotten longer, wider and
deeper, and determining precise water depths is imperative for safe navigation. Hurricanes play
havoc with the sea bottom, rendering the depths and obstructions on nautical charts obsolete.

These leaders demonstrated tremendous creativity, innovation, and flexibility to obtain such
substantial achievements in this unprecedented situation. They worked around the clock, dealing
effectively with the scarcity of power, communications, lodging, food, supplies and relief for their
field personnel.

What specific actions did the nominee(s) take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

NOAA dispatched NRTs and SSTs to the Gulf prior to the hurricanes reaching land. NRTs used
small launches equipped with side scan sonar to conduct scans of the sea bottom in areas identified
as critical by the USCG, USACOE and local port officials. SSTs provided the USCG, USEPA and
states with critical scientific information to support cleanup and recovery of the released materials.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

This information allowed the USCG to reopen all major ports and waterways days after the
hurricanes hit and to mitigate environmental effects of the releases. These activities required a
large-scale response effort with federal, state and local governments. NOAA field and
headquarters leaders worked tirelessly to facilitate these efforts, which kept maritime commerce
moving and mitigated environmental impacts.




Section 3. Additional Information

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented deployed?

Information from the NOAA emergency hydrographic surveys and graphically documented
waterway closures and locations of sunken/stranded vessels allowed the USCG to reopen all 13
major Gulf ports and waterways within days after the hurricanes struck. This nation is heavily
dependent on maritime trade, much of which flows through the impacted ports in Louisiana,
Texas, Alabama and Mississippi. The Port of New Orleans is the focal point for waterborne
transportation of cargo to 28 states and supported $37 billion in economic benefits to the country.


                                                 117
What is the short-term impact (1-2) years of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or the
Department’s mission?

The NOAA first responders helped minimize the impacts to the environment, enhance recovery,
and allow for the movement of waterborne services. Kurt Nagle, president of the American
Association of Port Authorities, eloquently noted that ―Without the help of the public port
authorities and agencies such as the Coast Guard and the Corps, NOAA and MARAD, the crucial
services needed in times of crisis and the goods we depend on in our everyday lives may not be
available with the timeliness that consumers and manufacturers require."

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as customer
service or administrative support? If so, how? Does the accomplishment affect other
bureas/Department or other Federal agencies? If so, how?

NOAA hydrographic and spill response experts were deployed in advance of the hurricanes‘
landfall, ensuring that emergency surveys would be conducted soon after the hurricanes hit. The
complexity of the related logistics under such disastrous conditions required extensive
coordination with USCG, USACOE, USEPA, Navy, FEMA, and state and local governments.
NOAA personnel‘s dedication and tireless efforts provided a superlative level of customer service
to all partners, helping them accomplish their missions, and serving the people of the Gulf Coast.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in the science, technology, or automation?
If so, how? No.

What is the long-term impact (3-5) years of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or the
Department’s mission?

NOAA‘s hydrographic and spill response capabilities are essential to the recovery of the Gulf
region‘s ports and coastal environment. These services ensure that accurate navigation products are
available for mariners transiting through these economically critical ports and they enhance
environmental recovery and restoration of coastal resources.




                                               118
                                     Robert Wolotira Group
                                     Gold Medal Nomination
                                          Leadership
                                             NOS
                                        Nomination # 34

What is the significance of this accomplishment?
Through the first NRDA liability allocation, aggressive outreach, and restoration banking, the team
settled claims to restore injured natural resources in Hylebos Waterway, a complex pollution site.

I. Certificate Citation:
For leadership and development of an innovative approach to promote restoration of natural
resources in the highly urbanized Hylebos Waterway.

Nominee Information:

                Mr. Robert J. Wolotira, Jr. (Wall-o-tier-a), Oceanographer, GS-14
NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS), Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R)
Past Awards: Certificate of Appreciation from the NOAA Fisheries Alaska Fisheries Science
Center (1988), NOAA General Counsel's Award (1998)
        Ms. Jennifer Anne Steger (Stee-ger), Marine Habitat Resource Specialist, Band IV
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Office of Habitat Conservation (OHC)
Past Awards: none

Mr. Robert Allen Taylor, Attorney Advisor General, GS-15
NOAA Office of General Counsel (GC), General Counsel Office for Natural Resources (GCNR)
Past Awards: NOAA Administrator's Award (Team - 1987), DOC General Counsel‘s Award
(1989), NOAA Administrator's Award (Individual - 1998)
                     Ms. Gail Siani (See-an-e), Paralegal Specialist, GS-13
NOAA Office of General Counsel (GC), General Counsel Office for Natural Resources (GCNR)
Past Awards: DOC General Counsel‘s Award (2002, 2004), NOAA General Counsel‘s Award
(2002)
             Mr. Nicholas Eugene Iadanza (Ee-a-dan-za), Fisheries Biologist, GS-14
NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS), Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R)
Retired: Retired October 1, 2005
Past Awards: DOJ Environmental Enforcement Award (1995), Silver Medal (Team – 1999)

II. Program Booklet Citation:
The group is honored for implementing an unprecedented approach to resolve natural resource
damage liability for responsible parties in Hylebos Waterway at the Commencement Bay
Superfund site. Incorporating new approaches for quantifying and allocating injuries, employing
restoration banking, and implementing an aggressive public outreach campaign and public review
process, the group achieved substantial settlement success in an urban waterway contaminated by
33 hazardous pollutants released over decades by nearly 100 parties from scores of industrial sites.

III. Justification:

Section 1 – Definitions

                                                119
      CB – Commencement Bay – Superfund site located in Tacoma, WA, at the southern end of
       Puget Sound

      CERCLA – Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act –
       the federal statute providing for the protection and restoration of natural resources at
       contaminated sites

      Hylebos – One of four waterways at the Commencement Bay Superfund site

      Liability – Legal responsibility to compensate for an injury

      NRDA – Natural Resource Damage Assessment – the process of quantifying natural
       resource injuries and determining the resource restoration necessary to compensate for
       those losses

      PCB (Polychlorinated Biphenyl) – A group of toxic chemicals mainly used in industrial
       applications. Due to their accumulation in the food chain, PCBs were banned in the U.S. in
       1977. They are still found in sediments and marine animals due to their persistent nature.

      Restoration Banking – A process in which natural resource trustees agree to allow one
       liable party to develop a restoration project larger than needed to compensate for its
       liability and to allow other liable parties to resolve their own liability by buying shares in
       the project

      Superfund NPL – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‘s National Priorities List of
       the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites

      Trustees – Federal and state agencies designated under CERCLA to work with NOAA to
       carry out natural resource damage assessments on behalf of the public

Section 2 – Award Justification

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission and/or
strategic plan?
NOAA is lead trustee for federal and state agencies and Indian tribes assessing natural resource
damages at the Commencement Bay Superfund site. NOAA studies showed that industrial
activities over dozens of years caused lethal and chronic injuries to trust resources, including
reduced growth of juvenile Chinook salmon, cancerous liver lesions and reproductive harm in
flatfish, and mortality of benthic organisms. The NOAA team‘s challenge is to restore injured
marine resources by resolving natural resource damage claims at this complex site.




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What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?
Sediments along the Hylebos Waterway are contaminated with PCBs, pesticides, metals and other
pollutants released by nearly 100 parties from industrial activities at 38 facilities. Early settlement
efforts with the major parties failed when they disagreed on liability shares. Development
pressures on available restoration sites spurred the NOAA team to resolve liability and quickly
implement restoration.

What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?
The team devised an approach including the first formal liability allocation used in such cases and
a sophisticated settlement model, and opened the entire process to public review. Central to the
approach is the first use of restoration banking, a concept that encourages groups to collaborate
and recruit other parties to generate larger, more ecologically valuable restoration projects. Using
aggressive public outreach, the team won the support of citizens groups, the press, and local
officials.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?
The trustees have settlement agreements with 47 parties covering 42% of total waterway liability.
Most parties will build a large project restoring 66 acres of new salmon spawning and rearing
habitat. Others have proposed additional estuarine and stream restoration projects. Completed and
pending settlements will also recover over $12M in cash and $3.2M in assessment costs. This
approach set a new standard for evaluating complex contamination sites.

Section 3 – Additional Information

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?
It took the NOAA team 3 years to prepare draft reports, manage public review, respond to
comments and issue the final settlement proposal. Settlement negotiations began in 2003 and are
ongoing.

What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?
The team fulfilled NOAA‘s responsibilities to restore natural resources and address the liability of
the majority of parties at a complex contaminated site. The team produced commitments to build
66 acres of new salmon habitat; provided over $12M for additional restoration and $3.2M in
assessment cost recoveries; and generated plans for four other restoration projects.

What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?
As a model for resolving natural resource damage claims in complex urban estuary CERCLA
cases, the team‘s approach furthers the aims of NOAA‘s damage assessment program, and fosters
the Department‘s strategic goal to protect and restore coastal and marine resources.



Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If so,
how?


                                                  121
This will significantly advance restoration of injured resources and further the Administration‘s
policy of cooperative conservation and local involvement for federal and state agencies across the
nation involved in the NRDA process.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how?
The team‘s new paradigm combined existing tools and previously untested elements in a package
representing a major advancement in the technology and process of resolving natural resource
damage claims. The approach proved the viability of the restoration banking concept and
pioneered liability allocation in such cases. Due to their efforts and leadership, elements of this
approach are now being employed around the nation – all with the ultimate goal of achieving even
more restoration.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how?
The novelty of their settlement approach forced the team to resolve a number of technical and legal
issues not previously encountered in such cases. The team‘s aggressive public outreach effort
advanced the process of on-the-ground cooperative conservation. Several members of industry
recognized the effectiveness of this settlement process and have embraced the NOAA approach.

                                         David W. Evans
                                   Silver Medal Nomination
                              Scientific/Engineering Achievement
                                              NOS
                                         Nomination # 35

Investigating Mercury in Coastal and Estuarine Food Webs


1. Full Name of Nominee: David W. Evans

2. Type of Recognition: Silver Medal

3. Category: Scientific/Engineering Achievement

4. Major Line or Staff Office of Nominees: NOS

5. Position Title and Grade for Nominees: Research Chemist GS-1320-13

6. Past Awards for Nominees: None

7. Nominator’s Name and Major Line or Staff Office: David Johnson, Center for Coastal
Fisheries and Habitat Research

8. Justification:

What is the Significance of this Accomplishment?


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This work allows the mitigation of mercury contamination that otherwise would impede the South
Florida Restoration Program.

I. Certificate Text: For initiating, developing, and executing a program of investigation into the
transfer of mercury through estuarine and coastal ocean food webs.

II. Program Booklet Text: David W. Evans has contributed greatly to the advancement of the
U.S. Department of Commerce‘s goal to ―observe, protect, and manage the Earth‘s resources to
promote environmental stewardship,‖ and to NOAA‘s goal to ―protect, restore, and manage the use
of coastal and ocean resources through an ecosystem-based approach to management.‖ Dr. Evans
made pioneering efforts to understand and manage mercury, a global environmental pollutant that
is increasing in concentration and accumulating in the world‘s oceans and estuaries through
atmospheric deposition.

Section 1 – Definitions

      Bioaccumulation (accumulation) – progressive increase in the concentration of an
       environmental contaminant as it moves through a food chain or food web, resulting in
       relatively high concentrations in terminus animals.
      Estuary – A part of a river, stream, or other body of water that has at least a seasonal
       connection with the open sea or Great Lakes and where the seawater or Great Lakes water
       mixes with the surface or subsurface water flow, regardless of the presence of human-made
       structures or obstructions.
      EPA – Environmental Protection Agency
      FWRI – Florida Water Resources Institute
      MOA – Memorandum of Agreement
      NCCOS – NOAA‘s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
      NOS – NOAA‘s National Ocean Service.
      NMFS – NOAA‘s Ntional Marine Fisheries Service.
      Restoration – The process of reestablishing a self-sustaining habitat that, in time, can come
       to closely resemble a natural condition in terms of structure and function.
      USACOE – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
      NPS - National Park Service of the U.S. Department of Interior

   Section 2 – Award Justification

A. What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission
and/or strategic plan?

Dr.Evans‘ pioneering efforts to understand mercury, a global environmental pollutant that is
increasing in concentration in the world‘s oceans and estuaries, have contributed to advancing
NOAA‘s Goal to ―Protect, restore, and manage the use of coastal and ocean resources through
ecosystem approach to management,‖ and the DOC Goal to ―Observe, protect, and manage the
Earth‘s resources to promote environmental stewardship.‖

B. What was the context in which the nominees addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

Dr. Evans initiated, developed, and executed a program to investigate the bioaccumulation of
mercury in estuarine and coastal ocean food webs and the accumulation of mercury in
                                                123
commercially important fishes. He did this within the context of the NCCOS Strategic Plan, and
management needs of the NPS and USACOE.

C. What specific actions did the nominees take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

Dr. Evans engaged academic institutions and the public, and heightened public awareness of this
human health problem. He developed and implemented an MOA with USACOE and FWRI for
work on mercury bioaccumulation in South Florida as part of the Everglades Ecosystem
Restoration project. He successfully collaborated with the South Florida Water Management
District to quantify sources of mercury to the Florida Bay ecosystem. He also initiated research on
mercury bioaccumulation in Chesapeake Bay in coordination with NOAA‘s Chesapeake Bay
Office. He worked across NOAA line offices to help develop an FY08 NOAA alternative, ―An
Integrated Plan of Operations: Mercury Contamination in the Gulf of Mexico,‖ that aims to
minimize the risks of mercury to human health and ecology in the Gulf of Mexico.

D. What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

Accomplishments include the publication of Mercury in ―Florida Bay fish: spatial distribution of
elevated concentrations and possible linkages to Everglades Restoration‖ in the Bulletin of Marine
Science. This thorough and comprehensive report establishes a benchmark for mercury
contamination and accumulation in the Everglades This report is being used by managers in
Everglades/Florida Bay Restoration.

Section 3. Additional Information

A. How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

This work has been ongoing for 5 years.


B. What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

The work helped develop an understanding of processes in coastal and estuarine ecosystems
related to this increasingly important contaminant.




                                                124
C. What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

Application of this understanding and the methods used will help managers of commercially
important fishes and ecosystem managers achieve their missions of safe fishery products and
healthy ecosystems.

D. Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If
so, how?

Yes. This program helps USACOE and EPA better accomplish their missions. The work is also
closely coordinated with, and furthers the goals of, NMFS.

E. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how?

Yes. The Florida Everglades-Florida Bay ecosystem is one of the nations major
watersheds/estuarine systems. It contributes irrigation to South Florida and water to the city of
Miami. Atmospheric deposition of mercury in this system is heavy. Dr. Evans greatly enhanced the
understanding of the transfer of mercury through animals living in this system.

F. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

Yes. Mercury concentration in the flesh of organisms consumed by people worldwide is a serious
consumer safety issue, which requires understanding of the transfer and accumulation of mercury
in fish products.


                                     Mark Miller Group
                                  Silver Medal Nomination
                             Personal and Professional Excellence
                                            NOS
                                       Nomination # 36

ORR Post 9/11 Development and Enhancement of the CAMEO/ALOHA Software


1. Full name of nominee(s): CAMEO Team (See #5 below)

2. Type of Recognition (Gold or Silver): Group Silver Award

3. Category: Personal and Professional Excellence

4. Major Line or Staff Office for each nominee: NOS

5. Position title and grade for each nominee:
Mark W. Miller, Physical Scientist, GS-14
Jerry Muhasky, Mathematician, GS-14
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Jim Farr Physical Scientist, GS-13
Polly Jenne, IT Specialist, GS-11
Jon Reinsch, IT Specialist, GS-11
Robert Jones, Physical Scientist, GS-13
Debra Payton, Supervisory Oceanographer, GS-14
Robert Pavia, Supervisory Physical Scientist, GS-15
William Lehr, Research Oceanographer, GS-14
Glen Watabayashi, Supervisory Physical Scientist, GS-14

6. Past awards: None

7. Nominator’s name and major Line or Staff Office: Mark Miller, NOS

What is the significance of this accomplishment?
The team is honored for enhancing the world-class emergency response and planning software
CAMEO/ALOHA to meet the needs of a post 9/11 world.

I. Certificate Text:
For developing and updating the CAMEO/ALOHA software, the number-one chemical emergency
response and planning tool in the US, to meet post 9/11 needs.

II. Program Booklet Citation:
The challenge of planning for and responding to chemical emergencies requires powerful yet
accessible tools. The NOAA/EPA team enhanced the CAMEO/ALOHA software to provide users
with unprecedented new capabilities by adding hazard assessments for fires and explosions and
new chemical reactivity predictions. These additions uniquely meet the needs of first responders in
our post 9/11 world as demonstrated by the tenfold increase in use since 2001. In addition, the
United Nations Environment Programme adopted CAMEO for use in developing countries and
training has been held in over 50 nations.

III. Justification:

Section 1. Definitions

ALOHA: Areal Locations of Hazardous Atmospheres. The air dispersion modeling component of
the CAMEO program.

CAMEO: Computer Aided Management of Emergency Operations. The central program that links
to chemical data, mapping capability and the air dispersion model ALOHA.

DHS: U.S. Department of Homeland Security

DOE: U.S. Department of Energy

DOT: U.S. Department of Transportation

EPCRA: Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. The legislation enacted under
Title III of the Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act 1986.

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EPA: Environmental Protection Agency

GIS: Geographic Information System, electronic mapping programs

IMAAC: Interagency Modeling and Atmospheric Assessment Center. Created by DHS to
coordinate Federal modeling support during Incidents of National Significance.

OEM: Office of Emergency Management. The office in EPA that jointly develops CAMEO and
ALOHA with NOAA.

ORR: NOAA Office of Response and Restoration

USCG: United States Coast Guard


Section 2. Justification

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission and/or
strategic plan?
After 9/11 firefighters and emergency managers needed an enhanced tool that combined chemical
response recommendations, air model predictions and electronic maps to aid them in making
critical lifesaving decisions. CAMEO updates provide the vital information needed to enhance
decisions that protect human health and the environment from the hazards of a chemical release.
This directly supports the Department‘s Goal 3 to advance environmental understanding,
prediction and management to meet America‘s economic, social and environmental needs.

What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?
Following 9/11 first responders realized they were without the tools to respond to modern-day
threats. CAMEO contains a one-of-a-kind chemical library of over 6,000 chemicals, created with
firefighter assistance to display the information needed during an incident. ALOHA, unlike other
air models, is designed to be run by emergency responders and provides essential chemical hazard
predictions for immediate use at the incident. CAMEO/ALOHA was updated to provide hazards
assessments for fires and explosions, meeting the needs of a user community that spans state, local
and federal organizations.

What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?
The team uses the best resources to create this essential tool. Firefighters and emergency managers
work with the developers to ensure CAMEO meets their needs. The CAMEO website provides
access to programs, training opportunities and technical support. An active user community
provides integral feedback to the team through conferences and surveys. Each year thousands of
first responders are trained to use CAMEO taught every week by more than 100 certified
instructors.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?
CAMEO/ALOHA is the most widely used emergency response software in the US and its use has
increased tenfold since 2001. Half of EPA‘s Office of Emergency Management‘s website activity
is CAMEO-related. The DHS teaches responders to use CAMEO in potential terrorist scenarios
and CAMEO has been translated into multiple languages for international use.

                                               127
Section 3. Additional Information

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?
Following 9/11 the team responded to the changing needs of first responders and developed a new
version of CAMEO/ALOHA in 8 months. The latest release gives CAMEO/ALOHA users
unprecedented new capabilities by adding hazard assessments for fires and explosions and new
chemical reactivity predictions.

What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?
There is an immediate and significant impact to NOAA‘s role in homeland security. Our direct
connection to tens of thousands of responders nationwide puts CAMEO on the frontline of
domestic preparedness. Our partners, such as USCG, respond more effectively to public hazards
associated with dangerous chemicals as a result of this powerful cutting-edge response tool.

What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?
CAMEO/ALOHA connects directly to the Department‘s role in homeland security and domestic
preparedness. As the most widely used chemical response software in the US, CAMEO/ALOHA
defines the Department and NOAA‘s relationships with that community. In addition, as one of
only four systems selected, DHS uses CAMEO/ALOHA during Incidents of National Significance
in their national air modeling efforts.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If so,
how?
EPA's OEM jointly develops CAMEO with NOAA. The CAMEO team coordinates with DOE air
modeling resources and is also an integral part of the USCG‘s enhanced port security activities
associated with chemical accident preparedness.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how?
CAMEO is unique. There is no other program that effectively combines a user-friendly chemical
database of hazardous chemicals and powerful fire, explosion, and toxic modeling capabilities with
flexible GIS tools. This combination gives CAMEO users unparalleled tools to make lifesaving
decisions during a hazardous chemical incident.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how?
Since 9/11 responders and emergency planners need to evaluate new threats to public health and
safety from potential terrorist attacks. With hazardous chemicals stored in and transported through
every community in the US, CAMEO/ALOHA fills this need with immediate access to essential
information.




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                                    Jean Durosko Group
                                  Silver Medal Nomination
                                         Leadership
                                            NOS
                                       Nomination # 37

Environmental Management System

1. Full Name of Nominees:
        Jean V. Durosko (pronounced Jean Der-os-ko)
        B. William Gottholm (pronounced Bernie Gott-holm)
        Earl J. Lewis (pronounced Earl Lewis)
        Richard A. Meitzler (pronounced Richard Metz-ler)

2. Type of Recognition:
       Department of Commerce Silver Medal

3. Category:
       Leadership

4. Major Line or Staff Office of Nominees:
      Jean V. Durosko – NOAA Ocean Service (NOS)
      B. William Gottholm –NOAA Ocean Service (NOS)
      Earl J. Lewis – NOAA Ocean Service (NOS)
      Richard A. Meitzler – NOAA Ocean Service (NOS)

5. Position Title and Grade for Nominees:
        Jean V. Durosko – Management Analyst, GS-13
        B. William Gottholm - Oceanographer, GS-14
        Earl J. Lewis – Research Fisheries Biologist, GS-13
        Richard A. Meitzler – Environmental Safety and Health Officer, GS-12

6. Past Awards for Nominees:
        None

7. Nominator’s Name and Major Line or Staff Office:
      Dr. Gary C. Matlock - NOS
      Director, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS)

8. Justification:




                                             129
What is the Significance of this Accomplishment?
      NCCOS‘s EMS implementation and training awareness tool highlight DOC/NOAA as a
      role model for government and private agencies and reinforce the Department‘s
      commitment to environmental stewardship.

I. Certificate Text:
        For developing a streamlined approach to Environmental Management Systems resulting in
        the implementation of NOAA‘s first office-wide EMS.

II. Program Booklet Text:
       This group is honored for developing and implementing NOAA‘s first office-wide
       Environmental Management System (EMS) to effectively manage environmental issues
       and their associated impacts to human and ecosystem health. The National Centers for
       Coastal Ocean Science‘s EMS streamlining efforts and web-based EMS Awareness Tool
       serve as a model for implementation of such multi-facility systems across NOAA, the
       Department and other government and private agencies. The EMS‘s management processes
       and practices enable NCCOS to operate with greater efficiency and control.

Section 1 – Definitions

      CEMP - Code of Environmental Management Principles

      EMS – Environmental Management System

      EPA – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

      EO - Executive Order

      NCCOS – NOS National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science

      NOAA – U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric
       Administration

      NOS – NOAA‘s National Ocean Service

Section 2 – Award Justification

A. What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission
and/or strategic plan?

The goal of implementing an EMS was to help fulfill the Department‘s Performance Measure of
ensuring a safe workplace for all employees (Management Integration Goal-Achieve
Organizational and Management Excellence) and NOAA‘s goals to provide a safe operating
environment and foster environmental stewardship. The EMS needed to comply with EO 13148,
EPA‘s CEMP, the Department‘s Environmental Management Manual, and NOAA‘s EMS
requirements.

B. What was the context in which the nominees addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

                                             130
EO 13148 requires all Federal agencies to implement an EMS where appropriate by December 31,
2005. NOAA adopted a phased approach to implementation and selected NCCOS as one of the
first organizations to implement an EMS. Within one year, the nominees needed to implement an
EMS across NCCOS‘s six facilities in Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Alaska.

C. What specific actions did the nominees take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

The nominees decided on the innovative approach of developing an EMS not at just a facility
level, but on an office-wide scale. They created a team of representatives from each NCCOS
facility, with Rick Meitzler and Jean Durosko leading the team as the NCCOS and NOS
Environmental Management Representatives, respectively, and Bernie Gottholm and Jay Lewis
assisting. The Team developed an on-line EMS Awareness Training Program and NCCOS EMS
website for all NCCOS employees and partners to ensure that everyone understood the purpose of
the EMS and the potential environmental impacts of their work. They also improved the EMS
based on results from internal and external audits as part of the continuous plan-do-check-act
cycle, including efforts to track performance and trends.

D. What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

NCCOS self-declared following the external audit. The EMS was judged as fully implemented
with high levels of consistency, awareness, continual improvement, and management review. The
office-wide approach and on-line training have been shared with other NOAA, DOC, and other
government and private agencies to facilitate their EMS efforts. NCCOS has incorporated the EMS
into its daily operations.

Section 3. Additional Information:

1. How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

The nominees began to plan and execute the EMS in December 2004, and passed a series of
internal audits in November 2005 and external audits in December 2005. NCCOS self-declared on
December 29, 2005.

2. What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

Through the EMS, NCCOS established processes and practices to ensure a safe workplace for its
employees and contractors, thereby helping the Department meet its Management Integration Goal
and the requirements of EO 13148. These improvements also help NOAA meet its goal of
providing critical support to the agency‘s mission by operating safe work environments and
fostering environmental stewardship. NCCOS‘s innovations to EMS will accelerate NOAA/DOC‘s
compliance with the EO.

3. What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

NCCOS has integrated environmental accountability into its own long-term planning and decision-
making processes, and -- as a model for other organizations within NOS, NOAA, the Department,
                                                131
and other Federal agencies -- will help foster environmental stewardship across the country.
NCCOS‘s efforts to implement its EMS help ensure the safety and well-being of its employees,
and sustain the health of the environment. The plan-do-check-act cycle built into the EMS allows
for continuous improvement of the organization‘s performance.

4. Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If
so, how?

Yes. The planning and execution of NCCOS‘s office-wide EMS serves as an efficient model for
other organizations within NOS, NOAA, the Department and other Federal agencies required to
implement such systems. In addition, the downloadable version of the NCCOS EMS Awareness
Training, which was developed due to numerous requests, facilitates other agencies in developing
EMS awareness courses.

5. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how?

No.

6. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

Yes. This EMS helps NCCOS ensure that it operates safe facilities that comply with all applicable
environmental laws and regulations. In addition, NCCOS‘s EMS innovations resulted in major
improvements to the NOAA EMS Developmental Guidance, which will help other NOAA sections
develop and implement such systems.

                                      Joshua Lott Group
                                   Silver Medal Nomination
                                          Leadership
                                             NOS
                                        Nomination # 38

Louisiana Long Term Recovery Planning Effort

1. Full Names of Nominees:
       Joshua Lott, GS-14                   (pronounced Joshua Lott)
       Elizabeth M. Mountz, GS-12           (pronounced Elizabeth Mountz)
       Heidi E. Recksiek, GS-13             (pronounced Heidi Wreck-sick)
       George Kenneth Walker, Jr., GS-13    (pronounced George Kenneth Walker, Jr.)
       Kirk J. Waters, GS-13                (pronounced Kirk Waters)

2. Type of Recognition:
       Department of Commerce Silver Medal

3. Category:
       Leadership

4. Major Line or Staff Office of Nominees:
                                               132
       Joshua Lott – NOS/OCRM/CPD
       Elizabeth M. Mountz – NOS/OCRM
       Heidi E. Recksiek – NOS/CSC
       George Kenneth Walker, Jr. – NOS/OCRM/NPED
       Kirk J. Waters – NOS/CSC

5. Position Title and Grade for Nominees:
        Joshua Lott – Team Leader
        Elizabeth M. Mountz – Coastal Management Specialist
        Heidi E. Recksiek – Coastal Management Specialist
        George Kenneth Walker, Jr. – Policy Analyst
        Kirk J. Waters – Physical Scientist

6. Past Awards for Nominees:
        Joshua Lott – 1999 Department of Commerce Bronze Medal (group award)
                      2002 NOAA Administrator‘s Award
                      2005 Department of Commerce Bronze Medal (group award)

7. Nominator’s Name and Major Line or Staff Office:
      Jeff Payne – NOS/CSC
      Douglas Brown – NOS/OCRM

8. What is the significance of this accomplishment?
      NOAA‘s coastal management expertise contributed significantly to the development of
      parish-specific recovery plans that will increase the resilience of coastal Louisiana
      communities to future storms.

I. Certificate Text:
        For exceptional work in providing long-term recovery planning assistance to coastal
        Louisiana after the devastation from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

II. Program Booklet Text:

This group is honored for its members‘ significant personal and professional contributions to the
Louisiana Long Term Recovery Planning effort. They worked with compassion and care in a
tumultuous social, political, and environmental landscape to ensure the contribution of NOAA‘s
important assets for restoring coastal communities and natural areas. The great amount of work the
nominees accomplished in a relatively small amount of time illustrates their talents and their
unselfish caring for the people and communities whose lives have been forever altered by
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

III. Justification:

Section 1 – Definitions

      CPD – NOAA/NOS/OCRM Coastal Programs Division
      CSC – NOAA Coastal Services Center
      FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency

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      NPED – NOAA/NOS/OCRM National Policy and Evaluation Division
      NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
      NOS – National Ocean Service
      OCRM – NOAA/NOS Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management

Section 2 – Award Justification

A. What was the specific goal, challenge, or problem related to the Department’s mission
and/or strategic plan?

The nominees‘ goal was to work quickly to help the State of Louisiana and its local communities
create long-term recovery plans. The nominees accessed a wide breadth of NOAA expertise
(storm-surge records, habitat restoration techniques, stakeholder communications, etc.) and, in
doing so, enhanced the Department‘s credibility to reduce communities‘ vulnerability to storms
and apply it expertise in the midst of a highly volatile situation. Through this impressive effort, the
group illustrated DOC‘s strategic goal 3 to promote environmental stewardship and NOAA‘s
mission goals to protect ecosystems and human life in coastal areas.

B. What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge, or problem?

After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, the Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) asked NOAA to help develop local long-term recovery plans in coastal
Louisiana. Nominees provided long-term on-site planning assistance to coastal communities
affected by the hurricanes. This required them to adapt to a fast-paced environment, maintain acute
awareness of local, state, and federal concerns, and be highly motivated to contribute, all with very
little direction.

C. What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge, or problem?

Since November 2005, the nominees relocated to the area and gave their time and talents to help
coastal Louisiana plan its future. They collaborated on coastal and environmental concerns,
coordinated logistics for a multi-state planning day, and assisted in developing community-based,
parish-level plans. They acted professionally in a highly emotional and politically charged
environment, worked at multiple levels of government and industry, and provided services with
short turnaround times.

D. What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

Through the Louisiana Speaks Long-Term Recovery Planning Day, the nominees helped gather
and synthesize comments from over 4,000 residents who met in 30 locations across the country.
They coordinated comments to create 19 specific plans for the local parishes. One nominee also
plays a key role in the Louisiana Portsfield Pilot project.

Section 3. Additional Information

A. How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?


                                                 134
Two nominees have been in Louisiana for over three months. Two others spent six to eight weeks
there. The parish-specific long-term recovery plans are now available through a Web-based tool
that allows everyone to view recovery planning information by parish or by recovery sector (e.g.,
environmental management, flood protection and restoration, transportation).

B. What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

Coastal parishes now have Web-based tools to begin their restoration and long-term recovery
activities. Activities will shortly begin to restore coastal resources and return some economic
viability and socio-cultural stability to the area, with careful consideration given to rebuilding, to
mitigating the risks of natural hazards, and to creating resilient communities.

C. What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

The long-term impact is twofold. The nominees‘ experiences in this fragile coastal area ensure a
greater understanding of the human dimensions of NOAA‘s ecosystem-based management
mission. The planning effort and its products allow communities to start projects that move toward
sustainability of coastal resources and to become more resilient to future hazards.

D. Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If
so, how?

The NOAA staff members contributed significantly to FEMA by providing the right mix of
technical and interpersonal skills to fulfill both agencies‘ missions for community resiliency and
coastal management. FEMA relied heavily on the work of all NOAA staff members and requested
an extended tour for Heidi Recksiek, who played a significant role in orchestrating Louisiana
Speaks Long-Term Recovery Planning Day.

E. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how? No.

F. Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

Yes. The scope of the long-term recovery is unprecedented because of the scale of the disaster and
the need to find sustainable solutions to manage future risks. The nominees‘ accomplishments will
result in more resilient communities. The nominees‘ exceptional abilities to develop relationships
with the local community, state, and other federal agencies contributed greatly to the effectiveness
of the Louisiana Long Term Recovery Planning effort.




                                                  135
                                         Mark Bailey Group
                                      Silver Medal Nomination
                                 Personal and Professional Excellence
                                                NOS
                                           Nomination # 39

NOAA Tsunami Warning System - Sea Level Monitoring Component


 Full Name     Pronunciation        Position           Line or Staff   Past Awards
               of Name              Series/Grade       Office
Mark Bailey    Mark Bale-e          Engineering        NOS             None
                                    Technician
                                    GS-802-11
Kyle           Kyle Din-burg        Engineering        NOS             None
Dinberg                             Technician
                                    GS-802-11
Scott                               Oceanographer      NOS             None
Duncan                              GS-1360-12
Kenneth        Ken Fuse             Engineering        NOS             None
Fuhs                                Technician
                                    GS-802-11
Richard                             Engineering        NOS             None
James                               Technician
                                    GS-802-11
Warren Krug    Warren Kroog         Electronic         NOS             None
                                    Engineer
                                    GS-856-13
James Lewis    James Loo-is         Engineering        NOS             None
                                    Technician
                                    GS-802-12
Rolin Meyer    Row-lyn My-er        Engineering        NOS             None
                                    Technician
                                    GS-802-13
Lawrence       Lawrence             Engineering        NOS             None
Neeson         Knee-son             Technician
                                    GS-802-13
Manoj          Ma-noj               Civil Engineer     NOS             None
Samant         Sa-Mant              GS-810-13


2. Type of Recognition:                                Silver

3. Category:                                           Personal and Professional Excellence

4. Major Line or Staff Office:                         National Ocean Service



                                                 136
5. Position title and grade:                          Various

6. Past awards:                                       See attached

7. Nominator:                                         Michael Szabados
                                                      Director, NOAA/NOS Center for Operational
                                                      Oceanographic Products
                                                      and Services(CO-OPS)

Definitions:

NWLON – the National Water Level Observation Network, a long-term network of water level
stations that support all NOAA strategic goals by providing data used for safe navigation, tsunami
and storm surge warnings, habitat restoration, and long-term sea level rise.

TWC - Tsunami Warning Center – the 24x7 TWS component that ingests data from multiple
sources, operates forecast models, and issues warnings of potential tsunami occurrences.

TWS – the NOAA Tsunami Warning System, those components of NOAA such as the Tsunami
Warning Centers, the DART buoys, the NWLON, and others that together detect and provide
warning of tsunami events to the American public.

8. Significance of Accomplishment: The NOAA Tsunami Warning System‘s ability to protect
United States coastal communities was significantly improved through the rapid filling of critical
key sea level observation gaps.

9. Certificate text: For exemplary achievement in strengthening the NOAA Tsunami Warning
System‘s ability to protect the lives and property of United States citizens.

10. Program Booklet text: The group is honored for working closely as a team to plan and execute
a complex, challenging project to upgrade technology and fill key water level monitoring gaps in
the NOAA Tsunami Warning System. Water level data is critical to the accuracy of forecasts
issued by NOAA‘s Tsunami Warning Centers to warn and protect U.S. lives and property.
Utilizing their years of experience, professionalism, and esprit de corps, group members planned
and executed to great precision a project plan that enabled NOAA to not only meet, but exceed, its
fiscal year goals for this component.

11. Award Justification:

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission and/or
strategic plan?

The Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004 focused international attention on the devastating
impacts of a powerful natural phenomenon, the tsunami. The U.S. coastline is also vulnerable to
tsunamis and the Administration quickly moved to ensure adequate protections were put in place.
Strengthening NOAA‘s TWS was central to this response, a key component of which is the
NWLON. Significant improvements to the NWLON were identified as the NWLON can detect a
tsunami, and feed NWS TWC models that forecast when a tsunami may reach other locations.

                                                137
What was the context in which the nominees addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

The planning and execution of the sea level component under an accelerated timeline was a huge
challenge. The task called for implementing a significant portion of the deliverables by the end of
the fiscal year, particularly difficult given that resources would not be available from the
supplemental until half the year had already passed. NOAA put together an end-to-end team to
plan and execute the sea level monitoring component. The plan required upgrading technology at
33 existing NWLON stations. The most challenging part of the task was to establish 16 new
NWLON stations, primarily in remote areas.

What specific actions did the nominees take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

Planning and execution entailed considerable coordination across NOAA to verify gap locations,
assemble extensive lists of equipment for procurement, write and award contracts for required
services, create acceptance tests and calibrate equipment upon delivery, conduct site
reconnaissance, design station installations, arrange for local permissions, permits and utilities,
upgrade existing NWLON stations, establish the new stations, and verify TWC access.
Technology and software development, testing and integration were accelerated to meet TWC
requirements for specialized high-frequency data.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

Utilizing project management software, a complex multi-year project plan was created detailing
every step from start to end. The plan enabled significant FY2005 achievements to be planned,
successfully achieved, and, in fact, exceeded.

12. Additional Information:

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

Executing a task this large and complex would normally take well over a year‘s lead time to plan
and successfully implement. However, based on the urgency of the need and the group‘s collective
personal pride and professional expertise, the project plan was completed in a few months.
Through close collaboration, turnkey scheduling, innovative use of existing equipment inventory
and contract services, and drawing upon decades of field experience, the team not only met the
fiscal year deliverables, but actually exceeded them. It is important to note that these efforts were
well above and beyond the normal duties performed by the team.

What is the short term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

In FY2005, 7 new NWLON stations were established in Alaska (3), Puerto Rico (2), California
and Washington. Fifteen NWLON stations were upgraded with new technology, exceeding the
planned 9 upgrades. The full plan of 16 new NWLON stations and 33 upgraded stations will be
implemented by the end of FY 2006. This will have filled all sea level gaps identified in NOAA‘s
Pacific and Alaskan coasts, as well as in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. These actions provide
immediate improvements to the TWC‘s ability to accurately detect and forecast tsunamis,
improving the accuracy of warnings provided to the public and emergency responders.
                                                 138
What is the long term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

The successful planning and execution of this project has laid the groundwork for strengthening
tsunami protection for the U.S. Gulf and East Coasts. It has also provided a model for international
efforts such as those that are currently emerging in the Caribbean nations. These ―nearby‖
international efforts will also improve NOAA‘s long-range ability to forecast tsunamis by allowing
earlier detection.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If so, how?

The specialized tsunami data provided by the NWLON benefits other Federal agencies such as the
USGS, who are partners with NOAA in tsunami detection and warning.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or automation? If so, how?
N/A
Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as customer service or
administrative support?
N/A




                                                  139
                                  Robert Warner Group
                                 Silver Medal Nomination
                                        Leadership
                                           NOS
                                      Nomination # 40

Hurricane Katrina and Rita Response Activities

1. Full Name of Nominees

    Robert A. Warner, (pronounced Robert Warner)
    Andrew K. Leight, (prefers A.K. Light)
    Dr. Gunnar G. Lauenstein, (pronounced Gunner Lawenstine)
    Dr. Jeff Hyland, (pronounced Jeff Highland)
    Dr. Michael H. Fulton, (pronounced Michael Fulton)
    Dr. Edward F. Wirth, (pronounced Edward Worth)
    Laura F. Webster, ((pronounced Laura Webster)
    Marion Sanders, (pronounced Marion Sanders)
    Dr. S. Ian Hartwell, (pronounced Ian Heartwell)
    Dr. Stephan L. Morton, (prefers Steve Morton)

2. Type of Recognition

    Silver Medal

3. Award Category

    Leadership

4. Major Line and Staff Office for Each Nominee
    NOAA‘s Ocean Service
    National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
    Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment
      Robert A. Warner, Dr. Gunnar G. Lauenstein, Dr. S. Ian Hartwell

    NOAA‘s Ocean Service
    National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
    Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research
      Andrew K. Leight, Dr. Jeff Hyland, Dr. Michael H. Fulton, Dr. Edward F. Wirth, Laura F.
      Webster, Marion Sanders, Dr. Stephan L. Morton

5. Position, Title, and Grade for Each Nominee

    Robert A. Warner: Physical Scientist (GS-13)
    Andrew K. Leight: Microbiologist (GS-11)
    Dr. Gunnar G. Lauenstein: Physical Scientist (GS-13)
    Dr. Jeff Hyland: Ecologist (GS-14)
    Dr. Michael H. Fulton: Fishery Biologist (GS-14)
    Dr. Edward F. Wirth: Research Fishery Biologist (GS-12)
                                              140
    Laura F. Webster: Microbiologist (GS-9)
    Marion Sanders: Research Chemist (GS-12)
    Dr. S. Ian Hartwell: Ecologist (GS-13)
    Dr. Stephan L. Morton: Research Oceanographer (GS-13)

6. Past Awards for Each Nominee

    Dr. Gunnar G. Lauenstein: 1996 Bronze Medal (―For consistent service to the NOAA Mussel
    Watch Project, and expanding the time scale of its trend analysis”)
    Dr. Jeff Hyland: 2003 Bronze Medal (“For Superior Federal Service”), 1997 and 2002
    USEPA Bronze Medal (Awarded to Jeff as a NOAA employee)

7. Nominator’s Name, Line, and Staff Office

    Dr. Gary C. Matlock, Director
    NOAA Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science


What is the significance of this accomplishment?

This group successfully planned, coordinated and executed a multi-agency assessment of coastal
contamination in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita throughout Louisiana, Mississippi and
Alabama.

I. Certificate Text

For planning, coordinating and executing a multi-agency impact assessment of coastal
contamination resulting from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

II. Program Booklet Text

The group is honored for providing outstanding leadership, collaboration and commitment in
coordinating and executing a multi-agency environmental impact assessment of biological and
chemical contamination of coastal waters in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in response
to state needs. They channeled resources and capabilities of NOAA, USEPA, FDA, USGS, and the
Coastal States of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama in this extraordinary effort to assess post-
storm seafood safety and water quality, and for placing these observations in the context of
historical environmental quality.

III. Justification

Section 1 – Definitions

USEPA: United States Environmental Protection Agency
FDA: U.S. Food and Drug Administration
USGS: United States Geological Survey
Pathogen: An agent that causes disease, especially a microorganism such as a bacterium or fungus.
Contaminant: A substance that makes impure or unclean by contact or mixture.

                                              141
Harmful Algal Bloom: Massive growths of various microscopic marine algae that may harm the
health of the environment, plants, or animals.



Section 2 – Award Justification

    What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department‘s mission and/or strategic plan?

DOC Goal #3 states that we shall “Observe, protect and manage the Earth’s resources to promote
environmental stewardship.” The uncommon leadership and commitment exhibited here address
these goals, and represents the very spirit of these organizational tenets. The team‘s efforts were
critical to assessing post-storm seafood safety and water quality, and for placing these observations
in historical context.

What was the context in which the nominee(s) addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

The unusual and dangerous circumstances associated with conducting a cruise and associated
shallow-water field survey in the wake of these storms provide context for this nomination. A team
of six field scientists was deployed to coastal Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama less than a week
after landfall of Hurricane Rita, and 3 weeks after Katrina. Catastrophic damage in the region
made logistics difficult, and, in some cases, nearly impossible.

What specific actions did the nominee(s) take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

As part of the field effort, the team rapidly coordinated NOAA, USEPA, USGS and FDA assets to
collect sediment, water and oysters for analysis. Sediments were analyzed for chemical
contamination, microbial and pathogen indicators, algae capable of producing harmful algal
blooms (HABs), benthic fauna, and toxicity. Water samples were collected to quantify
microbial/pathogen indicators, phytoplankton that produce HABs, and chemical contaminants.
Oysters were collected to measure chemical and biological contaminant levels in this commercial
shellfish species.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

Results of this effort include the discovery of contaminant concentrations in oysters as well as
concentrations of fecal contaminants and a key regional herbicide in coastal waters. Contamination
levels of pesticides, PCBs and PAHs after the storm were low compared to the 20-year record.
Fecal pollution indicators were detected at a higher frequency and at higher concentrations when
compared to previous NOAA post-hurricane assessments. These results are being delivered to
federal and state coastal partners for management decisions and actions.


Section 3 – Additional Information

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?


                                                       142
This rapid response was initiated through planning and coordination with Federal and State
partners August 29 - September 29. The tasks outlined in the resulting strategy were initiated on
September 29 and completed on October 12. A follow-up cruise to the impacted region is ongoing.

What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the Bureau and/or
Department‘s mission?

Reports developed from this effort were provided to managers and stakeholders in the region to
communicate the status of seafood safety and coastal contamination risks. It also produced data
that will be used to place results into a national and historical context, which is critical to
understand, protect and manage resources and to promote environmental stewardship.

What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the Bureau and/or
Department‘s mission?

Results will be used to better project the impact of hurricanes on coastal contamination and
determine processes that affect the distribution of contaminants after storms. Such hypotheses will
be well served by the history of monitoring in the region, and in areas of the country that are
frequented by storms. Observations can then be used to construct impact scenario models, and to
inform coastal managers as they refine management practices, and lawmakers as they strive to
ensure human health, environmental quality and vigorous commerce.

Does the accomplishment affect other Bureaus/Departments or other Federal agencies?

The USEPA, FDA and USGS all have benefited from this collaborative effort. Together, the
USEPA and USGS have been able to declare that coastal waters are safe for swimming where
appropriate, and deliver warnings elsewhere. The team‘s work enabled FDA and coastal states to
inform stakeholders of shellfish safety in the impacted region.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement of science, technology, or automation? If
so, how?

Not in the short term; however, advancement of our understanding of coastal processes as it relates
to contamination is expected as the team begins the task of carefully evaluating the storms‘ impact
in the context of historical measurements and storms.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as customer
service or administrative support? If so, how?

Yes. The multi-agency collaborative survey design and its timely execution served as models for
timely responses to future storms that benefited coastal managers in the states.




                                                143
                                          Sarah Borakove Group
                                         Silver Medal Nomination
                                    Personal and Professional Excellence
                                                   NOS
                                              Nomination # 41


   Nominees:

                                                                 Position
                    Pronunciation          Line or                Title              Past
Full Name              of Name           Staff Office           and Grade           Awards
                                     National Ocean            Phys. Science
                                     Service                       Tech
Sarah L. Borakove    Bore-a-kove     Office of Coast Survey        GS-7
                                     National Ocean
                                     Service                  Physical Scientist
Alan R. Bunn                         Office of Coast Survey        GS-13
                                     National Ocean            Phys. Science
                                     Service                        Tech
David B. Elliott                     Office of Coast Survey        GS-11
                                     National Ocean
LCDR Rick                            Service                    Deputy Chief
Fletcher                             Office of Coast Survey   Nav. Services Div.
                                     National Ocean            Phys. Science
                                     Service                        Tech           2005 Bronze
Bert S. Ho                           Office of Coast Survey         GS-7           Medal
                                     National Ocean            Phys. Science
                                     Service                        Tech
Brian A. Link                        Office of Coast Survey        GS-12
                                     National Ocean            Phys. Science
                                     Service                        Tech
Robert W. Ramsey                     Office of Coast Survey         GS-9
                                        National Ocean           Electronic
Anthony C.                                  Service              Technician
Godette                Go-dett             COOPS                   GS-11
                                        National Ocean            Electronic
                                            Service               Engineer
Warren S. Krug          Kroog              COOPS                   GS-13
                                        National Ocean
                                            Service
Sarah K. Mrozek      Mer-ro-zeck           COOPS                 NOAA Corp



   Organizations:         NOAA/NOS Office of Coast Survey (OCS)
                          NOAA/NOS Center for Operational Oceanographic Products
                          and Services (CO-OPS)




                                                        144
What is the significance of this accomplishment?

NOAA conducted immediate emergency hydrographic surveys, enabling the Coast Guard to
reopen 13 major economically vital Gulf ports and waterways within days after Hurricanes Katrina
and Rita struck.

I. Certificate Text: For enabling the reopening of all 13 economically vital Gulf ports and
waterways within days after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall.

II. Program Booklet Text: By conducting emergency hydrographic surveys for underwater
hazards, these dedicated professionals helped save lives, restore services and keep supplies and
maritime commerce moving through 13 economically vital Gulf ports and waterways within days
after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita landed. NOAA‘s navigation response teams, regional navigation
managers, water levels field support and headquarters staff worked tirelessly and under hazardous
conditions to coordinate a large-scale response effort with the U.S. Coast Guard, Army Corps of
Engineers, Navy, FEMA, and state and local governments.

Nominated By:           Kathryn L. Ries
                        Deputy Director
                        NOAA/NOS-Office of Coast Survey

                        Richard Edwing
                        Deputy Director
                        NOAA/NOS-Center for Operational Oceanographic Products
                        and Services

IV.     Justification

Section 1. Definitions

CO-OPS—Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services, NOAA‘s National Ocean
Service

Hydrographic survey—A survey of a water area, with particular reference to submarine relief and
any adjacent land.

Hydrography—The science that deals with the measurement and description of the physical
features of the oceans and adjoining coastal areas, with particular reference to their use for
navigational purposes.

Nautical chart—A special purpose map generally designed for purposes of navigation.

Navigation Response Teams (NRTs)—Three-person, mobile emergency response teams that are
deployed in emergencies as requested by federal, state and local governments/port authorities.
They have trailerable small survey launches equipped with side scan sonar to survey waterways for
wrecked vessels and oil rigs, large debris, and shoaling that can damage or ground passing vessels.

OCS—Office of Coast Survey, NOAA‘s National Ocean Service
                                                145
Side scan sonar—Side scan sonar is a specialized sonar (SOund NAvigation and Ranging)
system for searching and detecting objects on the sea floor

USCG—U.S. Coast Guard

USACOE—U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Section 2. Award Justification

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission and/or
strategic plan?

These activities directly support both the DOC strategic goal to ―provide the information and tools
to maximize U.S. competitiveness and enable economic growth‖ and the related NOAA goal to
―support the nation‘s commerce with information for safe, efficient and environmentally sound
transportation.‖ Essential to the movement of food and relief supplies, including cruise ships used
for housing emergency workers, the Gulf ports and waterways are also vital to the transport of oil
and coal within the region and up the Mississippi River.

What was the context in which the nominee(s) addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

Waterways had to be surveyed and cleared before the U.S. Coast Guard could allow oil tankers,
cargo ships, and other vessels to safely transit the area. Ships have gotten longer, wider and deeper,
and determining precise water depths is imperative for safe navigation. Hurricanes play havoc with
the sea bottom, rendering the depths and obstructions on nautical charts obsolete. Due to the
general devastation, the nominees worked under very hazardous conditions that risked their safety
and health, as food, supplies, fuel, housing and relief were scarce.

What specific actions did the nominee(s) take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

NRTs surveyed waterways around the clock for wrecked vessels and oil rigs, large debris, and
shoaling that can damage or ground passing vessels. Numerous logistical and physical obstacles
had to be overcome on a daily basis. Other staff provided critical water level support, replacing
destroyed tide gauges and installing new ones under extremely difficult conditions. These activities
required a large-scale response effort with federal, state and local governments. NOAA field and
headquarters personnel worked tirelessly, holding extensive daily internal and external
coordination meetings with multiple agencies so that field units had clear destinations and
identified logistical and technical support.




                                                 146
What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

The survey results allowed the USCG to reopen 13 major ports and waterways to maritime
commerce and emergency relief within days after both hurricanes landed.


Section 3. Additional Information

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented deployed?

Information from the NOAA emergency hydrographic surveys allowed the USCG to reopen all 13
major Gulf ports and waterways within days after the hurricanes struck. This nation is heavily
dependent on maritime trade, much of which flows through the impacted ports in Louisiana,
Texas, Alabama and Mississippi. They are heavily linked to the nation‘s petroleum, grain and farm
products, fruit, poultry, coffee, chemical and steel trades. The Port of New Orleans is the focal
point for waterborne transportation of cargo to 28 states and supported $37 billion in economic
benefits to the country.

What is the short-term impact (1-2) years of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or the
Department’s mission?

The USCG recognized NOAA on November 15, 2005 for ―exceptionally meritorious service from
August 29 to September 17 while serving on the Hurricane Katrina Waterways Survey and
Reconstitution Team.‖ In response to the hurricane‘s catastrophic effects, the maritime industry,
USACOE, USCG and NOAA devised a safe, orderly, and systematic plan for reopening the
waterways of southeast Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, ensuring that vital cargo could be
delivered safely and efficiently to nationally important facilities along the Gulf Coast.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as customer
service or administrative support? If so, how? Does the accomplishment affect other
bureas/Department or other Federal agencies? If so, how?

NOAA hydrographic expertise was deployed in advance of the hurricanes‘ landfall, ensuring that
emergency surveys would be conducted as soon as possible after the hurricanes hit. The
complexity of the related logistics under such disastrous conditions required extensive
coordination with USCG, USACOE, Navy, FEMA, and state and local governments. NOAA
personnel‘s dedication and tireless efforts provided a superlative level of customer service to all of
these partners, helping them accomplish their missions, and serving the people of the Gulf Coast.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in the science, technology, or automation?
If so, how? No.




                                                 147
What is the long-term impact (3-5) years of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or the
Department’s mission?

NOAA‘s hydrographic capabilities are essential to the future recovery of these ports by ensuring
that accurate navigation products and information are available for the mariners transiting in and
out of these economically critical areas.

                                 NWS NOMINATIONS

                                   Charles McCreery Group
                                    Gold Medal Nomination
                              Personal and Professional Excellence
                                             NWS
                                        Nomination # 42

1. Type of Award: Gold

2. Nomination Type: Group

3. Nomination Category: Personal and Professional Excellence

4. Name of Nominee: Charles McCreery, NWS
      Salutation: Dr.
      Pronunciation: MAC creary
      Title: Director
      Series and Grade: GS-1301-15

  Name of Nominee: Stuart Weinstein, NWS
     Salutation: Dr.
     Pronunciation: WINE stine
     Title: Tsunami Warning Coordinator
     Series and Grade: GS-1301-14

  Name of Nominee: Barry Hirshorn, NWS
     Salutation: Mr.
     Pronunciation: HER shorn
     Title: Geophysicist
     Series and Grade: GS-1301-14

       Complete office address: NOAA National Weather Service
                                Richard H. Hagemeyer Pacific Tsunami Warning
                                91-270 Fort Weaver Road
                                Ewa Beach, HI 96706-2928




  Name of Nominee: Paula Dunbar, NESDIS
                                                148
      Salutation: Ms.
      Pronunciation: DUN bar
      Title: Physical Scientist
      Series and Grade: ZP 1301 - III

      Complete office address: NOAA National Geophysical Data Center
                               DSRC MC EGC2
                               325 Broadway
                               Boulder, CO 80305-3328

  Name of Nominee: Paul Whitmore, NWS
     Salutation: Mr.
     Pronunciation: WHIT more
     Title: Director
     Series and Grade: GS-1301-15

      Complete office address:     NOAA National Weather Service
                                 West Coast-Alaska Tsunami Warning Center
                                 910 S Felton Street
                                 Palmer AK 99645-6552

  Name of Nominee: Harold Mofjeld, OAR
     Salutation: Dr.
     Pronunciation: MO feld
     Title: Oceanographer
     Series and Grade: GS-1360-14

  Name of Nominee: Christian Meinig, OAR
     Salutation: Mr
     Pronunciation: MINE ig
     Title: Supv. General Engineer
     Series and Grade: GS-0801-15

     Complete office address: NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
                              7600 Sand Point Way, NE
                              Seattle, WA 98115

  Name of Nominee: Delores Clark, UNSEC
     Salutation: Mrs.
     Pronunciation: CLARK
     Title: NOAA Public Affairs Officer
     Series and Grade: GS-1035-13

      Complete office address: NOAA Public Affairs
                               737 Bishop Street, Suite 2200
5. Other NOAA Awards:                           McCreery - None
                           Weintsein - None
                           Hirshorn - None
                           Dunbar – None
                                            149
                               Whitmore – NOAA Bronze Medal in December 1998
                               Mofjeld – DOC group Gold Medal in December 2005
                               Meinig – DOC group Gold Medal in December 2005
                               Clark - 2002 NOAA Administrator's Award – PA Group
                                     - 2005 NOAA Administrator's Award – PA Group

6. Current Performance Rating: Pass for all

7. Nominator’s Name, Title, complete office address, and phone number:
      Ralph J. LaDouce, Director
      NWS Pacific Region
      737 Biship St., Suite 2200, Mauka, Honolulu, HI 96813-3213
      Telephone: (808) 532-6416

What is the significance of this accomplishment?

The group was the nation‘s source of vital information on tsunami warnings, detection, and
mitigation for national and international government officials, world-wide media outlets, and
documentaries.

I. Certificate Text:

For personal and professional excellence as the Nation‘s experts and spokespersons on tsunamis
following the December 26, 2004, Indian Ocean tsunami.

II. Program Text:

Immediately following the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the world clamored for
information on all subjects related to tsunamis. These highly dedicated NOAA professionals
unselfishly responded to more than 500 separate media request for interviews and documentaries
from around the world. Their ability to satisfy the many requests is most impressive considering
their expertise was essential to develop enhanced national and international tsunami programs.
Their untiring personal and professional efforts reflect great credit on themselves, their line offices,
and NOAA.

III. Justification:

Section 1 - Definitions:

Department of Commerce                                        DOC
Department of Transportation                                  DOT
Federal Emergency Management Agency                           FEMA
Global Earth Observation System of Systems                    GEOSS
Non-Government Organizations                                  NGOs
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration               NOAA
United States Geological Survey                               USGS

Section 2 - Award Justification: (Maximum number of characters for all four questions in this
section cannot exceed 2000.)
                                          150
     What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s
       mission/or Strategic Plan?

       The response by the group in providing accurate and timely information about tsunamis to
       the media, the public, and a variety of government and non-governmental officials directly
       supports the DOC Strategic Goal 3 to observe, protect, and manage the Earth‘s resources to
       promote environmental stewardship. This relates directly to the NOAA Mission and the
       Weather and Water Goal Performance Objectives to: 1) improve predictability of the onset,
       duration, and impact of hazardous and severe weather and water events, 2) increase
       coordination of weather and water information and services with integration of local,
       regional, and global observation systems, and 3) enhance environmental literacy and
       improve understanding, value, and use of weather and water information and services.

      What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge, or
        problem?

       Each nominee played a significant role managing the information flow about
       DOC/NOAA‘s Tsunami Warning Program, and utilized their expertise to further enhance
       the Tsunami Warning Program among other US and international governmental, research,
       and NGO communities. This was particularly critical because they were inundated with
       inquiries from impacted Indian Ocean nations, the media, and interested donor agencies
       about the DOC/NOAA‘s capabilities.

      What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

       Nominees made selfless contributions during the days and weeks following the Indian
       Ocean Tsunami. They worked extensive hours to make themselves available and to use
       their expertise and experience to provide timely and accurate information about known
       tsunami hazards, and the technologies developed by DOC/NOAA organizations to monitor
       tsunamis, forecast their impact, and issue rapid and reliable warnings.

      What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

       Clear, consistent, and coordinated information from within the Department was made
       available in the aftermath of the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami to Congress,
       the Administration, and others. This information established the baseline for the
       subsequent upgrade of the U.S. Tsunami Warning Program by Congress.


Section 3 - Additional Information: (Maximum number of characters for all six questions in this
section cannot exceed 2000.)

      How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
        completed/implemented/deployed?

       These NOAA employees began responding to inquiries immediately following the
       earthquake on 26 December 2004. Outreach to U.S. and foreign government officials and

                                              151
    media (worldwide) peaked in the initial weeks following the tsunami, but continued high
    throughout the year. The one-year anniversary of the tsunami brought renewed interest
    from media and the public.

   What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
     Department‘s mission?

    The activities of this group directly affect DOC/NOAA‘s mission to manage coastal and
    marine resources. Understanding natural hazards such as tsunami, is crucial to enhancing
    human health, safety and welfare, alleviating human suffering, protecting the global
    environment, and achieving sustainable development.

   What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
     Department‘s mission?

    The Group‘s performance firmly established NOAA‘s leadership role in tsunami hazards,
    nationally and internationally. This in turn reinforced NOAA‘s role within GEOSS to
    enable greater sharing of Earth observation data and information that are timely, of known
    quality, long-term, and global in nature.

   Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If so,
     how?

    Preparation for and response to tsunami hazard requires coordination between NOAA,
    FEMA, DOT, USGS, State, regional, and local governments. Global tsunami warning and
    mitigation is a key objective of the international Group on Earth Observations and is a key
    first activity within GEOSS. The actions of this group influenced the NOAA Tsunami
    Program and improved coordination and communication among all agencies.

   Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
      automation? If so, how?

    The group‘s work facilitated the efforts of many nations, and the activities of many
    intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, on the science, technology and
    automation required to respond to the challenge of establishing an effective Tsunami
    Warning System beyond the nations of the Pacific Rim, in such a short period of time.

   Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
      customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

    Their efforts enhanced the work of many other people worldwide, who responded to the
    political and humanitarian efforts demanded by the nations of the Indian Ocean region.




                                            152
                                       Bruce Turner Group
                                      Gold Medal Nomination
                                           Leadership
                                              NWS
                                         Nomination # 43

1.       Type of Award:                Gold

2.       Nomination Type:              Group

3.       Nomination Category:          Leadership

4.       All Nominees: National Weather Service

 Name of Nominee: Bruce Turner
  Salutation: Mr.
  Pronunciation: tur nur
  Title: Scientific Officer
  Series and Grade: GS-1340-14

     Name of Nominee: Melinda Hinojosa
     Salutation: Mrs.
     Pronunciation: henna hosa
     Title: Marine and Public Program Meteorologist
     Series and Grade: GS-1340-13

     Name of Nominee: Donald J. Miller
     Salutation: Mr.
     Pronunciation: mill er
     Title: Operational Support Meteorologist
     Series and Grade: GS-1340-13

     Name of Nominee: James Partain
     Salutation: Mr.
     Pronunciation: par tane
     Title: Chief, Environmental and Scientific Services Division
     Series and Grade: GS-1340-15

     Name of Nominee: Dennis Decker
     Salutation: Mr.
     Pronunciation: deck er
     Title: Warning Coordination Meteorologist
     Series and Grade: GS-1340-14

     Name of Nominee: Bart Hagemeyer
     Salutation: Mr.
     Pronunciation: hag a meyer
     Title: Meteorologist-In-Charge
     Series and Grade: GS-1340-15
                                                 153
     Name of Nominee: Paul Whitmore
     Salutation: Mr.
     Pronunciation: wit more
     Title: Scientist-In-Charge
     Series and Grade: GS-1340-15


5.       Other National Weather Service Awards: Dennis Decker – Silver 1989
                                            James Partain – Administrator‘s Award
                                            1995
                                            Paul Whitmore – Bronze 1998
                                            James Partain – Bronze 1999
                                            Bart Hagemeyer - Administrator‘s
                                            Award 2001
                                            James Partain – Administrator‘s Award
                                            2005


6.       Current Performance Rating:       Pass for all.
7.       Nominator’s Name, Title, complete office address, and telephone number:
               Mr. X. William Proenza, Director
               NOAA/National Weather Service Southern Region Headquarters
               819 Taylor Street, Room 10A03
               Fort Worth, Texas 76102
               Telephone:    (817) 978-1000

                Laura Furgione, Director
     NOAA/National Weather Service Alaska Region Headquarters
     222 West 7th Ave #23
     Anchorage, AK 99513-7575
     Telephone: (907) 271-5136




                                             154
   Dean Gulezian, Director
   NOAA/National Weather Service Eastern Region Headquarters
             630 Johnson Avenue Suite 202
   Bohemia, NY 11716
        Telephone: (631) 244-0101

What is the significance of this accomplishment?
Through the leadership, innovation, support and dedication of these individuals, a Southern and
Eastern U.S. Tsunami Warning System was implemented in April 2005.

I.     Certificate Text:
For leadership, innovation & dedication to the United States public for implementing the Southern
& Eastern U.S. Tsunami Warning System in April 2005.

II.     Program Text:
The group is honored for their indispensable leadership and support to NWS field offices, partners
and customers after the devastating December 26, 2004 tsunami. Their leadership, innovation and
action led to the rapid development of a Tsunami Warning System for the southern and eastern
United States, where none existed before. Their rapid response ensured the West Coast / Alaska
Tsunami Warning Center and the coastal Weather Forecast Offices issued and disseminated
Tsunami Warnings/Watches to the coastal residents and state and federal partners of the southern
and eastern United States.

III.       Justification:

Section 1 – Definitions:
DHS                                  Department of Homeland Security
FEMA                         Federal Emergency Management Agency
NOAA                         National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NWS                                  National Weather Service
PMEL                         Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
RFC                                  River Forecast Center
WC/ATWC West Coast / Alaska Tsunami Warning Center
WFO                                  Weather Forecast Office

Section 2 – Award Justification:

          What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission
           or Strategic Plan? DOC Goal 3 Observe, protect, and manage the Earth’s resources
           to promote environmental stewardship. The group‘s efforts led to the implementation of
           a Tsunami Warning System for the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas. This system
           guarantees a timely and accurate response by state and federal decision-makers and the
           public prior to, during, and after any tsunami that may impact the region.

          What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge, or
           problem? The group quickly ramped up a new warning system as the media and political
           attention of tsunami warning systems was being investigated around the world.


                                                 155
      What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?
       The group first developed and implemented an interim tsunami warning plan for the
       southern and eastern United States within two weeks of the December 26, 2004 devastating
       tsunami. The group then held weekly conference calls, conducted communication tests and
       drafted policy documents, which led to a Tsunami Operational Workshop in March 2005.
       This workshop, conducted with coastal WFOs and Emergency Managers, detailed tsunami
       preparedness and readiness regarding the proposed new warning system. The result of the
       group‘s work was the final implementation of the new Tsunami Warning System on April
       20, 2005. Throughout the process, the group maintained constant communication with
       affected staff members, senior management and public affairs officials of NWS and
       NOAA, and key state and federal decision-makers, including FEMA and state Emergency
       Managers.

      What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms? No
       tsunami warning system was in place before December 26, 2004 for the southern and
       eastern United States. The group implemented a Tsunami Warning System for that region
       which will help minimize disruption in critical warning and forecast services at impacted
       offices with the established operational procedures between the WC/ATWC and the coastal
       WFOs and RFCs. The NWS‘s support to state, media and federal partners will help notify
       customers and partners and increase response, preparedness, and recovery efforts in the
       impacted areas.

Section 3 – Additional Information:

      How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the
       accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed? The group started their planning in
       early January and implemented the new warning system on April 20, 2005. Support for the
       new system continued for the rest of the year (and continues).

      What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau
       and/or Department’s mission? The group quickly addressed the absence of a tsunami
       warning system for the southern and eastern United States. Within four months, they
       ensured the WC/ATWC and the coastal WFOs issued and disseminated Tsunami Warnings
       and Tsunami Watches to the coastal residents and state and federal partners of the southern
       and eastern United States.

      What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
       Department’s mission? The Southern and Eastern Tsunami Warning System ensures the
       WC/ATWC and the coastal WFOs issue and disseminate Tsunami Warnings and Tsunami
       Watches to the coastal residents and state and federal partners of the southern and eastern
       United States. The group continues to assist in establishing closer partnerships with
       emergency responders, promotes a greater reliance on environmental information within
       society, and enhances tsunami warning response, education, and preparedness within the
       region.

      Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Departments or other Federal
       agencies? If so, how? The services of the group positively affected a wide range of
       federal and state agencies. Most notably, federal and state officials, including FEMA, DHS
                                               156
       and the state Emergency Managers, as well as NOAA research groups (such as PMEL),
       voiced appreciation for the work of the group.

      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
       automation? If so, how? The group demonstrated that the leadership of sharing of
       information can formulate rapid solutions to complex problems over long distances.

      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas, such
       as customer service or administrative support? If so, how? The group‘s
       accomplishments have resulted in strong positive public relations for NOAA and the NWS.
       Agency field offices and emergency responders have praised the quick implementation of
       the new Tsunami Warning System in supporting their needs and the needs of their
       customers.

                                  WFO New Orleans, et al
                                  Gold Medal Nomination
                                    Customer Service
                                          NWS
                                     Nomination # 44

1. Type of Award: Gold

2. Nomination Type: Joint Organization

3. Nomination Category: Customer Service

4. Name of Nominee:         New Orleans Weather Forecast Office, NWS
                            Mobile Weather Forecast Office, NWS
                            Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center, NWS

   Accepting the Award
      Paul Trotter         Pronunciation: TROT-er
      Meteorologist In Charge WFO New Orleans

       Randy McKee          Pronunciation: mah-KEY
       Meteorologist In Charge WFO Mobile

       Dave Reed            Pronunciation: As Written
       Hydrologist In Charge, Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center

5. Other National Weather Service Awards:
                                                          Lower Mississippi River Forecast
                                                   Center DOC Bronze Medal 1996, 2002

6. Current Performance Rating: Not Applicable

7. Nominator=s Name, Title, complete office address, and phone number:
             X. William Proenza, Regional Director

                                             157
               NWS Southern Region
               819 Taylor St. Rm 10E09
               Fort Worth, TX 76102
               Ph: 817 978 1000

What is the significance of this accomplishment? (200 characters)
During Hurricane Katrina, the staff at the three Offices provided life saving forecasts and warnings
to the citizens of the Central Gulf Coast while enduring tremendous personal risk and sacrifice.

I. Certificate Text: (150 characters).
For providing critical and life saving forecasts and warnings to the citizens of the Central Gulf
Coast before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina.


II. Program Text: (600 characters).
During the approach and landfall of Hurricane Katrina, the staffs at the three Offices issued high
quality, timely, definitive warnings and provided detailed briefings to officials which resulted in
unprecedented, life-saving actions. During the recovery period, despite horrific damages to the
area, and loss of communications, the staffs continued to meet the NWS mission responsibilities
while at personal risk and while under great personal stress to care for families and homes, some of
which had been made unlivable due to Katrina.

III. Justification:

Section 1 - Definitions:
DHS                   Department of Homeland Security
EPA                   Environmental Protection Agency
FEB                   Federal Executive Board
FEMA                  Federal Emergency Management Agency
LMRFC                 Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center
NIFC                  National Interagency Finance Center
NOAA HAZMAT           NOAA Hazardous Materials (Support Group)
OEP                   Office of Emergency Preparedness
USACE                 United States Army Corps of Engineers
USCG                  United States Coast Guard
USGS                  United States Geological Survey
WFO                   Weather Forecast Office


Section 2 - Award Justification: (cannot exceed 1900.)

$      What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department=s
       mission/or Strategic Plan?

The provision of the critical warnings, forecasts, and advisories are directly related to the
Department‘s Strategic Goal 3, Objective 3.1, to ―advance understanding and predict changes in
the Earth‘s environment to meet America‘s economic, social, and environmental needs.‖

$      What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge, or
                                           158
       problem?

The staffs remained at their posts providing critical services while evacuations in area were
underway. During the event, the staffs remained on duty issuing critical life saving forecasts,
warnings, and briefings to emergency management, media, and the public while enduring
extremely adverse conditions. High winds, flooding, and damage were occurring in the vicinity of
all three offices as operations continued. When communications failed at the New Orleans offices,
the Mobile Office began backup support for the New Orleans WFO while a well tested hurricane
backup plan was enacted for the RFC. After the storm, despite having suffered personal losses,
staffs remained on duty providing critical services for recovery efforts.

$      What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

Before the storm, the offices provided a continuous flow of critical information to the public,
media, and emergency officials. The advanced warnings saved thousands of lives. A particular
statement issued by the New Orleans office on the day before the Hurricane made landfall was
prophetic in nature describing the devastating impact which ultimately materialized. The staffs left
no stone unturned in providing critical information to emergency managers and first responders to
assist in preparations for the developing disaster.

$      What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

Without question, thousands of lives were saved because of the information provided by these
offices. Nationwide, even worldwide recognition and praise was given to the NWS for the
accuracy and urgency of the warnings and information provided regarding the forecast impact of
this devastating hurricane.




                                                159
Section 3 - Additional Information: (cannot exceed 1900.)

$      How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the
       accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed?

Briefings of officials began on August 24 and warning information flow was then continuous
through landfall of the hurricane on August 29. After landfall, backup operations for the New
Orleans offices continued until September 19.

$      What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau
       and/or Department=s mission?

The services provided by these offices led to the National Weather Service being recognized,
nationally and internationally, as one of the most effective agencies during this catastrophic natural
disaster. The Congress has provided additional supplemental funding to NOAA and the NWS to
further advance hurricane forecasting. The backup procedures established well in advance proved
effective when needed; however, the loss of communications at some NWS offices exposed a
problem in vendor supplied communications which will result in refinement and redesign of some
backup procedures.

$      What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
       Department=s mission?

The accuracy and effectiveness of NWS services during this devastating hurricane will give
additional credibility to NWS forecasts and warnings for years to come. It is anticipated users of
NWS information will act even sooner based on NWS information regarding hazardous weather
impacts and additional lives will be saved.

$      Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
       If so, how?

Absoutely. The information and services provided aided our federal partners such as the FEB,
DHS, USCG, USACE, USGS, FEMA, EPA, NIFC, the Red Cross, and NOAA HAZMAT Also,
state and local emergency managers and first responders used the information prior, during, and
after Katrina‘s landfall. This aided them in meeting their missions of evacuation and pre-
positioning of supplies, and subsequent search, rescue, and recovery activities.

$      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
       automation? If so, how?

Increased use of graphical warning information will result in improved customer response when
faced with hazardous weather dangers.




                                                 160
$      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
       customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

It was demonstrated the NWS could effectively use backup support to continue seamless
hydrometeorological and observational data services during a major communications outage.


                                    WFO Lake Charles, LA
                                    Gold Medal Nomination
                                      Customer Service
                                            NWS
                                       Nomination # 45

    1. Type of Award: Gold

    2. Nomination Type: Organization

    3. Nomination Category: Customer Service

    4. Name of Nominee: WFO Lake Charles, LA
                         National Weather Service


       Office Address: National Weather Service, NOAA
                       Weather Forecast Office (WFO) Lake Charles
                       500 Airport Blvd, #115
                       Lake Charles, LA 70607-0668

       Accepting the Award: Stephen Rinard      Pronunciation: STEVE-an ren-ARD
                             Meteorologist In Charge

    5. Past Awards:     Bronze Medal 2002

    6. Current Performance Rating: N/A

    7. Nominator:       X. William Proenza, Director
                        National Weather Service Southern Region
                        819 Taylor Street
                        Room 10A03
                        Fort Worth, TX 76102
                        817-978-1000




                                             161
Significance of this Accomplishment:

WFO Lake Charles, as a long term task, developed and implemented a life saving partnership with
elected officials and emergency managers instrumental in an absolute minimal loss of life during
hurricane Rita.

Certificate Text:

For implementation of an awareness and preparedness program which was instrumental in an
absolute minimal loss of life during hurricane Rita.

Program Text:

Hurricanes have been a major cause of loss of life in SE Texas and SW Louisiana (Galveston/
1900/6000; Audrey/1957/600). WFO Lake Charles identified the hurricane as its most significant
threat to public safety in its area of responsibility. A long term effort was established to ensure
that elected officials, emergency responders and the public understood this threat and the NWS
programs that would enable them to make critical life saving decisions. The success of these
efforts is evident as only one hurricane related death occurred as Rita ripped into SW Louisiana.

Justification:

Definitions:
       SE – Southeast
       USACOE- United States Army Corps of Engineers
       USCG – United States Coast Guard
       USN – United States Navy
       WFO – Weather Forecast Office

Award Justification:

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the department’s mission or
strategic plan?

The provision of the critical warnings, forecasts, and advisories and the preparedness activities
undertaken are directly related to the Department‘s Strategic Goal 3, Objective 3.1, to ―advance
understanding and predict changes in the Earth‘s environment to meet America‘s economic, social,
and environmental needs.‖

What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

The most accurate weather forecast/warning is greatly diminished unless elected officials,
emergency responders and the public understand the threat and properly responds. Therefore, an
extensive, on-going awareness partnership was developed with parties and individuals who needed
to respond to the hurricane threat. In addition, during the event, the WFO staff remained at their
posts providing critical services despite mandatory evacuations in the area and danger to their own
families.

What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?
                                             162
In the long term, yearly hurricane conferences, hurricane hunter aircraft tours, industry mutual aid
meetings, county emergency manager/responder workshops, table-top drills, civic club meetings,
school tours and open house sessions were just some of the means to increase awareness. In the
short term during the Rita hurricane event, the staff presented over 80 personal and telephone
briefings to city and county officials/responders as well as TV and radio media providing critical,
life-saving information.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

It is impossible to determine how many lives were saved by this awareness effort. However, when
comparing the one Rita fatality with similar local hurricanes (Galveston, 6000; Audrey, 600) leads
to the obvious conclusion that the hurricane preparedness partnerships were successful. Elected
officials and emergency responders had the up-to-date information to make correct life-saving
decisions and the public responded. Two weeks after Rita, the chief meteorologist of KATC-TV
wrote ―Your staff and office fulfilled its mission of saving life and property.‖

Additional Information:

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

The campaign of increased hurricane awareness began in 1999 with a hurricane workshop for
elected officials/emergency responders. This program, with attendance normally at 300, continues
yearly alternating between Lake Charles and Beaumont, TX.

What is the short-term impact (1-2 yrs) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

Shortly after Rita, the chairman of the SE Texas Mutual Aid Association wrote to the NWS
Southern Region director stating: ―The partnership between the Lake Charles WFO and the
emergency response community of SE Texas is priceless. Thank you for providing the quality of
services in the Lake Charles NWS that really does save lives!‖

What is the long-term impact (3-5 yrs) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department mission?

The life saving success story of WFO Lake Charles partnerships should not be considered an
isolated, one time Rita incident. In 2003, the American Press editorialized, ―Calcasieu Parish‘s
Office of Emergency Preparedness, the Lake Charles NWS office and local industry deserve a
salute for innovation and ingenuity that has helped to make the Lake Area safer.‖ Such
partnerships making things safer continue to improve with time.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?

Spot weather forecasts provided to decision makers during clean-up are essential for safe, efficient
operations. Partnerships developed with government agencies, e.g. USCG, USACOE, USN,
expedited the process.

                                                163
Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology or
automation?

Science and technology is interesting in its self but must be applied to make an impression in our
society. Science and technology when applied to saving lives is the vision and goal of the NWS.
Partnerships developed expedited this quest.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support?

The absolute minimal loss of life during the Rita onslaught was directly related to the planning,
cooperation and close working partnerships developed between WFO Lake Charles and the vast
interrelated groups of state, parish, county and local emergency responders and elected officials.

                    Tropical Prediction Center/National Hurricane Center
                                   Gold Medal Nomination
                                      Customer Service
                                            NWS
                                       Nomination # 46

1. Type of Award: Gold

2. Nomination Type: Organization

3. Nomination Category: Customer Service

4. Name of Nominee: Tropical Prediction Center/National Hurricane Center (TPC/NHC/NWS)

 Accepting the Award: Max Mayfield
 Salutation: Mr.
 Pronunciation: MAY-field
 Title: Director, Tropical Prediction Center/National Hurricane Center
 Series and Grade: SES

 Complete office address: TPC/National Hurricane Center
                          11691 SW 17th Street
                          Miami, FL 33165-2149




                                                164
5. Other National Weather Service Awards:                Gold Medal September 1992
                                                         Gold Medal November 2004 (Joint)
                                                         Gold Medal December 2005 (Joint)

6. Current Performance Rating: N/A

7. Nominator=s Name, Title, complete office address, and phone number:
   Louis Uccellini
   Director, NOAA/NWS National Centers for Environmental Prediction
   5200 Auth Rd. Rm 101
   Camp Springs, MD 20746
   (301) 763-8016

What is the significance of this accomplishment?

TPC/NHC staff raised the gold standard for public service by ensuring public awareness of the
pending dangers posed by the unprecedented hurricane threats to this nation in 2005.

I. Certificate Text:

For establishing a high standard of public service that saved lives and protected property from the
historic hurricane threats of 2005.

II. Program Text:

The TPC/NHC provided exceptional products and services during 2005, for a record number of
hurricanes--including three of the six strongest hurricanes in at least the past 150 years--and most
notably during the U.S. landfall of ―major‖ hurricane Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma. It
delivered timely and effective forecasts and warnings even while storms left its own staff without
conventional municipal services for many days, damaged their homes and, in some cases, left their
homes uninhabitable. TPC/NHC met its GPRA goal during this challenging period.

III. Justification:

Section 1 - Definitions:

TPC/NHC – Tropical Prediction Center/National Hurricane Center
GPRA – Government Performance and Results Act
AMS – American Meteorological Society
FEMA – Federal Emergency Management Agency
nm – nautical miles
LA – Louisiana
MS – Mississippi
AL - Alabama

Section 2 - Award Justification: (Maximum number of characters for all four questions in this
section cannot exceed 2000.)


                                                165
$       What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department=s
        mission/or Strategic Plan?

Department Strategic Goal/Objective 3.1: Advance understanding and predict changes in the
Earth’s environment to meet America’s economic, social and environmental needs.

$       What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge, or
        problem?

Hurricanes of unprecedented number and intensity formed in 2005, several striking the United
States including major hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma. TPC/NHC performed
superbly even while its facility and staff were themselves under siege from storms.

$       What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

TPC/NHC provided a constant stream of text and graphical products, dozens of briefings to
emergency managers, hundreds of coordination calls to domestic and international partners,
over a thousand media interviews, thousands more telephone briefings, and seven billion
public ―hits‖ from its web page. As an example of its special actions, TPC/NHC‘s
emphasized the unusual threat posed by Hurricane Katrina in its director‘s calls to the
Mayor of New Orleans and the Governors‘ offices in LA, MS and AL.
Sen. Demint (SC) noted:

“It is highly rare for a career scientist to take the initiative to personally call elected
officials.”


$       What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

TPC/NHC performance received commendations from the highest levels.

President Bush, following his visit to the TPC/NHC:

        Thank you for your dedication, especially during the recent hurricanes. Your
        efforts help to ensure a safer future for our citizens.


That performance saved lives.

U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (SC), Chairman of Commerce Committee‘s Disaster Prediction and
Prevention Subcommittee:

        “…These early and accurate forecasts [of Katrina] saved countless lives along the
        Gulf Coast….We owe a debt of gratitude to Director Mayfield and his team of
        scientists for their hard work.”

Mr. Craig Fugate, Director and State Coordinating Officer, Florida Division of Emergency
Management:

                                                   166
       ―Your forecasts… during the storms this past year paid off in lives saves…Thanks
       from a Grateful State.‖

The performance also exceeded expectations. Preliminary annual data show TPC/NHC
beat its GPRA goal by more than 20%.

Section 3 - Additional Information: (Maximum number of characters for all six questions in this
section cannot exceed 2000.)

$      How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the
       accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed?

An extended hurricane season ending January 2006 with a record 30 Atlantic tropical cyclones
(~12 is normal). This included a new record number of hurricanes for a year, the strongest
hurricane, and six U.S. hurricane impacts (~2 is the average).

$      What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau
       and/or Department=s mission?

Lives and property were saved by the high level of service provided by TPC/NHC staff.

$      What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
       Department=s mission?

Raised credibility and trust in Commerce and the Federal Government through large volume of
positive exposure during storms, and as commented by Congress during TPC/NHC testimonies.


$      Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
       If so, how?

Yes. TPC/NHC provided other federal agencies extra time for preparation and response.

Comments include:

Mr. Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security:

       “…your applied knowledge and experience help save lives.”

It also has a lasting impact by raising public service standards.

Rear Admiral Steven Tomaszeski, Oceanographer of the Navy:

       “…your [Director Mayfield] professional execution of duty and that of your
       Hurricane Center Team was simply exceptional.”

$      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
       automation? If so, how?

                                                 167
TPC/NHC 48-hour track forecast errors averaged near 99 nm in 2005, beating its GPRA goal of
128 nm.

Forecasts for U.S. hurricanes were very accurate. Sen. Demint (SC) wrote:

       “…almost sixty hours before Katrina made landfall, the National Hurricane Center
       warned the region”

TPC/NHC introduced experimental products in 2005 enhancing information for decision makers:

Mr. Ben Nelson, State Meteorologist, Florida Division of Emergency Management:

       “…of the 10 briefing slides…I presented to Governor Bush this afternoon, the one
       that drew praise was the 50 kt wind speed probabilities graphic. I explained that
       this was a new tool developed by the NHC that will assist emergency
       managers....He was impressed with the information that the new tool will provide
       for our decision makers here in Florida.”

$      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
       customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

       TPC/NHC staff worked hundreds of extra hours and redirected thousands of regular
       hours to enhance operational services and meet additional administrative
       challenges, while overcoming personal hardships caused by storms.




                                              168
                                        John Jensenius
                                    Gold Medal Nomination
                                      Customer Service
                                            NWS
                                       Nomination # 47

1. Type of Award: Gold

2. Nomination Type: Individual

3. Nomination Category: Customer Service

4. Name of Nominee: John S. Jensenius, Jr.
   Salutation: Mr.
   Pronunciation: Jen-sen-ee-us
   Title: Warning Coordination Meteorologist
   Series and Grade: GS-1340-14

 Complete office address: NOAA – National Weather Service
                          Weather Forecast Office
                          1 Weather Lane
                          P.O. Box 1208
                          Gray, Maine 04039-1208

5. Other National Weather Service Awards: None

6. Current Performance Rating: Exceeds Expectations

7. Nominator=s Name, Title, complete office address, and phone number:
Dean Gulezian
Director, Eastern Region, National Weather Service
630 Johnson Ave, Suite 202
Bohemia, NY 11716
631 244 0101

What is the significance of this accomplishment?

Mr. Jensenius initiated, developed, and assisted in executing NOAA‘s Lightning Safety Awareness
Program. As a result, from 2001 to 2005, fatalities caused by lightning decreased by 27% across
the USA.

I. Certificate Text:

For outstanding initiative, creativity, and execution in leading NOAA‘s Lightning Safety
Awareness Program.




                                               169
II. Program Text:

Mr. Jensenius is honored for initiating NOAA‘s Lightning Safety Awareness Program. He
initiated the first Lightning Safety Awareness Week in 2001 and organized a team to work on a
national effort to promote lightning safety. He developed awareness themes, public service
announcements, and website information. He appeared live on the CBS Early Show to promote
lightning safety and provided lightning graphics for publication in USA Today. Since 2001,
NOAA‘s Lightning Safety Awareness Week has saved lives by promoting environmental
awareness and improving public understanding of lightning hazards.

III. Justification:

Section 1 - Definitions:

NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NWS – National Weather Service
DOC – Department of Commerce
PGA – Professional Golfers Association
MLB – Major League Baseball
FEMA – Federal Emergency Management Agency
NLSI – National Lightning Safety Institute
AP – The Associated Press
VADM – Vice Admiral

Section 2 - Award Justification:

$      What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department=s
       mission/or Strategic Plan?

DOC Strategic Goal 3. Lightning is the #2 weather killer in the USA with an average of 67 people
killed annually. Before 2001, NOAA did not have an organized and comprehensive education and
awareness program on lightning. Recognizing the need for lightning awareness and education in
his local area, Mr. Jensenius initiated a lightning safety awareness week campaign in New
England. The success of the New England campaign prompted John to initiate and develop a
national campaign and awareness program.

$      What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge, or
       problem?

Mr. Jensenius drafted a vision and proposal for a NOAA Lightning Safety Awareness Week
campaign. He marshaled resources to develop and produce educational material and partnered with
public and private entities to execute an awareness program.




                                              170
$      What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

Mr. Jensenius enlisted the help of lightning experts to develop awareness themes, public service
announcements and a website www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov. He partnered with public and private
entities, e.g., PGA, MLB, FEMA, NLSI, to promote NOAA‘s Lightning Safety Awareness Week.
He appeared live on CBS‘s Early Show and NBC‘s Today Show to promote the campaign. He
worked with Little League Baseball to promote lightning awareness and authored a ―Coach‘s and
Sports Official‘s Guide to Lightning Safety‖ brochure. He worked with the Jeopardy Show to use
―Lightning Safety‖ as a category. He has participated in interviews with AP, National Geographic,
Runner‘s World, and the Farmer‘s Almanac. He designed the poster used for the 2005 awareness
week campaign.

$      What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

Lives were saved. Since 2001, fatalities due to lightning have decreased by 27%. In a personal
thank you to Mr. Jensenius, VADM Lautenbacher noted, ―Thanks from everyone at NOAA! The
―chat‖ you conducted on USAToday.com and this morning‘s Today Show interview were
excellent, a proud reflection of NOAA‘s efforts and our educational outreach. Thanks, too, for
initiating the entire lightning safety effort and for your day-to-day work in Maine. Your leadership
efforts are outstanding.‖

Section 3 - Additional Information: (Maximum number of characters for all six questions in this
section cannot exceed 2000.)

$      How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the
       accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed?

Mr. Jensenius‘ interest in lightning safety awareness began in 1999. In 2000, he drafted a proposal
for a NOAA Lightning Safety Awareness Week campaign. Since June 2001, NOAA‘s Lightning
Safety Awareness Week campaigns have successfully promoted environmental awareness and
improved public understanding of lightning hazards.

$      What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau
       and/or Department=s mission?

Since 2001, as a result of NOAA‘s Lightning Safety Awareness Week campaigns, there has been a
decline in the number of lightning deaths nationwide. In 2000, there were 52 lightning deaths
nationwide compared to 38 lightning deaths in 2005, a 27% reduction.

$      What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
       Department=s mission?

More lives being saved. Due to the success of NOAA‘s annual Lightning Safety Awareness Week
campaigns, a continued decline in the number of lighting deaths and injuries is expected. Lightning
education will assist DOC/NOAA meet the goal of promoting environmental literacy.

$      Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
       If so, how?

                                                171
NOAA‘s Lightning Safety Awareness Program and Lightning Safety Awareness Week campaigns
have a direct impact on any Department or Federal agencies whose workforce is involved in
outside activities and exposed to dangerous lightning.

$      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
       automation? If so, how?

The public has a much better understanding of the dangers of lightning.

$      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
       customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

NOAA‘s Lightning Safety Awareness Program and Awareness Week campaigns have resulted in
public awareness as to the dangers of lightning and a decline in loss of life due to lightning, the
ultimate measure of customer service.


                                       WFO Jackson, MS
                                     Gold Medal Nomination
                                       Customer Service
                                             NWS
                                        Nomination # 48

1. Type of Award: Gold

2. Nomination Type: Organization

3. Nomination Category: Customer Service

4. Name of Nominee: NOAA/NWS Weather Forecast Office, Jackson, MS
      Complete Office Address:
      National Weather Service
      234 Weather Service Drive
      Jackson, MS 39232

      Accepting the Award: Alan Gerard          Pronunciation: jer-ARD
                           Meteorologist in Charge

5. Other National Weather Service Awards:
      DOC Silver Medal – 2003
      DOC Bronze Medal – 2002
      DOC Bronze Medal – 1999
      NOAA Unit Citation – 1996

6. Current Performance Rating: N/A

7. Nominator’s Name, Title, Address, Phone Number:
      X. William Proenza
                                          172
       Director, National Weather Service Southern Region
       819 Taylor Street, Room 10A03
       Fort Worth, TX 76102
       (817) 978-1000


What is the significance of this accomplishment?

WFO Jackson provided warnings an average of more than 25 minutes in advance for 14 tornadoes
in eastern Mississippi on April 6, 2005. Untold numbers of lives were saved at a large school in
Mize, MS.

I. Certificate Text

For providing proactive, innovative and life saving warning services during the April 6, 2005
eastern Mississippi tornado outbreak.

II. Program Text

WFO Jackson provided warnings an average of 25 minutes in advance for 14 tornadoes on April 6,
2005. The WFO also utilized innovative technology such as instant messaging to enhance
communication of critical weather information with key partners in media and emergency
management. The life-saving results were best seen at a school complex where an F3 tornado
destroyed the second story and several portable classroom buildings. Advanced warning
information provided by the WFO enabled the staff to implement protective measures, resulting in
no injuries out of 700 people at the school.

III. Justification

Section 1 – Definitions

WFO – Weather Forecast Office
MSDE – Mississippi State Department of Education
EM – Emergency Manager
Lead Time – The amount of time a warning is issued before a tornado actually occurs.
GPRA – Government Performance and Results Act




                                               173
Section 2 – Award Justification

$      What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department=s
       mission/or Strategic Plan?

The provision of the critical warnings is directly related to the Department‘s Strategic Goal 3,
Objective 3.1, to ―advance understanding and predict changes in the Earth‘s environment to meet
America‘s economic, social, and environmental needs.‖

$      What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge, or
       problem?

WFO Jackson faces unique challenges in its tornado warning program. The heavily forested areas
of southern and eastern Mississippi make storm spotting nearly impossible, meaning that
forecasters must rely heavily on their own meteorological expertise and experience to provide
proactive warnings based on radar and other data.

$      What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

The WFO has taken many proactive steps to ensure effective communication of warning
information. This includes instant messaging with area media and EMs to communicate NWS
expertise regarding evolving storms. The office has undertaken extensive training, redesigned the
operations area, and implemented innovative new products to provide the absolute best warning
services possible.

$      What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

All 14 tornadoes had warnings, and the average lead time of 25.1 minutes provided by the WFO
for these tornadoes, which was nearly twice the national GPRA metric of 13 minutes. The people
of Mize had 30 minutes to prepare before the tornado reached them, giving school officials time to
move students out of the second story and portable buildings. No injuries occurred even though
about 700 people were in the complex when it was destroyed by tornado. MSDE School Safety
Director Robert Laird stated in an e-mail, ―I will without hesitation credit the NOAA warning
system with preventing a large number of student deaths at the Mize School District since they had
sufficient advance notice to not only shelter in place, but also evacuate all portable classroom
facilities.‖ In another letter, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour stated, ―Without question, the
low number of injuries and fatalities during these storms were a direct result of the knowledge,
skill, and commitment to saving lives and property of the Jackson National Weather Service…we
are truly grateful.‖




                                               174
Section 3 – Additional Information

$      How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the
       accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed?

The performance of the WFO during this event is the culmination of a several year effort of
training, outreach, partnership, and internal restructuring.

$      What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau
       and/or Department=s mission?

The performance of the WFO during this (and other recent) tornado episodes demonstrate that the
NOAA/NWS mission of protecting life and property in support of the Department‘s Strategic
Goal 3 will continue to be advanced in the WFO‘s area of responsibility in coming years.

$      What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
       Department=s mission?

Warning information from the WFO has achieved a level of credibility and accuracy which will
enable partners and the general public to have a high level of trust in this information in coming
years.

$      Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
       If so, how?

Yes. Support provided to federal, state, and local emergency management agencies prompted
preparation for and response to the disaster.

$      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
       automation? If so, how?

As an example, instant messaging with the media/EM community began to be explored in 2003.
Over time, this program has been expanded and additional television and radio stations added,
until at the time of the Mize tornado, more than 15 different partners in television, radio, and
emergency management were participating in our interactive chat.

$      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
       customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

Several innovative products and services were used by WFO JAN during this event to maximize
service to our customers. In addition to the instant messaging already discussed, products such as
the Graphicast (graphical representation of storms with forecaster expertise annotated), the
probabilistic graphical hazardous weather outlook (probability of hazards such as tornadoes), and
the Interactive Graphical Warning Map (graphical web product showing current radar and warning
information) were used during this event. All of these products have been well received by
customers, and their use by EMs, the media, and other partners during severe weather is extensive.



                                                175
                                 Southern Region Headquarters
                                    Gold Medal Nomination
                                          Leadership
                                            NWS
                                       Nomination # 49

1.     Type of Award:                        Gold

2.     Nomination Type:                      Organizational

3.     Nomination Category:                  Leadership

4.     Name of Nominee:                      National Weather Service,
                                             Southern Region Headquarters (SRH)

               Accepting the Award: To Be Determined

5.     Other National Weather Service Awards: None

6.     Current Performance Rating:           Not applicable

7.     Nominator’s Name, Title, complete office address, and telephone number:
            Mr. X. William Proenza, Director
            NOAA/National Weather Service Southern Region Headquarters
            819 Taylor Street, Room 10A03
            Fort Worth, Texas 76102
            Telephone:    (817) 978-1000

What is the significance of this accomplishment?
Through the leadership and support of SRH, NWS field offices were able to provide and sustain
critical warning and forecast operations during the unprecedented 2005 hurricane season.

I.     Certificate Text:
For leadership and support to NWS field offices‘ critical warning and forecast operations during
the 2005 hurricane season.

II.     Program Text:
The employees of the Southern Region Headquarters are honored for their indispensable
leadership and administrative, logistical and technical support to NWS field offices during the
unprecedented 2005 hurricane season. Their leadership and action assisted the offices in preparing
for, delivering and sustaining critical forecast and warning operations prior to, during, and in the
aftermath of the storms. Their timely and formative response to NWS field offices, as well as state
and federal partners, contributed to saving lives and promoting the NWS and DOC mission.

III.   Justification:

Section 1 – Definitions:
ASOS                          Automated Surface Observation System
DHS                                 Department of Homeland Security
                                              176
FEMA                       Federal Emergency Management Agency
HSOC                       Homeland Security Operations Center
NICC                               NOAA Incident Command Center
NOAA                       National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NWS                                National Weather Service
SRH                                Southern Region Headquarters
WSR-88D       Weather Surveillance Radar-Doppler

Section 2 – Award Justification:

      What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission
       or Strategic Plan? Strategic Goal #3: Observe, protect, and manage the Earth‘s resources
       to promote environmental stewardship. The SRH was challenged with ensuring the
       integrity of field office operations and supporting infrastructure, so as to guarantee a timely
       and accurate response to the weather needs (goal performance outcome) of the public, and
       state and federal decision-makers prior to, during, and in the aftermath of major hurricanes
       that impacted Florida and the Gulf Coast.

      What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge, or
       problem? The SRH provided indispensable administrative, logistical, and technical
       (communication and equipment) support both remotely and on-site to impacted NWS
       offices, and weather and information support to state and federal partners during
       mitigation, rescue and recovery phases.

      What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?
       SRH facilitated emergency travel arrangements to both augment and relieve staff at
       impacted field offices, and establish critical backup operations at neighboring offices.
       They acquired, delivered, and cost-accounted essential supplies (including food, water,
       fuel, and temporary quarters) to safeguard staff members in support of sustaining warning
       and forecast operations in the impacted areas. SRH acquired parts and performed repairs to
       critical equipment supporting the operations. Finally, SRH maintained communication
       among and delivery of critical information to affected staff members, senior management
       officials of both the NWS and NOAA, and key state and federal decision-makers, including
       the FEMA and the DHS.

      What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?
       Actions by SRH helped minimize disruption in critical warning and forecast services at
       impacted offices by establishing backup operations at neighboring offices, repairing
       equipment and facilities, and restoring vital communication infrastructure. SRH weather
       support to state and federal partners (both remotely and on-site) helped speed recovery
       efforts in the impacted areas.

Section 3 – Additional Information:

      How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the
       accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed? SRH provided continued support to
       its field offices, and state and federal partners throughout the unprecedented 2005 hurricane
       season. The most critical demands placed on SRH employees were during August and

                                                177
    September, when Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast. Requests for information by the
    HSOC and NICC in support of assessment and recovery activities continue.

   What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau
    and/or Department’s mission? SRH established a model of rapid response for addressing
    crucial national economic, social and environmental needs resulting from the storms. The
    support facilitated an efficient transfer of critical services from impacted offices to backup
    offices, and enabled the impacted offices to reacquire their ability to provide these services
    in a minimal amount of time. Also, it afforded state and federal partners the necessary
    information to mobilize and deploy essential emergency resources prior to, during, and
    after the storms.

   What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
    Department’s mission? SRH efforts will assist in establishing closer partnerships with
    emergency responders, ensure a more direct connection and reliance on environmental
    information in all sectors of society, and result in better procedures for efficiently restoring
    operational infrastructure and capability to impacted agency facilities.

   Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Departments or other Federal
    agencies? If so, how? SRH services contributed to the success of a wide range of state and
    federal agencies. Most notably, state and federal emergency management officials,
    including FEMA and the DHS, voiced appreciation for the work of the SRH.

   Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
    automation? If so, how? The SRH was able to evaluate wind load capacities and backup
    power capabilities on its equipment (e.g. WSR-88D, ASOS) and facilities, as well as
    establish benchmarks for satellite-based technology to use in areas without commercial
    power.

   Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas, such
    as customer service or administrative support? If so, how? SRH accomplishments have
    resulted in overwhelmingly positive public relations for NOAA and the NWS. Agency
    field offices and emergency responders have praised the work of the SRH in supporting
    their needs.




                                              178
                                    Akapo Akapo Group
                                  Silver Medal Nomination
                                          Heroism
                                           NWS
                                       Nomination # 50

1. Type of Award: Silver

2. Nomination Type: Group

3. Nomination Category: Heroism

4. Name of Nominee: Akapo Akapo
      Salutation: Mr.
      Pronunciation: AH cop oh
      Title: Meteorologist
      Series and Grade: GS-1340-12

  Name of Nominee: Carol Ma‘afala Baqui
     Salutation: Mrs.
     Pronunciation: BAH key
     Title: Meteorologist
     Series and Grade: GS-1340-12

  Name of Nominee: Roy Laulusa
     Salutation: Mr.
     Pronunciation: LAH loose ah
     Title: Meteorological Technician
     Series and Grade: GS-1341-10

  Name of Nominee: Emani Lelafu
     Salutation: Mr.
     Pronunciation: LAY la foo
     Title: Meteorological Technician
     Series and Grade: GS-134-10

      Complete office address: NOAA National Weather Service Office
                               P.O. Box 789
                               Pago Pago, American Samoa 9699

  Name of Nominee: Robert Watanabe
     Salutation: Mr.
     Pronunciation: WAH-TAH nob ee
     Title: Electronics Technician
     Series and Grade: GS-0856-10

     Complete office address: NOAA National Weather Service
                              Kahului International Airport

                                           179
                                  Kahului, HI 96732

  Name of Nominee: Simona Taufua
     Salutation: Mr.
     Pronunciation: TAU foo-ah
     Title: Meteorological Technician
     Series and Grade: GS-1341-10

       Complete office address: NOAA National Weather Service Data Collection Office
                                137 Operations Street
                                Hilo, HI 96720-4602

5. Other NOAA Awards:                            Akapo – DOC Silver 1993
                             Baqui - None
                             Laulusa - None
                             Lelafu – DOC Silver 1993
                             Watanabe – None
                             Taufua - None

6. Current Performance Rating: Pass for all

7. Nominator’s Name, Title, complete office address, and phone number:
      Ralph J. LaDouce, Director
      NWS Pacific Region
      737 Bishop St., Suite 2200, Mauka, Honolulu, HI 96813-3213
      Telephone: (808) 532-6416

What is the significance of this accomplishment?

The group provided critical hurricane warnings to American Samoa during February, 2005 and
kept operating during a 72 hour period when all off-island communications were lost on January
14, 2005.

I. Certificate Text:

For Public Service and Heroism in providing critical public service to American Samoa during
adverse weather conditions and communications outages.

II. Program Text:

The group, employees of WSO Pago Pago, AS, and a visiting ET, sent to AS because their
station‘s ET was on away on military deployment to Iraq, were vigilant in providing critical
weather warnings relying on satellite imagery for hurricanes threatening the territory of AS during
February, 2005. They also provided weather support during an extraordinary communications
outage affecting all of AS‘s communications with the outside world, and for the timely repair of an
automatic weather station in eastern AS, utilizing a single available airplane the day before the
approach of Hurricane Nancy.

III. Justification:
                                               180
Section 1 - Definitions:

American Samoa                                            AS
Department of Commerce                                    DOC
Electronics Technician                                    ET
Independent State of Samoa                                ISS
Joint Typhoon Warning Center                              JTWC
National Centers for Environmental Prediction             NCEP
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration           NOAA
National Weather Service                                  NWS
National Weather Service Headquarters                     NWSH
NOAA Weather Radio                                        NWR
NWS Telecommunications Gateway                            NWSTG
Non-Government Organization                               NGO
Pacific Region Headquarters                               PRH
United States                                             US
Weather Forecast Office                                   WFO
Weather Service Office                                    WSO

Section 2 - Award Justification: (Maximum number of characters for all four questions in this
section cannot exceed 2000.)

     What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s
       mission/or Strategic Plan?

       The provision of timely and accurate adverse hazardous weather information by the group
       to the media, the public, and a variety of government and NGO officials directly supports
       the DOC Strategic Goal 3 to observe, protect, and manage the Earth‘s resources to promote
       environmental stewardship. This relates directly to the NOAA Mission and the Weather
       and Water Goal Performance Objectives to: 1) improve predictability of the onset,
       duration, and impact of hazardous and severe weather and water events, even under adverse
       and catastrophic circumstances.

      What was the context in which the nominees addressed the goal, challenge, or
        problem?

       Each nominee utilized their experience, expertise, and, resourcefulness, and ingenuity in
       issuing timely and accurate forecasts and warnings for 4 hurricanes (Meena, Nancy, Olaf,
       and Percy) that threatened AS in February, 2005, and provided meteorological support to
       the public and local government officials during a catastrophic off-island communications
       failure.

      What specific actions did the nominees take to address the goal, challenge or
        problem?

       The communication between NWS personnel at WSO Pago Pago and their counterparts in
       the Independent State of Samoa during each of the storm threats, resulted in closely

                                              181
       coordinated information provided to government officials and the public in both Samoas
       resulted in an improved public confidence in their respective operational capabilities,
       consistent with the Department‘s mission. Although the worst impact was to the eastern
       islands of AS by Hurricane Olaf, each storm at one time or another threatened both
       Samoas. The nominees close coordination with local telephone officials, and utilizing a
       single satellite telephone during the during the unprecedented total outside communications
       outage, resulted in the office being able to provide weather services to local public
       officials, who were unable to receive the backup office‘s (WFO Honolulu) products.

      What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

       Words of praise were received from public officials and the media in AS and Samoa to the
       services provided by WSO Pago Pago and the Samoa Meteorological Service, noting the
       consistent, accurate, and coordinated weather support they received.


Section 3 - Additional Information: (Maximum number of characters for all six questions in this
section cannot exceed 2000.)

      How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
        completed/implemented/deployed?

       The office prepared in advance of the 2004-2005 Hurricane season, which included
       reviewing tropical cyclone procedures with the ISS visited every school in AS. PRH
       coordinated conference calls with both Samoa meteorological offices, WFO Honolulu, and
       the JTWC. WSO Pago Pago‘s prompt notification by satellite telephone allowed PRH to
       notify the NWSTG/NCEP, and NWSH of the Pacific wide impact of the January 2005
       catastrophic communications outage, and emergency backup worked effectively to insure
       critical meteorological data was disseminated

      What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
        Department‘s mission?

       Providing critical weather support with only modest resources (no weather radar available
       and with limited local communications) has been crucial for helping the AS population,
       whose first language is Samoan, to better understanding natural hazards, such as hurricanes
       and tsunamis, which is crucial to enhancing human health, safety and welfare, alleviating
       human suffering, protecting the global environment, and achieving sustainable
       development.

      What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
        Department‘s mission?

       The Group‘s performance directly contributes to NOAA‘s reputation by the AS
       government officials as one of the leading US Government agencies they can rely on, and
       which contributes directly to the safety and well-being of the population within the
       territory.


                                               182
        Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If so,
          how?

         WSO Pago Pago must work closely with all territorial and federal agencies, NGOs, and the
         local media. The office also works closely with the agencies serving the large expatriate
         community within the other US states, as this community acutely focus their attentions on
         AS when it is threatened by hurricanes. The office is required to actively participates in
         regional intergovernmental South Pacific climate and marine-related programs and
         activities.

        Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
           automation? If so, how?

         The group‘s performance has resulted in a high degree of trust from top AS officials,
         which resulted in the NWS PRH receiving a portion of the AS‘s Homeland Security funds
         to establish a NWR program.

        Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
           customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

         The group‘s performance has enhanced the credibility of the meteorological services of
         both Samoas.


                                       Sam Albanese Group
                                     Silver Medal Nomination
                                         Customer Service
                                              NWS
                                          Nomination # 51

1.       Type of Award:                       Silver

2.       Nomination Type:                     Group

3.       Nomination Category:                 Customer Service




                                                183
4. Name of Nominees: Sam Albanese
   Salutation: Mr.
   Pronunciation: ALL bun ees
   Title: Warning Coordination Meteorologist
   Series and Grade: GS-1340-14
   Complete Office Address:       National Weather Service
                             Anchorage Weather Forecast Office
                             6930 Sand Lake Road
                             Anchorage, AK. 99502-1845

  Name of Nominee: Aimee M. Devaris
  Salutation: Ms.
  Pronunciation: dee VARE is
  Title: Performance Branch Chief
  Series and Grade: GS-1340-14
        Complete Office Address: National Weather Service Headquarters
                            Route W/OS52
                            1325 East West Highway
                            Silver Spring, MD. 20910-3283

  Name of Nominee: Christopher T. Maier
  Salutation: Mr.
  Pronunciation: MAY or
  Title: Warning Coordination Meteorologist
  Series and Grade: GS-1340-13
  Complete Office Address: National Weather Service
                            Juneau Weather Forecast Office
                            8500 Mendenhall Loop Road
                            Juneau, AK 99801

  Name of Nominee: Mary Jocelyn Perry
  Salutation: Ms.
  Pronunciation: PARE ee
  Title: Electronics Technician
  Series and Grade: GS-0856-11
  Complete Office Address: National Weather Service
                               Anchorage Electronics Unit
                               6930 Sand Lake Road
                               Anchorage, AK. 99502-1845

  Name of Nominee: James J. Prange
  Salutation: Mr.
  Pronunciation: prang
  Title: Meteorologist
  Series and Grade: GS-1340-12
  Complete Office Address:        National Weather Service
                           Seattle Weather Forecast Office

  Name of Nominee: Michael A. Richmond
                                            184
     Salutation: Mr.
     Pronunciation: RICH mund
     Title: Senior Meteorologist
     Series and Grade: GS-1340-13
     Complete Office Address:          National Weather Service
                                 Weather Forecast Office
                                 P. O. Box 757345
                                 Fairbanks, AK. 99775-7345

     Name of Nominee: Craig S. Searcy
     Salutation: Mr.
     Pronunciation: SUR see
     Title: Information Technology Officer
     Series and Grade: GS-2210-13
     Complete Office Address:        National Weather Service
                                Anchorage Weather Forecast Office
                                6930 Sand Lake Road
                                Anchorage, AK. 99502-1845

     Name of Nominee: Larry Van Bussum
     Salutation: Mr.
     Pronunciation: van BUS um
     Title: National Fire Weather Operations Coordinator
     Series and Grade: GS-1340-13
     Complete Office Address:         National Interagency Fire Center
                                3833 S. Development Avenue
                                Building 3807
                                Boise, ID. 83705-5354

     Name of Nominee: David C. White
     Salutation: Mr.
     Pronunciation: white
     Title: Electronics Technician
     Series and Grade: GS-0586-11
     Complete Office Address:         National Weather Service
                                 Anchorage Electronics Unit
                                 6930 Sand Lake Road
                                 Anchorage, AK. 99502-1845

     Name of Nominee: Edward Zingone
     Salutation: Mr.
     Pronunciation: zin GO nee
     Title: Senior Meteorologist
     Series and Grade: GS-1340-13
           Complete Office Address: National Weather Service

5.       Other National Weather Service Awards:

Devaris – no previous DOC medals/NOAA Administrator Awards
                                        185
Perry - no previous DOC medals/NOAA Administrator Awards
White - no previous DOC medals/NOAA Administrator Awards
Maier - no previous DOC medals/NOAA Administrator Awards
Albanese – NOAA Administrator Award (1994)
Van Bussum – DOC Bronze Medal (IMET Group Award - 2003)
Prange - no previous DOC medals/NOAA Administrator Awards
Richmond - no previous DOC medals/NOAA Administrator Awards
Searcy - no previous DOC medals/NOAA Administrator Awards
Zingone - no previous DOC medals/NOAA Administrator Awards

6.      Current Performance Rating:         Pass for all

7.      Nominator’s Name, Title, complete office address, and telephone number:

                Laura Furgione, Director
     NOAA/National Weather Service Alaska Region Headquarters
     222 West 7th Ave #23
     Anchorage, AK 99513-7575
     Telephone: (907) 271-5136

What is the significance of this accomplishment?
Through the motivation, innovation, support and dedication of these individuals, the NWS
provided invaluable support to emergency responders and other federal agencies during the
Selendang Ayu cargo ship disaster recovery effort.

I.     Certificate Text: (max. 150 characters)
For outstanding customer service, rapid response, and dedication to the recovery mission of the
grounded Selendang Ayu cargo ship.

II.     Program Text: (max. 600 characters)
The group is honored for their dedication, customer service and technical support to emergency
responders after the catastrophic grounding and oil spill of the 738-foot Selendang Ayu. The
team‘s efforts led to more efficient and economical recovery operations following this disaster,
helping to minimize damage to the fragile ecosystem. Their dedication to providing emergency
responders with timely and accurate weather information created a safer operating environment
during some of the world‘s most dangerous recovery operations, demonstrating their commitment
to safety, and the protection of life, property and the environment.




                                               186
III.       Justification:

Section 1 – Definitions:

Handar                                meteorological sensor system
IMET                                  Incident Meteorologist (a specially trained meteorologist who
provides site-                                                                     specific weather
forecasts and information to an incident or event).
NOAA                                  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NWS                                           National Weather Service
WFO                                           Weather Forecast Office

Section 2 – Award Justification: (max. 2000 characters for all 4 questions)

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission or
Strategic Plan? DOC Goal 3 Observe, protect, and manage the Earth’s resources to promote
environmental stewardship. The group‘s efforts enhanced the recovery operations of a 738-foot
grounded cargo ship with subsequent oil spill. More than 330,000 gallons of fuel spilled from the
severed vessel, causing the worst Alaskan oil spill since the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster. The spill
occurred off the Aleutian Islands, within the sprawling Alaskan Maritime National Wildlife
Refuge, an area important for commercial fishing, seabirds and wildlife. The team‘s dedication
promoted safe recovery efforts, led to more efficient and economical execution of necessary
casualty operations and minimizing damage to the fragile ecosystem.

          What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge, or
           problem? The group quickly planned and implemented a strategy for providing remote
           weather observations and on-site forecast and briefing services during the critical initial
           phase of the response.

          What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?
           The cargo ship Selendang Ayu grounded on December 8, 2004. The NWS immediately
           began planning, coordinating and establishing communications between Anchorage and the
           remote site, nearly 900 miles southwest of Anchorage. The first site-specific forecast was
           issued on December 9 and by December 11, the team had deployed the first of seven
           separate IMET dispatches to Dutch Harbor. The IMET team continued on-site support for
           the clean-up and salvage operations until April 15, 2005. On December 12, electronic
           technicians deployed to install a Handar remote weather sensing station at the site of the
           grounded freighter.

          What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms? The
           NWS team‘s initial response to the Selendang Ayu disaster allowed emergency responders
           and federal partners to effectively plan and safely conduct salvage and lightering operations
           and cleanup activities in the Bering Sea. Since these operations were totally weather
           dependent, having accurate and timely weather information and on-site meteorologists
           facilitated operational planning and decision making. The team‘s prompt and effective
           initial response facilitated safer, more efficient and economical recovery operations.

Section 3 – Additional Information: (max. 2000 characters for all 6 questions)

                                                    187
   How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the
    accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed? The group conducted a four month
    effort including seven separate IMET dispatches between December 11, 2004 and April 15,
    2005.

   What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau
    and/or Department’s mission? The team seized a prime opportunity to exercise
    emergency procedures during a remote disaster recovery, providing essential support to
    other emergency responders. By quickly addressing the need for on-site forecast and
    briefing services, the team demonstrated their commitment to protecting life, property and
    the environment.

   What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
    Department’s mission? The team‘s accomplishments fostered a cooperative spirit with
    other emergency personnel, laying the foundation for possible expansion of the IMET
    mission to support NOAA customers during environmental disasters. The group continues
    to foster close partnerships with other agencies, enhancing disaster preparedness, response
    and education.


   Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Departments or other Federal
    agencies? If so, how? The services of the group positively affected a wide range of
    agencies, including the NOAA Office of Response and Recovery. The United States Coast
    Guard (USCG) sent a letter of appreciation stating, ―Safety is our number one issue for this
    response,‖ detailing how this NWS team provided accurate and timely weather data for
    response personnel. During the ship‘s evacuation, six of its 26 crew members were killed
    when a USCG rescue helicopter crashed.

   Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
    automation? If so, how? The group demonstrated that the use of technology to share
    information can save lives and resources. One member created a high-resolution digital
    forecast grid of the recovery area, lauded by the many participating response agencies.

   Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas, such
    as customer service or administrative support? If so, how? The group‘s
    accomplishments have resulted in strong positive public relations for NOAA and the NWS.
    Emergency responders, including personnel from private industry and agency field offices,
    have praised the rapid response, on-site presence and dedication of the NWS team. One
    wrote that in forty years of marine casualty experience, he has never had meteorologists on-
    site providing support that ―enhanced our planning and allowed us to execute the operation
    more efficiently and economically.‖




                                            188
                                       WFO Jackson, MS
                                    Silver Medal Nomination
                                        Customer Service
                                             NWS
                                         Nomination # 52

1. Type of Award: Silver

2. Nomination Type: Organization

3. Nomination Category: Customer Service

4. Name of Nominee: NOAA/NWS Weather Forecast Office, Jackson, MS
      Complete Office Address:
      National Weather Service
      234 Weather Service Drive
      Jackson, MS 39232

       Accepting the Award: Alan Gerard          Pronunciation: jer-ARD
                            Meteorologist In Charge

5. Other National Weather Service Awards:
      DOC Silver Medal – 2003
      DOC Bronze Medal – 2002
      DOC Bronze Medal – 1999
      NOAA Unit Citation – 1996

6. Current Performance Rating: N/A

7. Nominator’s Name, Title, Address, Phone Number:
      X. William Proenza
      Director, National Weather Service Southern Region
      819 Taylor Street, Room 10A03
      Fort Worth, TX 76102
      (817) 978-1000

What is the significance of this accomplishment?

WFO Jackson, MS provided outstanding weather services to Mississippi which greatly mitigated
the loss of life and property from Hurricane Katrina, the worst natural disaster in U.S. history.

I. Certificate Text:

For service and support to the state of Mississippi that saved lives and property during catastrophic
Hurricane Katrina.




                                                189
II. Program Text:

On August 29 2005, the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, Hurricane Katrina, caused
catastrophic damage to the Gulf Coast region. WFO Jackson, MS, provided continuous weather
service and support to the state of Mississippi, working closely with state and local emergency
management and government officials, the media, and the public, to prepare the state for the
impact of an unprecedented storm. While incredible damage occurred in coastal Mississippi and
inland for nearly 100 miles, the loss of life and property would have been much worse without the
efforts of the NWS in this region.

III. Justification

Section 1 - Definitions:

EOC – Emergency Operations Center
EM – emergency manager/management
MPB – Mississippi Public Broadcasting. MPB is a network of public radio stations covering the
entire state of Mississippi.
WFO – Weather Forecast Office
NWS – National Weather Service

Section 2 - Award Justification:

$      What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department=s
       mission/or Strategic Plan?

The provision of the critical warnings, forecasts, and advisories are directly related to the
Department‘s Strategic Goal 3, Objective 3.1, to ―advance understanding and predict changes in
the Earth‘s environment to meet America‘s economic, social, and environmental needs.‖

$      What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge, or
       problem?

Before, during and after the storm, staff members consistently placed the NWS mission above their
own concerns, concerns including evacuated family in their homes and power outages lasting days.
The WFO also had to deal with major communications challenges during Katrina, as most
outgoing communications were lost. Using instant messaging and a lone cell phone connection,
the WFO was still able to work with its backup office in Huntsville to get critical information,
including tornado warnings, out to the public.

$      What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

As the NWS state liaison office for Mississippi, WFO Jackson worked closely with the state
government, stationing a senior staff member at the state EOC nearly continuously. This staff
member briefed senior officials, including the Governor and EM director, on the expected impacts
from Katrina. At the local level, the WFO held conference calls four times a day with county, city,
tribal, and medical facility officials to keep them apprised on Katrina, with over 250 entities
involved over a 3 day period. The WFO gave over 60 media interviews during this same time,
including hourly interviews with MPB, who acts as the official statewide source of hurricane
                                                   190
information. Statements issued by the WFO discussed ―catastrophic damage well inland‖ and
―power outages lasting several days to a few weeks.‖

$      What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

As an example of the impact their efforts had, the city of Madison, MS praised the WFO in a
publication to their citizens, stating the WFO‘s information was ―right on,‖ and that the city‘s
participation in the conference calls had them ready for the hurricane.

Section 3 - Additional Information: (Maximum number of characters for all six questions in this
section cannot exceed 1900.)

$      How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the
       accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed?

During the actual Katrina event, the staff spent about four days forecasting and preparing for
Katrina, with the hurricane itself impacting the area for another 24 hours. In the aftermath, the
WFO had to deal with communications and facilities issues, as well as undertaking damage
surveys, for about two weeks after Katrina‘s landfall.

$      What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau
       and/or Department=s mission?

Improved understanding and response to NWS warnings and advisories will result in increased
protection of life and property.

$      What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
       Department=s mission?

The credibility of and respect for NWS services will be enhanced in the coming years advancing
the Department‘s Strategic Goal 3.

$      Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
       If so, how?

The extensive services given to the state and county emergency management community enabled
them to work more effectively with DHS and FEMA in allocating and positioning resources
before, during, and after Katrina.




                                                 191
$       Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
        automation? If so, how?

Critical weather information from the WFO has achieved a level of credibility and accuracy which
will enable partners and the general public to have a high level of trust in this information in
coming years.

$       Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
        customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

WFO Jackson‘s effort to enhance hurricane services is an ongoing process. After Hurricane Ivan
last year, extensive changes were made to the office‘s hurricane operations plan to maximize
services to state/local officials and the media. This included having a designated hurricane
coordinator on duty 24 hours a day to provide media and governmental briefings as well as ensure
a consistent message emanating from the office. Detailed staffing plans were created to ensure
adequate staffing before, during, and after a hurricane.

                             WFO Milwaukee/Sullivan, Wisconsin
                                 Silver Medal Nomination
                                     Customer Service
                                          NWS
                                      Nomination # 53

1. Type of Award: Silver

2. Nomination Type: Organization

3. Nomination Category: Customer Service

4. Name of Organization being nominated: WFO Milwaukee/Sullivan, Wisconsin
   Individual to receive award for Organization: Kenneth R. Rizzo, Meteorologist-In-Charge
   Salutation: Mr.
   Pronunciation: Riz zo

    Complete office address: National Weather Service Office, NOAA
                             N3533 Hardscrabble Rd.
                             Dousman, WI 53118

5. Other National Weather Service Awards:

                             1998 - Unit Citation, June 18-28, 1998 Severe Weather
                             1993 - Unit Citation, Great Flood of 1993




                                              192
6. Current Performance Rating: Pass for all.

7. Nominator=s Name, Title, complete office address, and phone number:
   Gary Foltz, Acting Director
   NWS Central Region
   7220 NW 101st Terrace Kansas City, Missouri 64153
   Telephone: (816) 891-8914
   Email: Gary.Foltz@noaa.gov

What is the significance of this accomplishment?

Only one fatality and few injuries sustained with southern Wisconsin‘s largest recorded tornado
outbreak, including a major F3 tornado. Warnings and proper response kept the toll incredibly
small.

I. Certificate Text:

For life-saving warning services provided by WFO Milwaukee/Sullivan prior to and during the
August 18, 2005, Stoughton, Wisconsin tornado outbreak.

II. Program Text:

WFO Milwaukee provided exceptional life-saving warning services prior to and during
Wisconsin‘s largest single outbreak of tornadoes in a 24-hour period. The 27 tornadoes surpassed
the previous record of 24 in 1988. The major F3 tornado that struck Stoughton WI was preceded
by two tornado warnings resulting in lead times of 54 and 9 minutes. Average lead time for all
tornadoes was 17 minutes; national GPRA goal was 13 minutes.

The combination of timely warning services, trained spotters, effective emergency management
and media partners resulted in only one fatality and few (23) injuries.

III. Justification:

Section 1 - Definitions:

County Warning Area      Area (comprised of counties) that the WFO has warning
                         responsibility.
False Alarm Rate         Ratio of warned areas (counties) unverified to the total number of
                         warned areas (counties). The lower the ratio the better.
F3                       A tornado strength rating. An F3 tornado has winds in the 158-206
                         mph range.
MKX                      The three letter designator for WFO Milwaukee/Sullivan, Wisconsin.
Probability of Detection The ratio of number of warned events to the total number of events.
                         The higher the ratio the better.
HWO                      Hazardous Weather Outlook is a routine product which describes the
                         potential for hazardous weather.
WFO Severe Weather Plan Annually reviewed and updated document which details the entire
                         severe weather operations at a WFO.
                                              193
WFO                         Weather Forecast Office
GPRA                        Government Performance and Results Act
NWS                         National Weather Service
DOC                         Department of commerce

Section 2 - Award Justification:

$      What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department=s
       mission/or Strategic Plan?

A single fatality and a small number (23) of injuries during a major tornado outbreak meets DOC‘s
Strategic Plan, Mission Goal to Serve Society‘s Needs for Weather and Water Information with the
desired outcome to reduced loss of life, injury, and damage to the economy through the
performance objective increased lead time and accuracy for weather and water warnings and
forecasts.

$      What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge, or
       problem?

Success of the warning system on August 18, 2005 was the result of the WFO preparing
themselves, spotters, emergency management, media, and the public, resulting in the successful
response during the stressful hours of this major tornado event.

$      What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

Twenty-one Tornado Warnings were issued during a 6-hour siege in addition to numerous
outlooks, statements, and forecasts issued prior to, and during, the event. Staff training,
commitment to the WFO Severe Weather plan, preparedness work with spotters, emergency
management, and media occurring years and months prior to this event set the stage for success.

$      What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

The Stoughton Tornado was 17 miles long and 1/3 mi wide with 1 fatality and 23 injuries. Total
estimated property damage was 35 million dollars. The F3 Stoughton tornado was preceded by 2
tornado warnings which resulted in lead times of 54 and 9 minutes for this tornado spin-up.

Average lead warning time for all 16 tornadoes in WFO MKX‘s warning area was 17 minutes
(2005 GPRA Goal = 13 minutes). False alarm rate of 43 percent for the 21 tornado warnings is
well below (better than) the national GPRA goal of 76 percent; the probability of detection of 95
percent is well above the national GPRA goal of 79 percent.

The HWO, issued with a 10-hour lead-time mentioned ―isolated tornadoes and severe
thunderstorms” as the main threat during the afternoon and early evening hours.




                                               194
Section 3 - Additional Information:

$      How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the
       accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed?

Issuance of the 21 tornado warnings spanned a 6-hour period. Advance notice of the severe
weather potential spanned a 3-day period. Staff training, preparedness activities, spotter training,
media and public education have been a year-round effort since the early 1990s.

$      What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau
       and/or Department=s mission?

The success validates DOC‘s Strategic Goal to Serve Society‘s Needs for Weather and Water
Information with the desired outcome of reduced loss of life, injury, and damage to the economy. It
will demonstrate DOC‘s commitment to this goal; build more commitment and cooperation among
partners/customers to maintain readiness in years to come.

$      What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
       Department=s mission?

This success builds upon a strong commitment to several performance objectives under DOC‘s
Weather and Water mission goal through 1) increase development, application, and transition of
advance science and technologies to operations and services, and 2) improved predictability of the
onset, duration, and impact of hazardous and severe weather and water events.


$      Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
       If so, how?

This success fosters partnerships with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and many
state/local government agencies.

$      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
       automation? If so, how?

The tornado outbreak has already been the subject of case studies. See institute case study pages at
http://www.ersc.wisc.edu/tornadoes.php and http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/casestudies/2005-08-
18_dane/ .

$      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
       customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

Customer, national and local media response was overwhelmingly positive. Sample comments
follow:

ABC World News Tonight, dated August 19, 2005
“Although it was amazing, the low death total was no accident”…“The steady drumbeat of
warnings on radio and TV throughout the afternoon alerted people that they were in danger.”

                                                 195
The Capitol Times (Madison, WI, daily newspaper) quoting the Dane County Sheriff saying
“Hard to believe there weren’t more deaths”…“after a day of extensive warnings, many people
had evacuated the area or taken safety precautions.”

Milwaukee WITI-TV6 Broadcast Meteorologist, Bart Adrian, “WFO MKX made an extraordinary
response to an extraordinary weather situation”.

                                      WFO Phoenix, AZ
                                  Silver Medal Nomination
                                      Customer Service
                                           NWS
                                       Nomination # 54

1. Type of Award: Silver

2. Nomination Type: Organization

3. Nomination Category: Customer Service

4. Name of Acceptor: Anton Haffer
   Salutation: Mr.
   Pronunciation: HAFF er
  Title: Meteorologist-In-Charge
  Series and Grade: GS-1340-15

 Name of Nominee: National Weather Service, NOAA, WFO Phoenix

 Complete office address: National Weather Service, NOAA
                          WFO Phoenix
                          1521 N Project Drive, PAB 500
                          Tempe, AZ 85281-1206

5. Other National Weather Service Awards:            DoC - Bronze Medal October 2002
                                                     DoC - Silver Medal November 2001


6. Current Performance Rating: Meets or Exceeds for all employees.

7. Nominator=s Name, Title, complete office address, and phone number:

       Vickie Nadolski, Regional Director
       NWS Western Region Headquarters
       125 S. State Street, Room 1205
       Salt Lake City, UT
       801-524-5122



                                             196
What is the significance of this accomplishment?

The staff of the Phoenix WFO greatly facilitated life-saving response efforts of local health and
emergency services agencies by providing advance information on excessively hot record
temperatures.

I. Certificate Text:

For life-saving Excessive Heat Warning services provided to Phoenix, Arizona, during the extreme
heat episode of June 29 through July 21, 2005.


II. Program Text:

The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Phoenix is honored for live-saving Excessive
Heat Warning services provided to Phoenix, Arizona during the extreme heat episode of June 29
through July 21, 2005. Responding to their warnings and daily forecasts, community leaders
activated emergency response plans, opened shelters, and rescued people who were most
vulnerable to the excessive heat.

III. Justification:

Section 1 - Definitions:

WFO: Weather Forecast Office, National Weather Service‘s field office responsible for weather
and hydrological forecasts and warnings to protect property, people and economy of the nation.

Excessive Heat: Excessive heat results from a combination of high temperature (significantly
above normal ranges) and high humidity. At this high level of combined factors, the human body
cannot maintain proper internal temperatures and may experience heat related illness, including
death.

EPA: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Section 2 - Award Justification:

$      What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department=s
       mission/or Strategic Plan?

Strategic Goal 3: Observe, protect, and manage the Earth‘s resources to promote environmental
stewardship

The problem was to create enhanced, specific, science-based procedures to identify weather
conditions that pose the greatest threat to life and to convey the threat to local agencies with as
much lead time as possible. The challenge was exacerbated by Phoenix‘s hot summers. The
standard NWS heat program is not appropriate in this area.



                                                  197
$      What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge, or
       problem?

The deadly heat wave began with a significant leap of daily temperatures. The WFO staff foresaw
the uncharacteristic increase as a threat to life. Agencies providing shelter and life-sustaining
medical and food services required credible information to prepare for and respond to the heat
disaster. Succinct statements and warnings from the WFO conveyed the imminent threat to life.

$      What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

For more than five years, the WFO nurtured a partnership with the University of Delaware to
implement an enhanced Phoenix-centric warning program to alert local residents of conditions that
pose the greatest threat to life. Ten days before the peak of the heat wave, the WFO accomplished
an aggressive campaign with the media and local agencies to disseminate information to raise
public awareness and educate the people as to what protective actions needed to be taken to
survive the heat.

$      What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

Local and national media highlighted the heat wave, which resulted in 54 heat-related deaths
(normal is 32 per year). Health and emergency service agencies distributed NWS products via their
internal networks and issued guidelines on preventing health risks due to high heat. Cooling
centers were opened, and additional street patrols were implemented to transport people at risk to
cooling shelters. Ms. Susan Gerard, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services,
stated, ―Without the hard work and dedication of the Phoenix Forecast Office staff, the number of
deaths would have certainly been higher. I commend their exceptional services and partnership in
saving lives.‖

Section 3 - Additional Information:

$      How long did it take to complete the accomplishment?                     When was the
       accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed?

Research of the relationship between summer temperatures and heath-related deaths in Phoenix
began in 1999 by means of a partnership among the University of Delaware, a local utility, and
local and state government agencies. The WFO Excessive Heat Warning Program, tailored to
results of the research, began in 2001. The Program was refined to include additional weather
parameters in succeeding summers including 2005.

$      What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau
       and/or Department=s mission?

The accomplishment demonstrated the value of continually customizing and updating the Phoenix
Excessive Heat Warning Program. As a result, refinements will continue in the short-term and the
credibility of the program, in the minds of the Phoenix customers, will be significantly enhanced.




                                               198
$       What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
        Department=s mission?

The success of the Phoenix program demonstrates the importance of tailoring NWS procedures to
stimulate a local call to action which reflects the conditions of the local area – even in extreme
climates. This supports the NOAA/NWS plan to implement similar programs across the Nation
during the next five years.

$       Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
        If so, how?

Lessons learned from the Phoenix experience have already been integrated into a forthcoming EPA
publication that provides guidelines for dealing with extreme heat events.

$       Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
        automation? If so, how?

The results of the partnerships nurtured in Phoenix serve as the reference model regarding
importance of addressing the impacts from excessive heat events. Recent data indicate heat-
related deaths to be the most significant cause of weather-related deaths.

$       Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
        customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

The Heat Wave of 2005 demonstrated that local agencies‘ response plans and guidelines in
Phoenix were out of date. By stepping up to the plate with its enhanced warning program, the
WFO‘s aggressive actions served as a role model for other agencies to follow. As a result, a major
effort is underway to rewrite the guidelines and improve the local response plans used by state and
local agencies serving Phoenix.

                           WFO Miami, FL and WFO Key West, FL
                                Silver Medal Nomination
                                    Customer Service
                                          NWS
                                     Nomination # 55

1. Type of Award: Silver

2. Nomination Type: Joint Organization

3. Nomination Category: Customer Service

4. Names of Nominees:          NWS Weather Forecast Office, Miami, Florida
                               NWS Weather Forecast Office, Key West, Florida

    Complete office address:
                               Weather Forecast Office
                               11691 SW 17th Street
                               Miami, FL 33165
                                               199
                              Weather Forecast Office
                              1315 White St.
                              Key West, FL 33040

Accepting the Award: Rusty Pfost Pronunciation: RUST –tee Post
                     Matt Strahan Pronunciation: STRAY-han

5. Other National Weather Service Organizational Awards:
WFO Miami
DOC Gold Medal, Joint Organizational-Hurricane Season, 2004
DOC Bronze Medal, Organization-South Florida Tornado Outbreak, 2003
DOC Bronze Medal, Organization-Rip Current Program, 2001
NOAA Unit Citation, Hurricane Irene, 1999
DOC Gold Medal, Organization-Hurricane Andrew, 1992

WFO Key West
DOC Gold Medal, Joint Organizational – Hurricane Season 2004

6. Current Performance Rating: NA

7. Nominator=s Name, Title, complete office address, and phone number:
             X. William Proenza, Regional Director
             NWS Southern Region
             819 Taylor St. Rm 10E09
             Fort Worth, TX 76102
             Ph: 817 978 1000

What is the significance of this accomplishment?

WFO Miami‘s and Key West‘s customer service during multiple tropical cyclone threats was
critical to the people of South Florida and sustained them through the record 2005 hurricane
season.

I. Certificate Text:

For public service to the people of South Florida through multiple hurricane threats during the
record 2005 hurricane season.

II. Program Text:

WFO Miami and WFO Key West are recognized for providing critical public service to the people
of South Florida through multiple tropical cyclone threats (Arlene in June, Dennis in July, Katrina
in August, Rita in September, and Wilma in October), including two direct strikes by hurricanes
Katrina and Wilma, during the record 2005 hurricane season.




                                                200
III. Justification:

Section 1 - Definitions:

Acronyms

COE                   Corps of Engineers
DOC                   Department of Commerce
FEB                   Federal Executive Board
NOAA                  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NWS                   National Weather Service
SFWMD                 South Florida Water Management District
WFO                   Weather Forecast Office



Section 2 - Award Justification: (Maximum number of characters for all four questions in this
section cannot exceed 1900.)

$      What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department=s
       mission/or Strategic Plan?

The provision of the critical warnings are directly related to the Department‘s Strategic Goal 3,
Objective 3.1.

$      What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge, or
       problem?

The county warning area includes the metropolitan areas of Miami-Fort Lauderdale, West Palm
Beach, and Fort Myers-Naples, with a population of about 6 million people, including top cruise
and cargo ports and three large airports. WFO staffs performed their duties at substantial personal
risk and hardship, leaving family at home to arrive early before events began or staying at work
through events in order to ensure proper staffing. The Key West WFO's interaction with the tourist
industry was a major reason there was no loss of life during Wilma. The Florida Keys tourism
industry hosts about four million visitors per year. Loss of life was minimal during all four
storms.

$      What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

WFO Miami provided traditional text as well as innovative graphical and gridded products
providing continuously updated and accurate weather information. WFO Miami also provided
critical direct weather support to county and state emergency managers, the COE and SFWMD,
and the South Florida FEB. The WFO Key West staff briefed Emergency Management, the media
and tourism officials, handling up to 200 phone calls per day. Once evacuation of tourists was
ordered, the WFO staff provided direct weather support to the transportation entities, ensuring safe
passage of evacuees. This close support was critical, as evacuees had to cross 42 bridges to drive
out, and flying became increasingly dangerous as the hurricane approached.


                                                201
$      What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

Loss of live was minimal in spite of the fact that sustained hurricane force winds were experienced
in Broward County for the first time since 1950. During hurricane Wilma, the storm surge was as
high as 10 feet across 90 percent of the Keys. This surge flooded thousands of homes, and
destroyed tens of thousands of vehicles, yet no lives were lost.

Section 3 - Additional Information: (Maximum number of characters for all six questions in this
section cannot exceed 1900.)

$      How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the
       accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed?

The tropical cyclone events occurred over five months from June through October 2005. One
tropical cyclone threat occurred each month.

$      What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau
       and/or Department=s mission?

The two WFOs customer service fulfilled the NWS mission to provide weather and hydrologic
forecasts and warnings for the people of South Florida. Thanks to WFO‘s provision of services
and information, the NWS continues to be a trusted source of weather forecast and warning
information. This directly supports the stewardship part of the DOC mission.

$      What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
       Department=s mission?

Use of graphical and gridded ways to provide information on the expected impact of tropical
cyclone threats will continue. Emergency managers and state officials praised the experimental
Graphical Hurricane Local Statement. Local conference calls in which NWS employees explained
the tropical cyclone threat to a group of cities or combined law enforcement will continue.

$      Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
       If so, how?

The WFOs directly supported the water management operations of the U.S. Army COE and the
SFWMD, especially concerning Lake Okeechobee and the aging Hoover Dike. WFOs also
directly supported local county emergency managers through multiple daily conference calls and
the South Florida Federal Executive Board. The support for the COE and SFWMD was long term
through all five events from June through October.

$      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
       automation? If so, how?

Innovative use of Internet technologies (graphics and grids) produced new effective ways to
communicate weather threats.



                                               202
$      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
       customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

The highly successful use of the Graphical Hurricane Local Statement shows that approach to be
effective and desirable for all WFOs affected by tropical cyclones. WFO Miami‘s FEB support
through graphics and grids via the internet provided an example of effective weather support to the
federal community.

                                           WFO Lubbock, TX
                                        Silver Medal Nomination
                                            Customer Service
                                                 NWS
                                             Nomination # 56

    1. Type of Award: Silver

    2. Nomination Type: Organization

    3. Nomination Category: Customer Service

    4. Name of Nominee: WFO Lubbock, Texas
                         National Weather Service

       Complete Office Address:
       National Weather Service
       2579 S Loop 289, Suite 100
       Lubbock, TX 79423

       Accepting the Award: Justin Weaver   Pronunciation: JUST-in WEAVE-er
                                   Meteorologist In Charge

    5. Other National Weather Service Awards:

       Bronze Medal (Organization) November 2001

    6. Current Performance Rating: N/A

    7. Nominator’s Name, Title, complete office address and phone number:

       X. William Proenza, Southern Region Director, National Weather Service
       819 Taylor Street, Room 10A03
       Fort Worth, TX 76102
       817-978-1000

    What is the significance of this accomplishment?

    WFO Lubbock provided exceptionally effective public service during the extreme and
    sustained severe weather outbreak of May 12-13, 2005. No deaths or serious injuries occurred
    despite 9 tornadoes.
                                              203
I. Certificate Text

For life-saving warning and forecast services provided during the extreme West Texas severe
weather outbreak of May 12-13 2005.

II. Program Text

On May 12-13, 2005, the Texas South Plains experienced one of the most sustained severe
weather events in local history. A total of nine tornadoes, including three strong tornadoes,
and hail up to the size of softballs occurred, destroying one home and seriously damaging other
homes and farm equipment. Through community preparedness, external partner relations and
coordination, innovative communications and local expertise, WFO Lubbock provided
exceptional warning and forecast services resulting in zero deaths and zero serious injuries
during this extreme severe weather outbreak.

III Justification:

Section 1 – Definitions:

Strong Tornado – A tornado with estimated wind speed between 113-206 mph resulting in
considerable to severe damage. These types of wind speeds correlate with F2 and F3 ratings
on the Fujita Scale of tornado damage.
WFO – Weather Forecast Office (National Weather Service).
GPRA – Government Performance and Results Act. Provides for the establishment of
strategic planning and performance measurement in the Federal Government.
POD – Probability of Detection. A percentage depicting WFO skill in detecting an event (e.g.,
tornado).
IM – Instant Messaging. A highly versatile, Internet-based method of communicating with
others in a virtual environment.
DOC – Department of Commerce

Section 2 – Award Justification:

      What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s
       mission/or Strategic Plan.

       These contributions by WFO Lubbock relate to performance outcomes cited in General
       Goal/Objective 3.1 of Strategic Goal 3 of the DOC FY 2004-2009 Strategic Plan.

      What was the context in which the nominees addressed the goal, challenge or
       problem?

       On May 12-13, 2005, WFO Lubbock experienced one of the most sustained severe
       weather events in memory. During this 14 hour event, a total of 9 tornadoes, three of
       them strong tornadoes, and hail up to the size of softballs occurred, leveling one home
       and seriously damaging other homes and farm equipment.


                                           204
      What specific actions did the nominees take to address the goal, challenge or
       problem?

       WFO Lubbock anticipated this event during the morning hours of May 12 and began a
       process of briefing emergency management officials and local media through
       innovative use of conference calling and Internet Instant Messaging (IM). During the
       14 hour event, WFO Lubbock issued 100 warnings and 93 severe weather statements,
       equating to about one severe weather product every 4.5 minutes. An extraordinary
       amount of teamwork was involved to maintain situational awareness and properly
       assimilate both technical information and real-time reports during the event. This effort
       provided a seamless flow of accurate and life-saving information at a time when it was
       most critical.

      What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

       The exemplary actions of WFO Lubbock in providing life-saving tornado warnings not
       only fostered and strengthened relationships with local partners of NWS services, but
       also directly exceeded two of the NOAA/NWS GPRA Performance Measures –
       Tornado POD and Tornado Lead Time. The national NOAA/NWS GPRA goals for
       2005 were 73% and 13 minutes, respectively. WFO Lubbock performances on May
       12-13 were 88% and 15 minutes (with a Max Lead Time of 34 minutes), respectively.

Section 3 – Additional Information

      How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the
       accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed?

       The accomplishments occurred over a period of 24 hours beginning with a severe
       weather prognosis by the operational midnight shift on May 12. After briefing a
       diverse set of customers and emergency responders, the first warnings were issued area
       shortly before Noon on May 12. Warnings operations ended at 3:06 AM on May 13.

      What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau
       and/or Department’s mission?

       The short-term impact of this historic event on the mission can best be described as a
       model of excellence and leadership achieved through enhanced collaboration and
       effective teamwork with partners.

      What is the long-term (3-5 years) impact of the accomplishment on the bureau
       and/or Department’s mission?

       The long-term impact evolves from a notable example of executing the mission, as
       WFO Lubbock was credited with saving lives while providing critical services. The
       quality of service from WFO Lubbock brought credit to the agency at all levels.




                                           205
         Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal
          Agencies? If so, how?

          As a precedent in leadership, the pioneering efforts of the WFO Lubbock staff in
          delivering the mission will undoubtedly affect other Federal agencies when sharing and
          implementing best-practices in life-saving operations.

         Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology or
          automation? If so, how?

          The accomplishment resulted in the advancement of innovative technology to support
          the needs of our customers and partners – IM and Conferencing. The event greatly
          enhanced the relationship between the WFO and emergency responders, and provided a
          dynamic mechanism to communicate live and continuous information.

         Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas
          such as customer service and administrative support? If so, how?

          The accomplishment resulted in zero fatalities. Through IM with local media, a citizen
          received life-saving information from WFO Lubbock minutes before a tornado
          destroyed his home. The following represents one of many positive statements
          received: ―The Lubbock NWS was at the top of its game like never before…I could not
          have warned people as fast and as effective as I did without the help of the local
          office…‖ –Bryan Hughes, Fox 34 News, Lubbock.

                                     WFO Huntsville, AL
                                   Silver Medal Nomination
                                       Customer Service
                                            NWS
                                        Nomination # 57

1. Type of Award: Silver

2. Nomination Type: Organization

3. Nomination Category: Customer Service

4. Name of Nominee: NWS WFO Huntsville AL

 Complete office address: WFO Huntsville Alabama
                          320 Sparkman Drive
                          Huntsville, AL 35805

  Accepting the Award:      John Coyne           Pronunciation: John Coin
                            Meteorologist in Charge




                                              206
5. Other National Weather Service Awards:
                                WSO Huntsville – Unit Citation 1974
                                WFO Huntsville – Bronze Medal Nov 2004

6. Current Performance Rating: N/A for Organizational Nomination

7. Nominator=s Name, Title, complete office address, and phone number:
             X. William Proenza, Regional Director
             NWS Southern Region

What is the significance of this accomplishment?

WFO Huntsville, AL provided warnings and forecasts for their own area, in addition to serving in
an emergency backup capacity for WFO Jackson, MS during and following Hurricane Katrina in
2005.

I. Certificate Text:

Place here (maximum of 150 characters).

For providing life saving warnings and forecasts by providing backup support for WFO Jackson
during and following the landfall of Hurricane Katrina.

II. Program Text:

Place here (maximum of 600 characters).

During the morning hours of August 29th, Hurricane Katrina slammed ashore in southeast LA
causing destruction and loss of life. This destruction was felt far inland along the central Gulf
Coast. Katrina also caused large-scale disruptions to power and communications centers. One such
outage rendered WFO Jackson inoperable, and resulted in WFO Huntsville providing outstanding
service not only to their own area of responsibility but for the 58 counties in the Jackson County
Warning Area as well.

III. Justification:

Section 1 - Definitions:

NWS – National Weather Service
WFO – Weather Forecast Office
AWIPS – Advance Weather Interactive Process System
HUN – Huntsville
JAN – Jackson
TN – Tennessee
AL – Alabama
MIC – Meteorologist In Charge
SRH – Southern Region Headquarters
NAWAS – National Warning System
WES – Weather Event Simulator
                                           207
Section 2 - Award Justification: (Maximum number of characters for all four questions in this
section cannot exceed 1900.)


$      What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department=s
       mission/or Strategic Plan?

The provision of the critical warnings support the Department‘s Strategic Goal 3, to ―advance
understanding and predict changes in the Earth‘s environment to meet America‘s economic, social,
and environmental needs.‖


$      What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge, or
       problem?

WFO Huntsville provided critical service backup during one of the greatest natural disasters in
modern US history. This included the issuance of 197 products including 87 warnings/advisories
during the immediate impact of Katrina. The Huntsville office continued providing backup
support for the expanded area for the next 15 days, far beyond what is normally expected for
backup operations. This support was provided in addition to HUN‘s own elevated level of
operations for the TN Valley including briefings and news conferences.

$      What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

This event posed unprecedented challenges as infrastructure failures resulted in a lack of critical
decision making data. To maintain a flow of life-saving information, the staffs at both offices
coordinated through the use of cell phones and the MS NAWAS. The NAWAS also proved vital in
the relay of information to first responders. During the summer, WFO Huntsville completed a
scenario in which they simulated backup services for WFO Jackson. The forecasters cited this
training as a key to success. Jackson MIC Alan Gerard also stated, ―We wish to deeply thank WFO
Huntsville for taking the proactive steps to be prepared with extra staffing in case service backup
was needed, and for the tremendous support and cooperation which they have provided us.‖


$      What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

If it were not for critical backup warnings and forecasts, the death toll would have been higher.
Alan Gerard stated that the transfer of duties was ―without degradation of service‖. In a note to the
staff, BGen. D. L. Johnson, Director of the NWS wrote, ―The devastation and loss of life would
have been much more had your team commitment to duty been less strong."




                                                208
Section 3 - Additional Information: (Maximum number of characters for all six questions in this
section cannot exceed 1900.)

$      How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the
       accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed?

WFO Huntsville assumed forecast/warning responsibility for the Jackson on August 19, and issued
197 products including 87 warnings and advisories during Katrina. The WFO continued backup
support for the next 15 days.

$      What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau
       and/or Department=s mission?

The critical warnings and forecasts issued by WFO Huntsville saved lives and demonstrated
backup capabilities can be executed in an effective manner (even in extreme conditions) with
proper planning and training.


$      What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
       Department=s mission?

Lessons learned during the extended backup operations will enable the Agency to refine and
improve its backup plans.


$      Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
       If so, how?

This example of teamwork should be replicated in other agencies based on their individual needs.
The advance training and preparedness were keys to effectively executing the backup plan and that
certainly should be shared with other agencies.

$      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
       automation? If so, how?

Never has the foundation of the NWS Service Backup program been tested as strongly as it was
during Katrina. At the height of Katrina, communications outages affected much of the Gulf Coast
region. As the full force of the storm bore down on the Mississippi, the forecasters at WFO
Huntsville provided a full suite of service backup products. Issuing the products was only half the
task. WFO Huntsville ensured these critical services were received by customers that needed them
most. In the end, the process worked as intended with no degradation of service. This event,
though tragic, proved that the backup process can be a great success.

$      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
       customer service or administrative support? If so, how?




                                               209
WFO Huntsville‘s decision making, product creation, and customer service during backup services
was an outstanding accomplishment. It also illustrated that even during extraordinary events that
with proper training and preparedness the service backup system works.

                                         WFO Atlanta, GA
                                     Silver Medal Nomination
                                         Customer Service
                                              NWS
                                          Nomination # 58

1. Type of Award: Silver

2. Nomination Type: Organizational

3. Nomination Category: Customer Service

4. Name of Nominee:           Atlanta Weather Forecast Office
                              National Weather Service

Complete office address:      NWS Forecast Office
                              4 Falcon Drive
                              Peachtree City, GA 30269

   Accepting the Award:       Lans Rothfusz        Pronunciation: Lance ROTE-foos
                              Meteorologist In Charge

5. Other National Weather Service Awards: DOC Gold Medal 2005

6. Current Performance Rating: Not Applicable

7. Nominator=s Name, Title, complete office address, and phone number:
             X. William Proenza, Regional Director
             NWS Southern Region
             819 Taylor St. Rm 10E09
             Fort Worth, TX 76102
             Ph: 817 978 1000

What is the significance of this accomplishment?

Despite failure of its radar the Atlanta WFO creatively adapted operations to limit loss of life and
achieve excellent public response to its warnings during a tornado outbreak in August 2005.

I. Certificate Text: maximum of 150 characters

For providing life saving services during the record-setting tornado outbreak of August 29, 2005
despite difficult operational circumstances.



                                                 210
II. Program Booklet Text: maximum of 600 characters; not required for Bronze
nominations

As Hurricane Katrina came ashore on August 29, 2005, North Georgia experienced a record-
setting tornado outbreak. WFO Atlanta faced this event with its best-positioned radar out of
service due to mechanical failure. Despite this disadvantage, the WFO staff took innovative steps
to mitigate the situation. Web-based briefings were delivered for the first time, supplementary
tornado detection techniques were brought to the fore, and unprecedented radar troubleshooting
steps were employed. Emergency managers praised the WFO for its creative efforts to minimize
the loss of life.

III. Justification

Section 1 - Definitions

DOC = Department of Commerce
DOC Goal 3 = Department‘s Strategic Goal 3, Objective 3.1, to ―advance understanding and
predict changes in the Earth‘s environment to meet America‘s economic, social, and
environmental needs.‖
CWA = County Warning Area, the area of responsibility for a specific NWS office.
MIC = Meteorologist in Charge
NWS = National Weather Service
WFO = Weather Forecast Office
WSR-88D = Weather Surveillance Radar 1998-Doppler

Section 2 - Award Justification (Maximum number of characters for all four questions in this
section cannot exceed 1900.)

• What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission
and/or strategic plan?

Provision of life saving warnings supports DOC Goal 3

• What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

Effects of Hurricane Katrina spawned a record number of tornadoes (16) for the Atlanta CWA.
Tropical-induced tornadoes pose the greatest warning challenges and the office‘s best-positioned
radar failed just prior to the event.

• What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

Replacement parts arrived at noon, and electronics technicians carried the 125 pounds of
equipment 100 up into the radar dome in wind-driven rain. After installation, the new
replacement parts failed just as the tornado outbreak began. Knowing the seriousness of the
situation, the technicians broke precedent and disassembled the component to try and resolve the
problem. After several hours of intense troubleshooting, no solution was found. The primary radar
remained unavailable despite heroic efforts. WFO meteorologists employed every possible tornado
detection tool and technique to offset the loss of the primary radar including amateur radio

                                               211
spotters, satellite imagery, surrounding radars (despite their less-than-optimum distance for
detecting low-level tornadoes), media ―instant messaging,‖ and phone calls to/from Emergency
Managers. The MIC, knowing the country‘s attention was focused on the Gulf Coast, took steps to
refocus local attention on the tornado potential. A web-based conferencing service was quickly
configured and emergency managers were invited to join. By 11 a.m., over 30 participants joined
the first-ever web briefing and were apprized of the situation. Briefings were conducted every six
hours throughout the outbreak.

• What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

Despite the challenges, the staff achieved an average warning lead time of 10.2 minutes which is
superb for tropical-induced tornadoes. Loss of life would have been higher if not for the
performance of the ―disadvantaged‖ WFO staff. For example, a hotel manager received a warning
and evacuated his hotel before a tornado removed the second floor.

Section 3 - Additional Information (Maximum number of characters for all six questions in this
section cannot exceed 1900.)

• How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

The actions took place during a 24 hour period on August 29, 2005

• What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

 New procedures of conducting briefings with emergency management officials to focus attention
on major weather threats will be continued and improve response to warnings..

• What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

Increased credibility of NWS warnings will lead to improved customer response in taking life
saving actions based on those warnings

• Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If
so, how?

Yes. Improved communication and coordination between the NWS and various first responder
agencies and emergency management officials results in improved life saving activities by all
concerned.

• Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how?

Because of the success of the web-briefing technique, it has become a standard service to use this
technology to brief emergency managers prior to the onset of a significant weather episode.


                                                212
• Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

Yes. Use of the technology garnered praise such as the following message sent by one emergency
manager to his peers: ―In my opinion the National Weather Service nailed this one and delivered a
record number of warnings to us emergency managers in a timely manner. (despite radar
problems)…‖.

                                   Vicente Carreras Group
                                   Silver Medal Nomination
                                       Customer Service
                                            NWS
                                        Nomination # 59

1. Type of Award: Silver

2. Nomination Type: Group

3. Nomination Category: Customer Service

4. Name of Nominee: Houston (ZHU) Center Weather Service Unit, NWS
     ZHU Staff:
      Name: Vicente Carreras
      Title: Meteorologist-In-Charge
      Series and Grade: GS-1340-13

        Name: Leslie E. Petersen
        Title:   Meteorologist
        Series and Grade: GS-1340-12

         Name: Matthew Bishop
         Title:    Meteorologist
         Series and Grade: GS-1340-12

         Name: James Scott Jackson
         Title:    Meteorologist
         Series and Grade: GS-1340-12

 Complete office address: National Weather Service Office, NOAA
                          C/O FAA Houston ARTCC
                          16600 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
                          Houston, Texas 77032

5. Other National Weather Service Awards:            None

6. Current Performance Rating: Pass for all.



                                               213
7. Nominator:
   X. William Proenza, Regional Director
   NWS Southern Region
   819 Taylor Street, Room 10A03
   Ft. Worth, Texas 76102
   Telephone: 817-978-1000

What is the significance of this accomplishment?

The group provided critical information to the FAA and airline personnel during two major
hurricane events and then provided forecasts to help in the recovery effort for military and FEMA
aircraft.

I. Certificate Text:

For providing critical weather information to the Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center during
two devastating hurricanes during 2005.

II. Program Text:

The group is honored for providing weather forecasts and warnings to the FAA and airlines before,
during and after two major hurricanes impacted CWSU‘s airspace. The group, notified FAA
supervisory staff of the potential these hurricanes had in impacting jet routes, oil rig operations and
the possibilities of destruction to government facilities and equipment. This included the safety of
personnel who were working to protect facilities and equipment as these hurricanes approached.

III. Justification:

Section 1 - Definitions:

CWSU - Center Weather Service Unit
ZHU – Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center
FEMA – Federal Emergency Management Agency
FAA – Federal Aviation Administration


Section 2 - Award Justification:

$      What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Departments
       mission/or Strategic Plan?

       The provision of the critical warnings, forecasts, and advisories are directly related to the
       Department‘s Strategic Goal 3, ―Support the nation‘s commerce with information for safe,
       efficient, and environmentally sound transportation.‖




                                                 214
$      What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge, or
       problem?

       CWSUs are staffed with three meteorologists plus a meteorologist in charge. Normal
       operations run from 5am until 9pm. During the two emergencies, the Unit began 24 hour
       operations giving continuous weather briefings and forecasts to the FAA Air Traffic and
       Airway Facilities. Special briefings were given directly to major airlines which took
       measures for the protection of their terminals and aircraft. All this was done during a period
       of short staffing at the CWSU. During Katrina, one employee was on annual leave in
       Mexico. During Rita, another employee was on annual leave in Europe. Personnel stayed
       working long hours and keeping to maintain 24/7 operations. Initially, Rita was forecast
       into or just west of the Houston metropolitan area. Personnel had to deal with the
       protection of their own homes and the safety of their families. This was done when over 3
       million people were evacuating the Houston/Galveston area. To add to personnel
       problems, the FAA stated specifically that no employee‘s family would be allowed to take
       shelter within the facility. One CWSU employee family evacuation to Oklahoma took over
       20 hours on a trip that normally takes 6 hours while the employee remained on duty.

$      What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

       Houston CWSU personnel were on duty constantly supporting the National Weather
       Service Mission. Several daily national and regional FAA teleconferences were given
       keeping personnel advised on the latest advisories and forecast tracks of each storm.

$      What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

        Weather forecasts and briefings to the FAA Traffic Management during the        recovery
effort made for safe and efficient aircraft operations in and out of the affected area.

Section 3 - Additional Information:

$      How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the
       accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed?

       Weather support special efforts lasted up to six weeks. Direct weather support was also
       given to Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans.

$      What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau
       and/or Department’s mission?

       Procedures put into place during the event will be used to assist in air traffic management
       during the extensive recovery period.

$      What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
       Department’s mission?

       Long term impact will be accomplished in developing playbooks on how to deal with air
       traffic if or when another major hurricane hits a large hub airport which could greatly affect

                                                215
       the National Airspace System. In the event this does happen, the military and other
       emergency departments will be able to take action immediately to use the airports.

$      Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
       If so, how?

       Yes. Direct support to the Federal Aviation Administration for the safe and efficient flow
       of air traffic not only along the gulf coast but nationwide has shown the importance of why
       weather support is necessary.

$      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
       automation? If so, how?

       Backup procedures to airports and frequencies for aircraft in the air are being improved so
       that communications will not be lost at anytime.

$      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
       customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

       Working directly with the FAA has bonded the Houston Center Weather Service Unit
       tighter making an excellent example of how to make the airspace system safe and efficient.
       Airline dispatchers were extremely happy with the Houston CWSU meteorologists stating
       that the advance notice given to them helped them make critical decisions on planning the
       movement of aircraft away from Houston Intercontinental Airport. The Houston Air
       Traffic Manager, Mr. Jim D‘Ambrosio and Mr. David Frame, Traffic Management Officer,
       both stated their appreciation for the support given by the Houston Center Weather Service
       Unit meteorologists.



                                     Matthew Davis Group
                                   Silver Medal Nomination
                              Scientific/Engineering Achievement
                                             NWS
                                         Nomination # 60

1. Type of Award: Silver

2. Nomination Type: Group

3. Nomination Category: Scientific/Engineering Achievement

4. Name of Nominee: Matthew Davis
   Salutation: Mr.
   Pronunciation: DA vis
   Title: Information Technology Officer
   Series and Grade: GS-2210-13


                                               216
Name of Nominee: Pete Browning
Salutation: Mr.
Pronunciation: BROW ning
Title: Chief, Meteorological Sciences Division
Series and Grade: GS-1340-15

Complete office address: NOAA/NWS Central Region Headquarters
                         Meteorological Sciences Division
                         7220 NW 101st Terrace
                         Kansas City, MO 64153

Name of Nominee: Mark Mathewson
Salutation: Mr.
Pronunciation: MATH ewe son
Title: Chief, Information Generation Section, Information Systems Branch
Series and Grade: ZP-IV

Complete office address: NOAA/ESRL/OAR, R/GSD4
                         325 Broadway
                         Boulder, CO 80305-3328

Name of Nominee: Bob Rood
Salutation: Mr.
Pronunciation: RUDE
Title: Lead, NWSH/OST/SEC/Development Branch/Test and Integration
Series and Grade: GS- 391-14

Complete office address: NOAA/NWS Headquarters
                         Office of Science and Technology
                         1325 East West Highway
                         Silver Spring, MD 20910

Name of Nominee: Mark Tew
Salutation: Mr.
Pronunciation: Two
Title: Meteorologist, OCWWS Fire and Public Weather Services Branch
Series and Grade: GS-1340-14

Complete office address:    NOAA/NWS Headquarters
                            Office of Climate Water and Weather Services
                            1325 East West Highway
                            Silver Spring, MD 20910




                                           217
Name of Nominee: Herbert White
 Salutation: Mr.
 Pronunciation: White
 Title: Meteorologist
 Series and Grade: GS-1340-14

 Complete office address:    NOAA/NWS Headquarters
                             Office of Climate Water and Weather Services
                             1325 East West Highway
                             Silver Spring, MD 20910

 Name of Nominee: Shannon White
 Salutation: Ms.
 Pronunciation: White
 Title: Meteorologist, W/OS6
 Series and Grade: GS-1340-13

 Complete office address:    NOAA/NWS Headquarters
                             Office of Climate Water and Weather Services
                             7777 Walnut Grove Road
                             Memphis, Tennessee 38120

5. Other National Weather Service Awards:

Davis – Regional Cline, Hydrometeorology, October 2005
Davis – Local Cline, Hydrometeorology, September 2005
Davis – Local Cline, Support Services, July 2004
Mathewson - Bronze Medal October 2003
Browning –Bronze Medals 1998 and 1999; NOAA Unit Citations 1998 and 1996 – Warning
service all.
Rood - Issac Cline Award (Office and Division Level) – Aviation verification software
development
Tew – Isaac Cline Award 1999 (Office Level)
Tew – Isaac Cline Award 2000 (Office Level)
S. White – Bronze Medal 1999
S. White – Bronze Medal 1998
H. White – NA

6. Current Performance Rating: Pass for all

7. Nominator=s Name, Title, complete office address, and phone number:
   Greg Mandt, Director
   NWS Office of Science and Technology
   1325 East West Highway, W/OST
   Silver Spring, MD 20910
   Telephone: (301) 713-1746



                                              218
What is the significance of this accomplishment?     200 character max (200)

The team developed and deployed usable capability for NWS meteorologists to quickly, accurately
and efficiently issue hazardous weather products encoded with VTEC to enhance their use by
customers.

I. Certificate Text: 150 character max (140)
For developing and deploying a new software warning tool which codifies and permits automated
delivery of NWS warning products to our users.

II. Program Text: 600 character max (562)
The GHG team successfully developed and deployed a new software warning tool which codifies
and permits automated delivery of NWS warning products to our users. The new warning tool
provides WFO meteorologists with high quality warning preparation software that is fully
integrated into the NWS AWIPS gridded forecast suite and automatically incorporates VTEC
coding in the product development process. This resulted in increased forecaster time efficiency,
improved product accuracy and much appreciation from NWS operational forecasters and industry
partners.

III. Justification:

Section 1 - Definitions:

88D                    The WSR-88D is the Doppler Radar system installed at NWS offices
                       between the late 1980s and middle 1990s. This system greatly enhanced
                       the ability of forecasters to determine which storms were or would become
                       severe.
AWIPS                  Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System. This is the operational
                       display system at NWS Forecast Offices that integrates satellite, radar,
                       model and observational data into the same display system.
COE                    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
DHS                    Department of Homeland Security
DNR                    Department of Natural Resources (includes state agencies)
GFE                    Graphical Forecast Editor. AWIPS software application used to create the
                       national digital database of all weather elements through seven days.
GHG                    Graphical Hazard Generator. The software tool built into GFE that creates
                       hazardous weather products through the graphical interface.
GPRA                   Government Performance and Results Act
Gridded Forecast Suite The set of gridded forecast elements through which the forecaster creates
                       both the forecast products and their portion of the National Digital
                       Forecast Database.
NWS                    National Weather Service
OT&E                   Operational Test and Evaluation. This is the process through which new
                       software loads are tested in the operational environment to identify and
                       correct existing software errors and ensure operational viability.
TWC                    The Weather Channel
USFS                   U.S. Forest Service
USGS                   U.S. Geological Survey

                                              219
VTEC                    Valid Time Event Code. This is the new coding for hazardous weather
                        events that enables weather providers and vendors to automate and tailor
                        the product stream they receive and disseminate.
WFO                     NWS Weather Forecast Office

Section 2 - Award Justification: 2000 character max         (1966)

$      What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department=s mission/or
       Strategic Plan?

An improved software warning tool supports the Department‘s Strategic Plan in the Weather and
Water Mission Strategies to ―employ scientific and emerging technological capabilities to advance
decision-support services and educate stakeholders.‖

$      What was the context in which the nominees addressed the goal, challenge, or
       problem?

The nominees deployed an innovative VTEC warning tool solution, GHG, which completely
replaces and improves upon the previous warning tool. The solution was national in scope, (i.e.,
worked for all hazardous weather requirements in all regions).

$      What specific actions did the nominees take to address the goal, challenge or
       problem?

This team developed the proof-of-concept GHG code, determined the viability of using GHG as a
solution which incorporated VTEC into the products, made the business case supporting the shift
in the AWIPS architecture to use GHG, and led development, testing, and integration of this
capability into the AWIPS/GFE national software baseline. Throughout the effort, team members
maintained contact with industry partners on usability and ensured the end product met acceptable
quality standards through workforce training and intensive product evaluation.

$      What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

Quantitative results from OT&E show that GHG-produced products had 90% fewer composition
errors (from the previous software) and also reduced composition time by over 75%.

Qualitative results may be best stated by comments from an external user and NWS forecaster:

First Alert – "The successful implementation of VTEC has allowed us at First Alert to significantly
improve the quality of the Watches/Warnings/Advisories we decode automatically and deliver
directly to the public. Further, I believe that active dialog among the NWS, partners and
customers during the development and testing of VTEC contributed to the success and public
acceptance of the project."

Forecaster – “GHG has revolutionized the way the NWS issues long-term hydrologic and severe
weather watches and warnings. This may be the single most important field development effort in
support of critical weather services since the 88D and AWIPS itself”.


                                               220
Section 3 - Additional Information: 2000 character max             (1998)

$      How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the
       accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed?

Implementation of VTEC began in early 2002; however the previous warning tool could not
support it. In parallel, an innovative prototype was developed using the new digital forecast
tools in early 2004 and resulted in GHG. GHG was implemented operationally in November
2005.

$      What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau
       and/or Department=s mission?

The accomplishment enabled the incorporation of VTEC into hazardous weather products in a
way that ensured a high degree of accuracy and timeliness of issuance. This has increased
customer satisfaction with the products and enabled greater reliance on them. Internally,
forecaster frustration diminished, and morale improved greatly.

WeatherBug – ―We appreciate your hard work on this, we are looking forward to using VTEC.”

$      What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau
       and/or Department=s mission?

VTEC in long duration warnings enable officials to better verify the accuracy of GPRA
performance measures. Also, other AWIPS applications can now be improved to make use of the
VTEC coding. NWS is considering whether other messages (e.g., Non-Weather Emergency
Messages issued by DHS through NWS infrastructure) should have VTEC coding.

$      Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal
       agencies? If so, how?

There are impacts on other agencies that currently use NWS hazardous weather products,
including the COE, USGS, DNR, USFS, and DHS. With more reliable and accurate NWS
hazardous weather products, automated interpretation of VTEC coding is much more reliable for
any NWS hazardous weather issuance.

$      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
       automation? If so, how?

NWS took a major step forward in use of technology to automate portions of the hazardous
weather issuance process. It improved coding reliability, event tracking, and ensured appropriate
message interpretation.
$      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such
       as customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

VTEC improved the accuracy of event actions and the appropriateness of VTEC coding in
products. This is a great asset for users who dispensed with parsing text and now automate
receipt product dissemination with confidence.

AccuWeather – ―VTEC is a very useful thing. One line of code tells you the most you need to
know. In the past, you had to parse out the headlines. VTEC provides a standardized location
and a much better way of doing things.‖

                                    Daniel Cobb Group
                                 Silver Medal Nomination
                            Personal and Professional Excellence
                                           NWS
                                      Nomination # 61

1. Type of Award: Silver

2. Nomination Type: Group

3. Nomination Category: Personal & Professional Excellence

4.   Name of Nominee: Daniel K. Cobb, Jr.
     Salutation: Mr.
      Pronunciation: Cobb
     Title: Meteorologist -- Team Leader
     Series and Grade: GS-1430-13
     810 MAIN ST
     CARIBOU         ME 04736
     LO: NWS


     Name of Nominee: Arden Berge
     Salutation: Mr.
     Pronunciation: ARE-din BURR-gah
     Title: Meteorologist --Contributor
     Series and Grade: GS-1430-13
     CWSU Minneapolis, MN
     512 DIVISION ST
     FARMINGTON MN 55024-1299
     LO: NWS




                                              222
Name of Nominee: Douglas Boyette
Salutation: Mr.
Pronunciation: boy-ETT
Title: Meteorologist -- Contributor
Series and Grade: GS-1430-13
CWSU Memphis, TN
ARTCC 3229 DEMOCRAT ROAD
MEMPHIS         TN 38118
LO: NWS

Name of Nominee: Barry Neilson
Salutation: Mr.
Pronunciation: KNEEL-sen
Title: Meteorologist -- Contributor
Series and Grade: GS-1430-13
CWSU Salt Lake City
2242 W NORTH TEMPLE
SALT LAKE CITYUT 84116-2919
LO: NWS

Name of Nominee: Warren W. Rodie
Salutation: Mr.
Pronunciation: ROAD-dee
Title: Meteorologist -- Contributor
Series and Grade: GS-1430-13
CWSU Longmont, CO
2211 W 17TH AVE
LONGMONT          CO 80501-9763
LO: NWS

Name of Nominee: Kathleen Schlachter
Salutation: Ms.
Pronunciation: SHLAHK-ter
Title: Meteorologist -- Contributor
Series and Grade: GS-1430-13
Aviation Services Branch, Silver Spring, MD
1325 EAST WEST HWY
SILVER SPRING MD 20910-3283
LO: NWS

Name of Nominee: Christopher Strager
Salutation: Mr.
Pronunciation: STRAY-ger
Title: Meteorologist -- Contributor
Series and Grade: GS-1430-13
CWSU Atlanta, GA
Name of Nominee: Jeffrey Tongue
                                       223
    Salutation: Mr.
    Pronunciation: TUNG
    Title: Meteorologist -- Contributor
    Series and Grade: GS-1430-13
    175 BROOKHAVEN AVE
    UPTON         NY 11973-0002
    LO: NWS

    Name of Nominee: Charles A. West
    Salutation: Dr.
    Pronunciation: WEST
    Title: Meteorologist -- Contributor
    Series and Grade: GS-1430-13
    CWSU Atlanta, GA
    299 WOOLSEY RD
    HAMPTON         GA 30228-2106
    LO: NWS

5. Other National Weather Service Awards:

       o      Christopher Strager -- National Cline Award in 1999 for a tornado outbreak
              in Pittsburgh, and also in 1998 received a group DOC Silver Medal as part of
              the WFO Grand Forks response to the Red River Valley flooding the winter
              of 1997-1998.
       o      Cobb – None
       o      Berge – None
       o      Boyette – None
       o      Neilson –None
       o      Rodie – None
       o      Schlacter – None
       o      Tongue – Organizational Gold Medal in 2002
       o      West -- None

6. Current Performance Rating: Meets or Exceeds for all

7. Nominator‘s Name, Title, complete office address, and phone number:
      John A. May, Director
      NWS Aviation Weather Center
      7220 NW 101st Terrace
      Kansas City, MO 64153
      816.584.7201
      Leader, Air Traffic Weather Support Team




                                             224
What is the significance of this accomplishment?

There was no organization-wide, up-to-date training tool for new or veteran NWS meteorologists
whose responsibility is to advise air traffic managers at the nation‘s twenty-one FAA Air Route
Traffic Control Centers. The effort to fill this need resulted in a training package that not only
fulfilled its original purpose, but has been identified as an excellent training resource for non-
meteorologists outside the federal government.

I. Certificate Text:

For developing ―The Impact of Weather on Air Traffic Management‖ training module.

II. Program Text:

There was a need to provide training to new and veteran NOAA meteorologists stationed at the
FAA‘s twenty-one Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCCs) with up-to-date concepts on
how weather affects the efficient and safe flow of the nation‘s air traffic. There was no quality
training material for this purpose. The team led the multi-agency effort to fill this need by
delivering a web-based training module named ―The Impact of Weather on Air Traffic
Management‖. The high quality result was delivered within seven months. NOAA Assistant
Administrator for Weather D.L. Johnson required all NWS forecasters to take the module. As of
January 17, 2006, almost all forecasters in the Eastern, Central, Western, and Alaska Regions
and in the Aviation Weather Center have completed the course. The training module has also
been identified outside the federal government as an excellent training resource for non-
meteorologists.

III. Justification:

Section 1 - Definitions:

a.      FAA – Federal Aviation Administration

b.      AIR ROUTE TRAFFIC CONTROL CENTER (ARTCC) – An FAA facility established
        to provide air traffic control service to aircraft operating within controlled airspace,
        principally during the en route phase of flight.

c.      COMET – Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education, and Training.

        In 1989 the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and the National
        Weather Service (NWS) established the Cooperative Program for Operational
        Meteorology, Education and Training (COMET®) to promote a better understanding of
        mesoscale meteorology and to maximize the benefits of new weather technologies. Today
        the COMET Program addresses education and training needs in the atmospheric and
        related sciences through three main activities:
d.      WFO – Weather Forecast Office
e.      SOO – Science and Operations Officer
f.      NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
                                                225
Section 2 - Award Justification: (Maximum number of characters for all four questions in this
section cannot exceed 2000, including spaces.)

   What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department‘s mission/or
    Strategic Plan?

A major DOC Goal is to support the Nation’s Commerce with Information for Safe, Efficient,
and Environmentally Sound Transportation. A major NOAA activity within this goal is the
support of the nation‘s air traffic with products and advice to FAA facilities whose responsibility
is to manage air traffic. There was no quality training material to train new and veteran NOAA
meteorologists stationed at the twenty-one Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCCs) on
how weather affects the efficient flow of the nation‘s air traffic to more effectively advise the
nation‘s air traffic managers. The training material would also be useful to sensitize NWS
forecasters at WFOs who prepare forecasts for airport terminals across the nation, especially
forecasts at the major hubs.

   What was the context in which the nominees addressed the goal, challenge, or problem?

The sponsor directed the team to produce an effective training module which will help aviation
meteorologists understand how weather affects the safety and efficiency of the nation‘s air
traffic, and a timeline expressed in terms of months, the team quickly gathered the talents of
production experts and subject matter experts and delivered a high quality interactive web-based
training package which exceeded most expectations.

   What specific actions did the nominees take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

The team tapped the production and education resources of COMET, air traffic management
experts within the FAA, and aviation weather service expertise within the National Weather
Service. Together they developed a first class training package which more than met
expectations.

   What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

The result of this effort is the first organization-wide training package for NWS aviation
meteorologists which explains the effect of weather on the nation‘s air traffic system. Most
NWS forecasters have completed the course.




                                                226
Section 3 - Additional Information: (Maximum number of characters for all six questions in this
section cannot exceed 2000.)

   How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
    completed/implemented/deployed?

The development team was notified of the team charter on November 10, 2004. Training
package was delivered June 2, 2005.

   What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
    Department‘s mission?

With the deployment of this training package all NWS meteorologists serving at Air Route
Traffic Control Centers and forecasters who site specific forecasts at the nation‘s busiest hubs,
will have completed this course by June 30, 2006. The desired sensitivity to the challenges faced
by the nation‘s air traffic managers will mean better products and advice from NWS
meteorologists.

   What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
    Department‘s mission?

As a result of higher sensitivity to the challenges faced by the nation‘s air traffic managers and
higher quality services, new products designed to better help air traffic managers to make
decisions will be delivered.

   Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If so,
    how?

This accomplishment directly affects the performance of FAA air traffic management by
providing all NWS aviation forecasters with a better understanding of how weather affects FAA
operations. The result is that timely, high quality products and advice will be delivered to air
traffic managers and the nation‘s air traffic will move more efficiently. Indirectly, airlines and
airline passengers will benefit from improved weather information to air traffic managers.

One airline representative who discovered the online course told the NWS that the
animated operational scenarios were some of the best explanations of air traffic concepts he
had ever seen, and will be using these animations in training. ―That flash scenario is
fantastic. Our dispatchers could get a much better understanding on how weather impacts
arrival approaches by viewing this flash program. Any ideas where I could get a copy of
this program? Thanks again for all your help. -- Gary Dockan, US Air




                                                227
    Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
     automation? If so, how?

All persons interested in aviation throughout the world can access this training from the
COMET web page. On January 17, 2006, 1,995 people had registered for the course, 1,825
had completed it. In the words of one member of the COMET staff, ―Very Impressive‖.

    Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
     customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

Yes. The resulting course introduced valuable techniques for students to visualize air traffic
management problems such as typical airport arrival processes. The value of this technique has
been identified by organizations outside NOAA and the FAA.

US Airways, when they discovered the course on the web, told us ―That flash scenario is
fantastic. Our dispatchers could get a much better understanding on how weather impacts arrival
approaches by viewing this flash program. Any ideas where I could get a copy of this program?

The U.S. Navy told COMET: ―Just want to say thank you for putting together this excellent
module. Keep them coming. Well done, thank you.‖

                                     WFO Melbourne, FL
                                   Silver Medal Nomination
                                       Customer Service
                                            NWS
                                        Nomination # 62

1. Type of Award: Silver

2. Nomination Type: Organizational

3. Nomination Category: Customer Service

4. Name of Nominee: NWS Weather Forecast Office Melbourne, Florida


    Complete office address: WFO Melbourne
                             421 Croton Rd.
                              Melbourne, FL 32935

    Accepting the Award:      Bart Hagemeyer      Pronunciation: HAY-ga-my-er
                               Meteorologist In Charge




                                               228
5. Other National Weather Service Awards:
       Gold Medal December 1998
                                                    Bronze Medal November 2001
       Gold Medal December 2005

6. Current Performance Rating: n/a.

7. Nominator=s Name, Title, complete office address, and phone number:
X. William Proenza, Director
NWS Southern Region
819 Taylor Street, Room 10A03
Fort Worth, TX 76102
817-978-1000


What is the significance of this accomplishment?

WFO Melbourne provided exceptional service to their customers and to other NWS Forecast
Offices during 2005 Hurricanes Katrina, Ophelia, Rita, and Wilma, reducing loss of life.

I. Certificate Text:

For providing innovative, life-saving customer service to Central Florida and other NWS offices
during the record-breaking 2005 hurricane season.

II. Program Text:

WFO Melbourne is recognized for providing life-saving weather warnings and customer service
to East Central Florida for Hurricanes Ophelia and Wilma, and for providing critical support to
other NWS WFOs during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Wilma‘s direct hit on Melbourne‘s
forecast area produced hurricane force winds, devastating tornadoes and flooding. Melbourne‘s
interactions with the media and EMs and accurate warnings saved lives. Also, their forecasters
were deployed to WFOs Slidell and Miami to support operations for the landfalls of Katrina and
Rita.

III. Justification:

Section 1 - Definitions:

EM(s)– Emergency Managers(s)
NWS – National Weather Service
WFO(s) – Weather Forecast Office(s)




                                              229
Section 2 - Award Justification: (Maximum number of characters for all four questions in this
section cannot exceed 1900, including spaces.)

$      What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department=s
       mission/or Strategic Plan?

Melbourne‘s actions fulfilled the Department‘s goal to serve society‘s need for weather and
water information; specifically, to improve forecasts and warnings to reduce uncertainty,
increase economic benefits, and promote appropriate responses to hazardous weather.

$      What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge, or
       problem?

Because of unprecedented hurricane activity, Melbourne operated at a heightened state of
readiness almost continuously from June through early November 2005. They served society‘s
need for hazardous weather information with absolute dedication to duty. And, when their own
area was not seriously threatened, they sent forecasters to help other NWS offices.


$      What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or
       problem?

WFO Melbourne provided hundreds of briefings for EMs, the public, and the media for Katrina,
Ophelia, and Wilma. Their statements and warnings were unusually effective, especially tornado
warnings for Wilma with lead times of as much as 40 minutes. Coordination during Ophelia was
particularly challenging as it remained stationary just offshore Melbourne for two days.
Melbourne issued 41 innovative graphical packages highlighting the potential impacts for all the
hurricanes that were of great benefit to decision-makers. When it became clear their area was
going to be spared, Melbourne sent staff to assist WFOs Slidell and Miami during the passage of
Katrina and Rita. Melbourne proactively coordinated with Gulf Coast WFOs to share the latest
radar strategies, extreme wind warning procedures, and lessons learned from Katrina prior to the
landfall of Rita.


What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

The best measure of WFO Melbourne‘s actions is that there were no fatalities in their area of
over three million people from Wilma‘s devastating flooding and tornadoes. Tornado warnings
with up to 40 minute lead times greatly exceeded Department goals. Melbourne‘s support of
other WFOs during Katrina and Rita resulted in improved radar operations and effective extreme
wind warnings, reducing loss of life.




                                              230
Section 3 - Additional Information: (Maximum number of characters for all six questions in
this section cannot exceed 1900.)

$      How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the
       accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed?

Melbourne provided vital services during Hurricanes Katrina, Ophelia, Rita, and Wilma virtually
non-stop from 23 August to 24 October 2005

$      What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau
       and/or Department=s mission?

Due to Melbourne‘s leadership, interim procedures, e.g. use of inland hurricane warnings, were
put in place prior to the 2005 Hurricane season, and use of Doppler radar for improved warnings
for destructive hurricane winds.

$      What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau
       and/or Department=s mission?

The accomplishments of Melbourne during the record 2004 and 2005 seasons provided a proof
of concept of a new paradigm of WFO operations that will lead to great improvements in
hurricane services in the next 5 years. Melbourne staff continues to provide their experience and
leadership to improvements in extreme hurricane wind warnings, developing probabilistic digital
hurricane products, and improving hurricane impact graphics.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If
so, how?

NWS forecast offices successfully adopted Melbourne‘s concepts for extreme hurricane wind
warnings and local graphical impact products during the record 2005 season. Melbourne‘s
advocacy of these issues at national forums such as the Inter-Departmental and NOAA Hurricane
Conferences will hasten their implementation nationally.


$      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
       automation? If so, how?

Melbourne sent a radar/tropical specialist to WFO Slidell to provide support for the landfall of
Katrina and proactively coordinated with Gulf Coast WFOs on new radar operation strategies
and concepts of issuing warnings for extreme landfalling hurricane winds prior to the landfall of
Rita. These efforts were successfully implemented for Katrina and Rita improving service and
follow-on development by Melbourne continues to accelerate improvements in WFO hurricane
operations.




                                               231
$      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such
       as customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

Melbourne proved the concept that local impact graphics can greatly enhance society‘s response.
Graphical impact packages (41) were produced for all three hurricanes and user feedback was
enthusiastic. Melbourne‘s results will hasten implementation of these concepts nationally.

                               OAR NOMINATIONS
                                     Richard Feely Group
                                  Gold Medal Nomination
                             Scientific/Engineering Achievement
                                             OAR
                                        Nomination # 63


                           The NOAA Ocean Carbon Team
                                          For
  Scientific Achievement Associated with the Determination of the Global Inventory of
Anthropogenic CO2 in the Oceans and the Identification of its Present and Future Impacts
                    on Marine Ecosystems due to Ocean Acidification

Individuals in the Nominated Group:

Richard A. Feely             OAR/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
Christopher L. Sabine        OAR/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
Rik Wanninkhof               OAR/Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
Tsung-Hung Peng              OAR/Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
Dana Greeley                 OAR/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
Marilyn Roberts (retired)    OAR/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
Catherine Cosca              OAR/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory
Esa Peltola                  OAR/Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
Robert Castle                OAR/Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
Bette Huss                   OAR/Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory

Grades, Titles, and Awards of the Nominees:

Richard A. Feely, Supervisory Oceanographer, GS-1360-15; Outstanding Scientific Paper of the
Year Award, 2003; Special Act Awards in 12/2005, 12/2004, 8,2004, 12/2003, 12/2002;
Administrator Award (with R. Wanninkhof) 2002
Christopher L. Sabine, Oceanographer, GS-1360-15; Outstanding Scientific Paper of the Year
Award, 2003; Special Act Awards in 12/2005, 12/2004, 8/2004, 12/2003
Rik Wanninkhof, Oceanographer, ZP-1360-V; Outstanding Scientific Paper of the Year Award
2000, 2001,2002; Administrator Award (with R. Feely) 2002
Tsung-Hung Peng, Oceanographer, ZP-1360-V; Outstanding Scientific Paper of the Year
Award 2000
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Dana Greeley, Physical Scientist, GS-1301-12; Special Act Awards in 12/2005, 12/2004,
12/2003; QSI in 12/2002
Marilyn Roberts (retired), Physical Science Technician, GS-1311-12; Special Act Award in
12/2003; QSI in 12/2004 and12/2002
Catherine Cosca, Physical Scientist, GS-1301-12; Special Act Award in 12/2005
Esa Peltola, Oceanographer, ZP-1360-III
Robert Castle, IT Specialist (Management), ZP-2210-III
Betty Huss, IT Specialist (Management), ZP-2210-III

Nominated by: Eddie N. Bernard, Director, PMEL and Robert Atlas, Director, AOML

What is the significance of this accomplishment?
The synthesis of a 10-year ocean measurement program has quantified the amount of
anthropogenic CO2 stored in the ocean and established the potential impacts on marine
ecosystems, such as coral reefs.

Certificate Citation: For pioneering research leading to the discovery of increased acidification
in the world's oceans due to the absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Program Booklet Text: For painstaking observations and groundbreaking research over the
past fifteen years that show that the uptake and storage of anthropogenic CO2 by the ocean
comes at a cost – the pH of the ocean is dropping. Ocean acidification, as the phenomenon is
called, occurs because the carbon dioxide reacts with the water to form a weak acid. Because
ocean calcifying organisms have been shown to be extremely sensitive to pH levels, ocean
acidification has major impacts on corals and other marine life, which could have significant
impacts on fisheries, tourism, and other ocean-related economies.

Section 1 - Definitions

Anthropogenic CO2 - As a result of fossil-fuel burning and human perturbations to terrestrial
ecosystems between 1800 and 1994, the oceans have absorbed 430 billion tons of carbon dioxide
from the atmosphere, or nearly half of the fossil fuel emissions over this period. As a component
of the U.S. Climate Change Research Program, the NOAA research team, together with their
international collaborators, were the first to quantify this ocean inventory using direct
measurements of ocean carbon concentrations and show that the ocean has been the only
consistent sink for human induced CO2 emissions released to the atmosphere. This absorption
has benefited humankind by reducing the greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere by over 40
parts per million (ppm) out of a total of 90 ppm increase since the start of the industrial
revolution. This has mitigated the global warming impact on the planet. However, the absorption
of 20 million tons of carbon dioxide per day is having an impact on the chemical balance of the
ocean.

Ocean Acidification - Observations by the team over the past two decades reveal that the
absorption of carbon dioxide is lowering seawater pH to levels that have not been seen for at
least half a million years. On the pH scale, 7.0 is neutral, with points higher on the scale being
―basic‖ and points lower being ―acidic.‖ The ocean has a pH of about 8 and the ocean flora and

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fauna thrive under these mildly basic conditions. Research by the NOAA team has shown that
the pH of ocean surface waters has already decreased by about 0.1 units from 8.16 to 8.05 since
the beginning of the industrial revolution and could drop by another 0.3 units by the end of this
century. The chemistry of the CO2 reaction with water is well understood and is not in question.
The novel work of the team has been in breaking the paradigm that the ocean is so large that
humans could not have a significant impact at a global level. These researchers have documented
the changes and taken the next step of demonstrating the potential consequences for ocean
ecosystems and society.

Ecological Consequences of Ocean Acidification - Many marine organisms that produce
calcium carbonate shells have shown deterioration due to increasing carbon dioxide levels in
seawater and the resulting decline in pH. Increasing ocean acidification has been shown to
significantly reduce the ability of reef-building corals to produce their skeletons, making the reef
more vulnerable to decay. This will affect the geographic range of corals and the organisms that
depend on the reef habitat. In addition, many marine algae and free-floating plants and animals
that have calcium carbonate protective shells are also impacted by ocean acidification. These
organisms are important food sources for higher order marine species, including some key fish
species. One type of animal called a pteropod is eaten by organisms ranging in size from tiny
krill to whales. In particular, pteropods are a major food source for North Pacific salmon, and
are also eaten by mackerel, herring, and cod. The weakened shells and skeletons will
compromise the health and success of these organisms and will allow competing species to take
over. This will likely cause a decrease in the biodiversity of our oceans, though more research is
needed to identify large-scale ecosystem impacts. Other species, such as snails, sea urchins,
starfish, and lobster also construct their shells or skeletons in the same way and could be affected
as well. Higher marine life forms, including even some fish, may be affected by declining pH
through a process called acidosis, or carbonic acid buildup in body fluids. This leads to lowered
immune response, metabolic decline as well as reproductive and respiratory difficulties.

Economic Consequences of Ocean Acidification - Healthy coral reefs and biodiversity are the
foundation to many viable fisheries as well as the source of jobs and businesses through tourism
and recreation. According to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, approximately half of all
managed fisheries depend on coral reefs and related habitats for a portion of their life cycles.
The National Marine Fisheries Service estimates the value of coral reefs to U.S. fisheries is over
$100 billion. Local economies also receive billions of dollars from reef tourism. In the Florida
Keys, for example, coral reefs attract more than $1.2 billion in tourism annually. In Hawaii,
reef-related tourism and fishing generate $360 million per year. Worldwide, coral reefs sustain a
local tourism economy that makes up 10 percent of all jobs. Plus, coral reefs provide vital
protection to coastal areas that are vulnerable to storm surges and tsunamis.

NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

PMEL - Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory

AOML – Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory

NSF – National Science Foundation

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USGS – United States Geological Survey

DOE – Department of Energy

WOCE – World Ocean Circulation Experiment

JGOFS – Joint Global Ocean Flux Study

OACES – Ocean-Atmosphere Carbon Exchange Study

IOOS – Integrated Ocean Observing System


Section 2 - Award Justification

   What was the specific goal, challenge, or problem related to the Department‘s mission and/or strategic plan?

NOAA is responsible for assessing and predicting human-induced changes to coastal and open-
ocean ecosystems and providing information about the future impacts. The recent quantification
of ocean acidification and its effect on ocean biota represents a major new environmental impact
to overall health of marine ecosystems. Since the protection and management of marine
ecosystems are the foundation for viable fisheries, NOAA must address the long-term
consequences of this acidification.

What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge, or problem?

The NOAA team, working with their partners, determined the distribution of anthropogenic CO2
in the global oceans, identified the changes in pH in the upper ocean, and assessed the present
and future impacts of CO2 on marine ecosystems.


What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge, or problem?

After identifying the global significance of the ocean acidification problem in a series of papers
in 2002, the team developed a collaborative effort with ocean modelers and ecosystem biologists
to assess the impacts of ocean acidification through the end of this century. The result was two
research papers in Science and one in Nature that clearly established the fact that ocean
acidification will impact ocean ecosystems if we continue to release vast amounts of CO2 into
the atmosphere. Through adaptation of the ocean carbon observing system that is currently
being built by NOAA as part of IOOS, the rate of acidification and impacts on coral reefs and
ecosystems will be carefully monitored.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or quantitative terms?

After the two Science articles, whose lead authors were team members, were published in 2004,
the international community sponsored an independent assessment of the environmental impacts
of ocean acidification, culminating in The Royal Society report, ―Ocean Acidification due to
                                                      235
Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide.‖ Within the United States, a joint NOAA-NSF-USGS workshop
on this topic was held in St Petersburg, FL in April 2004. The workshop report, ―Impacts of
Increasing Ocean Acidification on Coral Reefs and Other Marine Calcifiers,‖ will be released in
early 2006.

Section 3 – Additional Information

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

The NOAA team began the assessment of the anthropogenic CO2 inventory in the oceans as a
Joint NOAA-NSF-DOE activity in 1991 as part of the WOCE-JGOFS-OACES global CO2
survey. The survey was completed in 1998 and the data synthesis was completed in 2005.

What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

In the short term, sustained observations to accurately assess the impacts to coral reefs and other
marine ecosystems are being developed.

What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or Department‘s
mission?

In the long term, an accurate assessment of the impacts of ocean acidification is vital to
understanding and maintaining the health, stability and longevity of a wide variety of oceanic
marine ecosystems.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If so,
how?

Long-term monitoring of changes in the carbon cycle of the oceans is critical to the research
components of the National Science Foundation and the U. S. Geological Survey that conduct
basic research on the mechanistic processes that affect the distributions of the marine organisms
within a given ecosystem. These agencies do not have a mandate for sustained observations and
monitoring of the carbon cycle and thus rely critically on the long-term carbon, nutrient and
other physical measurements data provided by NOAA.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how?

Within NOAA, ecosystem and climate studies have only had limited interactions. One of the
most significant scientific advancements has been the development of a scientific direction that
cuts across the traditional boundaries between ecosystem and climate research. Since both
research communities typically use very different approaches and instrumentation, the fusion of
these groups will undoubtedly introduce new technology and opportunities for multidisciplinary
research that were not possible before.

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Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific research areas as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

The addition of climate relevant measurements to programs, such as fisheries, that typically
interact much more closely with the public will lead to the development of new approaches for
interacting with the NOAA stakeholders. The new models and observations will allow us to
forecast how future changes in CO2 emissions will impact the chemistry and biology of the
oceans.

  Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, Hurricane Research Division
                               Gold Medal Nomination
                          Scientific/Engineering Achievement
                                          OAR
                                    Nomination # 64

               Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (OAR)
Nominated by: Judith Gray, Deputy Director, AOML
What is the significance of this accomplishment? maximum of 200 characters (200 used)

AOML‘s scientists provided air and ground support to operational forecasts during Hurricane
Katrina while they and their families were recovering from the damage from Katrina‘s South
Florida landfall.

I. Certificate Text: maximum of 150 characters (145 used)

For innovation and commitment to the NOAA Hurricane Mission during Katrina‘s Louisiana
landfall while recovering from the South Florida landfall.

II. Program Booklet Text: maximum of 600 characters; not required for Bronze
nominations (597 used)

HRD scientists left their homes and families after a damaging Katrina landfall in South Florida
to obtain information to improve TPC forecasts as Katrina moved toward landfall in the Gulf.
Based on analyses by HRD, TPC was able to make more accurate assessments of intensity and
size as the storm changed dramatically prior to landfall. Technologies proven in Katrina resulted
in TPC revising its initial assessment of the storm, and are providing long-term improvements to
data for hurricane forecasts.

III. Justification:

Section 1 - Definitions

3-D – three dimensional

AFRES – U.S. Air Force Reserve


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AOML – Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, Office of Oceanic and
Atmospheric Research in Miami

EMC – Environmental Modeling Center, National Weather Service, National Centers for
Environmental Prediction

HWRF – Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting model

GPS – Global Positioning System

HRD – Hurricane Research Division of AOML

NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NOAA WP-3D – NOAA‘s hurricane hunter turbo-prop aircraft

NOAA GIV – NOAA‘s hurricane hunter jet aircraft

NSF – National Science Foundation

ONR – Office of Naval Research, U.S. Navy

SEFSC – Southeast Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service in Miami

SFMR – stepped frequency microwave radiometer

TPC – Tropical Prediction Center, National Weather Service, National Centers for
Environmental Prediction

USACE – U. S. Army Corps of Engineers

Section 2 - Award Justification (Maximum number of characters for all four questions in
this section cannot exceed 2000.) (1989 used)

  * What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission
and/or strategic plan?

Observe, protect and manage the Earth‘s resources to promote environmental stewardship

Advance understanding and predict changes in the earth‘s environment to meet America‘s
economic, social, and environmental needs

* What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

HRD scientists left their homes and families after the damaging Katrina landfall in South Florida
to obtain information to improve TPC forecasts as Katrina moved toward landfall in the Gulf.
HRD scientists
                                               238
  * What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

HRD participated in 4 WP-3D and 6 G-IV missions into Katrina providing: support to operations
through flight track planning, quality control of observations from G-IV GPS dropsondes for use
in operational models to improve track guidance, interpretation of surface wind estimates from
SFMR to help TPC determine storm intensity and radius of hurricane and gale-force winds, and
experimental 3-D airborne Doppler radar analyses of the horizontal and vertical structure of the
winds. These data were transmitted in real-time to TPC and EMC for use in preparing warnings
and initializing numerical models. HRD scientists also performed 30 surface wind analyses in
Katrina every 6 h, and up to every 3h during hurricane warnings from 24-29 August. These
experimental surface wind analyses assimilated data from all available sampling platforms and
were available to TPC in real-time.

  * What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

Based on analyses of research data by HRD, TPC was able to get more accurate assessments of
the intensity and the radius of hurricane and gale-force winds as the storm changed dramatically
prior to landfall, intensifying rapidly over the Gulf of Mexico and then weakening at landfall.
These estimates were used to refine the extent of extreme wind speeds, document hurricane force
winds over Lake Ponchartain, and the large region of hurricane force winds at landfall to the east
of the center that accompanied the extreme storm surge and waves. Technologies proven in
Katrina resulted in TPC revising its initial assessment of Katrina‘s strength, and are providing
long-term improvements to data for hurricane forecasts.

Section 3 - Additional Information (Maximum number of characters for all six questions in
this section cannot exceed 2000.) (2000 used)

  * How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

Katrina impacted South Florida on 8/25 and made landfall in Louisiana on 8/29. AOML closed
from 8/24-29. HRD scientists participated in operational missions from 25-29 August.

What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

Largely based on reanalysis of data supplied by HRD to TPC, Katrina‘s intensity at landfall in
Louisiana was changed from category 4 to 3. The analyses continue to be essential in the
government‘s assessment of reasons for the problems encountered.

  * What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

In Katrina, airborne Doppler radar was used for the first time to transmit real-time, quality-
controlled storm observations and analyses from NOAA‘s WP-3D aircraft to TPC. These data
and those from the SFMR are revolutionizing NOAA‘s ability to estimate intensity and structure
                                              239
(radii of hurricane and gale force winds) of hurricanes, significantly reducing our uncertainty of
surface winds, and will be essential to initializing and evaluating operational numerical models,
such as HWRF.

* Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If
so, how?

Improved observations and interpretation of SFMR and Doppler radar will provide more
accurate input to TPC and assist track and intensity forecasts. HRD is supporting NWS and
USACE in their post-storm assessments. These data will be essential to NOAA, NASA, ONR,
and NSF-sponsored hurricane intensity research.

  * Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how?

This was the first season that new operational SFMRs were used on both NOAA WP-3Ds to
transmit surface wind estimates to TPC. The many storms with strong winds enabled scientists to
evaluate and modify the operational algorithm to improve surface wind estimates. The capability
to deliver airborne Doppler data to TPC and EMC for use in initializing operational numerical
models is important to implementing the new operational hurricane forecast model (HWRF) and
is the basis for the G-IV airborne Doppler upgrade.

  * Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

The variety of technologies used was key in interpreting surface wind estimates when compared
to flight level wind estimates. They are cornerstones of the next generation hurricane
reconnaissance. The revised SFMR algorithm will be implemented in units being installed on
AFRES WC-130 aircraft. The airborne Doppler radar developments were essential to
procurement of an airborne Doppler radar for the G-IV.




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                                    Seth Gutman Group
                                 Gold Medal Nomination
                            Scientific/Engineering Achievement
                                            OAR
                                       Nomination # 65

Global Systems Division
Earth System Research Laboratory

GPS Meteorology Team

Individuals in Nominated Group:

Seth I. Gutman (Group Leader)
Susan R. Sahm
Kirk L. Holub
Stanley G. Benjamin

Seth I. Gutman:      Chief, GPS-Met Observing Systems Section, Demonstration Branch,
                            Global Systems Division, Earth System Research Laboratory
                     Physical Scientist (1301), ZP-IV; Step 3

    Awards

       FSL Web Award for Most Improved Site – December 2004
       Individual Cash Award for extraordinary technical/graphical support for the 1999 FSL
        Laboratory Review
       Recipient of the Vice Presidential Hammer Award to the Maritime Differential GPS
        Service Team and the Nationwide Differential GPS Team – March 1999
       Project Commendation for Outstanding Technical Contribution of the planning for
        NOAA North American Atmospheric Observing System – April 1995
       Project Commendation for Outstanding Systems Analysis in the preparation of the
        Upper-Air Observations Section of the FY96 NOAA Budget Initiative – June 1994
       GPS Program Outstanding Leadership Commendation – October 1993

Susan R. Sahm:       Information Technology Specialist (2210)-(Applications Software)
                            ZP-IV; Step 2

    Awards

       FY05 – Individual Cash Award for contribution to GPS-Met project by developing key
        analysis tools and Techniques
       FY-05 Individual Cash Award - Assistance with hiring personnel for GPS-Met project.
       FSL Web Award for Most Improved Site – December 2004
       U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal Award – For Design, Development and
        Implementation of the ACE Real Time Solar Wind System – 1999
                                             241
       Space Environment Center Director‘s Award - 1999
       Performance Award and Special Act Award - 1998
       Secretary of Commerce Award for Customer Service Excellence - 1994
       Exemplary Service on the Extraordinary Working Group (Tiger Team) - 1993
       Commendation for Outstanding Contributions in Support of RCAS - 1992
       NTIA Certificate of Recognition - 1982, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1990
       Outstanding Performance Rating - 1984, 1985, 1986, 1991, 1994
       Certificate of Appreciation for Assistance with Software Development for the High
        Frequency Radio Interoperability Tests for the Defense Communication Agency
        Counter-Drug Telecommunication Integration Office – 1991


Kirk L. Holub:       Physical Scientist (1301), ZP-IV; Step 1

    Awards

       FSL Web Award for Most Improved Site – December 2004
       FY99 – Recipient of the Vice Presidential Hammer Award to the Maritime Differential
        GPS Service Team and the Nationwide Differential GPS Team


Stanley G. Benjamin:         Chief, Assimilation and Modeling Branch, Global Systems
                                    Division, Earth System Research Laboratory
                             Supervisory Meteorologist (1340); ZP-V; Step 3
    Awards

       Best Graphics Award at AMS Severe Local Storms Conference - 1985
       US Department of Commerce Bronze Medal - 1998

Nominated by: Alexander E. MacDonald, Director
              Global Systems Division, Earth System Research Laboratory

What is the significance of this accomplishment? NOAA is now able to use GPS to
continuously monitor atmospheric water vapor at very low cost, improving weather forecasts,
climate monitoring and global satellite and radiosonde measurements.

Certificate Text:
For the development of GPS water vapor observing systems for use in NOAA weather
forecasting, global climate monitoring and research.

Program Booklet Text:
The NOAA/ESRL team advanced weather forecasting, climate monitoring and atmospheric
research by providing a new way to monitor water vapor in the atmosphere. The team is honored
for its development of GPS meteorology, a new low cost upper-air observing system that uses
the Global Positioning System (GPS) to continuously measure the total amount of water vapor in
the atmosphere. In addition, the team successfully demonstrated new applications for GPS
                                              242
meteorology that are essential to NOAA‘s Integrated Earth Observing System/Global Earth
Observing System of Systems (IEOS/GEOSS).

Section 1 – Definitions

CAPE        Convective Available Potential Energy. The amount of energy required to lift a
            parcel of air vertically through the atmosphere. A positive value of CAPE indicates
            instability and the possibility of thunderstorms.

Geodesist   A scientist who studies the size and shape of the Earth

GEOSS       Global Earth Observing System of Systems

GPS         Global Positioning System. A constellation of about 28 satellites that are used
            primarily for positioning, navigation, and time transfer anywhere on Earth.

GPS-Met     Global Positioning System Meteorology. Remote sensing of the atmosphere using
            the signals broadcast by the GPS satellites.

IEOS        Integrated Earth Observing System

IUOS        Integrated Upper-Air Observing System

NESDIS      NOAA‘s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service

NWS         NOAA‘s National Weather Service

NOS         NOAA‘s National Ocean Service

Remote Sensing The use of information acquired from aircraft, spacecraft, ships or ground-
          based platforms to gather information about the environment without actually
          touching it.

SPC         NOAA‘s Storm Prediction Center

Troposphere The lower region of the Earth‘s atmosphere that is characterized by decreasing
          temperature with increasing altitude.

USDOT       U.S. Department of Transportation

USCG        U.S. Coast Guard

WMO         World Meteorological Organization




                                              243
Section 2 – Award Justification

What was the specific goal, challenge, or problem related to the Department’s mission and/or
strategic plan?

Water vapor plays a critical role in weather and climate processes but is difficult to measure
under all weather conditions. For example, an important goal in modern weather prediction is
the improvement of short-term cloud and precipitation forecasts, but our ability to do so is
severely limited by the lack of timely and accurate water vapor data.

What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge, or problem?

NOAA Research had limited resources to investigate improved ways to monitor atmospheric
moisture. It did have the infrastructure of the NOAA Profiler Network, and the expertise of
NOAA scientists and engineers with similar interests in solving this critical problem. At about
the same time, other federal agencies (USDOT, USCG) were trying to establish differential GPS
services to promote transportation safety and improve land, sea and air positioning and
navigation accuracy and reliability. The NOAA/ESRL team recognized that the raw GPS data
collected at these non-NOAA sites could be processed and used for weather forecasting and
climate monitoring at little or no extra cost to anyone. The team approached these agencies with
the idea, and the agencies liked it so much that they included it as an additional justification in
their (ultimately successful) request to Congress for funding.

What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge, or problem?

The team used its understanding of how the atmosphere affects GPS radio signals, and how
geodesists at NOAA and several universities correct GPS measurements for atmospherically
induced effects, to create a practical and low cost way to monitor total column water vapor under
all weather conditions. The team worked with NOAA Joint Institutes to develop ways to process
these data in near real-time using low cost personal computers rather than high-end computer
workstations. Unique resources within NWS, NOS, and NESDIS were leveraged to implement,
test, and evaluate the technique. Methods to use these GPS observations in weather models had
to be developed and tested, and the results verified. This took more than seven years.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

A network of about 380 GPS water vapor sites was built over 11 years. Five out of six
observations in the network come from sites belonging to non-NOAA agencies or institutions.
Incorporation of these observations into NOAA operational weather models resulted in
significant improvements in 3-hour moisture forecasts, especially during severe weather.
Significant improvements in severe weather predictive indices such as convective available
potential energy (CAPE), and in the skill with which extreme precipitation events are predicted,
have been demonstrated. The use of these measurements in NOAA weather models is
considered critical by NOAA‘s Storm Prediction Center. NWS Weather forecast offices in all
regions use GPS-Met observations to verify model predictions and improve situational
awareness during rapidly changing conditions. With regard to climate studies, the team is now
producing a continuous record of water vapor variability at Mauna Loa Observatory to detect and
                                               244
study effects of global climate change on water vapor in the middle-upper troposphere. The
accuracy and frequency of GPS measurements is such that other observations and/or predictions
can be independently verified in a fraction of the time it takes using satellites or radiosondes.

Other applications of GPS-Met critical to IEOS/GEOSS have been identified, including:
verifying global radiosonde soundings that form the backbone of global weather and climate
observations; quantifying and reducing errors in satellite measurements, and providing accurate
and cost effective monitoring of these satellite observations. Finally, global weather models
incorporating GPS-Met observations will correct errors in satellite altimeters that detect tsunami
waves, measure the extent of earthquake deformation on land, and monitor the subsidence of the
Mississippi Delta.

Section 3 – Additional Information

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

A network of about 380 GPS water vapor sites was built over 11 years. It took more than seven
years to develop, test, and verify the impact that these observations have on weather forecast
accuracy. It took less than one year to describe and quantify the errors in GOES satellite water
vapor measurements that have led to substantial improvements in satellite remote sensing. It
took about two years to describe and quantify the errors in other satellite observations that will
be used to improve next-generation geostationary and polar orbiting satellite measurements.

The transition of GPS Meteorology into NOAA operations through the Weather and Water
Science, Technology and Infusion activity is underway.

What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

This activity provides for improved short-range (3-hour) weather forecasts over the continental
U.S. and critical data for NWS forecasters during severe weather conditions including land-
falling hurricanes. GPS-Met provides essential data for: Hydrometeorological Testbed studies
along the West Coast; air quality studies in Texas and adjacent states; ongoing GOES satellite
calibration and validation studies; calibration and validation of polar orbiting satellite data; and
quality control radiosonde measurements at about 30 upper-air sites.

What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

Long-term impacts will be: improved weather models; improved regional forecasts; improved
global radiosonde data and satellite measurements; more accurate and cost effective moisture
observations from the Integrated Upper-Air Observing System (IUOS); water vapor
measurements from buoys and ocean-going vessels; expansion of GPS-Met observations initially
over North America and eventually over the globe; and development of a global water vapor
climatology for the detection and monitoring of short and long-term climate change.

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Within NOAA, the accomplishments will affect: NOS programs through precise positioning,
improved height measurements, water level monitoring; NWS Headquarters programs and all
Weather Service Regions through improved weather and space weather forecasts; NESDIS
programs involving satellite calibration and validation and the NOAA National Data Centers;
OAR Research Laboratories and Office of Global Programs through improved global monitoring
and model verification.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If so,
how?

Other federal agencies benefiting from this accomplishment include: U.S. Coast Guard for
improved maritime positioning and navigation; U.S. DOT for improved High Accuracy
Nationwide Differential GSP Service impacting Intelligent Transportation Systems, improved
surface and aviation weather forecasts, and high accuracy GPS positioning and navigation; DOD
through improved weather forecasts, satellite calibration and validation, numerical weather
modeling, and improved positioning and navigation; and NASA through the correction of
various satellite sensors and platforms.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how?

GPS-Met represents a major advancement in science and technology because it provides for the
first time continuous independent all-weather measurements of a critical atmospheric parameter
that do not require external calibration. The attribute that makes this possible is that GPS uses
highly accurate atomic clocks that are constantly improving. The introduction of a totally
independent measurement makes it possible to evaluate the characteristics of different
observations and models for the first time. For example, radiosonde data are routinely ingested
into atmospheric models that are used as the ―first guess‖ in a satellite measurement. These
measurements are then ingested into weather models as an independent measurement. The
difference between the model-derived estimate of a parameter and an observation of this
parameter is then used to evaluate the accuracy of the observation. GPS provides us with a
practical way to ―break this cycle‖ with high reliability and at very low cost.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

Non-scientific benefits come from improved public satisfaction with NOAA services, and in the
support of international programs including WMO. For example, NOAA/ESRL data is available
around the world and has served as a means for other nations to test and evaluate GPS
meteorology for themselves without having to develop an independent observing system network
or data processing system. Most recently, Environment Canada used results from
NOAA/ESRL‘s system to justify the development of a GPS-Met system in Canada.




                                               246
                                    Morris Bender Group
                                  Gold Medal Nomination
                             Scientific/Engineering Achievement
                                             OAR
                                        Nomination # 66

2005 Hurricane Season Forecasts

Individuals in the Nominated Group

Morris Bender, Meteorologist, ZP-1340-4
OAR/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory
2005 NOAA Bronze Medal
2004 OAR Employee of the Year

Timothy Marchok, Meteorologist, ZP-1340-3
OAR/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory
2005 NOAA Bronze Medal

Naomi Surgi, GS-14 Series ####
NWS/NCEP/Environmental Modeling Center
2005 NOAA Administrator’s Award for establishing the Joint Hurricane Test Bed

David Michaud, GS-14 Series 2210
NWS/NCEP/Central Operations
2005 DOC Silver Medal
2004 Isaac Cline Award for Leadership
2000 DOC Bronze Medal

Nominated by: Ants Leetmaa, Director Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL)

Certificate Text: For timely improvements to the GFDL hurricane model that led to
outstanding track and intensity forecasts for Katrina and Rita.

Program Booklet Text: This NOAA team developed critical improvements to the GFDL
Hurricane Prediction System and implemented them into the operational hurricane forecasts.
This led to more accurate hurricane track and intensity forecasts. In addition, this team greatly
expanded the suite of model guidance available to forecasters. These improvements were crucial
in producing outstanding operational forecasts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, two of the most
memorable storms to hit the U.S. Advanced warning of these devastating catastrophes was vital
to mitigating the loss of life and property.

Section 1: Definitions

DOD - Department of Defense – Navy
FEMA – Federal Emergency Management Agency
EMC – Environmental Modeling Center
                                      247
GFDL – Geophysical Fluid Dynamics laboratory
NCEP – National Centers for Environmental Prediction
NCO – NCEP Central Operations
NHC – National Hurricane Center
NWS – National Weather Service
OAR – Oceanic and Atmospheric Research

Section 2: Award Justification

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission
and/or strategic plan? The Department of Commerce is charged with observing, protecting, and
managing the earth‘s resources to promote environmental stewardship. NOAA contributes
strongly toward this goal by increasing the lead time and accuracy for weather warnings and
forecasts, particularly for extreme events. NOAA also increases development, application, and
transition of advanced science and technology to operations and services. Nowhere were these
NOAA objectives more successfully met than in the improvements to the 2005 operational
hurricane forecasts.

What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem? As a
―Team NOAA‖ effort, these improvements resulted from ongoing collaborations between
GFDL, NCEP/NHC, EMC AND NCO.

What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem? In
collaboration with EMC‘s hurricane modeling program, hurricane researchers at GFDL and their
university partners upgraded the hurricane model to use higher horizontal resolution, improved
effect of surface roughness in estimating a storm‘s wind, and a better method of initializing the
vortex in the forecast Scientists at NCO then verified that the model improvements fit within the
window available for hurricane forecasts on NOAA‘s Operational Supercomputer. Those at
NHC added critical insight into the performance of the GFDL system in the overall suite of
models used to issue the official hurricane forecast. This team also made upgrades to NWS
software that tracks the hurricane motion within numerical model fields. These upgrades greatly
expanded the suite of model guidance that is available to forecasters in real time.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms? These
improvements were found to improve the accuracy of hurricane track forecasts by 10% on
average. The benefits of the improved hurricane forecast became clear when hurricanes Katrina
and Rita targeted the Gulf Coast. Landfall was forecasted within 60 nautical miles 72 hours in
advance of Katrina, and 110 nautical miles 72 hours in advance of Rita. The success of these
forecasts mitigated the potential loss of life and property from two of the most devastating
storms to hit the U.S. in recent memory.

Section 3 – Additional Information

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed? The GFDL hurricane model was transitioned into
operations at NCEP in 1995 and the DOD in 1996. The nominees have continued a long

                                              248
tradition of making annual improvements to the hurricane model and transitioning these to
operations at NCEP and DOD.

What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission? The GFDL hurricane model continues to provide the best model-based
guidance for track forecasts. The recent improvements the nominees made to the model resulted
in a 25% decrease in track errors at 72 hours compared to the mean error for the 1995-2002
period.

What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission? With current research into hurricane – ocean coupling and improved
physics that is being evaluated for operational implementation, NOAA looks to not only
improvements to track forecasts but an era of skillful intensity forecasts. This capability is
particularly important due to the influence of climate variability on hurricane activity, one of the
factors proposed for the record number of tropical cyclones recorded in 2005.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If
so, how? Better hurricane forecasts provide improved support to FEMA, DOD, and local
emergency managers by helping provide skillful forecasts of hurricane tracks and intensity, and
in cases of land falling hurricanes, increased warning and evacuation lead times.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how? The accomplishments of the nominees represent a shining example of
research results being transferred into operations. It is anticipated that with the new ―One
NOAA‖ approach to R&D supercomputing to be implemented this year, the Team‘s transition
effort should become even easier.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how? The operational hurricane forecasts
produced by the NWS are a critical component of NOAA‘s customer service activity. These
represent the expert judgment of forecasters based on their experience and the numerical
guidance provided by models. Hence model-based guidance is an important component of this
process. The forecasts themselves are then disseminated to federal, state, local agencies and the
general public, e.g. a major area of customer service during hurricane season.




                                                249
                                         John Cortinas
                                   Silver Medal Nomination
                                  Organizational Development
                                             OAR
                                        Nomination # 67

   Nominated by: Michael Uhart, Executive Director, OAR Office of Laboratories
                 and Cooperative Institutes

   Past Awards for Dr. Cortinas:

   NOAA/OAR Performance Bonus - 5% (11/05)
   Individual Special Act or Service Award - $5000 (5/05)
   OAR Outstanding Scientific Paper of the Year Award (4/00)

   What is the significance of this accomplishment?

   Nineteen NOAA Cooperative Institutes, accounting for $120M of NOAA‘s research budget,
   will more effectively contribute to NOAA‘s research needs.

   Certificate Citation: For creating a new competitive process to establish, maintain, and
   sunset NOAA Cooperative Institutes.

   Program Booklet Text: For many years, NOAA line offices established long-standing
   Cooperative Institute agreements with universities to provide research supporting NOAA‘s
   mission. CIs were established by different processes for different purposes. Beginning in
   2004 and under Dr. Cortinas‘ leadership, NOAA standardized the way CIs are established,
   maintained, and sunsetted. The new NOAA Administrative Order and competitive process
   will save potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars annually; provide NOAA flexibility to
   engage multiple-university consortia; and allow greater latitude to focus on NOAA priorities.

Section 1 - Definitions

CI - Cooperative Institute

NAO = NOAA Administrative Order
OAR = Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research

Section 2 - Award Justification

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission and/or
strategic plan?

The goal was to more effectively utilize the university research community. NOAA‘s 19 CIs
were each created by a single line office to help address their mission needs. Terms of the
awards were different, prompting questions of equity among the universities and NOAA. The

                                              250
objective was to develop a NOAA policy and create a process by which the NOAA 5-year
Cooperative Institute awards would be established, maintained, and sunsetted. The challenge
was to gain a consensus agreement from multiple and diverse parties on the policy.

What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

Over several decades, NOAA has periodically entered into long-standing agreements with
several U.S. universities that provide research in support of NOAA‘s state-of-the-art services.
These CI agreements have served NOAA well; however, the process by which a CI was
established has never been a formal one. Several factors called for NOAA to change the way its
CIs are established, and for standard guidelines for sunsetting and recompeting them. To make
this change in policy, NOAA faced numerous administrative, programmatic, and political
challenges – and NOAA set out to do it in less than one year.

What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

Dr. John Cortinas, as CI Program Manager for OAR, was appointed by the NOAA Research
Council to lead a Committee to assist in developing a new NOAA CI policy that would govern
the establishment of CIs – often having to mediate conflicting priorities. Next, he and the
Committee drafted a CI handbook that would guide all parties through the process. Through this,
there were long-standing CIs that took note as NOAA began to change its approach to CIs and to
their universities. This easily could have resulted in confusion and/or the alienation of several of
our long-term partners. Dr. Cortinas kept the current CI Directors informed of the process and
timeline, and offered numerous opportunities for input. As a result, there have been no serious
concerns raised to senior leadership by the current Institutes – a tribute to Dr. Cortinas‘
communications and negotiating skills and considering the multi-million dollar stakes involved.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

The result of Dr. Cortinas‘ actions are: 1) a new CI NOAA Administrative Order that lays out a
clear and concise policy on establishing, maintaining, and sunsetting NOAA CIs; 2) a CI
Handbook that details the process; 3) current CIs who understand the value of competition and
are eager to participate in the process. Expected future results: 1) potentially hundreds of
thousands of taxpayer dollars saved annually in the form of lower indirect cost rates and cost
sharing; 2) more flexibility with multiple-university consortia; 3) greater ability to emphasize
specific NOAA priorities, such as ecosystem-based management.

Section 3 - Additional Information

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

Dr. Cortinas received the task in October 2004 and completed the CI NAO in September 2005.




                                                251
What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

The short-term impact of the accomplishment for NOAA is having a defensible policy for
establishing and sunsetting CIs that will eliminate the ad hoc ways in which CIs had been
established previously, thereby increasing confidence that NOAA is a credible manager of its
extramural funds. For the first time, there is a NOAA policy in place to establish both Northern
Gulf of Mexico and Great Lakes CIs. The existing CIs will be competed on a per-Institute basis
through 2010, the first of which will be awarded in January 2007.

What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

Once all of the NOAA CIs are competed and awarded under the new policy, the long-term
impact is expected to be several-fold: 1) potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars saved in
indirect cost rates paid to universities and new university cost sharing requirements; 2) increased
flexibility in selecting universities and consortia to support NOAA‘s mission; 3) more
regionally-based CIs that act as a focal point for NOAA‘s ecosystem approaches to management;
and 4) increased ability to ‗find‘ the right research to support NOAA‘s mission.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If so,
how?

Federal agencies and bureaus are always looking for new and better ways to enter into
agreements with external partners such as universities. NOAA‘s new CI policy is a new model
for similar partnerships in other federal areas.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how?

No. However, creation of a more competitive university research environment will lead to
creative scientific solutions to the Nation‘s environmental problems.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

The accomplishment resulted in a major advancement in organizational efficiency. By
reexamining its CI process and policy from top to bottom, NOAA is looking beyond just
competing long-standing cooperative agreements and saving tax dollars. It is also looking at
how a CI consortia can make the job of tapping the best research and development for NOAA‘s
needs far easier; how we can structure the CIs to meet the needs of One NOAA; and how the CIs
can be better utilized in a regional context for efforts, such as ecosystem-based management.




                                               252
                                    James Churnside Group
                                  Silver Medal Nomination
                             Scientific/Engineering Achievement
                                             OAR
                                        Nomination # 68


NOAA Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Demonstration Team
Individuals in the Nominated Group:

James H. Churnside, ZP-1310-V, Physicist, OAR/Earth System Research Laboratory
James W. Elkins, ZP-1310-V, Physicist, OAR/Earth System Research Laboratory
David W. Fahey, ZP-1310-V, Physicist, OAR/Earth System Research Laboratory
Albin J. Gasiewski, ZP-0855-V, Retired , OAR/Earth System Research Laboratory
Samuel J. Oltmans, ZP-1310-V, Physicist, OAR/Earth System Research Laboratory
Karen H. Rosenlof, ZP-1340-IV, Meteorologist, OAR/Earth System Research Laboratory
Sara Summers, ZP-1301-IV, Physical Scientist, OAR/Earth System Research Laboratory
Michael L. Aslaksen, Jr., GS-1370-15, Cartographer, NOS/National Geodetic Survey
Jon D. Sellars, GS-1370-11, Cartographer, NOS/National Geodetic Survey
Todd A. Jacobs, GS- 1310-14, Physicist, NOS/ National Marine Sanctuary Program

Prior Awards:

Churnside- U.S. Department of Commerce Silver Medal, 2004, ‗for Ghostnets.‘

Elkins- U.S. Department of Commerce Silver Medal, December 1997, ‗for outstanding research
 related to man-made, ozone-destroying gases.‘

Fahey- U. S. Department of Commerce Silver, December 1996, ‗for leadership in making the
 first direct measurements of supersonic aircraft emissions and analyzing the atmospheric
 implications.‘

Aslaksen- U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal, 2002, ‗for imagery of the
 World Trade Center after September 11, 2001.‘


Nominated by: Dr. Daniel L. Albritton, Acting Director (current), NOAA Earth System
              Research Laboratory and
                Dr. Alexander E. MacDonald, Acting Director (as of February 12, 2006),
                NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory
What is the significance of this accomplishment: The UAS Demonstration Team has
established that crewless aircraft are an important tool for achieving NOAA‘s research and
monitoring goals.


                                              253
Certificate Citation: For demonstrating the usefulness of unmanned aircraft systems in
accomplishing NOAA‘s mission, including operational and research goals.

Program Booklet Text: For their contribution to the success of the NOAA UAS
Demonstration, using the Altair UAS and culminating with a record-breaking 18.4-hour flight
along the West Coast on 15 November 2005. They also demonstrated that the UAS could
conduct climate, ocean color, meteorological monitoring and research, along with marine
mammal population studies, undetected surveillance of ships, and coastal mapping, all on one
flight. UAS platforms have the potential to reduce risks to pilots, reduce costs, and offer
missions of longer duration than currently available with crewed aircraft.

Section 1 – Definitions

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) is the term preferred by the US Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) to describe crewless aircraft that can be used in the national air space.
UAS technology is a seamless combination of an autonomous aircraft, redundant control
systems, high-speed satellite and radio communication and control.

National Air Space (NAS) – Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) definition for controlled
airspace within the United States. FAA has strict rules for unmanned aircraft operating within
the NAS.


   Section 2 - Award Justification:


   What was the specific goal, challenge, or problem related to the Department’s mission
   and/or strategic plan?


   Because UAS platforms have the potential to reduce risks to pilots, reduce costs, and
   offer missions of longer duration than currently available with crewed aircraft, it was
   decided to determine if a UAS could serve NOAA‘s four mission goals on coordinated
   missions. Specific goals were to conduct climate, ocean color, and meteorological
   monitoring and research, along with marine mammal population studies, undetected
   surveillance of ships, and coastal mapping on the same flights.

   What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge, or problem?


   The 2006 Annual Guidance Memorandum from the Undersecretary of Commerce for
   Oceans and Atmosphere advocates the use of new technologies, including crewless
   aircraft, to achieve the goals of NOAA‘s Strategic Plan. NOAA‘s Strategic Goals are
   related to Climate, Ecosystems, Weather and Water, Commerce and Transportation, and
   Mission Support. The concept with which the nominees addressed the problem was that
   of ―one NOAA”, in which individuals from different organizations within NOAA
                                              254
combined their expertise and resources to achieve a specific and unprecedented goal

What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge, or problem?


The nominees were involved in every aspect of the project, including management,
logistics, scientific research, operational requirements, and liaison with the lead agency
for the Altair UAS platform (NASA) and the contractor (General Atomics-Aeronautical
Systems, Inc.). All payload instruments acquired high-quality data on all project flights,
a visible testament to the hard work and skill of the group.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or quantitative terms?
The project addressed NOAA operational goals with flights over the Channel Islands
National Marine Sanctuary to survey marine mammals, to perform a coastal survey
similar to those conducted by the National Geodetic Survey, and to conduct undetected
surveillance of ocean vessels and their activities. High altitude (43,000 ft) flights over
the eastern Pacific Ocean addressed NOAA‘s scientific goals by (i) making correlative
measurements of greenhouse and ozone depleting gases in the vicinity of the NOAA
Atmospheric Baseline Observatory at Trinidad Head, CA, (ii) profiling water vapor in
moisture flows (‗atmospheric rivers‘) from the tropical regions that can cause flooding
and mud slides in California, and (iii) making remote measurement of chlorophyll-a in
ocean surface waters in order to improve satellite retrievals for monitoring ocean
productivity.

Section 3 - Additional Information.


How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?


The NOAA UAS project began in late 2004 with planning meetings among the
participants, which included managers, principal investigators and their teams, and
aircraft operations personnel. Project operations were completed in November 2005 with
the final two project flights. Analyses of flight data and final reports will be completed in
early 2006.

What is the short-term impact (1-2 years); of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?


In the short term, the success of the project provides NOAA with a model of how UAS
operations can directly address specific, integrated needs within its broad array of
scientific and operational duties.

                                            255
What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?


 In the longer term, the success of this project will
improve NOAA‘s efficiency and enhance NOAA‘s knowledge and experience base for
making important decisions on the use of these systems as part of NOAA‘s fleet.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies?
If so, how?


The success of the project will help inform a variety of groups within NOAA
(atmosphere, fisheries, geodesy, ecosystems) about the strengths and weaknesses of UAS
technology. Because NASA was a major partner in the project, the success of the effort
also will be of value to aeronautic and scientific groups within NASA in a manner similar
to that for NOAA.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how?


The UAS project represents a major advancement in the directed use of new technology
to achieve scientific and operational objectives. The pieces (UAS, instrument
technologies, NOAA objectives) had existed separately before this project. The project
brought the pieces together to achieve an outcome that meets the collective goals of the
agencies involved and paves the way for significant improvement in how NOAA
conducts its research in the future.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific research
areas as customer service or administrative support? If so, how?


The success of the cooperation within and among agencies is a template for future use of
the NAS by UAS platforms. This project required a high degree of cooperation among
NOAA, NASA, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The complexity of the
requested flight operations required the FAA and its regional centers to accommodate
unconventional use of the NAS by a new platform. The FAA ultimately approved the
Certificate of Authorization that allowed the UAS platform to operate in the NAS.




                                           256
                                      Melissa Free Group
                                  Silver Medal Nomination
                             Scientific/Engineering Achievement
                                             OAR
                                        Nomination # 69

Radiosonde Atmospheric Temperature Products for Assessing Climate (RATPAC)

Individuals in the Nominated Group:

Melissa P. Free              OAR/Air Resources Laboratory
Dian J. Seidel               OAR/Air Resources Laboratory
John R. Lanzante             OAR/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory
Imke Durre                   NESDIS/National Climatic Data Center
Jay H. Lawrimore             NESDIS/National Climatic Data Center
Thomas C. Peterson           NESDIS/National Climatic Data Center

Nominated by: Bruce B. Hicks, Director, Air Resources Laboratory and
              Thomas R. Karl, Director, National Climatic Data Center

What is the significance of this accomplishment?

New atmospheric temperature datasets covering the past half century and suitable for climate
monitoring are now publicly available and are being used in national and international climate
assessments.

Certificate Citation: For developing research-quality radiosonde atmospheric temperature
datasets for reliably monitoring climate variations and change.

Program Booklet Text: The group is honored for developing a new set of upper-air
temperature data products based on radiosonde observations for the past half century. They have
removed artificial temperature changes related to instrument changes, created datasets that are
suitable for climate research and monitoring, described and analyzed the data in two journal
articles, made the datasets freely available, and contributed to major international and national
climate assessments. Their efforts address a key climate controversy and significantly advance
NOAA‘s mission to understand climate variability and change.

Section 1 - Definitions

CCSP – the U.S. Climate Change Science Program. The first CCSP Synthesis and Assessment
Product (1.1) is entitled ―Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for
Understanding and Reconciling Differences‖ and scheduled for release in early 2006.

IPCC – Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change – an international climate assessment
activity providing scientific information to the public and policy makers


                                              257
Radiosonde – an instrument package carried aloft by balloon and that sends upper-air weather
observations back to the observing station by radio transmission

RATPAC – Radiosonde Atmospheric Temperature Products for Assessing Climate

Upper-air – the atmosphere above the surface of the Earth, including the troposphere and
stratosphere

Section 2 – Award Justification

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission and/or
strategic plan?

The goal of RATPAC is to provide upper-air temperature data products for climate analysis,
directly supporting NOAA‘s mission to ―Understand Climate Variability and Change to Enhance
Society's Ability to Plan and Respond‖, particularly these two performance objectives:

      ―Describe and understand the state of the climate system through integrated observations,
       analysis, and data stewardship‖
      ―Increase the number and use of climate products and services to enhance public and
       private sector decision-making‖

What was the context in which the nominees addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

The team removed a major uncertainty from historical global radiosonde temperature
observations needed to address a key climate science question: ―Is the atmosphere above the
Earth‘s surface warming?‖ Existing radiosonde measurements could not be used to reliably
determine global climate variations because instrument changes introduced errors that could
mask real temperature variability. RATPAC scientifically corrected the data to remove the effect
of changing instruments, thereby creating a research-quality dataset spanning back to the 1950‘s,
pre-dating satellite observations by several decades.

What specific actions did the nominees take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

      Identified and removed errors (due to instrumentation) in radiosonde temperature data
      Created regional and global temperature datasets to monitor long-term atmospheric
       temperature changes
      Implemented automatic dataset updating for rapid public dissemination of current
       information

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

These high-quality data are used in two major climate assessments (the IPCC Fourth Assessment
Report and the first CCSP assessment), are available online, and are documented in two refereed
journal articles. One presents an innovative method for removing errors and evaluates
uncertainties: a second presents the datasets and analysis, including temperature trends over the
past half century.
                                                258
Section 3 - Additional Information

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

The project was a 3.5 year effort, culminating in public access to the datasets in 2005. Data
continue to be maintained and updated.

What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

The major impact was use of the data in two key climate assessments, contributing directly to the
NOAA goals and objectives (above). Public interest in the CCSP report was clearly
demonstrated by the large number of public comments. The high-quality data produced by the
team were essential to the credibility of this assessment.

What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

The datasets are helping build national and international scientific consensus on the controversial
issue of temperature trends, which will result in more rigor in making decisions that impact
national economy. This research will also help NOAA develop an integrated observing system to
meet climate requirements and address its goal to ―improve the quality and quantity of climate
observations, analyses, interpretation, and archiving by maintaining a consistent climate record
and by improving our ability to determine why changes are taking place‖.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If so,
how?

Climate policy depends on sound science, and data used to assess controversial climate change
issues must withstand considerable scrutiny. Every Department and agency, indeed all aspects of
the U.S. and global economy, are affected by climate policy decisions, which in turn depend on
reliable data and assessments of climate change.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how?

Yes. Errors in temperature trends from radiosondes were recognized for a decade but not
addressed because of the complexity of the problem and lack of robust methods. With the
development of RATPAC (and one spinoff product by U.K. scientists), and the resulting
improved understanding of radiosonde data problems and uncertainty in temperature trends,
much more sophisticated climate research is feasible, including comparison with the shorter
satellite records and climate models.



                                               259
Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

Because the automatically updated datasets are available through the web, data users now, for the
first time, have easy access to current climate-quality upper-air data.

                  CORPORATE OFFICE NOMINATIONS

                                Rainer Dombrowsky Group
                                 Gold Medal Nomination
                              Administrative/Technical Support
                                            CIO
                                      Nomination # 70

1.     Type of Award: Gold

2.     Nomination Type: Group

3.     Nomination Category: Administrative/Technical Support

4.     Name of Nominee: Rainer N. Dombrowsky
       Salutation: Mr.
       Pronunciation: DOM-BROW-SKEE
       Title: NOAA Liaison – Homeland Security Operations Center
       Series and Grade: GS-1301-15
       Address:     3801 Nebraska Avenue, Building 3
                    Washington, D.C.,
                    202-282-9937

       Name of Nominee: Albert H. Mongeon
       Salutation: Mr.
       Pronunciation: MUN-GEN
       Title: Analyst, NWS Homeland Security Activities
       Series and Grade: GS-0343-13
       Address:      National Weather Service
                     1325 East West Highway, Room 16130
                     Silver Spring, MD 20910
                     301-713-1825x122

       Name of Nominee: Amy E. Holman
       Salutation: Ms.
       Pronunciation: HOLE-MAN
       Title: Program Analyst
       Series and Grade: GS-0343-13
       Address:      1305 East West Highway, Room 10125
                     Silver Spring, MD 20910
                                              260
      Name of Nominee: Cecile R. Daniels
      Salutation: Lieutenant Commander
      Pronunciation: DAN-IELS
      Title: Lieutenant Commander, NOAA Corps
      Series and Grade: Lieutenant Commander
      Address:       1315 East West Highway, Room 12105
                     Silver Spring, MD 20910
                     301-713-3444 x212

      Name of Nominee: Michele G. Bullock
      Salutation: Commander.
      Pronunciation: BULL-LOCK
      Title: Commander, NOAA Corps
      Series and Grade: Commander
      Address:      1315 East West Highway, Room 12172
                    Silver Spring, MD 20910
                    301-713-1045 x175

      Name of Nominee: Regis J. Walter
      Salutation: Mr.
      Pronunciation: WALL-TER
      Title: Meteorologist
      Series and Grade: ZP4-13
      Address:      5200 Auth Road
                    Camp Springs, MD 20746
                    301- 763-8444

      Name of Nominee: Paul T. Reilly
      Salutation: Mr.
      Pronunciation: RYE-LEE
      Title: Oceanographer
      Series and Grade: GS-1360-13
      Address:     1315 East-West Highway, Room
                   Silver Spring, MD 20910
                   301-713-2981 x122

5. Past Awards –
       Dombrowsky – NOAA Bronze Medal Awarded in 1995 (group)
       Mongeon    – NOAA Bronze Medal Awarded in 1993 (group)
                  – NOAA Bronze Medal Awarded in 1996 (group)
       Holman     – Administrator‘s Award, 2004 (Group)
       Daniels    – None
       Bullock    – Administrator‘s Award 2001 (Group)
       Walter     – NOAA Bronze Medal Awarded 1991(Group Branch Award)
                  – DOC Bronze Medal Awarded 1995 (Group Branch Award)
                  – DOC Bronze Medal Awarded 2000 (Group Branch Award)
       Reilly     – None
                                        261
6. Current Performance Rating: Pass for all nominees

7. Nominator’s Name, Title, complete office address, and phone number:
      Captain Philip M. Kenul, Director
      NOAA, Homeland Security Program Office
      1315 East West Highway, Room 10846
      Telephone: (301)713-3311

What is the significance of this accomplishment?

Place here - This question (response limited to 200 characters) is designed to give an
overview of the importance of the contribution. The response should focus on the value of
the accomplishment in concrete, results-oriented terms. Total Used = 196

The group established a NOAA presence within the Homeland Security Operations Center
providing timely in-depth situational awareness reporting as it relates to natural and human
induced disasters.

I. Certificate Text:

Place here (maximum of 150 characters). Total Used = 117
For outstanding services provided to the Department of Homeland Security in its response to the
2005 Hurricane Season.

II. Program Text:

Place here (maximum of 600 characters). Total used = 569
During the 2005 Hurricane Season, desk officers provided situational awareness briefings to the
HSOC on all tropical cyclones affecting the U.S. or U.S. interests. Prior to landfall, NOAA desk
hours of operation are expanded to 24/7. During these periods of expanded coverage, desk
officers provided routine updates, interim updates for significant changes, and responded to
numerous inquiries from the DHS Secretary‘s office and the White House during Katrina, Rita
and Wilma. The desk remains at this level until such time that the HSOC stands down from the
incident.

III. Justification:

Section 1 - Definitions:

NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
POC – Point of Contact
HSOC – Homeland Security Operations Center
DHS – Department of Homeland Security
NSSE – National Special Security Events are special events as determined by the Secretary of
Homeland Security, in coordination with other Federal departments and agencies.

                                               262
Incident of National Significance – As described in Homeland Security Presidential Directive -
5, any of four criteria must be met before DHS responds to a domestic incident.
Catastrophic Incidents – A catastrophic incident is any natural of manmade incident, including
terrorism, resulting in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely
affecting population, infrastructure, environment, economy, national morale, and/or government
functions.
NOAA HSPO – NOAA Homeland Security Program Office.
NOAA LO – NOAA Line Office

Section 2 - Award Justification: (Maximum number of characters for all four questions in this
section cannot exceed 2000.) Total Used = 1985

      What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s
       mission/or Strategic Plan? Under the broad scope of the National Response Plan, the
       NOAA desk officers needed to acquire an understanding of HSOC operations. From this
       understanding, procedures were developed for briefing, coordination and effective
       communication with other Federal agencies, supporting a unified Federal response to
       catastrophic incidents. DHS has noted that NOAA‘s presence within the HSOC has
       significantly improved situational awareness relating to natural or manmade incidents,
       including terrorism. (Used 494)

      What was the context in which the nominees addressed the goal, challenge, or
       problem? NOAA staff routinely assesses HSOC needs and has been able to modify
       their delivery of information as HSOC requirements change. The introduction of this
       diverse group of NOAA employees to the HSOC has provided HSOC management with
       a better overall understanding of NOAA‘s roles, responsibilities and capabilities. When
       the HSOC expresses new needs or requires changes to on-going support, members
       collaboratively define HSOC support requirements which are subsequently submitted to
       the HSPO for consideration. (Used 510)

      What specific actions did the nominees take to address the goal, challenge or
       problem? Each of the NOAA Line Office (LO) representatives on the watch officer
       team has learned the roles, responsibilities and capabilities of each LO to better
       understand how a unified NOAA can best support a proactive Federal response. Each
       team member has shared their knowledge and talents, both within the NOAA family and
       the HSOC. Collectively, this group of experts has established and continues to build the
       knowledge base by which the NOAA desk officers support the HSOC and other DHS
       elements. (Used 497)

      What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms? The
       actions of the team during the past year and especially during the 2005 Hurricane season
       can be quantified by the frequent acknowledgements from satisfied Federal partners in
       the information and/or services provided by or through the NOAA desk officers. These
       messages, verbal and written, speak volumes to how successful and necessary the NOAA
       Desk has become to HSOC operations. The group has truly succeeded in earning
       customer confidence and providing customer satisfaction. (Used 484)



                                              263
Section 3 - Additional Information: (Maximum number of characters for all six questions in
this section cannot exceed 2000.)  Total Used = 1955

      How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the
       accomplishment completed/implemented/deployed? The establishment of a NOAA
       presence within the HSOC required several months to initially set up and train. NOAA
       continues to improve standard operating procedures through periodic reviews and updates
       in response to changes in HSOC operational procedures. (255)

      What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau
       and/or Department’s mission? In the short-term, the greatest impact from this
       accomplishment points to a greater understanding of the NOAA‘s mission and
       capabilities. By presenting NOAA as a unified agency with a broad range of roles,
       responsibilities and capabilities, NOAA now plays a significant role in DHS/HSOC
       incident response. (307)

      What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau
       and/or Department’s mission? Based on short-term results, one can foresee NOAA
       ultimately playing a larger role in supporting HSOC operations from disaster response
       through disaster recovery. (163)

      Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal
       agencies? If so, how? The accomplishment affects more than 40 Federal and law
       enforcement agencies under the HSOC umbrella. Sharing of information within the
       HSOC has led to an increased awareness of NOAA and DOC capabilities by HSOC
       leadership and other Federal Departments and Agencies as evidenced in the number of
       tasks to NOAA during the past year, especially during the 2005 Hurricane Season and
       other NSSE. (391)

      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
       automation? If so, how? As the need for information grew, more frequent situational
       updates were needed. This required improvements in information delivery to the NOAA
       Desk. Once identified, the need was presented to the HSPO Director who in turn
       presented the problem to the NOAA Homeland Security Senior Management Team. This
       resulted in the NOAA Desk acquiring the needed capabilities from within NOAA which
       were added to the operational capabilities of the NOAA Desk. The new
       telecommunications capability provides the NOAA Desk with immediate updates related
       to watches, warnings, alerts, and statements during rapidly changing all-hazards
       incidents. (633)

      Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such
       as customer service or administrative support? If so, how? The provision of incident
       watch reporting delivered by NOAA has provided increased visibility for the Department
       of Commerce through elevated customer confidence and resulting in high customer
       satisfaction. (206)




                                             264
  Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and Supporting Research
                                 Gold Medal Nomination
                                     Customer Service
                                          OFCM
                                     Nomination # 71

1. Full name of nominee(s): The Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services
and Supporting Research (OFCM).

2. Major Line or Staff Office for each nominee (NWS, NESDIS, etc.): Office of the Under
Secretary.

3. Position title and grade for each nominee (see #1 above): This is an organizational award.

4. Past awards (excluding Cash-in-Your-Account and Special Act Awards) for each nominee:
OFCM has not received any prior organizational awards or gold/silver medals.

5. Nominator‘s name and major Line or Staff Office: Samuel P. Williamson, OFCM.

What is the significance of this accomplishment?

OFCM efforts led to superb weather support during the historic 2005 hurricane season.
Additionally, OFCM‘s continuous, focused work was the catalyst for first-ever Federal
surface weather programs.

I. Certificate Text

For outstanding contributions to the Nation‘s hurricane forecast and warning program and the
surface transportation weather program.

II. Program Text (Citation)

OFCM is honored for its major contributions to hurricane forecast and warning operations and to
the surface transportation weather program. OFCM‘s annual Interdepartmental Hurricane
Conference and the National Hurricane Operations Plan directly led to outstanding hurricane
operations during the historic 2005 season. Additionally, OFCM developed a one-of-a-kind
surface transportation weather needs assessment report. That report, along with other focused
efforts, was the catalyst of Federal surface weather programs aimed at providing vital safety
information to the public and decision makers.

III. Justification

Section 1 - Definitions

      DOD                Department of Defense
      DOT                Department of Transportation


                                               265
      FEMA              Federal Emergency Management Agency
      FHWA              Federal Highway Administration
      IHC               Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference
      ITS America       Intelligent Transportation Society of America
      MOU               Memorandum of Understanding
      NHC               National Hurricane Center
      NHOP              National Hurricane Operations Plan
      NHTSA             National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
      NOAA              The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
      NWS               National Weather Service
      OFCM              The Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services
                        and Supporting Research
      R&D               Research and Development
      TSB               The Transportation Research Board
      TWC               The Weather Channel
      WIST              Weather Information for Surface Transportation

Section 2 - Award Justification

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission
and/or strategic plan?

OFCM addressed challenges in two critical mission areas. For hurricane operations, the
challenge was to improve hurricane forecast and warning services to the Nation; for WIST, it
was to set a WIST vision, to continually press for increased National awareness, with the
ultimate goal of reducing weather-caused surface transportation injuries/deaths.

What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

In both cases, OFCM worked with federal partners to address the challenges, conducting
conferences, workshops, and symposia to reach out to federal/state/local/academic/private-sector
partners.

What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

OFCM has made the IHC a strong coordinating framework to provide ever-increasing levels
of service to the Nation. After extensive planning, the 59th IHC, held in March 2005, brought
NOAA and the other Federal agencies together, including the user communities—200+
attendees in all—to review and improve the Nation‘s hurricane forecast and warning
program. Agency recommendations were incorporated into the 43rd edition of the NHOP—
the sole interagency authoritative document—that led to outstanding operational support
during the historic 2005 hurricane season. In December 2002, OFCM set the WIST vision
and published the ground-breaking WIST National Needs Assessment report that was
endorsed by the DOT Undersecretary for Policy and was the catalyst for the July 2005
NOAA/FHWA MOU, strengthening the two agencies‘ working relationships and validating
WIST as a formal program.




                                              266
What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

While 1300+ deaths were associated with Hurricane Katrina, according to a simulated FEMA
hurricane exercise the death toll could have been 60,000+. The House Select Bipartisan
Committee report concerning Katrina stated: ―The accuracy and timeliness of NWS and NHC
forecasts prevented further loss of life‖—a tribute to the IHC/NHOP process. OFCM has
developed, with its federal partners, WIST requirements-driven initiatives to further reduce
transportation injuries/fatalities.

Section 3 - Additional Information

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

OFCM established the IHC/NHOP framework, an annual process, for agencies to evaluate the
lessons learned from the previous hurricane season and translate them into improved warning
services. For WIST, it took 4 years to complete the exhaustive review which led to the baseline
WIST National Needs Assessment report.

What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

In the short term, OFCM is planning the 60th IHC to capitalize on the 2005 lessons learned to
further improve operations and save lives. The WIST report provided the foundation for Federal
surface weather programs. The report, coupled with OFCM‘s participation in 12 conferences/
symposia over the last 4 years (such as ITS America & TSB), increased National WIST
awareness and entwined weather and traffic information at TV/radio stations nationwide,
including TWC.

What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

For the long term, OFCM is working with its partner agencies to complete a strategic hurricane
R&D plan for the next decade. The goal—reduce the impact of landfalling storms and save lives.
As OFCM-coordinated WIST R&D initiatives are implemented, the long-term impact will be to
foster technological innovation, enhance standards for WIST, increase economic growth through
greater transportation efficiencies, and further reduce transportation injuries/deaths. According to
NHTSA 2004 figures, weather-related traffic fatalities and injuries decreased ~5% since the
WIST report was published.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If
so, how?

Federal agencies benefit, based on their missions, from the synergy realized by participating in
the OFCM‘s federal coordinating infrastructure, regarding programs like hurricane warnings and
WIST.



                                                267
Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how?

WIST has helped establish a new academic discipline, leading to advancements in science and
technology.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

Improved hurricane warnings enhance customer service, while saving lives and reducing
property damage. For a typical season, it is estimated that savings reach $3 billion. WIST greatly
influenced the incorporation of weather into 511, America‘s Traveler Information Telephone
Number, directly improving customer service.

                                 John Villemarette Group
                                 Gold Medal Nomination
                              Administrative/Technical Support
                                         CIO/AGO
                                      Nomination # 72

Name:                         Grants Online Team

Nominees:
Nominee Name        Title and Grade     Office              Past Awards
John                Director, ISMO      OCIO                Bronze Award
Villemarette                                                2006
Steve Drescher      Grants Policy       AGO
                    Advisor GS-14
Lillian Barnes      IT Specialist GS-   OCIO                Special Act 2005
                    14
Sinh Nguyen         IT Specialist GS-   OCIO                Special Act 2005
                    12
Ken Sragg           IT Specialist       Transferred to
                    GS-14               Census
Marc Tolson         IT Specialist       OCIO
                    GS-14
Chris Suzich        IT Specialist       OCIO
                    GS-14


Nominator and Office:         Carl Staton
                              NOAA Office of the CIO
                              Helen Hurcombe
                              Acquisition and Grants Office




                                                 268
Significance of This Accomplishment:

The development and implementation of the Grants Online system represents the establishment
of the first NOAA wide grants system, replacing 12 existing systems, interfacing with E.GOV
portal and processing almost $1B in grants.

Certificate Citation:         For developing and implementing an automation tool to improve
                              the timeliness and quality of financial assistance awards and
                              administration.

Program Booklet Citation:
The group is honored for their excellence in the development and implementation of one of the
first fully automated financial assistance (grants and cooperative agreements)award systems.
Grants On-Line project team created a unified system replacing 12 dissimilar grant
making Program Offices within NOAA. This enabled electronically submitted applications
through the Grants.gov portal to be processed and managed through their entire grant lifecycle.
NOAA has estimated that it was able to complete four times as much work at a quarter of the
cost. This technology improved the timeliness, quality and consistency of these awards
supporting all NOAA missions.

Section 1 Definitions:
None

Section 2 – Award Justification: (2000 Characters)

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission
and/or strategic plan?

1. To accomplish its mission, NOAA administers a multitude of grants for weather, ocean
exploration, coastal, environment, and satellite research to state, local, universities, independent
research facilities and individuals. In Fiscal Year 2005, NOAA awarded over 1,900 grants worth
almost one billion dollars ($1B) representing approximately one-half of all grants awarded by the
Department of Commerce and constituting approximately one-third of NOAA‘s annual budget.
The number and value of grant awards in the past five years has doubled. With no matching
increase in personnel resources to handle the increased workload, an automation solution was
sought.

What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

2. This team was formed to develop a better way of handling the grants process for NOAA. The
team undertook an effort to develop and implement a fully automated process for processing
financial assistance (grants and cooperative agreements) awards, administering them, and closing
them out. The end goal was to utilize information technology to improve the timeliness, quality
and consistency of these awards in accordance with the Federal governments E-GOV initiative.




                                                269
What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

3. NOAA's Grants On-Line project team created a unified requirements baseline for the 12
dissimilar grant making Program Offices within NOAA that enabled electronically submitted
applications through the Grants.gov portal to be processed and managed through their entire
grant lifecycle. The NOAA Grants Online System has furthered the One NOAA concept by
taking the disparate, largely manual, grants systems and integrating them into a more effective
and efficient whole.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

4. The NOAA Grants Online team accomplished the following specific system objectives:

          Implemented a single unified grant processing and administrative system, using a
           web-centered solution, to reduce up-front processing time for grant application
           pre-award activities;
          Put a scalable solution in place that could accommodate high volume usage;
          Interfaced the NOAA solution with the government-wide Grants.gov Presidential
           eGovernment initiative to assist in providing "one-stop" shopping for federal grants
           and related activities;
          Standardized NOAA grants business processes to help achieve a more effective and
           efficient use of resources;
          Provided a direct interface between Grants On-Line and other NOAA business
           systems.

Section 3. (Characters 2000)

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

1. Project took 3 years

What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

2. Gartner Group stated: ―The project outcome was extremely successful in terms of meeting its
objectives and enabling outstanding mission performance results. Previously, NOAA expended
thirty days of processing overhead per grant application (online reviews, printing, emails, postal
mailing, copying, reporting, and analysis) plus another 2.2 business days of processing
attributable to existing legacy systems that required re-entry of considerable amounts of data.
The Grants On-Line project reduced this cycle time to approximately 2.2 hours, freeing up
valuable time for program managers and grants specialists to spend more time reviewing grant
applications, negotiating with applicants, resolving issues regarding legal analyses, and
conducting enterprise-wide analyses of the grants process (such as work load balancing, trend
analysis of processing volume, value, and performance).‖


                                               270
What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

3. Grants Online, in addition to automating the end-to-end process, has enabled the agency to
long term more effectively manage the one billion dollar‘s worth of financial assistance that is
processed on a yearly basis. It provides significant management information to track progress of
awards and performance of the grant after award. This is helping NOAA to more effectively
meet its missions and goals.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If
so, how?

4. Grants Online is currently under consideration as a Department of Commerce solution and has
been reviewed by several outside Federal agencies.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how?

5. Grants Online provided a significant advancement in administrative and customer support by
providing for the first time a full automated process (from the application for a grant in
Grants.gov to the review and award) replacing several in house manual systems which only
supported part of the process.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

See above answer.

                                   Janette Labbee Group
                                  Silver Medal Nomination
                                      Customer Service
                                           AGO
                                       Nomination # 73

Nominee - Department of Commerce BankCard Center

   Nominee Name            Title and Grade             Office          Past Awards
  Janette M. Labbee        Bankcard Liaison            AGO            NOAA Employee
                                Officer                               of the Year 1993
                                GS-14                                 Dept. of Treasury
                                                                            1994
                                                                       NOAA Admin
                                                                            1997
                                                                       NOAA Bronze
                                                                            1998
                                                                      NOAA Diversity


                                              271
                                                                       Spectrum 2001
                                                                       NOAA Admin
                                                                           2002

   Patricia D. Stone      Bankcard Program             AGO            NOAA Bronze
                             Specialist                                    1998
                               GS-11                                 CASC Employee
                                                                     of the Year 2001
                                                                      NOAA Admin
                                                                           2002

  Donna L. Rimmer         Bankcard Program             AGO             NOAA Bronze
                             Specialist                                   1998
                               GS-9                                    NOAA Admin
                                                                          2002


   Kathryn L. Luth        Bankcard Assistant           AGO                 None
                                GS-7


Nominated by Helen Hurcombe
Director, Acquisition Management

Significance of Accomplishment

CBC has served the best interests of the DOC Purchase Card Program for 20 years. CBC has
graduated to a highly technical and efficient organization in support of its customers.

I. Certificate Text:

For recognition of past and present achievements in providing excellent customer service and
support to all SmartPay Program users throughout the DOC.

II. Program Booklet Text:

CBC has provided exceptional customer service to all DOC bureaus for 20 years contributing to
the success of the Purchase Card Program. CBC has provided value to customers through data
management, automation and continual improvement, saving time, reducing expenses and
increasing revenue for DOC. As a result of CBC‘s attention to customer service and detailed
oversight, the program continues to expand and secure DOC‘s leadership roll within the
Government‘s Smart Card programs.




                                               272
III. Justification:

Section 1 – Definitions/Acronyms

APC – Agency Program Coordinators
CAM – Commerce Acquisition Manual
CAMS – Commerce Administrative Management System, aka CBS
CBC – Commerce Bankcard Center
COOP – Continuity of Operations Plan
DOC – Department of Commerce
MCC – Merchant Category Codes

Section 2 – Award Justification

What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission
and/or strategic plan?

The mission of CBC is to provide excellent customer service by delivering accurate and
timely program information and reporting, centralized data base management and expansion
of e-commerce in support of the Government Purchase Card Program worldwide. The four
member staff strives to support their mission continually challenging their performance resulting
in successful program improvement.

What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

Technical difficulties in the late 1990s demanded an interface from the contractor to the CAMS
platform. CBC created a purchase card invoice for all bureau finance offices. This invoice
provides account information and the data transaction file that interfaces with DOC CAMS
systems and three independent finance payment offices. CBC has been a catalyst in the success
of the CAMS Bankcard module since its inception. The CAMS system was built to accept
incoming data on the old Government format.

What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

With the advancement of technology, the contractor feeds daily files to the Government agencies
in a commercial file format. CBC receives this data and converts it to usable text for CAMS.
Redesigning the commercial file to fit CAMS would have created great expense and difficulties
at a time when CAMS was rolling out to most DOC agencies.

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

The creation of invoice data at CBC has allowed bureaus to pay CitiBank timely, avoiding
negative audit findings and quadrupled refunds from CitiBank over the past two years. FY2005
refunds exceeded $1.3 million.




                                               273
CBC assists agency Financial Payment Centers at year end by furnishing daily posted transaction
files throughout the month. Cut off dates for spending varies throughout the cycle and this
service allows cardholders and finance offices early reconciliation for fiscal year end closing.

High on the list of CBC priorities is emergency readiness in times of disaster as was the case on
September 11, 2001 and again in Hurricane season 2005. A remote telework system based on
CBC‘s COOP plan allows uninterrupted services to customers.

Section 3 – Additional Information

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

A period of 24 months to implement Data Mining to assist with oversight and program
management using Discoverer software. CBC staff work with the APCs, OIG and
technical staff to ensure a user friendly product.

What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

The short-term impact allows ad hoc queries on various merchant types. This allows
gathering efficient, reliable and secure data to monitor cardholder spending. It adds an
additional layer to check for fraud and abuse.

What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

The long-term impact of Data Mining results will assist with analyzing spending trends and
reduce much of the labor intensive auditing while providing speedy and accurate access to
vast quantities of information.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If
so, how?

The Data Mining effort benefits all bureaus within DOC. Results are shared at conferences
and roundtables with other government agencies.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how?

Utilizing the latest technology in the Discoverer product, and working with various queries
to analyze the most data in the shortest time, has resulted in a cost effective and time saving
method for APCs and CBCto use in program auditing.




                                               274
Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

CBC oversight reduces APC workload, consolidates oversight, assisting OIG investigations and is compliant with
the paper reduction act. DOC is one of the few agencies with internal Data Mining capabilities. Conducting this
level of oversight continues to support DOC‘s elevated status as a leader in the SmartPay Program management.

                                       Jeanie Jennings Group
                                      Silver Medal Nomination
                                 Personal and Professional Excellence
                                             CAO/AGO
                                           Nomination # 74


Name:                           NOAA Project Planning and Acquisition Response
                          Team for Hurricane Katrina (see attached list)

Nominee Name                 Title and Grade              Office                  Past Awards
Jeanie M. Jennings           Supervisory Contract         AGO/CRAD
                             Specialist - GS 15
Donita McCullough            Supervisory Contract         AGO/CRAD                Bronze 2003
                             Specialist - GS 14
Carey Marlow                 Contract Specialist          AGO/CRAD
                             GS 09
Jason Manthey                General Engineer             OCAO/RPFLO/
                             GS 13                        PPMD
Michael L. Randall           Architect                    OCAO/RPFLO/
                             GS 13                        PPMD
Jerry A. Britton             General Engineer             OCAO/RPFLO/             Silver 1998
                             GS 13                        PPMD
Robben McWilliams            Architect                    OCAO/RPFLO/
                             GS 13                        PPMD
John Battle                  Architect                    OCAO/RPFLO/
                             GS 12                        PPMD
Michele A. Riley             General Engineer             OCAO/RPFLO/
                             GS 13                        PPMD

Roger McCollum               Supervisory General          OCAO/RPFLO/
                             Engineer - GS 14             PPMD


Nominator and Office:              William F. Broglie
                                   NOAA Office of the Chief Administrative Officer
                                   Helen Hurcombe
                                   Acquisition and Grants Office




                                                      275
Significance of This Accomplishment:

The SEFSC lab was restored to operation less than three months after Katrina – this would
normally take over a year. SEFSC resumed NMFS‘s mission of protecting America‘s resources
with minimum delay.

I. Certificate Text:

For outstanding service in support of the NOAA Pascagoula laboratory recovery effort.

II. Program Booklet Test:

The group is honored for providing rapid, expert assistance to the staff of the Pascagoula Lab in
the Wake of Hurricane Katrina. With the group‘s assistance, the SEFSC lab was able to move
into temporary housing just 70 days after the Storm, hastening their return to operations. Their
rapid mobilization and deployment to the storm-affected area significantly reduced the amount of
time required to get the lab into housing and back to operations. Their coordinated efforts
minimized the time that the SEFSC was out of commission, and reduced the risk this closure
posed to America‘s fisheries.

III. Justification:

Section 1 - Definitions

SEFSC – The Southeast Fisheries Service Center, part of the Pascagoula Lab.
NMFS – National Marine Fisheries Service
NSIL – National Seafood Inspection Laboratory
AGO – Acquisitions and Grants Office
CAO – Chief Administrative Officer
CRAD – Central Region Acquisition Division
RPFLO – Real Property Facilities and Logistics Office
PPMD – Project Planning and Management Division
ER – Eastern Region

Section 2 - Award Justification


What was the specific goal, challenge or problem related to the Department’s mission
and/or strategic plan?

      Hurricane Katrina shut down all operations at the Pascagoula Lab which contains the
       SEFSC and NSIL. With these two tenants out of service, the Lab was unable to perform
       it‘s key missions of supporting large marine ecosystems programs performing fishery
       research, collecting and reporting on statistical data, controlling and operating Center
       data management support systems, developing the scientific information base required




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       for fishery resource conservation, fishery development and utilization, habitat
       conservation, and protection of marine mammals and endangered species.

What was the context in which the nominee addressed the goal, challenge or problem?

      Following the September 1, 2005 directive from AGO and CAO, CRAD and
       RPFLO/PPMD ER immediately established a cross functional team to aggressively
       pursue acquisition and facility requirements needed to provide temporary facilities for
       Line Office staff affected by the hurricane. Team members traveled to the damaged sites
       to conduct a first-hand needs assessment and perform other critical actions necessary to
       restore functionality to NOAA labs and offices.

What specific actions did the nominee take to address the goal, challenge or problem?

      The Nominees Specific Actions in supporting this efforts included but were not limited
       to:
           o Acquisition Actions totaling approximately $4.0M
           o The lease or purchase of twelve modular building units
           o Construction of new and temporary office space for 100 employees, occupied
             November 6, 2005.
           o Purchase of 140 sets of office furniture
           o The lease of four storage trailers including two refrigerated units for wet
             documents.
           o The rebuilding of ship support electrical and dockside connections.
           o The design of temporary lab and office facilities including construction work
             estimated in excess of $1M

What were the results of the actions in either quantifiable or qualitative terms?

      As a direct result of the nominee‘s efforts, Lab employees were moved into temporary
       space on November 6, 2005. This is only seventy days after the lab was struck by the
       most destructive natural disaster in U.S. history. The speed of this response accelerated
       the return of the lab to performing its missions of protecting America‘s maritime
       resources.

Section 3 - Additional Information

How long did it take to complete the accomplishment? When was the accomplishment
completed/implemented/deployed?

      The Cross functional team was formed on September 1, 2005, and the first workers
       moved into their temporary workspace on November 6, 2005 – 70 days after the
       Hurricane, and 68 days after the formation of the team. It should be noted that while the
       initial effort to restore lab operations has been completed, the task is ongoing as members
       of the team work towards the full recovery of the lab which will take several years.



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What is the short-term impact (1-2 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

      The short term impact of this accomplishment is that the SEFSC was able to return to
       operations more quickly, minimizing the amount of time spent away from NMFS‘s core
       missions protecting America‘s maritime resources.

What is the long-term impact (3-5 years) of the accomplishment on the bureau and/or
Department’s mission?

      The long term impact of this accomplishment is that the SEFSC lost less time away from
       it‘s mission. Going forward, SEFSC is now able to support efforts to assess the long term
       damage to fisheries from Katrina while continuing it‘s core missions.

Does the accomplishment affect other bureaus/Department or other Federal agencies? If
so, how?

      This accomplishment deals with NOAA personnel and assets, and does not impact other
       Bureaus, Departments or Federal Agencies.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in science, technology, or
automation? If so, how?

      This accomplishment was aided by the advanced communications capability provided by
       the acquisition of a satellite phone, which provided critical communications during the
       early phase of the recovery, when local communications infrastructure was nonexistent.

Did the accomplishment result in a major advancement in non-scientific areas such as
customer service or administrative support? If so, how?

      This accomplishment raised the bar for NOAA customer service, providing immediate on
       site customer support during the initial phase, transitioning to long term support for full
       mission recovery.




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