NOS Assistant Administrator Weekly Update

Hi everyone,

NOAA is honoring a number of individuals from our line office with NOAA Administrator's Awards and U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) Silver Medal Awards this year. The NOAA Administrator’s Award recognizes employees who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, skill, and ingenuity in their significant, unique, and original contributions that bring unusual credit to NOAA, DOC, and the Federal Government. The DOC Silver Medal Award recognizes exceptional performance characterized by noteworthy or superlative contributions that have a direct and lasting impact within the Department.

Congratulations to the following people who were selected for the NOAA Administrator’s Award:

Gary Shigenaka; Bradford Benggio
For leadership, expertise, and protection of the environment provided as part of an international effort following the 2014 Bangladesh oil spill.

Christopher Clement; Alison Hammer Weingast; David Morris ("Moe") Nelson; Jill Petersen; Jason Rolfe; Nancy Wallace; Aneesah Whaley
For implementing an innovative and collaborative program to assess and respond to coastal threats resulting from Hurricane Sandy.
I would also like to recognize the efforts of team members Keith Cialino, Denise Hector, and Dan Dorfman, whose contributions were indispensable to this project.

Maria Brown; Karen Reyna; Dan Howard; Lilli Ferguson; Lisa Wooninck; Matt Brookhart; Bill Douros; Brian Johnson
For dedication and perseverance in expansion of Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones national marine sanctuaries.

Benjamin Haskell; Anne Smrcina; Matthew Lawrence; Leila Hatch; David Wiley; Dave Slocum; Alan Collette; Alice Stratton; Craig MacDonald; Kate Thompson; Vernon Smith; Robert Brock; Cheryl Oliver; Catherine Marzin; Matthew Stout; Anne-Marie Runfola
For leveraging a unique partnership to showcase NOAA during the 38th voyage of the Charles W. Morgan, the world’s last surviving wooden whaleship.

Rebecca Allee; Todd Davison; Laura Golden; Alan Lewitus; Rob Magnien; Susan Baker; Scott Cross (NESDIS); Marjorie Elizabeth Clarke (NMFS); Steve Giordano (NMFS); Kristen Laursen (NMFS); Doug Lipton (NMFS); Shannon McArthur (NWS); Paula Davidson (NWS); Nicole Kurkowski (NWS); Shelby Walker (OAR); Tracy Rouleau (PPI)
For completing NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program’s Science Plan — a shared vision for applying science to shape the future Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.

LaTonya Burgess; Hugh Johnson; Brian Julius; John Kaperick; Dana Larson; Amy Merten; John Parker; Robb Wright; Kari Sheets (NWS)
For implementation of the first NOAA operational web-mapping application in a federally secure cloud environment.
I would also like to recognize the efforts of team members Chander Ganesan; Robert St. Lawrence; Gary Petersen; and Marie Murphy, whose contributions were indispensable to this project.

LCDR Michael Gonsalves; Christina Fandel; Patrick Keown
For exceptional analysis and planning of Arctic charting priorities facing the U.S., Canada, Norway, and Denmark.

Margaret Davidson; Ko Barrett (OAR); Cynthia Decker (OAR); Adam Parris (OAR); Kathelene Williamson (OAR); Dave Easterling (NESDIS); Kandis Wyatt (NESDIS); Stephanie Herring (NESDIS); Thomas Karl (NESDIS); Roger Griffis (NMFS); David Diamond (USAO); Brady Phillips (USAO); MacKenzie Tepel (USAO)
For leadership and outstanding contributions in developing, supporting, and implementing the third National Climate Assessment.

Congratulations to the following people who were selected for the DOC Silver Medal Award:

For Leadership
Zdenka Willis; Jessica Snowden; John Murphy (NWS); Kevin Schrab (NWS); Pamela Taylor (NESDIS); Martin Yapur (NESDIS); David Helms (NESDIS); Mark Vincent (OAR); Felipe Arzayus (NMFS)
Nominated by NESDIS for developing and implementing a first-of-its-kind tool to measure the impact of the Nation’s and NOAA’s observation portfolio on societal issues.

For Heroism
Lauren Heesemann; Joseph Hoyt; Roger Mays
Nominated by NOS for their rapid, skilled response to a cardiac arrest emergency experienced by a volunteer, which resulted in the complete recovery of the victim.

Thank you,

W. Russell Callender, Ph.D.
Acting Assistant Administrator
Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management,
National Ocean Service

What is a thermocline?

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A thermocline is the transition layer between warmer mixed water at the ocean's surface and cooler deep water below. Read more.

Around NOS

NCCOS Hypoxia Forecasts Prove Accurate

For more than 10 years, NCCOS has developed and improved hypoxia (dead zone) forecasts similar to seasonal weather forecasts. The accuracy of these forecasts has proven to be quite good. Professor Don Scavia of the University of Michigan tracks the accuracy of NCCOS-funded annual forecasts and finds the models work well in years without hurricanes or tropical storms, which disrupt dead zones prior to taking measurements. This accuracy increases confidence when researchers use the models to provide guidance on nutrient load reductions, a major factor driving model predictions. Using a technique called “ensemble modeling” commonly employed in hurricane forecasting, researchers use multiple model formulations to independently forecast the same hypoxia event. Since no one model is perfect, multiple models and their resultant forecasts provide a better understanding of the forecasts’ accuracy. Hypoxia forecasts are part of a larger NOAA effort to deliver ecological forecasts that support human health, coastal economies, and coastal and marine stewardship.


Office of Coast Survey and United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) Employee Exchange

OCS is strengthening its relationship with the UKHO and sharing best practices through an employee exchange. The purpose of the exchange is to gain insight into each organization’s navigational products, production, and distribution practices. This summer, OCS is hosting a manager from the UKHO’s product management department. The representative is helping OCS establish a market/product management process while learning more about OCS’s products and the U.S. market in general. An OCS representative will work at the UKHO from October to December, focusing on product and market management best practices. The best practices will be applied to the creation of the Requirements and Product Management Branch, OCS’s newest branch, which is being developed to better serve the diverse stakeholder groups that use OCS products and data.  This is the first time in recent history that the two organizations have exchanged employees.


Marine Debris Program and Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS) Partnership

Entering into the fourth year of a partnership with NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, the GFNMS recently expanded its shoreline marine debris monitoring efforts to include two new beach cleanup sites. Surveys at the new sites follow the accumulation survey technique in the protocol document. Volunteer citizen scientists will continue to monitor at four existing "standing stock" survey locations, while school groups, corporate partners, and other organizations are being recruited to participate in monthly cleanup and survey efforts at both sites. For more information, see the Marine Debris Monitoring Project Survey Plot Locations map.


CO-OPS Makes Significant Progress on Coastal Inundation Project

CO-OPS is working across NOAA to improve the use of total water level as a decision-making tool in coastal communities. Recent progress was made on the NOS Roadmap action to establish coastal inundation benchmarks (CIB) in at least three communities, including work with the National Weather Service’s Weather Forecast Office in Wakefield, VA, near Norfolk.  CO-OPS conducted reconnaissance to identify CIB locations, feasible landmarks, and already established benchmarks that would be ideal to use as part of a local inundation network.  CO-OPS will establish two CIBs and survey two to four landmarks in Norfolk over the next few months. The project will help coastal communities gain a better understanding of the impact of water levels and local inundation impacts before, during, and after a flooding event.


Green Infrastructure Training Supports Coastal Resilience in South Florida

Coastal hazards and climate change are major concerns along the Florida coast. The City of Fort Lauderdale, in cooperation with Broward County, convened more than 60 coastal managers to participate in the “Introducing Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience” training. The training helped local practitioners understand green infrastructure concepts and practices through lectures, group exercises, and local projects and experiences. The training, delivered by OCM, was part of a series sponsored by city officials that also included OCM’s “Climate Adaptation for Coastal Communities” training. Fort Lauderdale and Broward County have a variety of resilience efforts underway and intend to build off of the workshops to modify existing plans and practices. 


International Scholars Learn about Shoreline Mapping and Emergency Response

Four scholars from Japan, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines visited NGS the week of July 20 to learn about its shoreline mapping and emergency response activities. The visit was part of the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) program, an international nonprofit that produces charts and digital grids of the world ocean by collating, interpreting, and contouring data using soundings and multibeam bathymetry with the aid of reconnaissance bathymetry derived from satellite gravity data. NOAA maintains relationships with hydrographic offices around the world to share and exchange knowledge on navigational charting products.  For more information, click here.


Coral Disease Workshop Enhances Reef Monitoring in American Samoa

A four-day workshop to incorporate disease surveys into coral reef ecosystem monitoring programs was held in Pago Pago, American Samoa. The workshop assisted in the development of a territorial plan of action to respond to threats to coral reefs, such as coral bleaching, diseases, crown-of-thorns sea star outbreaks, and large storms. Participants included the Government of American Samoa and the neighboring Independent State of Samoa as part of the Two Samoas Environmental Collaboration. Future initiatives will include a coral disease outbreak response team and an archipelago-wide coral reef disease database. The workshop was funded by CRCP, developed by the American Samoa Coral Reef Advisory Group, and instructed by a wildlife disease specialist with the U.S. Geological Survey.


NOS Assistant Administrator

NOS Acting Assistant Administrator
Dr. Russell Callender

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