NOS Assistant Administrator Weekly Update
In addition to all of the celebrations going on this month, it is important to note that February is also a month for us to focus on respect for one another. If you have school-aged children, you may hear them talk about “Respect Week” activities. I feel this is an idea that should be emphasized throughout the year.
At NOAA, we strive to maintain a workplace where everyone feels comfortable and respected. It is very important to me that we at NOS feel that we are part of a safe and supportive community.
I want to remind you that NOAA provides options for anyone who thinks that they are experiencing unacceptable behavior in the workplace. In December 2016, NOAA launched the Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault (SASH) Helpline. The SASH Helpline provides crisis intervention, referrals, and emotional support to NOAA employees, contractors, and affiliates who are victims and/or survivors of sexual harassment or sexual assault in the workplace. The helpline is operated by the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), the nation's largest anti-sexual-violence organization.
Through the SASH Helpline, RAINN support specialists will provide live, confidential, one-on-one support. All services are anonymous, secure, and available 24/7 worldwide. The Helpline is accessible through a variety of channels, including:
Website and Online Chat: http://NOAASASHHelpline.org
Mobile App: NOAA SASH Helpline (available via iOS and Android App stores)
I also want to encourage employees to take advantage of the free OPM/DOJ web-based Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking (DVSAS) training to enhance awareness, prevention, and response to disruptive behavior in the workplace. The training offers interactive scenarios for how to effectively respond to various workplace situations, and connects federal employees to external resources.
Finally, federal employees and their immediate family members can contact the Employee Assistance Program 24/7, toll-free, at 1-800-222-0364 (for individuals with hearing impairments, TTY 1-800-262-7848) for assistance involving life challenges.
W. Russell Callender, Ph.D.
Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management,
National Ocean Service
Coast Survey Announces Plans for 2017 Hydrographic Survey Season
The Office of Coast Survey has announced its 2017 hydrographic survey season plans. This year, Coast Survey offers a new "living" story map outlining these plans. The story map will be updated as progress is made with each survey project.
Helping the ‘Parking Situation’ at Port Fourchon, Louisiana
If you’ve ever been stuck in traffic outside a mall at Christmas, you know the importance of adequate parking. It’s no different around some of the nation’s busiest ports, except that expanded ship “parking” is needed 24/7. OCS recently helped find an area suitable for a new anchorage outside of Port Fourchon, LA, using images and a report from a contracted hydrographic survey. The survey data shows a fairly clean area with one well-defined hazard that is navigationally manageable. Earlier this month, OCS transmitted the report to Port Fourchon, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Port Fourchon currently services more than 90 percent of the Gulf of Mexico’s deep-water oil production, with more than 400 large supply vessels traversing the port’s channels each day. The port's ability to “park” so many vessels has become a significant issue.
Estuary Education Website Gets a Fresh New Look
Estuaries are invaluable resources for coastal dwellers of fin, fur, and feather. For people, these ecosystems offer protection, recreation, and a wealth of learning opportunities. Education coordinators from NOAA's National Estuarine Research Reserves and OCM released a revamped estuary education website where educators and estuary enthusiasts can find a variety of resources, including specially developed curricula, videos, teacher training workshops, real-time data, and opportunities to volunteer. The fresh, bright layout and user-friendly navigation will help people easily find estuary information and share the wonders of the reserves with others.
OR&R Meets with National Center for Environmental Information
OR&R met with the National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI) to negotiate workflows and milestones for completing the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) closeout of data. Of particular focus were 225 discrete hard drives, and data layers from the Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA). The group examined some of the Data Integration Visualization Exploration and Reporting (DIVER) database structure that can enable automated archiving and delivery to the NCEI and aid in cataloging DWH data streams.
NGS Presentations at International LIDAR Mapping Forum
NGS represented NOAA at the International LIDAR Mapping Forum in Denver, CO. NGS staff presented papers including New Advances in NOAA’s Topo-bathy LIDAR Program. Staff also moderated a panel at the forum. LIDAR is a remote sensing technology that uses a laser to measure distance. The forum is an annual technical conference and exhibition featuring the latest airborne, terrestrial, and underwater LIDAR. The meeting featured emerging developments in remote sensing and data-collection tools, technologies, and emergency services.
Charleston STEM Event Draws 16,000 Students and Families
The Charleston STEM Festival, which hosted 16,000 students and families this year, is one of 12 community events nationwide supported by the Alfred P. Slone Foundation to increase awareness of the role of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in society. NOAA Education and NOAA Exploration provided educational materials from the line offices that all call Charleston home—NOS, NOAA Fisheries, NOAA Weather, NOAA Research, and NOAA Satellites. NCCOS scientists provided hands-on activities to observe and identify phytoplankton and zooplankton collected in a plankton tow off the banks of the Ashley River. This raised awareness of NOAA citizen science offered through the Phytoplankton Monitoring Network and encouraged new participants in the greater Charleston area.
CO-OPS Chesapeake Facility Hosts U.S. Senate Staff
CO-OPS hosted staff from the offices of U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine at its facility in Chesapeake, VA, which is the hub of its field office division. The staffers toured the facility and were very interested in all that CO-OPS does to make high-quality oceanographic measurements. They were briefed on the rich history of CO-OPS, the multiple uses of CO-OPS data and products, and CO-OPS’s long-term standards for installing and maintaining stations.