It is a profound privilege to have the opportunity to serve as acting assistant administrator for NOS while Holly Bamford is the acting assistant secretary for conservation and management. As word got around this week, someone stopped me and said, "What's important to you?"
Here's the answer. People are at the heart of everything we do. The reason we are successful is that there are dedicated men and women at every level, in every branch of our organization who are convinced that our mission is important and that every single job we do contributes to meeting that mission.
Here's another dimension of how people are at the heart of what we do. People rely on us and our partners every day. Ships move in and out of port safely because of us. Families enjoy recreation in estuarine research reserves, national marine sanctuaries, and marine protected areas because of us. Emergency and coastal managers make better decisions to prepare their communities before, during, and after coastal storms because of us. These are just a few examples. Our activities spur jobs and contribute to local, regional, and the national economy.
My job as acting assistant administrator is to do everything I can to ensure that you have the resources you need to carry out our mission and to effectively lead an organization that people across the country rely on every day. I believe the actions NOS is taking in response to the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey is fundamental to the former and the NOS Roadmap is crucial for the latter. I look forward to working with the amazing NOS team to advance our mission together.
W. Russell Callender, Ph.D.
Deputy Assistant Administrator
Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management,
National Ocean Service
This underwater feature can be taller than 10,000 feet. Others can have more than 200 species of sea creatures. Read more.
The NCCOS Phytoplankton Monitoring Network (PMN) program recently trained volunteers from Georgia in harmful algal bloom and marine debris monitoring. Volunteers from Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary, Burton 4-H, and the University of Georgia's Marine Extension Service received instruction on target phytoplankton species for change detection, as well as how to identify microplastics in phytoplankton net samples. These data will be tracked using PMN's web-based map service. Also, with assistance from OR&R, the PMN program now has a pilot study to collect marine debris data using the Marine Debris Tracker smartphone application. This simple tool allows volunteers to report and record the type and location of debris through GPS features pre-installed on a smartphone. Data submitted are posted on an interactive website that allows data to be viewed and downloaded for users to design plans to prevent marine debris.
On October 10, OCS held an "industry day" for software and mobile application developers, shining the spotlight on the wide range of NOAA data available for the recreational navigation market. OCS charting experts were joined by experts from other NOAA line offices to brief almost two dozen representatives of the world's most popular apps, chart plotters, and others.
Contact: CAPT Shep.Smith@noaa.gov
OCM announced the availability of a new tool that portrays the impacts of lake level change on coastal areas and resources. The Lake Level Viewer for the U.S. Great Lakes displays variations in lake levels ranging up to six feet above and below the long-term average water level. The focus of this viewer is to help communities make smart planning decisions, such as augmenting zoning restrictions, planning for infrastructure, encouraging sustainability, and restoring and conserving habitat in areas affected by lake level fluctuation. Funded by President Obama's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the viewer was designed to complement the Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab's Water Level Dashboard.
On October 17, NGS displayed a historic telescope at the Gaithersburg Latitude Observatory Park as part of the Maryland Society of Surveyors' annual conference. This type of telescope was traditionally used to measure the Earth's orbital wobble, also known as variation of latitude, at the observatory, which operated from 1900 to 1982 in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The observatory was part of a global network of six stations that measured the wobble before the advent of more modern astronomic technologies. A National Historic Landmark since 1989, the 2.3-acre observatory park is a popular tourist attraction.
On Oct. 7, it was announced that NOAA, with assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard, will manage the historic wreck of Diamond Shoal Lightship No. 71, the only American lightship to be sunk by enemy action during World War I. The two agencies signed a formal agreement between NOAA's ONMS and the Coast Guard's Historian's Office last month. Built in 1897 in Bath, Maine, the lightship, also known as LV-71, served as a floating lighthouse marking the treacherous waters of Diamond Shoals off of North Carolina for 21 years. On Aug. 6, 1918, the German submarine U-140 attacked the vessel while it was anchored off Cape Hatteras. Under this agreement, NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary will document the wreck, nominate the site to the National Register of Historic Places, and partner with the local community and the U.S. Coast Guard to share LV-71's story for the 100th anniversary of its sinking and beyond.
OR&R staff and partners from the state, city, and community met with Rep. John Carney (D-DE), staff from Sens. Coons (D-DE) and Carper (D-DE), notable officials from the City of Wilmington, and community leaders to discuss a variety of urban revitalization and restoration issues. This two-hour event was held on September 26 in Wilmington, Delaware, and included presentations, discussions, and site visits. Presenters highlighted NOAA's efforts to support a resilient Wilmington coastal community via brownfields revitalization opportunities, the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, and cleanup and restoration of waste sites and oil spills via the Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program (DARRP) program. Community leaders and city officials presented options for urban watershed revitalization and plans for the South Wilmington Wetlands Restoration Project, which NOAA had provided some funding for. NOAA's contributions to helping improve conditions in the Brandywine River watershed were noted by the community and city officials.
NOS Acting Assistant Administrator
Dr. Russell Callender
From marine biology to "Dancing with the Stars"? It's all part of the grand plan for this week's featured colleague Dr. Matt Kendall.
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NOS Communications & Education Division