Web Highlight

Web Highlight

In today's episode, learn about the Challenger mission, an effort from the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System and Rutgers to send an ocean glider around the world. We then look back to the 2009 Scarlet Knight mission, the first successful ocean glider to cross the Atlantic. And we end with a short teaser from the 2010 documentary 'Atlantic Crossing: a robot's daring mission.'

NOS For Employees website

For Employees

Now that NOS is CAC enforced having your NOAA CAC card is essential for working on your computer. Remember to always take your CAC card with you anytime you leave your computer. Visit the Common Access Card (CAC) Incident Procedures page to learn what to do if you forget your card/PIN or need your card replaced.

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NOS Communications & Education Division

NOS Assistant Administrator Weekly Newsletter

February 7, 2013



Hi everyone,

image of Holly BamfordThe caliber of people across NOS is impressive. This week, I’d like to congratulate the exceptional men and women of NOS recently named as recipients of the Bronze Medal and Distinguished Career Awards. The Bronze Medal is the highest honor award that can be granted by NOAA's administrator and the Distinguished Career Award recognizes long-term achievement in advancing the goals and mission of NOAA.

Bronze Medal Award

Greg Baker, Rob Ricker, and Ian Zelo from the Office of Response and Restoration, along with Jan Roletto from the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries are being recognized for exceptional coordination and scientific innovation leading to a swift, cooperative, and unprecedented National Resource Damage Assessment settlement for the MV Cosco Busan oil spill. Employees from NOAA's Office of General Counsel and the National Marine Fisheries Service were also recognized with this award.

Bradford Benggio, Christopher Barker, Amoreena MacFadyen, and Glen Watabayashi from the Office of Response and Restoration are being honored for supporting interagency and international efforts to ensure response preparedness to threats of oil spills from exploration in foreign waters.

NOAA Coastal Services Center is being recognized for developing a powerful delivery system for geospatial data and tools that is being used to sustain coastal resources and coastal communities.

Rich Patchen, who recently retired from the Office of Coast Survey, is being recognized in an Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) award along with National Weather Service and OAR staff for their outstanding response to the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant disaster by providing important information about the expected spread of radiation in the air and the ocean.

Distinguished Career Award

Doug Brown, who recently retired from National Geodetic Survey, is being honored with a Distinguished Career Award for outstanding service, teamwork, and leadership in science education, coastal management, nautical charting, and geodesy.

Carol Auer, who recently retired from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, is being recognized for her long-term commitment to advancing the nation's preparedness for the ecosystem impacts of sea level rise.

Patricia A. Fair from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science is being honored for outstanding research that increased scientific knowledge, understanding, and tools to benefit the health of marine mammals and humans.

John Whitney from the Office of Response and Restoration is receiving the recognition for sustained exemplary performance in spill preparedness and response throughout 26 years of service to NOAA and the nation.

Congratulations to all of our NOS awardees!

Thank you,

Holly A. Bamford, Ph.D.

P.S. Staff members in the DC area: This is a reminder that the NOAA Open House is this Saturday, February 9, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. See NOAA's Preserve America Website for more information.

Web Highlight

Web Highlight

In today's episode, learn about the Challenger mission, an effort from the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System and Rutgers to send an ocean glider around the world. We then look back to the 2009 Scarlet Knight mission, the first successful ocean glider to cross the Atlantic. And we end with a short teaser from the 2010 documentary 'Atlantic Crossing: a robot's daring mission.'

For Employees

NOS For Employees website

Now that NOS is CAC enforced having your NOAA CAC card is essential for working on your computer. Remember to always take your CAC card with you anytime you leave your computer. Visit the Common Access Card (CAC) Incident Procedures page to learn what to do if you forget your card/PIN or need your card replaced.

Around NOS

New ESI Product Focuses on Threatened and Endangered Species (OR&R)
The Office of Response and Restoration released a new Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) product that highlights coastal species and habitats that are listed by federal or state governments as endangered, threatened, protected, or as a species of concern. The complexity of ESI data can make it difficult for those who use the data intermittently to quickly extract the information they need. The new Threatened and Endangered Species databases offer a more user-friendly option to access some of the most critical biological information for a region. For example, when an oil spill occurs, ESI maps can help responders meet one of the main response objectives - reducing the environmental consequences of the spill and cleanup efforts. Additionally, ESI maps can be used by planners—before a spill happens—to identify vulnerable locations, establish protection priorities, and identify cleanup strategies. For more information, contact Jill Petersen.

San Francisco Bay NERR Included in International Designation (OCRM)
San Francisco Bay, which includes the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, was named by the Ramsar Convention as the United States' 35th Wetland of International Importance, effective on World Wetlands Day, February 2, 2013. The San Francisco Bay is the largest estuary on the Pacific Coast of the U.S., and it is widely recognized as one of North America's most ecologically important estuaries, accounting for 77 percent of California's remaining perennial estuarine wetlands and providing key habitat for a broad suite of flora and fauna as well as a range of ecological services such as flood protection, water quality maintenance, nutrient filtration and cycling, and carbon sequestration. For more information, contact Alison Krepp.


MPA Center Seeks Nominations for National System of MPAs (ONMS)
The Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Center has announced that the nomination process for existing sites to nominate themselves for inclusion in the national system of MPAs is now open. Eligible federal, state, territorial, and tribal MPA programs are invited to nominate sites by March 29, 2013. Currently, 355 federal, state, and territorial sites are members of the national system, which provides new opportunities for MPAs to work together on shared conservation priorities. The national system does not impose any new restrictions on access or use within existing MPAs. All nominated sites will be announced in the Federal Register and available for public comment on the MPA Center website. After final review by the managing agency and the MPA Center, mutually agreed upon MPAs will be accepted into the national system. For more information, contact Lauren Wenzel.

NGS Announces Release of Geodetic Data from Geoid Slope Validation Survey 2011 (NGS)
Between February 2011 and April 2012, the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) executed one of the most comprehensive geodetic surveys in its history: the Geoid Slope Validation Survey of 2011 (GSVS11). The survey was performed to quantify the accuracy of differential geoid modeling based on NGS'; airborne Gravity for the Redefinition of the American Vertical Datum (GRAV-D) surveys. During the GSVS11, geodetic data was collected on over 200 control marks, including leveling, long-session GPS, short-session GPS, Real Time Network GPS, absolute gravity, relative gravity, and deflections of the vertical. Airborne Light Detection and Ranging imagery collection augmented the effort. The GSVS11 was the first testing method to begin addressing the achievable accuracy of a gravimetric geoid model. For more information, contact Dru Smith.


Algal Toxin Causes Seizures by Damaging Olfactory Neurons (NCCOS)
NOAA researchers discovered how a harmful algal toxin called domoic acid targets the brain to induce seizures. Using a rat model, they showed that it causes extensive damage to the olfactory bulb, a specialized brain region responsible for perceiving odors. This damage can trigger a 'domino effect' of further impairment along neuronal pathways that lead to seizures in short-term memory regions of the brain. These episodes can eventually progress to a permanent disease state, similar to human epilepsy. Increasing numbers of California sea lions are sickened each year from ingesting this toxin that accumulates in their prey. The increase in sea lion cases may be indicative of an increasing threat to other marine species—or people. For more information, contact John Ramsdell.

NOAA Coastal Services Center Provides Training to over 1,200 Coastal Professionals (CSC)
Officials charged with the management of coastal resources and coastal communities continue to benefit from the courses offered by the NOAA Coastal Services Center, with 98 percent saying that they would recommend the courses to other coastal professionals. In the past fiscal year, 46 training courses plus 13 Web-based trainings were conducted for people in 37 states and territories. Through these opportunities, over 1,200 people were trained in social sciences, geospatial technologies, and coastal issues such as preparing for climate change. New topics were added this year on deriving shoreline data, restoration project design, and grants management. For more information, contact Mary Culver.

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