NOS Assistant Administrator Weekly Update


Hi everyone,

Congratulations to Dr. Amy Merten for being named NOAA's Employee of the Month for July 2017! Dr. Merten is being recognized for her exceptional leadership and accomplishments as chair of the Arctic Council's Emergency Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Working Group. Dr. Merten exhibited grace and diplomacy as the council's chair, and her efforts have substantially and tangibly improved international Arctic preparedness, prevention, and response. Great job!

Speaking of awards, did you know that any NOS employee may submit a nomination for the following annual awards?

  • NOS Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity
  • NOS Employee of the Year
  • NOS Team Member of the Year
  • NOS Peer Rafting


Learn more about these awards, including the due date for nominations, selection criteria, and nomination procedures, on the For Employees site.

Thank you,

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

'Final Jeopardy!' highlights NOS Ocean Fact

On July 17, the "Final Jeopardy!" answer was, "The National Ocean Service says one lethal type of this bone-free creature is the most venomous marine animal." Find the question in our ocean fact.

Around NOS

National Marine Sanctuary Receives Award for Top Travel Destination

Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary received the 2017 Experts' Choice Award from the travel website TripExpert. The sanctuary was showcased as one of the best attractions on the globe based on reviews by widely recognized travel sources including Lonely Planet, Travel + Leisure, and Fodor's. TripExpert also gave the sanctuary its Best of Hawaii award for being an "ideal spot for viewing the humpback whales that frequent the bay during winter" and one of the state's most visited attractions.

Contact: Kaau.Abraham@noaa.gov


International Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Service Workshop

NGS participated in the 2017 International Global Navigation Satellite System (IGS) Service Workshop at the University of Paris-Diderot. The workshop highlighted NGS's vital roles as a satellite orbit analysis center and in calibrating GNSS ground antennas. NGS showcased its products, exchanged scientific information with international colleagues, and discussed ways to improve the quality and use of both NGS and IGS services.

Contact: Jacob.Heck@noaa.gov


Lake Erie HAB Forecast Moves from Research to Operations

CO-OPS officially took over operations of the Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom forecast. The bulletins moved out of the experimental research and development phase and were incorporated as official NOAA forecasts. The transition is a culmination of years of research led by NCCOS, and includes dedicated resources for maintaining the forecast system, technical support, and backup servers. CO-OPS issued NOAA's first official operational HAB forecast bulletin on July 3 and will continue to issue twice-weekly bulletins during bloom events and until the season ends, usually in October.

Contact: Courtney.Barry@noaa.gov


NOAA Hosts Open House on Nautical Cartography

OCS hosted NOAA's first open house on nautical cartography. The event featured posters, presentations, and tours focusing on nautical cartography and highlighting the fields of charting and GIS. The open house welcomed 200 visitors representing 24 countries. The event was held in conjunction with the 28th Annual International Cartographic Conference 2017 in Washington, DC, where NOAA made presentations and had an exhibit. Industry partners including ESRI and CARIS, international mapping groups including the Cartography and Geographic Information Society and General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans, government agencies including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Navy, and many international charting offices attended the open house.

Contact: Shachak.Peeri@noaa.gov

NOAA Marine Debris Program Participates in Microplastics Workshop

Two staff members of NOAA's Marine Debris Program—its chief scientist and research coordinator—participated in a microplastics workshop held by the U.S. EPA in Crystal City, VA. The workshop brought together microplastics experts from academia and government agencies (e.g., EPA, NOAA, FDA, USGS) to discuss research needs and data gaps in microplastics research. Participants focused on four topics: microplastics methods, sources and fate of microplastics in the environment, ecological impacts of microplastics, and human health impacts of microplastics.

Contact: Amy.Uhrin@noaa.gov


Florida Flood Risk Workshop Features NOAA's Digital Coast

OCM, in partnership with the Florida Floodplain Managers Association, hosted a hands-on workshop on planning for and mitigating flood risks and vulnerabilities. Highlighting several popular tools from NOAA's Digital Coast, speakers provided examples of how coastal communities have used these resources to ensure resilience. In addition to Florida flood managers, participants included regional planners, insurance agents, and homeowner association members.

Contact: Lori.Cary-Kothera@noaa.gov

Robots Help Locate Origins of Shellfish Toxicity in Eastern Gulf of Maine

NCCOS-funded scientists deployed four Environmental Sample Processors (ESPs) in the Bay of Fundy and the eastern Gulf of Maine to count the red tide dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense. The ESP sensors tested whether A. fundyense cells originate in the Bay of Fundy and travel down the coast to the eastern Gulf of Maine, where extensive bivalve shellfish resources are located. Eastern Gulf of Maine blooms remain poorly understood despite their annual recurrence, and bloom predictions are not very accurate.

Contact: Quay.Dortch@noaa.gov


NOS Assistant Administrator

NOS Assistant Administrator
Dr. Russell Callender

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