NOS Assistant Administrator Weekly Update

This week, we're launching a new feature called, "NOS in Focus." Look to the right side of the page and you'll see a photo of Dr. Jesse Feyen from the Office of Coast Survey. The new feature is intended to introduce you to folks you might not meet in your day-to-day work. Keep checking back weekly to see who's the next. For more information, please contact Megan Forbes.

We're also launching the Beacon Safety Newsletter, a monthly update to raise awareness of safety, health and environmental issues and provide updates on best practices and procedures. Check out this month's issue!

Please let us know what you think about our new features by sending an email to

This is National Severe Weather Preparedness Week. NOS plays an important role in severe weather preparedness, from addressing coastal hazards to promoting coastal resilience. In addition to helping communities prepare for weather hazards, it is also important for each of us to be storm-ready. Please take a few moments to Be a Force of Nature by knowing your risk, taking action, and being an example where you live.

Here's something else you need to know. There are just a few days left to apply for the NOAA Leadership Competencies Development Program (LCDP). This is a competitive, 18-month leadership development program. It provides a series of training and learning experiences for a group of NOAA employees who have high potential for assuming greater leadership responsibilities in the agency. Learn more about the program and how to apply at the LCDP website. Applications are due Tuesday, March 11.

Next, the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management has announced a call for nominations for the 2014 Walter B. Jones Memorial Awards for Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. Nominations are open to individuals, organizations, and state and local government agencies and their employees. (Federal employees and officials are not eligible.) The hallmarks of the awards are innovation, resourcefulness, and a commitment to balancing the needs of America's natural ocean and coastal resources with the needs of people. Nominations are due April 15, 2014. Please see this website for more information.

Thank you,

Holly A. Bamford, Ph.D.
Assistant Administrator for Ocean Services and Coastal
Zone Management, National Ocean Service

Around NOS

Setting an Action Plan for the Great Lakes

Two weeks ago in Chicago, the Marine Debris Program held the final workshop to develop the first Great Lakes action plan to address marine debris. The Great Lakes Land-Based Marine Debris Action Plan is a collaborative opportunity for stakeholders throughout the region to develop and commit to actions for addressing land-based marine debris in the region. This workshop strategy session built upon two previously held meetings in December 2011 and May 2013, in which stakeholders developed vision and mission statements, as well as goals and objectives for the action plan. The plan will be completed and available later this year.

Contact: Sarah Opfer

Hosting Height Modernization Eastern States Webinar Training

On March 4, the National Geodetic Survey presented a webinar on the National Height Modernization Program and other supporting services, such as our Online Positioning User Service and our agency's plans to develop a new national vertical datum. Height modernization projects and programs being conducted or planned by federal and state organizations were also discussed.

Contact: Christine Gallagher

MPA Center Launches New Blog with Open Channels

This week, the MPA Center launched a new blog with partner organization Open Channels, the online forum for ocean planning and management by the publishers of MPA News. The blog is intended to spark dialogue about the role of marine protected areas in reaching marine conservation goals -- what works, what doesn't and how to meet current and emerging opportunities and challenges. The blog will appear monthly and comments and future blog posts are welcome. 

Contact: Charlie Wahle

New Animated Video Explains the Value of Ecosystem Services

A new video in the series "Econ 120: Two Minutes of Economic Sense" explains how to assess a value on the services provided by nature, even though the price tag for said services is $0. The video series explains crucial economic principles using everyday terms and shows how these concepts are relevant to resource managers of the coasts and oceans. Each video is short, animated, entertaining, and informative.

Contact: Jeffery Adkins   

Now Accepting Nominations for 2014 Jones Awards

OCRM is accepting nominations for the 2014 Walter B. Jones Memorial Awards for Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. These awards recognize the contributions of people and organizations in ocean and coastal management. Nominations are open to individuals, organizations, and state and local government agencies and their employees. Entries are due by April 15; winners will be announced this summer.

Contact: Patmarie Nedelka  

IOOS® Convenes Annual Regional Review and Planning Session

This week, leadership from the 11 regions of IOOS came to the Washington, D.C., area for targeted discussions with NOAA and other IOOS partners and for briefings on Capitol Hill. Meetings included a workshop in Silver Spring at the IOOS Program with special sessions on coastal intelligence, ocean modeling, ocean acidification, and ecological forecasting.  IOOS partners from both NOAA and the regions also convened a Senate briefing, sponsored by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), on how IOOS is making a difference to lives and livelihoods across the nation. The regional IOOS leadership also met with the appropriations staff of both the Senate and the House.

Contact: Gabrielle Canonico

NOAA-developed Method for Toxins Detection Approved for Regulatory Testing of Shellfish in the U.S.

Earlier this year, the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) approved a new receptor binding assay developed by NCCOS as an official method for identifying toxicity that could result in paralytic shellfish poisoning. The approval is the culmination of more than a decade of effort to find an alternative to live animal testing for paralytic shellfish toxins. Paralytic shellfish poisoning is a world-wide, sometimes fatal seafood poisoning caused by potent algal neurotoxins that accumulate in shellfish. Both U.S. and international shellfish commerce regulations require testing for paralytic shellfish toxins and, until recently, the only approved toxins testing method in the U.S. had been the mouse bioassay. This is the first method for detecting paralytic shellfish toxins to be accepted by the ISSC as a full regulatory method since the mouse bioassay was accepted over 30 years ago.

Contact:  Fran VanDolah   

NOAA Receives Prestigious Award for Geospatial Activities

NOAA was recently presented with the 'Making a Difference Award' at the Esri Federal User Conference in Washington, D.C. The award is presented annually to an organization that is doing exemplary work using geospatial technology. The Esri Federal User Conference had over 4,000 attendees and focused on the use of GIS technologies within the federal sector. During the conference NOAA staff participated in multiple sessions and panels including the annual NOAA Special Interest Group meeting attended by over 100 NOAA staff.

Contact: Tony LaVoi

NOS Assistant Administrator
NOS Assistant Administrator Holly Bamford

NOS Assistant Administrator
Dr. Holly Bamford

Quick Links
NOS in Focus
Dr. Jesse Feyen, Office of Coast Surve

Get to know Dr. Jesse Feyen a bit better... what would he do if he weren't working at NOAA?

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