Arnaud Chulliat and the rest of the geomagnetism team (Patrick Alken, Nir Boneh, Brian Meyer, Manoj Nair, Jesse Varner, and Adam Woods) provided exemplary service to an enormous community of users worldwide by updating the World Magnetic Model (WMM) in an unexpected, out-of-cycle release more than a year before the next scheduled update was planned. This was a critical update for many users including the U.S. military, NATO, commercial aviation, search and rescue professionals, and in other sectors that rely on precision navigation, especially in the far North.
Arnaud Chulliat, Patrick Alken, Nir Boneh, Brian Meyer, Manoj Nair, Jesse Varner, and Adam Woods
As the NCEI fisheries acoustic data manager, Chuck Anderson is responsible for working with NOAA and other data providers to archive “fisheries acoustic data”—water-column sonar and passive acoustic— and associated metadata. Anderson demonstrated above-and-beyond initiative to adapt, enhance, and expand a software tool set (which he custom-built for just fisheries acoustic data) to support general marine geophysical data. The work greatly benefitted the broader scientific community within and beyond NOAA. Anderson’s “CruisePack” software is enabling critical marine geophysical data to be well documented and preserved for generations to come. The innovative approaches that Anderson has taken in the design and implementation of CruisePack addressed multiple challenges inherent to complex and variable datasets, a national and international community of non-experts in metadata, and a variety of research objectives.
Amanda Morton has provided outstanding service by inspiring the next generation of ocean scientists through coordinating and organizing the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB), a high-school-level ocean-science-focused competition. Amanda has done a marvelous job in coordinating and organizing the regional NOSB competition, named the Trout Bowl, every year since 2011. However, in 2018, her engagement went above and beyond normal project work and job duties. She organized the regional Trout Bowl in February 2018, for 13 regional teams and, in addition, opened the competition to four Texas teams that were displaced through the impacts of hurricane Harvey. With this invitation, Amanda was able to provide a competition opportunity for these teams. In addition to this larger-than-usual regional event, Amanda hosted the NOSB Final Competition in April 2018 at CIRES. It was the first time the NOSB National Competition took place in a land-locked state.
Science and Engineering
During her short time at NOAA, Caroline Womack has tackled a series of diverse, complex experimental and scientific challenges. The resulting advances are foundational and will ultimately provide the NOAA/CIRES community with new experimental methods and new ways of thinking about future research. These advances include: 1) A methodology for the measurement of broadband aerosol extinction, a challenging project with potential for the next generation of instruments in this field; 2) An innovative modeling framework for understanding wintertime aerosol pollution that may lead to reconsideration of particulate matter mitigation strategies in polluted regions worldwide; and 3) a careful investigation of current instrumentation for measurements of speciated reactive nitrogen. Her many contributions in a very short period are new and innovative and have potential to alter the direction of their fields.
Geoff Dutton, Lei Hu, Ben Miller, Debra Mondeel, Fred Moore, David Nance, Eric Ray, Carolina Siso, and Pengfei Yu
CIRES scientists Geoff Dutton, Lei Hu, Ben Miller, Debra Mondeel, Fred Moore, David Nance, Eric Ray, Carolina Siso, and Pengfei Yu provided the analytical and interpretive foundations of a paper that has identified substantial unreported emissions of trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11), a major ozone-depleting substance. Production of CFC-11 has been phased out under the provisions of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer for almost a decade. The finding of unreported emissions represents an unprecedented challenge to the Protocol process, which is supported by all nations. This paper has alarmed the world and inspired scientific research and policy discussions to address the causes and implications of the emissions. The CIRES team ensured that the CFC-11 measurements used in the paper were of the highest analytical quality and that the model-based interpretation that led to the conclusion of unreported emissions considered all processes involving CFC-11 in the atmosphere. Since the release, the United Nations Environment Programme has endorsed the paper’s conclusions in its quadrennial assessment of ozone depletion.
Christina Williamson has exhibited sustained scientific and engineering excellence while passionately pursuing a scientific vision involving improving, modifying, and calibrating a set of unique instruments to measure the size and number of newly formed atmospheric nano-particles. She is operating these instruments during a set of challenging, global-scale airborne measurements to produce a unique dataset that maps out regions of new particle formation in the remote atmosphere, and using these observations to challenge and improve the global models that simulate important but uncertain climate processes. She has seen this multi-year effort through instrument development and testing, four around-the-world measurement campaigns, and the analysis and publication of results. Additionally, she has served as a vocal advocate to the public and a range of scientific communities, maintaining and contributing to blogs, a twitter feed, and presenting at numerous conferences.
CIRES Bronze Medal
Martin Aubrey, Elizabeth Delk, Christopher Esterlein, Richard Fozzard, Semere Ghebrechristos, Arianna Jakositz, Evan McQuinn, David Neufeld, and Elliott Richerson
These nine CIRES colleagues in NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, were critical to a NOAA team that won a Department of Commerce Bronze Medal in 2019, "for implementing the NOAA OneStop data discovery system, dramatically improving NOAA’s ability to deliver environmental data to the public." The Bronze is the highest honor award granted by the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, recognizing federal employees for superior performance. CIRES recognizes employees who were a critical part of this team with the CIRES Bronze Medal.
Andrew Clark designed and built a new meteorological system for NOAA’s atmospheric baseline observatory network, after consulting extensively with partners around the world to ensure he understood their data needs. The system is exceeding all expectations, setting up the science community with higher-resolution, more accurate data. Clark’s new data logger and software design allow researchers to view data in near real-time at 1-min intervals, and his incorporation of heated sonic anemometers increased not only accuracy of wind measurements, but has improved safety—eliminating the need for technicians to climb towers in the dead of winter to remove daily frost.
Importantly, improved meteorological measurements and data access support operations as well as science. In American Samoa, for example, new-and-improved meteorological data went into the official storm report for Tropical Storm Gita, helping forecasters and leadership make critical decisions about continuity of operations plans at the federal level.
According to a letter submitted by a NOAA partner in Hawaii: “His contribution … has improved the access of obtaining meteorological data for both NOAA and cooperative research staff and translates to saving both time and money in our organization.”
Susan Lynds conducts innovative and important evaluation work for the CIRES Education & Outreach group, CIRES, others at the University of Colorado, NOAA, and countless other organizations and agencies. Notably, she designed and implemented evaluation systems for the NOAA Climate.gov and drought.gov websites, critical information portals for diverse audiences.
Her professional and exhaustive approach to evaluation goes well beyond her normal job, according to her nomination package. Lynds balances many projects at once, works at home and on weekends to complete necessary tasks, and she offers her clients remarkable skill and insight that creates efficiencies and improves return on investment.
Lynds’ work “has advanced the field and our program practices and standards for evaluations,” one person wrote in support of her nomination. “Those not familiar with evaluation as a profession may not realize that it requires constant generation of small methodological innovations, which may be easily overlooked but are essential to effective evaluation work. Moreover, this range and variety in Susan’s work is possible—and only possible—because she has remarkable skill in managing projects and time.”
Science and Engineering
Brian McDonald has done cutting-edge work to improve scientific understanding of how human activities affect air quality. McDonald’s inventory development and analyses have improved the way scientists and policy makers consider impacts of various sources of pollutants. His nominated research included assessments of nitrogen oxide emissions in a Utah oil and gas basin, and volatile organic compound emissions in the Los Angeles region. In both areas, he has been able to elegantly combine emissions estimates, atmospheric observations, and models to provide insight into air quality challenges with important human health considerations. McDonald’s work has also inspired new fields of research. He finds, for example, that indoor emissions (eg, from consumer products) can have substantial effects on outdoor particulate matter levels; that discovery is inspiring new lines of research at NOAA and beyond.
According to a letter from an internationally recognized scientist who supported McDonald’s nomination: “In summary, Dr. McDonald’s research has had a major impact on atmospheric science and environmental policy...he’s well on his way to becoming a true leader in air quality and atmospheric chemistry research.”
Paleoclimatologist Carrie Morrill published a field-changing analysis last year, which dissected possible explanations for why it was so wet in the western United States during the Last Glacial Maximum. Her work showed that the accepted scientific explanation, which involved a southerly shifted jet stream, is likely incorrect. Rather, the primary driver was reduced humidity over land, caused by the strong cooling from the ice sheet, and subsequent dynamics. These factors, working in the opposite direction, are probably behind the observed and projected drying in western North America under increased greenhouse gas concentrations, Morrill and her co-author found. “This work represents one of the leading results in the past several decades for last 20,000-year paleoclimatology in North America,” her nominator wrote.
That nominator also highlighted Morrill’s extraordinary scientific accomplishments combining informatics and paleoclimate data. This aspect of her work involved working directly with stakeholders—mostly, scientists who need access to reliable, standardized paleoclimate data—to better understand their disparate needs. Morrill was a “quick study in the practice and theory of thesaurus and ontology construction,” one of her colleagues wrote in a letter supporting her nomination, and Morrill’s work improved access to and use of the NCEI-World Data Service for Paleoclimate.
Andy Neuman & Richard McLaughlin
Andy Newman, Richard McLaughlin, and federal colleague Patrick Veres first identified the need: Atmospheric chemists needed a sophisticated new instrument and a “ride” for it to help scientists fill in gaps in our understanding of the chemistry of the global atmosphere. The team successfully advocated for the new instrument in 2015, obtaining funds to obtain a time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Since then, they found it a ride—on NASA’s Atmospheric Tomography mission—and in record time, they ruggedized and integrated the instrument into the aircraft, meeting stringent weight, configuration, and power requirements. Among many critical innovations: Newman and McLaughlin innovated an inlet and sampling scheme that provided a constant sample mass flow with extraordinary pressure stability.
The CIMS data are of particular interest to those studying the oxidation chemistry that determines the lifetimes of ozone and methane in the atmosphere—with implications for climate and air quality.
“My conclusion is that I would love to have a copy of their instrument,” one person wrote in support of the nomination. “The deployment was nearly flawless and the data they collected was unique and of the highest quality.”
NOAA’s Global Monitoring Division manages a global network of scientists and institutions that track and understand atmospheric greenhouse gas levels. At the foundation of that network are accurate measurements and calibration standards. Andrew Crotwell is recognized for work that modernized and significantly improved several core measurements systems.
To start, Crotwell developed a new calibration scale transfer system for carbon dioxide; a system that can accomodate the latest laser-based measurement technologies. He also innovated a method to address long-standing challenges in measuring carbon monoxide. And finally, he developed a new system to more efficiently and accurately measure key species (CO2, CH4, N2O, CO and SF6) from weekly flask-air samples collected around the world.
Crotwell’s expertise earned him a spot on a World Meteorological Organization committee that advises the entire international atmospheric community on technical aspects of these measurements and calibrations.
“Achieving progress in these topics requires profound technical expertise, experimental rigor and high attentiveness to small effects,” one person wrote in support of the nomination. “Andrew Crotwell certainly has all these qualities.”
Science and Engineering
in NOAA’s Physical Sciences Division, won for leading the development of the 20th Century Reanalysis. Compo initiated the original idea behind the reanalysis (i.e., a reanalysis that relied only on surface pressure records and thus could extend back more than 100 years) and then managed and curated the large undertaking of creating of the reanalysis itself. This effort has inspired creation of a similar effort at the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts and thus has been international in its level of impact and influence.
“Gil had the vision to see the need for a long, consistent climate record, the imagination to see that weather forecasting techniques could be useful even when observations were few and far between, the commitment to assemble the enormous resources required to implement the idea, and the generosity to involve everyone who became fascinated along the way,” his nominator wrote.
in NOAA’s Global Monitoring Division, won for outstanding software development to support his division’s mission to collect and understand accurate, long-term atmospheric data. Hageman’s work includes creating, maintaining, modifying, and deploying code to acquire, transfer, and visualize atmospheric data collected worldwide. Hageman’s expertise in programming and his grasp of the global science conducted within the Global Monitoring Division have enabled the division to save hundreds of thousands of dollars in commercial software purchases avoided. And Hageman’s code, which allows for visualization of data, analysis, and much more, is far more flexible than what could be purchased.
A Canadian government scientist, who wrote in support of Hageman’s award, called Hageman “an amazing asset for NOAA and CIRES,” noting that he is not only expert at data extraction, statistical analysis, and plotting, but he is invariably available to help create new and highly useful analysis tools for the global community. “We absolutely could not run this global network without him,” Hageman’s nominator wrote.
in NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, won for his uncommon scientific creativity and resourcefulness in transitioning an academic geospace model (from the University of Michigan) into operations. This model serves NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) forecasters and stakeholders, including power grid operators.
Millward’s successful efforts involved developing software tools for the transition, innovating new ways to operate the model and visualize output, and working through political and administrative challenges encountered along the way. The results of his work will enable continuous, minute-by-minute, short-term forecasts of geospace conditions that are useful for both space weather operations and for the broader scientific enterprise, his nominators wrote.
Kelly Carignan and Matthew Love
in NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, won for their development of a 5-day tutorial in coastal digital elevation modeling for tsunami preparedness, which took place at the University of Victoria in Canada. Development of this tutorial was an extensive effort as Carignan and Love had to create it from scratch and communicate complex technical procedures in a short amount of time. Their course covered a challenging scientific issue, the modeling of tsunami waves: Tracking powerful, landward-moving waves involves a sophisticated integration of both land-based topographic data and ocean-based bathymetric data into one seamless data set. The workshop participants, who discovered the extremely complex, detailed, and time-consuming task of this process, gave Carignan and Love outstanding reviews for the training.
In one letter of support, a Canadian ocean sciences leader wrote: “I strongly believe that the work from Matt and Kelly was the critical element needed to forge collaborations between Canada and United States on tsunami safety and preparedness matters.”
Mark Cloninger and Andrea Dietz
on CIRES’ Finance team, won for being “world class enablers of CIRES.” This nomination provided numerous examples of Cloninger and Dietz going above and beyond to help CIRES personnel in navigating budgets, proposals, and university and NOAA systems. In particular, the CIRES finance team’s navigation of the university’s transition to a new financial system was exemplary and largely shielded CIRES personnel from the bumps and bruises associated.
“Marc and the rest of the team clearly strive to continually improve, seeking feedback quickly and efficiently, and working with colleagues to build systems and processes that support continued excellence,” the nominators wrote. They also noted that principal Investigators lucky enough to work with Marc and Andrea spend substantially more time on their own research and less on paperwork than colleagues in other departments and institutions.
in NOAA’s Physical Sciences Division, won for her leadership and coordination of the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee’s Arctic Research Plan. This work involved collecting input and feedback from numerous sources across multiple agencies, and it resulted in the December 2016 release, by the Executive Office of the President, of a 5-year plan. That plan serves to advance research in areas of common interest across the Arctic research community at all levels, including Federal, State, local, tribal, academic, non-governmental organization, and industry.
“Starkweather worked to develop the structure for the plan, to assemble input and feedback from numerous sources, to host public discussion sessions, and to ensure that the document was produced in a timely fashion,” her nominator wrote. “Her strong facilitation skills, collaborative abilities, and dedicated work were critical for the successful production of this important national plan.”
CIRES Gold Medal For Scientific/Engineering Achievement
Gilbert Compo, Prashant Sardeshmukh, and Chesley McColl
were part of a team in NOAA’s Physical Sciences Division recognized with a Department of Commerce Gold Medal in 2016. Compo, Sardeshmukh and McColl and NOAA’s Jeff Whitaker created the 20th Century Reanalysis, a pioneering reconstruction of global weather and extremes using only surface pressure observations. The Department of Commerce's Gold Medal recognizes distinguished performance characterized by extraordinary, notable, or prestigious contributions, but it can only be used to recognize federal employees. CIRES awards CIRES Gold Medals for team members critical to award-winning work.
Alysha Reinard, Michele Cash, Jeff Johnson, Michael Burek, Tom DeFoor, Richard Grubb, Ratina Dodani, William Rowland, Paul Loto'aniu, Meg Tilton, and Stefan Codrescu
were part of a team awarded a Department of Commerce Gold Medal in 2016 for their work on the Deep Space Climate Observatory mission, dedicated to space weather. The CIRES scientists were critical to a team from the National Weather Service and the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service. The group was recognized for deploying the first operational space weather environmental spacecraft to provide storm warnings that protect the Nation’s critical infrastructure.
CIRES Bronze Medal
Physical Sciences Division Staff
Many CIRES scientists were part of a multi-institutional team that won a Department of Commerce Bronze Medal in 2017, for the El Niño Rapid Response Field Campaign. Federal and CIRES scientists in the Physical Sciences Division of NOAA, the Aircraft Operations Center, and the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown were involved in the mission.
NOAA Research Employees of the Year
CIRES’ Don Murray, Dan Wolfe, Paul E. Johnston, Dave Costa, Leslie Hartten, and Darren Jackson
in NOAA’s Physical Sciences Division, were part of a NOAA team recognized with the NOAA Research Employees of the Year award, not available to non-federal scientists. The group of federal and cooperative institute scientists was honored for rapidly implementing and supporting a complex, multi-platform, multi-organizational field campaign to observe a rare, high-intensity El Niño event in the central, equatorial Pacific.
Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
in NOAA’s Chemical Sciences Division, was awarded a PECASE in early 2017, one of 102 young scientists and engineers to receive this recognition. The PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on early career science and engineering professionals. Perring’s research has focused on characterizing and understanding atmospheric particles (“aerosols”) and how they affect climate and air quality. She also works to understand “bioaerosols” (bacteria, fungi, and pollen in the air), which can affect cloud formation, rain, snow, and human health.
Reid Scholarship Award
in NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), is this year’s recipient of the George C. and Joan A. Reid Award. Made possible by the Reids’ generous contribution to an endowed scholarship fund, the Reid Award celebrates intellectual contributions to CIRES and leadership within the broader University of Colorado Boulder community.
George Colvin Reid (1929–2011) was an eminent atmospheric scientist who pioneered research into critical environmental issues such as stratospheric ozone depletion and global climate change. Always a progressive thinker, he was one of the initial four fellows who founded the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.
Joan A. Reid was one of the first women to enroll in the University of Colorado School of Law. She spent most of her career with the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, and was a frequent community volunteer, an avid outdoorsperson, and with her husband George, an inveterate world traveler.
Schnepf works in the NOAA NCEI geomagnetism group and is a PhD student in the University of Colorado Boulder’s Department of Geological Sciences. She is advised by CIRES scientist Manoj Nair (NOAA NCEI) and CIRES Fellow Anne Sheehan (Geological Sciences). Both mentors describe her as exceptional.
Schnepf has already published several papers in her research field—the magnetic field associated with oceanic flow, and using variations in that field to determine more about issues such as tsunami propagation, the electrical structure of the lithosphere, and the circulation of ocean water. She is collaborating with international scientists on research projects and has helped to organize a geomagnetism course that brought together colleagues from the CU Boulder campus and NOAA’s geomagnetism group. Schnepf also has helped to organize three national conferences for women in physics, including one in January here at the University of Colorado Boulder. She and her colleagues brought together female undergraduate physics majors from throughout the western United States, for three days of keynote talks, networking, career workshops, and tours.
Neesha’s geomagnetism research connects a variety of CIRES research from space weather to solid earth sciences to ocean circulation and climate change. “She is an emerging star in the field of geophysics, has a strong publication record, is active in outreach, and has my highest recommendation,” one of her nominators wrote.
Hilary Peddicord and Jonathan Joyce
in NOAA’s Global Systems Division won for their development of the SOS Explorer (SOSx), an adaptation of Science On a Sphere® displayed on flat screens for use in schools and other public venues. Their work, which went above and beyond expectations, involved software development and creation of accompanying educational resources—a package that one journalist lauded as “the ultimate desktop model of Earth.” SOS Explorer “literally puts the world at our fingertips,” the nominators wrote. The interactive system has the potential to ignite interest in the sciences and direct students toward STEM subjects.
Rick Tisinai, Gabrielle Accatino, and Catherine Burgdorf-Rasco
NOAA’s Chemical Sciences Division won for their innovative and high impact design and application of new IT resources during the 2015 Chemical Sciences Division (CSD) review. This effort involved coordination of a dense schedule of fiveminute talks as well as electronic poster presentations and significant developments for remote participation. A review panelist wrote that the IT team’s skill and innovation maximized the effectiveness of the review, allowing for more presentations and deeper discussions about CSD science. This team’s skill and innovation also inspired imitation: Their format and technologies have been adopted for several subsequent reviews at NOAA and CIRES.
Science and Engineering
Andrew Rollins, Troy Thornberry, Laurel Watts, and Richard McLaughlin
NOAA’s Chemical Sciences Division won for developing a new laser-based instrument to measure SO2 at extremely low mixing ratios relevant to the stratosphere. The instrument, built and deployed in record time, will enable better understanding of atmospheric sulfur chemistry and transport, which is critical to understanding the stratospheric aerosol layer, including impacts from geoengineering. The new instrument’s detection limit is 50-fold better than previous technologies and it is already is allowing investigation of science questions previously impossible to tackle. This project grew out of a 2013 CIRES Innovative Research Project.
in NOAA’s Chemical Sciences Division won for developing one of the world’s quickest and most automated systems to analyze whole air samples by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Brian developed a four-device package that includes sampling, analysis and interface, GC-MS, and cannister cleaning, and he also built efficient software to greatly improve speed of data analysis. Brian’s improvements now allow routine analysis of field samples within 36 hours, greatly expanding his team’s analytical capabilities and ability to address important science topics such as the emissions of organic gases from oil and natural gas operations. Other groups around the world are looking to use some of Brian’s techniques in their own systems.
in NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) won for developing an innovative way to let diverse users of NOAA’s sonar data quickly assess the value of datasets for their particular use, and more easily use the data. With her new visualization scheme, developed in partnership with NOAA Fisheries, sonar data users can quickly understand complex datasets, which may contain information on many types of features (eg, the small bubbles of larval fish or phytoplankton, or other indications of zooplankton). Carrie’s new visualization strategy allows novice and expert users to explore data without specialized software and training. It also represents one of the first interactive science tools developed at NCEI, and is a model for future interactive science efforts within the organization.
CIRES Gold Medal For Scientific/Engineering Achievement
Curtis Alexander, Eric James, Ming Hu, Jaymes Kenyon, Terra Ladwig, Bill Moninger, Joe Olson, Tanya Smirnova, Craig Tierney, and Xue Wei
who work in NOAA’s Global Systems Division were part of a NOAA team honored with a DOC Gold Medal for the success of High-Resolution Rapid Refresh, the first storm-scale model to give forecasters and decision-makers fast, local weather guidance. The High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) is a sophisticated weather model that provides detailed forecasts of critical weather events such as severe thunderstorms, flash flooding, and localized bands of heavy winter precipitation. Since the HRRR is run hourly and brings in data from many sources, this weather model helps provides critical details to forecasters in rapidly-changing and evolving weather events, allowing for earlier watches and warnings. Scientists from the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) also contributed to HRRR development.
CIRES Bronze Medal For Superior Performance
Barry Eakins, Jennifer Jencks, and Elliot Lim
were part of a NOAA team honored with a DOC Bronze Medal For planning and establishing a multi-departmental U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Project Office to define and document U.S. territorial limits. The process to determine the outer limits of the extended continental shelf involves the analysis of data that describe the depth, shape, and geophysical characteristics of the seabed and sub-seafloor, as well as the thickness of the underlying sediments. The specific types of data that need to be collected and analyzed include bathymetric data, seismic reflection and refraction data, other geophysical data such as magnetic and gravity data, and geologic samples.
CIRES Technology Transfer Award
Betsy Andrews, Derek Hageman, and Anne Jefferson,
CIRES scientists in ESRL’s Global Monitoring Division, collaborated with NOAA colleagues on the design of a new instrument, the Continuous Light Absorption Photometer (CLAP), which was optimized for making long-term, research-quality measurements based on experience gained from years of operating commercial instruments continuously at field sites and intermittently in laboratory studies. They are recipients of a NOAA Technology Transfer Award, which recognizes NOAA scientific, engineering, and technical employees for achievements that are developed further as commercial applications, or that advance the transfer of NOAA science and technology to U.S. businesses, academia, other government, and non-government entities.
Science and Engineering Awards
in NOAA ESRL’s Chemical Sciences Division, for his work on aerosol-cloud interactions and their impact on climate change. Specifically, Yamaguchi adapted the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model to be capable of running large-eddy simulations, and critically, he made his code available freely to the research community. Researchers from NOAA ESRL, the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (University of Miami), the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Department of Energy) and dozens of other institutions around the world have downloaded and used this code in their work.
in NOAA ESRL’s National Geophysical Data Center, for three significant geomagnetic innovations in 2014, related to tsunami detection, crowd sourcing of Earth’s magnetic field, and the World Magnetic Model. In the first case, Nair led a group that demonstrated that magnetometers could detect tsunamis in real-time—something that’s been long speculated because the movement of electrically conductive seawater through the geomagnetic field can induce electric fields.
in NOAA ESRL’s Chemical Sciences Division, for his work measuring greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, and N2O) from airborne and ground-based mobile platforms, and for analysis to better understand the sources and implications of those emissions. Peischl has taken on increasingly responsible roles in CSD, moving from instrument lead to serving as de facto or actual principal investigator on several recent missions aimed at understanding the climate and air quality impacts of various types of activities: oil and gas development and agriculture, in particular.
2015 Service Awards
in NOAA ESRL’s Global Systems Division, for his work developing a user interface for the National Weather Service’s “Hazard Services.” Golden is the primary developer of an experimental and extremely useful tool that promises to help weather forecasters work more efficiently and collaboratively during times when hazards loom, such as floods.
in NOAA ESRL’s Chemical Sciences Division, for developing innovative software and hardware solutions for data acquisition, processing and control of lidar instrumentation. Weickmann engineered auxiliary control units that let scientists and engineers operate lidar systems hundreds or thousands of miles away. Her work opened up new research applications and allowed for more efficient support of field campaigns, including the collection of data critical for decisions such as fly/no fly during aircraft campaigns.
Jeff Johnson, Michael Burek, Alysha Reinard, Michele Cash, Tom DeFoor, Richard Grubb and Ratina Dodani
in NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), for their work developing the Ground Processing System for the NOAA space weather satellite Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR). This team’s work saved the government $5 million and enables swift delivery of critical space weather data to diverse users: Power plant operators, air traffic controllers, satellite operators and precision GPS users in surveying, oil drilling, deep sea activities, and agriculture.
CIRES Silver Medal for scientific/engineering achievement
Xiao-Wei Quan and Jon Eischeid
CIRES scientists in ESRL’s Physical Sciences Division, were part of a NOAA team honored with a DOC Silver Medal for an outstanding scientific assessment of the origins of the 2012 Central Great Plains Drought. Precipitation deficits in May to August 2012 were the most extreme since official measurements began in 1895, eclipsing the driest summers of 1934 and 1936 that occurred at the height of the Dust Bowl. By early September, nearly half the contiguous United States was experiencing unprecedented severe drought that official seasonal forecasts in April 2012 did not anticipate. The assessment of causes has helped to identify pathways for improved predictions of future drought events.
CIRES Bronze Medal for superior performance
Shilpi Gupta, Hilary Peddicord, and Beth Russell
CIRES staff in ESRL’s Global Systems Division, were part of a NOAA team honored with a DOC Bronze Medal for achieving the 100th worldwide installation of Science On a Sphere®. SOS is a room-sized, global display system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data onto a six-foot-diameter sphere, analogous to a giant animated globe. Images of swirling atmospheric storms, climate change, and ocean temperature can be shown on the sphere to explain environmental processes, which can be complex, in a way that is intuitive and captivating.
Technology Transfer Award
Colm Sweeney, Anna Karion, Tim Newberger, and Sonja Wolter
CIRES scientists in ESRL’s Global Monitoring Division, collaborated with NOAA’s Pieter Tans to develop AirCore, a revolutionary technology for collecting air continuously from 100,000 ft. to the surface with exceptional data resolution. Tans received a NOAA Technology Transfer Award, which recognizes NOAA scientific, engineering, and technical employees for achievements that are developed further as commercial applications, or that advance the transfer of NOAA science and technology to U.S. businesses, academia, other government, and non-government entities.
Science and Engineering Awards
for her groundbreaking research focused on dynamic atmospheric processes at the heights of modern wind turbine rotors. Her work has revolutionized the measurement, characterization, and visualization of atmospheric phenomena, turbulence, and boundary layers—all of which are important for a growing wind energy industry.
for outstanding leadership to the Hurricane Task of the Developmental Testbed Center, which has enabled the growing use of NOAA’s Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting model. Bernardet’s communication and advanced technical skills were instrumental in unifying code in support of a broad range of model users and partners.
for coordinating and leading the instrumentation of NOAA’s WP-3D research aircraft for the very successful SENEX 2013 field study. Warneke’s own research on the roles of volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere as well as knowledge gained from the SENEX project have profoundly influenced the way scientists think about air quality and climate change.
for his stunning training and outreach videos. Cullis’ videos not only help CIRES achieve excellence in Earth science research through improved data collection, but they also foster public interest and awareness of our work.
Brian Meyer and Jennifer Jencks
for their innovative ideas and outstanding teamwork, which have resulted in the creation of a web interface that allows scientists across the world to easily access 30-plus years of foundational marine research data.
for her superb work planning, coordinating, and managing the many events hosted by CIRES. Pendergrass’ never-ending enthusiasm for helping CIRES put its best foot forward leaves CIRES members and our visiting colleagues excitedly awaiting the next workshop, meeting, and other event.
Science and Engineering Awards
is a CIRES Research Scientist in the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory who worked on optimization code for a renewable energy project to determine where wind and solar plants should be installed for maximum electrical supply at minimum total system cost.
is a CIRES Associate Scientist working in the Technology Outreach Branch of ESRL/Global Systems Division. His areas of expertise include video games, simulations, data visualizations, and virtual worlds. Julien works with scientists to make data easy to find, access, visualize, and understand. Julien is the lead developer on TerraViz, a highly creative and innovative graphical interface that may revolutionize the way scientists and others visualize massive physical data sets in real time.
Allen Jordan and Emrys Hall
are CIRES Associate Scientists working in the ESRL/Global Monitoring Division who created and refined three innovative and powerful software tools for scientists who routinely launch balloons carrying instruments that measure atmospheric composition.
Eric Gordon, Jeff Lukas, and Tim Bardsley
are core staff members in the CIRES Western Water Assessment (WWA) who developed the WWA Intermountain West Climate Summary (IWCS) dashboard, an exceedingly useful tool for scientists, decision makers, and the public to access a large number of climate-related products in a single web site. The IWCS dashboard is at http://wwa.colorado.edu/climate/dashboard.html The WWA is an applied research program within CIRES that addresses societal vulnerabilities related to climate variability and change on all time scales, particularly in the area of water resources. A critical part of the WWA endeavor requires developing, testing, and implementing innovative approaches to the delivery of climate services. Since 2005, the IWCS has served as a test bed for assessing the delivery of climate services, and has helped inform national efforts within NOAA. Decision makers and stakeholders often have difficulty navigating the bewildering array of climate-related products that are available from federal, state, and local resources. The IWCS provides a collation of these products in a simple, compact format.
is a CIRES Research Scientist at National Snow and Ice Data Center who has demonstrated outstanding and exemplary service and outreach activities which promote CIRES science and help educate the public on climate change and its impact on the cryosphere.
CIRES BRONZE MEDAL FOR SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE
Eric Ray, Troy Thornberry, Laurel Watts, Geoff Dutton, Emrys Hall, Eric Hintsa, Dale Hurst, Allen Jordan, Fred Moore, and Sam Oltmans
for the successful demonstration of the Global Hawk Unmanned Aircraft Systems for NOAA’s Climate Goal.
CIRES SILVER MEDAL FOR SCIENTIFIC/ENGINEERING ACHIEVEMENT
Ratina Dodani, Curt de Koning, Leslie Mayer, and George Millward
for implementing the first space weather numerical prediction model, the WSA-Enlil, on the National Centers for Environmental Prediction supercomputer
has served as Executive Assistant to the Director of CIRES for 20 years. She has worked for Directors Kisslinger (Interim for Avery, 1yr.), Avery, Steffen, and Interim Director Lewis. All of these Directors have felt a strong appreciation for Yvonne’s ability to maintain a smooth and supportive working atmosphere in the Director’s office. She has wide knowledge of CIRES functions and of the University more generally. She has been an important anchor for the Director of CIRES throughout her time as Executive Assistant to the Director.
is the single programmer responsible for a large number of programs used on a daily basis by everyone at CIRES, including scientists and research personnel at CIRES and at NOAA. She programs all of the web applications that require database support, such as simple RSVP forms to more complex applications such as Finance and Personnel interaction with the Campus CIW. The annual report put out by CIRES each year is based on her work in gathering information (publications, presentations, milestones etc.), and presenting it in a useable manner for others to publish. Lisa has provided programming support at one time or another not only for CIRES administration, but also for scientists, administrative staff, faculty and departments at CU outside CIRES. Lisa’s programs for gathering all publication information from a variety of sources were used as a model by CU Boulder for its publications; she has gathered 25,000 entries for the CIRES publications database from 1962 to present.
CIRES relies on Nancy Lathrop’s broad expertise in human resources. Nancy worked full time for CIRES over many years before retiring in September 2006. She returned to CIRES after retirement to work part time as a payroll and personnel liaison. She has wide capabilities and a high level of dedication. Because of her expertise, she is able to support other staff in performing payroll and personnel functions including visa work. One special contribution of Nancy in recent years has been her role as liaison between the CIRES administration and the CIRES graduate students. She has a strong appreciation for graduate students and does her best to see that they receive the proper attention from CIRES and have opportunities to develop a feeling of community with each other and with CIRES.
Ted De Maria
who is a member of the administrative finance group in CIRES, has developed unique expertise in equipment inventory and property management in response to the needs of CIRES. The inventory control process, which is mandated by the State of Colorado and the Boulder Campus, requires that each department and institute record the location of all capital equipment that is used for scientific or administrative purposes. In addition, equipment that leaves Campus for field campaigns or other reasons must be approved for off campus use by a staff person with knowledge of inventory. Ted De Maria has performed these functions admirably for many years on behalf of CIRES. His reputation for understanding this function well is demonstrated by a recent Boulder Campus workshop that he convened on the subject of inventory. He is a source of knowledge on this subject not only for CIRES but the campus at large. Ted also is recognized throughout the Boulder Campus as an expert on export control, as mandated by the federal government.
Science and Engineering Award
for being the driving force behind the important and novel software development efforts at NOAA’s Environmental Software Infrastructure and Interoperability Group (NESII). She guides the group with diverse expertise in high-performance computing, software project management, and Earth sciences, and a vision to bring their efforts to fruition.
for his work putting black carbon emissions inventories for shipping on a sound scientific basis, which has had a major impact on policy decisions for regulation of international shipping.
Anna Karion, Tim Newberger, and Colm Sweeney
for developing a new atmospheric sampling instrument, the AirCore, which can profile altitude gradients of greenhouse gases. The low-cost, lightweight tool also can be used to validate satellite profiles and may yield new discoveries in stratospheric composition and circulation trends.
Troy Thornberry, Andrew Rollins, and Laurel Watts
for designing and demonstrating an airborne chemical ionization mass spectrometer (CIMS) for ultra-low water vapor measurements in the lower stratosphere. Their effort led to unique measurements that will advance our understanding of water vapor in the climate system.
for his essential work mastering, maintaining, and teaching all things digital. The research of NOAA’s Chemical Sciences Division requires multifaceted data collection, manipulation, and presentation, at which Aiken is an unparalleled expert.
Dave Gallaher and Ron Weaver
for their leadership in data center design and operation with the NSIDC Green Data Center project. The innovative data center redesign slashed energy consumption for data center cooling by more than 90 percent, demonstrating how other data centers and the technology industry can save energy and reduce carbon emissions.
DIRECTOR'S AWARD FOR DIVERSITY
For his extensive contributions to diversity outreach, Dr. Eduardo Araujo-Pradere is the premier recipient of the Director’s Award for Diversity in 2012. Dr. Araujo-Pradere of the Space Weather Prediction Center heads the CIRES diversity initiative and has personally offered talks, seminars, and mentorship to different audiences from grade-school kids to scientific professionals. He has also written newspaper articles on diversity and conducted radio and television interviews on the topic.
Science and Engineering Awards
Dave Carter, Dave Costa and Paul Johnston
are three outstanding CIRES scientists who have teamed up to design, prototype, build, and deploy a new network of snow-level radars for California. The snow level, the altitude in the atmosphere where snow changes into rain, is a critical parameter influencing runoff in mountainous watersheds because it determines the surface area of the watershed that will be exposed to rain versus snow. When the snow level is above most or all of the terrain in a watershed, a storm is more likely to produce enough rapid runoff to cause flooding. On the other hand, if the snow level is low in a watershed, then the storm increases the snowpack, providing valuable storage of water for potential later use. The radar instruments typically used to measure snow level are prohibitively expensive, particularly for state-wide monitoring of water resources and flood control issues. In response to this need, the nominees employed modernized frequency-modulated, continuous wave (FMCW) technology as part of a project with the California Department of Water Resources (CADWR). By innovating a new radar design using FM-CW technology, the nominees built a prototype snow-level radar for about one tenth of the cost of one of the conventional instruments. This new network of snow-level radars implemented by the nominees will allow scientists to monitor this key variable over time. The nominees designed creative ways to process the data and generate radar profiles, and the new technology is already being applied to new fields, including wind profiling.
Paul Loto'aniu and Juan Rodriguez
are CIRES research scientists with NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). They were nominated for the CIRES Outstanding Performance Award in Science and Engineering for their investigation of the failure of the Galaxy-15 geostationary communications satellite, work that went beyond their normal duties as CIRES employees. Galaxy-15 experienced a debilitating anomaly that rendered the satellite useless and severely compromised the performance of the Federal Aviation Administration's Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS). Following the Galaxy-15 anomaly announcement, the CIRES team assembled space environment data from a number of relevant sources, including the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) that were in close proximity to Galaxy-15. Through a charged particle "moments calculation" and the local magnetic environment, the team showed that the space weather conditions leading up to the time of the anomaly had the potential for significant spacecraft charging, a situation that Galaxy-15 may have only experienced once before in its operational life. Electrostatic discharge is a established mechanism for disabling satellites in space. The environmental parameters representing extreme space weather conditions have now been folded into spacecraft charging modeling studies. This work has included a collaborative study with the Air Force Research Laboratory using the new GOES measurements to model both spacecraft surface charging and deep electric charging. Findings were presented at the 11th Spacecraft Charging Technology Conference (20-24 September 2010, Albuquerque, NM) and the 49th Aerospace Sciences Meeting (04-07 January 2011, Orlando, FL).
Ken Aikin, Roya Bahreini, John Holloway, Gerhard Hübler, Dan Lack, Justin Langridge, Andy Neuman, John Nowak, Jeff Peischl, Anne Perring, Ilana Pollack, Harald Stark and Carsten Warneke
This team from ESRL Chemical Sciences Division supported the NOAA P-3 science flights in June of 2010 over the Gulf of Mexico to assess the potential air quality risks posed by the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill crisis to workers/citizens in the Gulf and surrounding areas. The nominees made measurements of the highest scientific quality under stressful and high-stakes conditions, and conducted the mission with admirable care, professionalism and unselfishness. At the time of the incident, the nominees were engaged in an extensive field campaign in California. They stepped forward to take a hiatus from the California mission and flew across the country to carry out two science flights before successfully completing their original California mission. The nominees used a suite of complementary instruments on the aircraft to provide the much-needed preliminary analyses that showed health risks to workers in the oil spill area were not as great as originally feared. They demonstrated an innovative new approach for assessing future oil spills, and provided an accurate and independent estimate of the fluid leak rate from the ruptured oil well over a mile below the surface. This significant effort involved coordinating with the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Health and Safety Administration to share data, compare analyses, and utilize the other agencies' complementary measurements to obtain a broader cross-section of the pollution effects arising from the oil spill. In addition, the team worked closely with petroleum engineers from BP and the federal government, and oceanographers from NOAA and academia to improve our collective understanding of the transport and removal of leaking fluid (oil and gas) in the water column and the atmosphere.
The NOAA High Performance Computing (HPC) team is the engine that runs many CIRES scientists' research and Craig Tierney has been a driving force at HPC. His deep knowledge of high performance computing systems and innovative approach has lead to significant improvements in computing capabilities that have served not only CIRES, but other NOAA centers and the HPC community as a whole. In addition to his outstanding performance at his normal duties, in August 2009 Craig voluntarily assumed the role of acting HPC lead; for the next 16 months Craig provided strong leadership in managing all aspects of NOAA Boulder's HPC resources. During his tenure as acting lead, he managed a re-compete of HPC systems and effectively utilized $170 million in stimulus funding, which will transition NOAA to a centralized computer model. Just one example of his skills was his key role in developing and managing the high performance computer system for the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project. This system ranked 50th on November 2010's Top 500 Supercomputer List and makes Boulder the largest NOAA-managed HPC site. In just one year, it helped scientists achieve the 5-year goal of a 20% improvement in hurricane track and intensity forecasts. The system provides the crucial efficiency and reliability required for real-time support. Craig has also been instrumental in forming the Front Range Computing Research Consortium, a collaborative effort between NCAR, Colorado State University, Colorado School of Mines, DOE/NREL, NOAA, and the University of Colorado to promote collaborative research in high performance computing.
demonstrates strong leadership and initiative at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, bringing creativity and innovation to her numerous roles. She serves as science writer and editor for NSIDC's hugely visible Arctic Sea Ice News and Analysis (ASINA) product, which provides a monthly scientific sea ice analysis that is picked up by news media worldwide. Katherine brought new energy and ideas and implemented a workflow and schedule that keeps the analyses flowing and getting published with minimum distraction to the scientists, solving a long-standing problem. She arranged for updates via Twitter, which has been enormously successful in communicating not only ASINA updates, but also other NSIDC science news. When a technical writer was required for the Antarctic Glaciological Data Center (AGDC) project, Katherine stepped in to fill the gap. Her outstanding writing support, detailed investigation into each data set, and her organizational skills all contribute to the success of the AGDC. Her work clearly advanced this project's service to its science community and helped secure ongoing funding for the project. Katherine has exceeded all expectations for her position and has supported her projects in ways that have visibly increased their success. She handles a very large, chaotic workload, produces incredibly tight turnarounds, and still finds time to help her peers and implement new ideas. Her scientific education and knowledge add quality to her products and make it easy for her to understand and work with her teams. She is a great organizer, making projects run more smoothly for everyone. On top of it all, she has a calm, friendly, and professional demeanor, which enhances the ability of NISDC to fulfill its mission.
Director's Award for Diversity
for her extensive volunteer effort with the SOARS program over the last ten years Dr. Leslie Hartten is the premier recipient of the Director's Award for Diversity. SOARS, Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science, is an undergraduate-to-graduate bridge program designed to broaden participation in the atmospheric and related sciences. Managed locally by UCAR, SOARS is built around research, mentoring and community. As a scientific mentor each summer, Dr. Hartten has worked one-on-one with SOARS summer interns (called SOARS protégés), designing appropriate, authentic research projects, teaching relevant scientific content and processes, building tools to support protégés' investigations, and guiding her protégés in their research. SOARS Program Director Rajul Pandya writes, "She has also supported protégés in presenting their summer research successfully at an end-of-summer research colloquium at UCAR, as well as at national conferences including the American Meteorological Society and AGU. SOARS estimates that scientific mentors, like Dr. Hartten, spend an average of 10 hours a week working with their SOARS protégé in the summer, so the investment of time and energy, especially over ten consecutive years, is significant. Dr. Hartten's investment in protégés especially stands out; the steering committee for SOARS onsiders her an ideal mentor for first-year protégés because of her commitment, dedication, and willingness to invest whatever time is necessary to ensure their success."
Science and Engineering Award
Paul Lotoaniu, Josh Rigler, Juan Rodriguez, Leslie Mayer and Mary Shouldis
are members of the CIRES Space Weather GOES-R Product Development Team and are nominated for CIRES Outstanding Performance Award in Science and Engineering for successful delivery of the Phase One Space Weather algorithms for R-series Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-R). The purpose of these algorithms is to process raw space weather observations into data used to specify, analyze and forecast the space environmental conditions. To achieve their goals, the team members determined the product requirements and conducted the necessary research to define and produce the best algorithms. They followed the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS) coding standards to produce pseudo-operational codes. Then they ensured their algorithms were functioning properly and accurately, and validated them against known standards. Finally, they proficiently documented the algorithms before delivering them to NESDIS. The team developed six major algorithms that fulfilled twenty-two top-level product requirements. They used cutting edge scientific procedures and technologies to produce better products in a more efficient manner. The products will provide NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center with data and tools to support its customers ranging from NASA and the U.S. Air Force to power companies and commercial airlines.
As a result of their exceptional commitment to this mission, NESDIS management praised the work done by this team as the best presentations and highest quality product deliverables of any of the more than thirty teams making up the GOES-R program. Moreover, the team members quickly became the experts that operations, management and other researchers go to for information on the GOES instruments, data and products.
Over the past two years, Manoj Nair has contributed significant research results to the field of equatorial ionospheric electrodynamics. Through careful analysis of large data sets, Manoj derived an accurate characterization of the complicated phenomenon of “prompt penetration”, which plays a key role in the interaction between the solar wind and the equatorial ionosphere. It has long been observed that the Interplanetary Electric Field (IEF) in the solar wind shows a remarkable correlation with the Eastward Electric Field (EEF) in the equatorial ionosphere. From direct comparisons of events, it seemed that about 10% of the IEF penetrated to the equatorial ionosphere. Manoj recognized that this popular “10%-rule” could be characterized much more accurately by employing advanced signal processing methods, with which he was familiar from his previous work in magneto-telluric subsurface exploration. Using 8 years of solar wind, radar and satellite measurements, Manoj derived an empirical prompt penetration model which allows scientists to predict electric field variations in the equatorial ionosphere from solar wind observations. This widely recognized work has significantly improved our understanding of prompt penetration and directly benefits electrodynamic models of the equatorial ionosphere.
is a CIRES Research Associate with the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). She was nominated for CIRES Outstanding Performance Award in Science and Engineering for ground-breaking scientific research that results in a major improvement to predict the time, strength, and location of solar flares. Solar flares are the most energetic explosions in the solar system, releasing abundant radiation, mostly in the form of X-rays and ultraviolet emissions, but also in the form of proton radiation. These powerful blasts of energy affect the Earth’s upper atmosphere and ionosphere, which in return can disturb many technological systems, like GPS navigation or radio communications for instance. Because of their societal and economic impacts, predicting solar flares is one of the most important scientific problems as well as one of the major challenges for space weather forecasting. For many years, many scientists have worked on predicting solar flares with inconclusive results. But thanks to the outstanding contribution of Dr. Reinard, a new technique for predicting solar flares was developed. To achieve her results, she examined solar observations made by the National Science Foundation’s Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG) and found a relation between the amount and rate of twist in the magnetic fields beneath the surface of the sun, and the subsequent eruption of a flare. With this technique, it is now possible to issue one to several day warning of when and where a flare will occur and how strong it will be, and this with unprecedented accuracy.
of GSD helped develop and provide support to a complex modeling system known as WRF-Chem. This system allows research of extreme relevance to current environmental challenges, especially relating to air quality and global climate change. This model has lead to many national and international publications as well. WRF-Chem has over 1,000 users and due to a large amount of help requests, Steve selflessly volunteered to take care of the help requests which totaled up to 700 this past year (not including the community model). He has also led tutorials in Boulder, Korea and Mexico City educating people on this state-of-the-art system which were praised. The World Meteorological Organization Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) Urban Research Meteorology and Environment Project (GURME) used the WRF-Chem model in workshops in San Paola, Brazil, Mexico City, Mexico and Prune, India. Steve provided hands-on training at these workshops and worked hard to ensure language barriers and differing computing backgrounds were worked through. As a result, the training has made an impact on these regions conducting air quality studies. Without Steve’s help, users of this system would spend hours trying to figure out problems and as a result of his effort, the model now has many national and international users. Not only does he represent WRF-Chem, but also CIRES. Having a CIRES employee give so much effort and dedication to their job shows the environmental science community outstanding CIRES values. Steve is an employee helping to ensure the CIRES reputation for excellence is upheld.
MaryJo Brodzik, Brendan Billingsley, Julia Collins, Doug Fowler, Jonathan Kovarik, Donna Scott, Barbara O'Barr, Stephen Truex, Bruce Raup, Deann Miller
Organizing the large quantities of data that CIRES scientists acquire is not a trivial task - and making that data intuitively searchable is even less so. However, the Searchlight team (MaryJo Brodzik, Brendan Billingsley, Julia Collins, Doug Fowler, Jonathan Kovarik, Donna Scott, Barbara O'Barr, Stephen Truex, Bruce Raup, Deann Miller) employed an uncommon focus of teamwork, technical innovation and simple hard work to create a new online interface and data system infrastructure for cryospheric data at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). This interface not only will improve the efficiency of research at CIRES, but will allow researchers around the world to access and interact with NSIDC data, ranging from sea ice concentration to albedo. The team broke new ground in working together in a unique way using the "Agile software development approach". While Agile development is nothing new to software engineering, it is absolutely new to NSIDC, and was initially thought to be too risky to try. Despite management's initial skepticism, the team's passion and enthusiasm swayed them to allow the experiment. The team worked effectively and efficiently together and with frequent input from stakeholders to develop a cutting edge, searchable data infrastructure scheme. The Searchlight team is exemplary of what puts CIRES at the forefront of environmental research: a passion for trying new approaches, an ability to constructively interact in a team, and an enthusiasm for making cutting edge data accessible for research both within and outside of CIRES.
Science and Engineering Awards
Sonja Wolter, Doug Guenther, and Dr. Fred Moore
In early 2008, Associate Scientists Sonja Wolter and Doug Guenther and Research Scientist Fred Moore took on the challenge of upgrading existing Programmable Flask sampling Packages (PFPs) in order to meet stringent FAA flammability requirements for on-board instrumentation. This upgrade was not required to maintain the existing sampling program, but was instead an effort to substantially broaden the scientific capabilities of the atmospheric CO2 and trace gas sampling program at NOAA/CIRES. Meeting FAA requirements, while maintaining the expected mechanical reliability of existing PFPs, proved to be a daunting task. More than half the elastomeric parts of the existing PFPs needed to be replaced, and the repeated failures of candidate materials in flame and/or mechanical stress tests made the path to success less than certain. Even after acceptable materials were found, integrating the new PFPs onto the space and weight-constrained aircraft platform in a way that did not affect existing instrumentation demanded highly creative solutions. The skill, resourcefulness, hard work, and just plain persistence of this exceptional team resulted in a successful deployment of the newly designed PFP onboard the National Science Foundation’s High-performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research (HIAPER) in January 2009. This was only the first of five planned deployments that constitute the HIAPER Pole-to-Pole Observations mission, or HIPPO, but if the exciting early results are any indication, the new FAA-approved PFP design has already proven its scientific worth, and only promises to further advance the cutting-edge atmospheric and climate-related research taking place at NOAA/CIRES, and their partner institutions.
is a CIRES Senior Research Scientist with the Water Cycle Branch at ESRL/PSD (Physical Sciences Division). He has made outstanding contributions to scientific research on determining the properties of clouds and precipitation from millimeter wavelength radar. Over the last 19 years since he arrived in the United States, he has prolifically developed simple and elegant retrieval techniques that have formed the basis for an observational capability leading to an understanding of cloud microphysics and precipitation which have supported studies of climate, radiation balances, weather modification, hydrological cycles, and flood warning systems. In addition to creating a body of theoretical discipline, he has also supported his work with validation studies (comparing retrieved results to aircraft in-situ sampling) and inter-comparison studies (between different retrieval techniques and sensors) showing an ability to move the theory into the practical regime of application. He has served (and is serving) as a science team member for the CloudSat program, the Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program and is recognized nationally and internationally. Besides his outstanding contributions in research, he also contributes to educational mentoring and advising as an adjunct faculty member at Colorado State University. He has also contributed significantly to the development of a cooperative program between NOAA and the Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorological and Environmental Monitoring to develop a new International Observatory in Siberia.
is a CIRES Associate Scientist working in the Earth System Research Laboratory’s Chemical Science Division. He was nominated for a CIRES Outstanding Performance Award in Science and Engineering for performance far above his academic credentials and contributions that exceed the expectations of his position. John, on his own initiative, developed an instrument using vacuum UV florescence to measure CO from an aircraft. The instrument performs as well or better than any other in the world, and has attracted international attention. John also volunteered to undertake the engineering challenge of deploying the VUV-CO instrument within an under-the-wing pod on the NOAAWP- 3D. This successful pod deployment created space for increasing the measurement capacity aboard the aircraft. John’s effort demonstrates his initiative and willingness to accept a challenge. He shows commitment to his work and team by repackaging and relocating his instrument to make way for other measurements. John serves as a principal investigator for two instruments during WP-3D field campaigns. He takes responsibility for the operation and repair of the VUV-CO instrument, in addition to making a sulfur dioxide measurement. He manages data reduction, analysis, and the archiving of the final data sets. He has logged 13 WP-3D campaigns in this capacity, functioning clearly above the expectations of a Professional Research Associate. Although John is first author on three publications, he has accumulated a record of 83 papers in which he is a co-author. His inclusion as a coauthor on so many publications speaks to the critical role that the data sets play in contributing to science, as well as to John’s leadership and collaborative engagement.
Adriana Raudzens Bailey
very eagerly and efficiently fulfills her regular CIRES duties, which in 2008 included constructing press releases for dozens of CIRES fellows and scientists, as well as facilitating several high-profile press conferences. However, one story illustrating how she so typically exceeds all requirements and expectations involves the transformation of a simple press release for David Noone into a story that was pitched to various news agencies, leading to an article in The Christian Science Monitor, and an editorial feature in Nature. She also facilitated a live radio interview, set up a real-time “notes from the field” blog on the CIRES website, and most recently, contributed an NSF “Discoveries” feature describing the atmospheric water vapor research of Dr. Noone and colleagues. Other examples of Adriana’s initiative and creativity include developing an ocean current exhibit for the Smithsonian, designing a web-based blog to track the (mostly) scientific exploits of CIRES scientist Ludovic Bariteau as he cruised the Southern Ocean as part of the Gas Exchange (GasEx) experiment, and producing a terrific, if somewhat disturbing, video on coastal erosion in Alaska that was featured on Andy Revkin’s “DotEarth”, a popular New York Times blog on science and the environment. Adriana regularly demonstrates an uncanny ability get the right stories told to the right audiences via the right channels, without diluting the fundamental science that is so cherished by the scientists of CIRES.
Science and Engineering Awards
is a CIRES Senior Research Scientist with ASAP (Advanced Sensor Application Program) Group at ESRL/PSD (Physical Science Division) and is a renowned authority on the theory of wave propagation in inhomogeneous and moving media. In recent years, he achieved a number of particularly remarkable scientific accomplishments, which demonstrate his initiative, resourcefulness and creativity. He has changed the course of research on two topical subjects both within and beyond CIRES and NOAA. He developed a theory of the so called “tsunami shadows,” i.e., changes in ocean surface roughness induced by tsunami waves, and proposed to use this phenomenon for tsunami detection from space.
was hired part-time, to assist with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurements project. In a short time, her role evolved to leading the team’s observational effort in the field of aerosol-cloud interactions and their impacts on climate change. The impacts of such interactions are listed as the single largest unknown in climate change by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007). She collated and integrated data sets from 12 instruments based on a six-month deployment of the DOE/ARM mobile facility. She performed a variety of innovative analysis methods to reveal new results, and published these new techniques to further the progress in this crucial area. Her innovative analysis methods reveal exciting new results enabling them to quantify the effect of aerosol on cloud drop size and albedo, and the implications for climate change; her radiative transfer modeling explores the extent to which current biases in measurements of aerosol effects on cloud albedo have biased GCM model predictions of this effect. These techniques lead the way for similar studies at other locations, furthering progress towards better understanding the impact of aerosol-cloud interaction mentioned in the IPCC. In addition to the contributions to research in the workplace, she is an active member of the CIRES Members’ Council, also pursuing some studies at CIRES Center for Science and Technology Policy Research.
for his willingness to work beyond his current job description to contribute time and effort to NOAA’s SURFRAD surface radiation budget network. His previous responsibilities managing that network involved responsibility for solar trackers, radiometers, design, installation, operation, data collection, quality control and data distribution. He was then reassigned three years ago to be the official MFRSR (Multi-Filter Rotating Shadowband Radiometers) mentor for the Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Measurement Program (ARM). His new duties include keeping more than 50 MFRSRs operational, participating in two ARM working groups, all considered a full-time job. However, he still continues his important contributions to the SURFRAD program. With extra time created through efficiency (automating many DOE duties including Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) data submission), Gary continued to bear responsibility for SURFRAD's solar trackers, MFRSR’s, TSI’s, and submission of data to the BSRN archive.
in recognition of his sustained and impassioned personal commitment to science education in support of CIRES, the University of Colorado and his community. Mark demonstrated initiative and resourcefulness by organizing and participating in the kickoff celebration of "Ice Fest".
for her voluntary role as the Coordinating and Technical Editor of the Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 2006 produced under the World Meteorological Organization/United Nations Environment Program (WMO/UNEP), and published in 2007.
Science and Engineering Awards
Joost de Gouw
The research of Joost de Gouw has fundamentally changed the scientific understanding of the sources of atmospheric aerosol particles and its affect on air quality, atmospheric chemistry and climate. His thorough analysis and careful measurements of organic aerosols from the New England Air Quality Study in 2002 found that an unexpected source of organic aerosols derives from abundant amounts hydrocarbon gas being emitted into the polluted air of the urban atmosphere. Despite results that challenged conventional wisdom on the source of these aerosols and created initial skepticism from peers in his field, he remained steadfast in his findings which were later validated in several other field programs. These results became a prime motivator in a special session in a recent American Geophysical Union conference and have led to the reevaluation of decades of aerosol yield studies conducted in smog chambers. Over the past decade he has also pioneered a new technique for the measurement of volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere and is considered by his peers a leader in this field. His major contributions in research, however, have not prevented him from teaching and training the new generation of scientists where he supervises two University of Colorado graduate students. The quality of his scientific research and his leadership in the field of atmospheric chemistry are widely recognized to have a profound impact in the atmospheric sciences.
David Stone and Kelvin Fedrick
developed a highly complex ingest, processing and analysis software system for a new series of GOES satellite and space weather instrument data. David and Kelvin were presented the complicated problem of developing software that could process new data in a new format from a new satellite that were coming in at a higher data rate through a new ground system. In the face of aggressive schedules and constant resource and integration challenges they successfully delivered an "operational" ready system for post-launch test. Their creativity, perseverance, and dedication resulted in successfully capturing the data so that scientists could analyze instrument performance during the 6-month post-launch test period. During the post-launch period they continued to work hand-in-hand with the scientists to modify processing algorithms in real time, and their software helped scientists identify and correct anomalies found in the new instruments. Their efforts are considered vital to the Space Environment Center mission of providing data to customers ranging from the U.S. Air Force and NASA to commercial airlines and power companies.
successfully developed an improved system for automated in situ monitoring of carbon cycle greenhouse gases, leading to major improvements in NOAA’s Carbon Atmospheric Observing System. The new analyzers, which provide continuous measurements of CO2 and CO, are the core instruments for expanding network of tall tower greenhouse gas observatories sponsored by the Global Monitoring Division at NOAA/ESRL. Jonathan’s new design is more reliable than previous instruments and provides higher precision data, and his modular design allows for quick replacement thus minimizing downtime and data gaps. Unlike previous instruments, repairs can now be done in the laboratory which keeps costs lower and improves quality control. Jonathan has also initiated improvements to databases that track project spending and inventory, and set up intercomparison experiments to evaluate new equipment as part of the Small Business Innovation Research programs. He even oversaw and worked long hours to install ozone monitors for a field program even though it was not among his primary job responsibilities. His creativity, dedication, and expertise with the new analyzers will enhance significantly our ability to inform and engage society on the issue of carbon emissions.
When Allaina Howard arrived at NSIDC as the new professional librarian and archivist, she encountered storerooms containing almost 30 years of scientific materials that completely lacked organization, preservation, access, and defined purpose. In a very short time, she brought order to the chaos of an unusable collection through developing a program using free student volunteers and securing funding sources that has now allowed a significant number of these scientific collections to be accessible to researchers. Most notably, she has expanded, promoted, and made accessible the Glacier Photograph Collection of rare and valuable images, glass plates, and field notebooks where thousands of images are downloaded through the NSIDC web site each month and images have been presented in several national media outlets. Her work with this collection has been recognized by NOAA managers as one of the most successful programs in the Climate Database Modernization Program, and her achievements have resulted in being invited to give presentations at the Geological Society of America and Polar Libraries Colloquy in Rome. Her resourcefulness enabled her to digitize a historic 1930's film of glaciers and field expeditions in the Rocky Mountains that was deteriorating from age at no cost to NSIDC. Allaina’s ability to collaborate with others, her leadership role in data stewardship, and her inspiration to seek out grants and proposals to fund projects has exceeded all expectations of her service to the NSIDC.
John Maurer’s ability to understand user needs and to write efficient and effective computer code has greatly benefited both the User Services Office and Systems Engineering Group at NSIDC over the past 6 years. The tools developed by John have significantly reduced the time it takes for User Services to respond to and enter all incoming user requests. His ability to quickly learn new programming languages and translate user needs into software requirements has made him a key component for the smooth operations of the Systems Engineering Group. He has served as lead developer on at least four major systems that are vital to NSIDC. His willingness to take on new challenges resulted in him volunteering to complete a stagnate project which now is now the popular NSIDC web site entitled "The Atlas of the Cryosphere." This web site demonstrated a Web Mapping service at NSIDC and incorporates numerous cryospheric datasets in an OGC compliant web client, as well as OGC compliant WMS, WFS, and WCS servers, serving the polar community. While maintaining a high-level of excellence in his full-time job, he was able to receive certification from a remote sensing course through PAOS and earn a Master’s Degree from the University of Colorado Geography Department. His commitment to improving both his knowledge base and technical skills along with his positive attitude and enthusiasm has immeasurably improved the level of service NSIDC has with its customers.
Science and Engineering Awards
Bill Dubé and Craig Simons
have done the seemingly impossible: Through their careful and collaborative engineering efforts over the last year, they have substantially increased the science payload on the NOAA P-3 research aircraft. This additional capacity would not have been realized without Bill and Craig’s innovative contributions, impressive engineering talent, and sustained hard work, and will permit new climate-relevant measurements of aerosol optical properties to be added to an already completely full aircraft without compromising the existing P-3 aircraft instrumentation suite. Bill and Craig suggested the existing electronics racks be replaced with a new light-weight design that would free sufficient payload weight to easily accommodate the new aerosol instruments. CIRES researchers will now be able to address new and pressing issues related to aerosol chemical processing, radiative forcing, and cloud-aerosol interactions.
has made outstanding contributions to scientific research on precipitating cloud systems using radar profilers and his work has been widely recognized nationally and internationally. In particular, he has shown great initiative and creativity in developing methodologies to retrieve cloud microphysical information from profiler spectra. He is also always looking for ways to expand the scope of his work. A case in point is a research project he headed on the innovative use of hydrophones for measuring drop size distributions. Christopher has repeatedly demonstrated that he is an asset to CIRES and NOAA, not only because of the quality of his scientific research, but also through the outreach and educational activities he engages in outside of his regular work duties. He has shared his expertise by teaching part of a radar course at CU and by advising graduate students on their Ph.D. dissertations. And he has used his artistic talent to create vivid interactive computer posters that stand out on K-12 science days.
Bobbie Klein, Ami Nacu-Schmidt, and Linda Pendergrass
performed an outstanding service to CIRES, the broader University community, and the general public by conceiving of and successfully implementing the heralded public lecture series "Policy, Politics, and Science in the White House: Conversations with Presidential Science Advisors." This public lecture series consisted of visits from the current and former White House Science Advisors and one former House Science Committee Chief of Staff. The lectures provided a venue for frank exchanges on the role of science advice and science policy in the United States, and a myriad of topics close to the Boulder scientific community. Together, they put together and oversee a highly successful, well-recognized effort of CIRES that showcases the commitment of CIRES and the University of Colorado to dialogue and research on the science policy questions of our time.
created the International Multiproxy Paleofire Database (IMPD), one of the stellar contributions to the NOAA and CIRES climate objectives, and one of the most unique and highly-visible societal applications of the NOAA-CIRES partnership in 2005. The IMPD is a database of fire history data from tree rings and lake sediments documenting fire dating back thousands of years. The information contained in this database is key for understanding the long-term relationships between fire and climate. Michael successfully took on the challenge of structuring the database, designing a web page, and developing online data submission pages and search engines, tasks made more difficult by the fact that two unrelated types of data had to be combined into one web-based resource. He worked with the scientific community to locate and obtain high quality data. Michael has played a critical part in providing the broader scientific community with an extremely valuable resource.
is a Science Writer for NSIDC, but all who have worked with him acknowledge that the quality and scope of his work extend far beyond what is expected. His group/project web sites and web documentation are valued by external/global and internal users of the AMSR-E and GLAS projects. He exceeds expectations by working with the data, learning the visualization software, and making images and undertaking new projects on his own initiative. He is furthering his skills by taking the ESRI's Virtual campus ArcGIS9 course, has taken a science writers course at CU, and has submitted his own abstracts to AGU and AMS conferences on topics such as ice sheet elevations, surface temperature measurements, icebergs, and ice-shelf changes.
is a highly valued programmer and data processor with the Dobson Ozone Group. Her primary role has been to program and ensure the day-to-day functioning of ozone processing code. Dorothy has not only performed to the highest expectations of her team, but has also coauthored papers on ozone observations, has broadened her skills by training to be an official Dobson observer and traveled to the South Pole with these newly acquired observing skills. She participates in NOAA's continuing education programs, and actively seeks to improve her work place by organizing meetings and social activities.
Wayne Angevine, Charles Brock, Greg Frost, John Holloway, Gerhard Hübler, Andy Neuman, and Donna Sueper
The value of CIRES to the community and to NOAA is clearly demonstrated by this team of CIRES researchers. The team discovered a new and major factor that causes pollution in the Houston, Texas area (leaks of reactive gasses from petrochemical refineries). As a direct result of this finding, Texas air quality managers altered their policy approach to more effectively target the root causes of the region's poor air quality. Business and community leaders, as well as the public, benefited from this timely discovery, which averted what would have been an expensive (and less effective) air quality plan. Texas officials have asked for an "encore," and a field study in 2006 is envisioned that will cover more areas of the state.
has had a long standing commitment to addressing issues for the larger CIRES employee base by serving on various committees that address the well being of the organization as well as the well being of her peers. Ms. Collins has served on the CIRES Members' Council, the CIRES Members' Council Re-Chartering Committee and the Climate Diagnostics Center's Workplace Advisory Committee. She has served as a PRA representative on the Members' Council since its inception in 1997 and has served as a Members' representative to the CIRES Fellows Council and Executive Committee. Additionally, Ms. Collins has served on the CIRES Computing Advisory Committee, the CIRES Equities Committee and the CDC Awards Committee. These efforts were clearly above and beyond her normal job responsibilities as Webmaster within CDC but Ms. Collins enthusiastically undertook the challenge. Ms. Collins was instrumental in the creation and persistence of the Climate Diagnostics Center Workplace Advisory Committee, for which she served as committee chair for the first year of its operation. In this role Ms. Collins has been able to identify key morale, employee regulation and technical issues within CIRES and NOAA, and has advocated solutions to the CIRES Members' Council, CIRES Equities Committee and the CIRES Administration.
has demonstrated a willingness to seek out new challenges by mentoring students, participating on a thesis committee and co-teaching Mass Spectrometry and Chromatography, a University of Colorado graduate course. This work was self initiated and unpaid. His teaching skills obviously made substantial impact on the students since they awarded him a student course rating of A-. These activities are extraordinary to his normal research duties and reflect his desire to not only serve the research community, but to pass his knowledge to students. Despite the time commitments of this extraordinary work, he continues to participate in and organize field experiments and publish his work, which includes a publication as first author in "Science". Dr. Cziczo's work and advice is greatly respected by his colleagues, and students that have worked with him.
demonstrated resourcefulness by "cost-effectively" having a T1 line installed at the Table Mountain Test Facility (TMTF). The TMTF is the home of the Central UV Calibration Facility suite of instruments, a Surface Radiation and Research Branch SURFRAD site, a USDA NREL site and an EPA UV monitoring site. His initiative made it possible to quickly transfer the increasing amounts of radiation, aerosol and cloud data to the NOAA building. The T1 line is more reliable for data transfer than the existing telephone line that was prone to disconnect. After hitting many dead ends trying to go through "normal" channels to get the T1 line installed, Mr. Disterhoft negotiated with the U.S. Army Reserves to dig the trenches that would carry the T1 line to several points on the mesa. This was done as a training mission and at no cost to the lab. The T1 line streamlines the 2003 North American UV Radiometer Intercomparison. Additionally, Mr. Disterhoft's talents as the Central UV Calibration Facility Manager are often sought after worldwide and he is involved in establishing calibration standards. Mr. Disterhoft is also active with the Council of Optical Radiation Measurements (CORM), U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) sub-panel on U.V. and Rocky Mountain Optical Society of America (RMOSA).
NOAA Aeronomy Laboratory
NOAA Air Resources Laboratory
NOAA Environmental Technology Laboratory
NOAA Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory
NOAA Space Environment Center
NOAA Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory
NOAA-CIRES Climate Diagnostics Center
NOAA Environmental Technology Laboratory
Integrated Instrument Development Facility
Airborne Gas Chromatograph Projects Team: Dale Hurst, Fred Moore, Eric Ray, Pavel Romashkin
OAA Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory
CIRES' Center for the Study of Earth from Space
CIRES' National Snow and Ice Data Center