NOAA 200th Postcards from the Field November 2007
- Greetings from Puget Sound! En route from surveying the coast of southeast Alaska to a project in the
Columbia River, NOAA ship RAINIER took the rare opportunity to see her home port (and the eponymous mountain!) during the sunny summer months. The crew and officers
of the ship celebrated the occasion by taking a photo opportunity with the two RAINIERs.
- Greetings from the (corn) field! The Air Resources Laboratory is
collaborating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and North Carolina State University in a three-year project to measure and model ammonia fluxes in forest and agricultural landscapes. In
2006 and 2007, the study has taken place in a 500-acre agricultural field in Lillington, North Carolina, where weather conditions have taxed both the equipment and the scientists. Ammonia fluxes
were measured from pre-planting through plant senescence. The results from this unique study will improve our understanding and simulation of soil-vegetation-atmospheric fluxes of ammonia that
impact our air and water quality and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem health. Pictured (from left): Mary Hicks, John T. Walker, Lauren Elich, Tilden Meyers, R. Laureen Gunter, and Jesse Bash.
- Cooperative Weather Observer Mr. Joe Alexander
of Burris, Wyoming, (right) recently received the prestigious John Campanius Holm Award on behalf of his family from Data Acquisition Program Manager Ralph Estell of NOAA’s National Weather
Service in Riverton, Wyoming. The Alexander Family has provided quality daily weather observations since 1962. The family's climate records have been extremely beneficial not only to the National
Weather Service, but to the University of Wyoming's Agricultural Extension Service and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The location of the Alexander Ranch near a number of critical irrigation
reservoirs gives the site great importance for water users in arid Wyoming. The award was one of only 26 presented nationwide in 2007.
- Greetings from the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research
Reserve, Georgia, where NOAA researchers recently conducted dart biopsy sampling of bottlenose dolphins. Samples of dolphin skin and blubber were obtained to determine
contaminant concentrations and for genetic analysis. Scientists from both NOAA's National Ocean Service and National Marine Fisheries Service and the Georgia Department
of Natural Resources participated in the effort to assess the health of a top-level predator in this estuarine reserve, which was established for long-term research,
education, and coastal stewardship. Pictured (from left): Back row: Todd Speakman, Karen Coomer, Sarah Howlett, Lori Schwacke, J.D. Dubick; Front row: Eric Zolman,
Jamison Smith. Not pictured: Barb Zoodsma and Suzanne Lane.
- On Saturday, September 8, NOAA representatives from around the Great Lakes region
co-hosted a day-long event with Chicago's Shedd Aquarium as part of NOAA's 200th celebration. "A Great Day in the Great Lakes" featured day-long NOAA and Sea Grant exhibits
and a NOAA Green Ship open house held dockside on the Chicago Lake Front. The R/V Laurentian (pictured against the Chicago skyline) is one of three Green Ships operated by
NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory and one of only three existing petroleum-free vessels in operation in the entire federal government (both civilian and
- The NOAA Ship McArthur II watches the remnants of
Hurricane Henrietta fade into the distance as it conducts research operations 250 miles southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, in support of the NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service
Southwest Fisheries Center's Stenella Abundance Research Project Line Transect and Ecosystem (STAR-LITE) Cruise, 2007. The McArthur II is a multi-mission platform that supports a
wide variety of research in the National Marine Sanctuaries and National Estuarine Research Reserves of the Pacific Ocean as well as Marine Mammal abundance work throughout the
Eastern Tropical Pacific. Captain Greg Hubner is the ship's master and Dr. Eric Archer is the chief scientist for STAR-LITE cruise.
- A field crew from the National Ocean Service's National Geodetic Survey (NGS) conducted a Global
Positioning System (GPS) survey of Surface Elevation Tables (SETs) throughout Southeastern Louisiana, in cooperation with the University of New Orleans, the U.S Geological Survey, and the
Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. This project site is at Old Oyster Bayou, in the wetlands of the Mississippi Delta only a few kilometers from the Gulf of Mexico. Studies conducted by
NOAA partners using SETs are providing critical data on elevation changes within these wetlands. The GPS survey methodology being developed by NGS is enabling these elevation trends to be related
to local land elevations and water levels for the first time, providing researchers a better understanding of processes leading to land loss, and providing managers a way to evaluate the risk of
coastal submergence. Pictured (from left): Charlie Geoghegan, Project Manager, from NGS Instrumentation and Methodologies Branch; Galen Scott, NGS COASTAL Team Lead; and Philippe Hensel, Coastal
Elevation Dynamics Specialist, from NGS Spatial Reference Systems Division.
- Greetings from the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown off the
coast of Praia, Cape Verde, in the tropical North Atlantic! Pictured is a multidisciplinary group of scientists, students, and volunteers working to acquire oceanic and
atmospheric data as part of the PIRATA Northeast Extension, Aerosol and Ocean Science Expedition joint field campaign. The main PNE mission was to add four new PIRATA
buoys to the moored array currently in place. While the ship was off the coast of Africa, it encountered a major outflow of dry, dusty Saharan air, which produced a dense
haze. Among other things, these data will be used to better understand how dust events impact the oceanography, meteorology, and climate dynamics of the tropical Atlantic.
Pictured (from left): Vernon Morris, Rick Lumpkin, and Dan Wolfe (front); Sandy Snyder, Madelyn Vazquez, Cassie Stearns, Samuel Abegaz, Isha Renta, Juanita Escalera, and
Claudia Schmid (middle); Claude Lumpkin, Grant Rawson, Steve Kunze, Nick Nalli, Derrick Snowden, Jeff Harmon, Everette Joseph, and Adrian Flores (back). Missing from
photo are Malgorzata Szczodrak and Tamil Maldonado.
- Rear Admiral Sam De Bow, former director of NOAA Marine and Aviation Operations
and the NOAA Corps (center, in khaki uniform), who retired October 1, was on the annual low water inspection tour in August as the NOAA member of the Mississippi River
Commission (MRC). The MRC was in the area to start the inspection of the Missouri River basin and its tributaries. At the request of Tribal Elders, the commissioners
led the Grand Entry of the Powwow of the Assiniboine and Gros Ventre Tribes on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in Hayes, Montana. The Mississippi River Commission,
created by an act of Congress in 1879, was charged with creating a comprehensive plan to aid navigation and prevent destructive floods along the entire Mississippi
- NOAA's National Weather Service Alaska Region, National Marine Fisheries Service Alaska
Region, Office of Atmospheric Research Barrow Observatory, and the National Ocean Service hosted a booth at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer from August 23 through September 3, 2007. Approximately
300,000 guests came from all areas of Alaska, as well as many other states. The staff took the opportunity to educate the public on winter weather safety, habitat conservation, NOAA Weather Radio
All Hazards, protected species, tsunami awareness, and general NOAA operations and services. Pictured are: Paul Huang, Geophysicist from the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center (left) and
Joe Cannon, Webmaster, Alaska Regional Headquarters (right).
- NOAA Fisheries, Protected Resources Division (PRD) of the
Pacific Islands Region is dedicated to protecting and recovering endangered and threatened species of sea turtles, cetaceans, and the critically endangered Hawaiian
monk seal. The PRD staff hiked out to this remote location on Oahu where Hawaiian monk seals are known to spend time "basking" on the beach or rocky inter-tidal zone. They
were very excited to find monk seal N9, who was born in this location last year, sleeping out on the rocks (upper right part of photo, directly opposite of NOAA 200th
logo). Hawaiian monk seals are the most endangered pinniped in the United States and one of the most endangered animals in the world with only around 1200 animals alive
today. PRD works closely with the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center and other partners in recovery efforts of the Hawaiian monk seal. The new Hawaiian Monk Seal
Recovery Plan was recently signed and implemented. To see the new plan, please visit: http://www.fpir.noaa.gov/PRD/prd_hawaiian_monk_seal.html. Pictured (from left): Jen
Metz, Chris Yates, Kim Maison, Krista Graham, Jayne LeFors, David Schofield, Stephani Harrison, Lisa Van Atta, and Michelle Yuen. Absent: Brandee Gerke, Don Hubner, and
- Greetings from NOAA's
Office of Marine and Aviation Operations Marine Operations Center –- Atlantic and the National Ocean Service's Atlantic Hydrographic Branch! The headquarters for NOAA's East and Gulf coast fleet is
located in Norfolk, Virginia, the heart of historic Hampton Roads. This is the proud homeport of NOAA Ships THOMAS JEFFERSON and RUDE, both of which are hydrographic survey vessels carrying out the
200-year-old traditions and mission of the Office of Coast Survey. The marine center also supports NOAA Ships RONALD H. BROWN, ALBATROSS IV, HENRY B. BIGELOW, DELAWARE II, NANCY FOSTER, GORDON
GUNTER, and OREGON II. The Office of Coast Survey's Atlantic Hydrographic Branch is co-located with the marine center processing hydrographic survey data acquired by NOAA hydrographic vessels and
Navigation Response Teams, and performing quality assurance on data from NOAA contractors. These data are then used to compile cartographic revisions to NOAA nautical charts.
- Hundreds of Utah glider pilots rely daily on NOAA's National Weather Service Salt
Lake City aviation services, including soaring forecasts and observed surface and upper air wind information. For flight tasks varying from localized ridge soaring
(pictured above) to mountainous cross-country flights of several hundred miles, NOAA's National Weather Service provides pivotal data and forecasts to maximize the safety
and performance of these non-motorized craft. Here at the Flight Park State Recreation Area, hang glider and paraglider pilots take advantage of the consistent south
winds to soar for hours along the ancient Bonneville shoreline. Pictured: Lisa Verzella, hang glider pilot and former NOAA Student Career Experience Program participant,
glides past NOAA team members from the Center Weather Service Unit Salt Lake City, Colorado Basin River Forecaster Center, and National Weather Service Salt Lake City.
- The first federal weather office was established in Chicago by the Army Signal Service
in 1870 with observations taken continuously since then, except for a 14-day period in 1871 following the Great Chicago Fire. Today, the Chicago National Weather Service Forecast Office
is located in Romeoville, Illinois, about 30 miles southwest of downtown Chicago. The office proudly serves a population of about 9 million people in northern Illinois and northwest Indiana
and provides forecasts for the nation's busiest airspace, as well as mariners across Lake Michigan. Pictured (from left): Walter Cowan, Charles Mott, James Bottger, Justin Stachnik,
Ken McAdams, Terrie Sheetz, Bill Morris, Nathan Marsili, Paul Merzlock, JoAnna Green, Mark Ratzer, Bill Nelson, Jim Allsopp, Gino Izzi, Ken Labas, Andy Krein, Ed Fenelon, and Tim Halbach.
- Members of NOAA's Office of Coast Survey
(OCS) and National Geodetic Survey (NGS), Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands' (CNMI) Port Authority, and Department of Lands and Natural Resources are shown
at the Port of Saipan during an Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping project in CNMI in May 2007. The project, a collaborative effort between OCS, NOAA's National
Marine Fisheries Service, the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, and NGS, was in response to a critical request from the United States Navy to provided contemporary
hydrographic survey data to update the nautical charts. The Navy requires Saipan Harbor to be a primary port-of call for naval surface and submarine vessels. The team
has just completed a geodetic leveling run to a tertiary tidal gauge; data from the tide gauge will be used to vertically correct the bathymetric soundings. Shown from
left to right: Alfonso Delacruz (DLNR), Miguel Sablan (CPA), Lee Cabrera (CPA), Efrain Guererro (DLNR), Erin Campbell (OCS), Osgar Masga (DLNR), Corey Allen (OCS),
Jesse Deguererro (DLNR), Ed Carlson (NGS), and Kurt Brown (OCS).
- Employees from NOAA Fisheries Service's Northeast Regional Office in
Gloucester, Massachusetts, recently joined together for the annual employee picnic to celebrate their hard work and accomplishments. The Northeast Regional Office is responsible for fisheries
management, habitat protection and restoration, protected resources management, fisheries statistics, and state/federal programs from Maine to North Carolina. They are supported by the Northeast
divisions of the General Counsel Office and the NOAA Fisheries Service Office of Law Enforcement.
- The National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC) supports ecosystem stewardship by providing access to the
Nation’s coastal data resources. NCDDC is located at Stennis Space Center on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The images on this postcard represent the recovery process that still continues two
years after Hurricane Katrina devastated our area.
- Hello from DASS in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The Documentation and Supplies Services (DASS) division of
NOAA's Seafood Inspection Program distributes supplies to Consumer Safety Officers, provides information and documentation support to the Seafood Inspection Program, reviews and approves
product specifications, labels, and Child Nutrition Program items. Pictured (standing, from left): Susan Reppel, Judy Stone, and Lenora Williams. Seated (from left): Jill Hyland and
- Celebration greetings from Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts! About 800 people
toured the new NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow at Massachusetts Maritime Academy during a day-long welcoming event sponsored by NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science
Center (NEFSC). Event speakers and special guests pictured here on the Bigelow's upper deck. Pictured (from left): NEFSC deputy director Frank Almeida, NMFS budget
chief Gary Reisner, NEFSC science & research director Nancy Thompson, NOAA budget chief Maureen Wiley, NOAA RADM Jonathan Bailey, NMFS chief scientist Steve Murawski,
Rory Sheehan of Congressman William Delahunt's office, NMFS Bigelow mission manager Mike Bancroft, NEFSC vessel coordinator Chuck Byrne, and the commander of the
Bigelow, Stephen Beckwith.