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Published:April 21st, 2007 02:05 EST
 NOAA'S Environmental Heroes Help Protect the Planet

NOAA'S Environmental Heroes Help Protect the Planet

By SOP newswire

A lighthouse keeper in Iceland who records atmospheric measurements, a cartoonist who educates millions of readers and an amateur radio operator who organized a weather warning system are among the 10 recipients of the 2007 NOAA Environmental Heroes award.

The annual awards commemorate Earth Day by recognizing individuals and organizations that volunteer their time to help NOAA carry out its mission. A new category was introduced this year, the Long-Time Achievement Award, to periodically honor long-time NOAA-related achievement. NOAA established the Environmental Hero awards in 1995, and nominations are submitted by agency employees.

There are thousands of volunteers who give their time to help NOAA do its work, and the NOAA Environmental Hero award is our way of saying "thank you` to some individuals and organizations each year, " said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. Each year, I am impressed by the efforts of the Environmental Heroes, who serve as inspirations to us all. On behalf of the 12,500 men and woman working for NOAA, I congratulate the 2007 winners. "

Long-Time Achievement Award
Jack H. Elrod, Jr., Atlanta, Ga. " For more than a decade, Elrod has entertained and educated millions of readers through his Mark Trail cartoon strip. In more than 60 Sunday feature strips, Elrod has shown his readers the dangers of tsunamis, the treasures of the ocean and mysteries still to be solved about our planet.

NOAA Environmental Heroes 2007
Charlie Campbell, San Angelo, Texas: Campbell organized a network of repeaters, " electronic devices that receive a weak or low-level amateur radio signal and retransmit it at a higher level or higher power. This allows the signal transmitting timely severe weather reports from the NOAA National Weather Service SKYWARN-trained storm spotters to cover longer distances without degradation.

Nolan Doesken, Fort Collins, Colo.: Doesken organized a network of citizen volunteers to measure and report precipitation from their homes following a flash flood that killed five people in Fort Collins, Colo., in 1997. Starting with a few volunteers in 1998, the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow (CoCoRaHS) network involves thousands of volunteers in 17 states, and enhances the forecasting and warning capabilities of the NOAA National Weather Service.

Stephen Doty, Arden, N.C.: Doty created the Centers for Environmental and Climatic Interaction (CECI) in Asheville, N.C. His devotion to weather led him to document the history of weather observing in the community and to spearhead the celebration in his community this summer of the 150th anniversary of weather observing.

David Gould, Plymouth, Mass.: Gould`s efforts have resulted in many protection, restoration and stewardship projects, including the removal of dams to benefit upstream-swimming fish. He incorporates the full watershed restoration into his planning process, rather than focus on a single aspect or project.

Daryl Herzmann, Ames, Iowa: Herzmann combined a love of science with a dedication to helping others when he created the Iowa Environmental Mesonet, a one-stop-shopping " Web site for current atmospheric and hydrological observations, weather, roadway pavement data, agricultural soil information and climatology.

Bruce Popham, Marathon, Fla.: A champion of the Key West marine environment, Popham leads volunteer efforts to protect the waters around the Keys, such as Florida`s Clean Marina Program.

Josephine Kozic, Tuckerton, N.J.: Kozic led a fledgling volunteer effort into a robust program at the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve in New Jersey. Her efforts ensure that the reserve`s long-term ecosystem observatory is operational with 24-hour volunteer staffing during critical research periods.

Charles M. Quinn, New Bedford, Mass.: Quinn, his crew and his vessel, the F/V Celtic, has assisted in several key biological surveys and marine conservation projects.

Oskar J. Sigurdsson, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland " A third-generation lighthouse keeper in Iceland, Sigurdsoon has enabled the NOAA`s Global Monitoring Division in Boulder, Colo., to produce a 15-year time series of carbon dioxide and other trace-gas measurements at the Storhofdi Lighthouse.

Jill Wright, Charlottesville, Va. " Combining educational opportunities with scientific research, Wright has channeled her dedication, enthusiasm and collaboration to support the NOAA Ocean Observing System for climate and weather forecasts.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America`s scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA. NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of the nation`s coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.