2012 News & Events

An Avalanche of Honors

21 September 2012

The research achievements and other accomplishments of CSD staff have received recognition via several awards and honors recently. Here is what's happened over the last few months:

In February, it was announced that Daniel M. Murphy was elected as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. Read more

In April, CSD researchers were honored with three CIRES Outstanding Performance Awards. The team of Troy Thornberry, Andrew Rollins, and Laurel Watts won an Outstanding Science and Engineering Award for their work to design and build a water vapor detection system for an airborne Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometer (CIMS), and for then using the instrument to acquire the first in situ, calibrated water vapor measurements in the lower stratosphere using the NASA WB-57F high altitude research aircraft. The team's work addressed the need for an in situ water vapor instrument with high accuracy and precision at values less than 100 ppm, and that could be calibrated while in flight. The system has helped to advance the scientific understanding of how water vapor affects the climate system.

Daniel Lack also won an Outstanding Science and Engineering Award, for leading pioneering research on the emission of black carbon – commonly referred to as "soot" – from ships. Until this work, little quantitative information was available about this source of soot emissions, which have a warming effect on climate and also can affect air quality near coastlines. The work showed that commercial shipping contributes 2 percent of the global total soot emissions, with considerably higher burden in coastal areas near ports; Dan's research also demonstrated that California's new regulations, requiring ships to switch to cleaner fuels when nearing the coast, are indeed working to reduce soot and other pollutant emissions.

Kenneth Aikin received an Outstanding Service Award for his development of the data archive for 27 (and counting!) field missions involving the Tropospheric Chemistry program of CSD. In this work, he interacts with researchers within CSD, elsewhere in NOAA, and from around the world to gather the data and present it in a user-friendly interface for researchers. Ken's mastery of hardware, software, and graphics has enabled this accomplishment.

In May, CSD Director A.R. Ravishankara and 24 colleagues from throughout NOAA received a team NOAA Bronze Medal for developing the NOAA Administrative Order on Scientific Integrity Policy and accompanying Handbook on Scientific Misconduct. The NOAA Administrator nominated them for the award.

In July, Rebecca Washenfelder received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Read more

In September, Debe Dailey-Fisher and MacKenzie Metcalfe went to the Governor's Mansion in Denver to pick up awards for their accomplishments in the "2012 Governor's Summer Job Hunt." Debe was recognized for her work "...to foster the development of young people into confident, creative leaders by providing opportunities to succeed." MacKenzie was recognized for her initiative and contributions as a summer intern working with Debe in CSD this past summer. She graduated from Centaurus High School in May and is now a freshman at the University of Northern Colorado. Ann Thorne (ESRL/GMD), who administers ESRL's student intern programs, and Russ Schnell (also ESRL/GMD) attended the event and represented ESRL. The award is presented by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, in partnership with the Colorado Workforce Centers and the Colorado Workforce Development Council. This year, 14 businesses and agencies received the award.

Jim Churnside and colleague Jim Jordan (ESRL/PSD) will be honored in October with an award for their Patent on "detection of transient signals in Doppler spectra." PSD CIRES scientist Paul Johnston also is a holder of the patent. The award, given by OAR's Office of Research and Technology Applications, formally recognizes those employees who, during the fiscal year, were granted a U.S. Patent. A total of two Patents by NOAA employees are being recognized this year.