ESRL Global Systems Division

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2015 Awards

Department of Commerce

Gold Medal

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce has awarded a Gold Medal for Scientific Engineering Achievement to ESRL/GSD's Assimilation and Modeling Branch [now Earth Modeling Branch], along with NCEP Central Operations (NWS) and the NWS Environmental Modeling Center, for “the success of High-Resolution Rapid Refresh, the first storm-scale model to give forecasters and decision-makers fast, local weather guidance."

ESRL/GSD has led the unique federal, private, state and academic partnership to develop and evaluate the HRRR model since 2010. The HRRR is the first model in the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) operational suite to include hourly updates as well as a resolution sharp enough to simulate individual thunderstorms.

“This medal is a testament to your hard work, dedication, and passion for public service. I am so proud of the many contributions you and the other award recipients have made across the breadth of the NOAA mission, especially using your expertise and creativity to implement High-Resolution Rapid Refresh, allowing decision-makers more time to prepare for hazardous weather on a local scale,” said NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan.

The Gold Medal Award is the highest honorary award granted by the Secretary of Commerce. A Gold Medal is defined as distinguished performance characterized by extraordinary, notable, or prestigious contributions that impact the mission of the Department and/or one or more operating units, which reflects favorably on the Department.

NOAA Awards

Administrator's Award

Kevin Kelleher, John Schneider, and Greg Pratt were recognized "for successfully transitioning the Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System to operations within the NWS."

Co-honorees from NWS include Timothy McClung, Steven Pritchett, Curtis Marshall, Ben Kyger, Rebecca Cosgrove, Scott Jacobs, Cameron Shelton, and Michelle Mainelli, along with Drew Saunders and David Helms from NESDIS.

The NOAA Administrator’s Awards recognize employees who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, skill, and ingenuity in their significant, unique, and original contributions that bring unusual credit to NOAA, DOC, and the Federal Government.

CIRES Outstanding Performance Award: Service

Chris Golden received the prestigious CIRES Outstanding Performance Award in Service at the 2015 CIRES Rendezvous for his work developing a user interface for the National Weather Service’s “Hazard Services.” Golden is a lead 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. The Hazard Services application on AWIPS II (the National Weather Service Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System) is designed to streamline forecaster workflow by combining functions of three legacy applications. Golden’s primary responsibility has been in designing the user interface, and he has done so with uncommon creativity, resourcefulness, and leadership. This has included extensive collaboration with forecasters in diverse regions of the country; Golden has responded to their input, reshaping the interface and developing tools and efficiencies that help forecasters get the word out quickly about potential hazards.

CIRA Research and Service Initiative Award

The 2015 CIRA Research and Service Initiative Award was presented on Thursday, August 27 in Fort Collins to Steve Albers of the GSD/Earth Modeling Branch. The award is for outstanding contributions to science and technology research and Steve's noteworthy, sustained, accomplishments leading and contributing to numerous research projects over the past four years. These accomplishments include team leadership and mentoring, the implementation of innovative and creative technology, and successful research proposals resulting in significant funding to the laboratory. Steve has applied his considerable scientific and technological expertise to many projects acknowledged by ESRL/GSD awards including the all-sky camera vs. LAPS cloud analysis, cutting edge NWP-based cloud analysis, NWP visualization software, and complex Science On a Sphere® data sets.

Governer's Award for High-Impact Research

ESRL/Global Systems Division’s (GSD) modeling team has been honored with the Colorado Governor’s Award for High Impact Research for the development and implementation of the High-Resolution Rapid-Refresh (HRRR) weather model. The prestigious award was presented in a ceremony at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on Thursday, October 8, 2015.

The HRRR next-generation weather model runs hourly and brings in data from many sources to help provide critical details to forecasters in rapidly changing and evolving weather events. GSD and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) researchers developed the innovative weather model and transitioned it to NOAA National Weather Service offices across the country, saving lives and property.

The Governor’s Award for High-Impact Research was launched in 2009 by CO-LABS to celebrate the achievements of Colorado scientists. CO-LABS is a non-profit consortium of federal laboratories, research institutions, businesses, and economic development organizations that provide financial and in-kind support for programs that promote the retention and expansion of Colorado’s scientific resources.

Colorado has one of the highest per capita concentrations of federal science, research, and engineering facilities in the nation. The state’s federally funded research labs are world leaders in a range of fields including agriculture, climate and weather, earth science, renewable energy, space physics, and telecommunications research.

This award honors ESRL GSD's efforts to support a Weather-Ready Nation and a reduced loss of life and property, and disruption from high-impact events.