2020 Impact Award

Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer to the GSL Science On a Sphere (SOS) Explorer™ and SOS Explorer™ Mobile team
Eric Hackathorn, Hilary Peddicord (CIRES), Beth Russell (CIRES), Jonathan Joyce (CIRES) and Keith Searight (CIRA).

Department of Commerce Gold Medal

2015 - Scientific and Engineering Achievement

GSD’s Assimilation and Modeling Branch/High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) Model Team (along with NWS colleagues in NCEP Central Operations and the Environmental Modeling Center) for achieving success for the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh, the first storm-scale model to give forecasters and decision-makers fast, local weather guidance.

NOAA Bronze Medals


William B. Bendel, Fanthune Moeng, Wilfred G. Von Dauster, Vivian A. LeFebvre, Alexander E. MacDonald, Phyllis Gunn, Rhonda Lange for achieving the 100th worldwide Science On a Sphere® installation and continuing to grow its global engagement of the public in NOAA science.

Scott Nahman for dedication in acquiring supercomputing services to sustain production of the Nation’s operational numerical weather and climate forecast systems.


Stan Benjamin, John Brown, Steve Weygandt for developing the first NCEP operational radar reflectivity assimilation technique and improving convective storm forecasting.

Seth Gutman for his innovative contributions to the development of the Coastal Atmospheric River Monitoring and Early Warning System.

NOAA Silver Sherman Award


Penny Granville is honored for her commitment and dedication to driving GSD toward administrative excellence. She has demonstrated leadership, foresight, commitment, and teamwork that will pay off for years to come. Each day she demonstrates a can-do-attitude, provides a foundation of knowledge that is often sought after by the other Divisions, is always willing to jump in and help when asked, and is just a pleasure to work with.


Susan Williams is honored for her incredible ability to enhance the spirit de corps of GSD. She forges, and continues to encourage, positive relationships throughout the Division and building. On her own initiative, she worked to improve relationships between IT groups. She is eager to make working together not just a productive, but an enjoyable experience.


Jeff VanBuskirk is honored with the NOAA Silver Sherman Award for surpassing his always superb management of GSD facilities. Jeff runs GSD data centers providing maximum reliability and forges relationships across the Lab and Line Office with broad appeal. He effectively manages a diverse $22M property account and works with GSA and NIST to represent NOAA facilities in an outstanding manner.

NOAA Administrator's Award


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


Kevin Kelleher for his help to establish the first systematic approach and consistent voice for advancing the testing capabilities at NOAA testbeds and proving grounds.


Seth Gutman for his long-term leadership in establishing a national ground-based GPS observing network for measuring and monitoring atmospheric water vapor.

Distinguished Career Awards for Professional Achievement


Sandra Aschert for 36 years of exceptional service to NOAA in improving administrative and budgetary programs and policies and for her respected and exemplary leadership.

Darien Davis for her enduring commitment to NOAA's mission, a tenacity to succeed, and an optimistic vision of the future that drew experts from across the agency to advance NOAA IT systems.

NOAA Technology Transfer Award


Melinda Marquis, Curtis Alexander, Stan Benjamin, John M. Brown (ESRL/GSD Federal Staff) and Joe Olson, James Kenyon, Eric James, Terra Ladwig (ESRL/GSD CIRES Staff) - For improving forecasts of turbine-height winds and solar irradiance from the High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) weather model to improve usage of renewable power by industry.

NOAA OAR Employees of the Year / Month


David Dowell was awarded NOAA's Research Employee of the month for September. He received the award for his experience and creativity to launch new tools that have increased NOAA's success toward the goal of protecting lives and property.


Jennifer Mahoney was awarded the NOAA Research Employee of the Year (Individual) for her outstanding leadership and invaluable contributions to GSD.


David K. Himes was awarded (posthumously) the NOAA Research Employee of the Year (Individual) for his work developing and sustaining Science on a Sphere®.

Assimilation and Modeling Branch for the development, integration, and transition of the next generation of NOAA's hourly North American prediction, a foundation for realizing NOAA's 'Weather Ready Nation' strategies as well as position NOAA for emerging service areas.

NOAA Research (OAR) Awards

2016 OAR Outstanding Scientific Publication Award (awarded in 2017)

A scale and aerosol aware stochastic convective parameterization for weather and air quality modeling. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 14, 5233-5250, DOI:10.5194/acp-14-5233-2014.

Authors: Georg Grell and co-author Saul Freitas (NASA Goddard).

High winter ozone pollution from carbonyl photolysis in an oil and gas basin Nature. 514, 351-354, DOI:10.1038/nature13767

Authors: Peter M. Edwards (CIRES), Steven S. Brown (CSD), James M. Roberts (CSD), Ravan Ahmadov (CSD now GSD/CIRES), Robert M. Banta (CSD), Joost A. deGouw (CSD/CIRES), William P. Dubé (CSD/CIRES), Robert A. Field, James H. Flynn, Jessica B. Gilman,(CSD/CIRES), Martin Graus (CSD/CIRES), Detlev Helmig, Abigail Koss (CSD/CIRES) Andrew O. Langford, Barry L. Lefer, Brian M. Lerner (CSD/CIRES), Rui Li (CSD/CIRES), Shao-Meng Li, Stuart A. McKeen (CSD/CIRES), Shane M. Murphy, David D. Parrish (CSD/CIRES), Christoph J. Senff (CSD/CIRES) Jeffrey Soltis, Jochen Stutz, Colm Sweeney (CSD/CIRES), Chelsea R. Thompson, Michael K. Trainer, Catalina Tsai, Patrick R. Veres (CSD/CIRES), Rebecca A. Washenfelder (CSD/CIRES), Carsten Warneke (CSD/CIRES), Robert J. Wild, Cora J. Young, Bin Yuan (CSD/CIRES), & Robert Zamora (CSD/CIRES)


Dr. Hongli Jiang for her current research on the development of methods for fine scale and frequent updated numerical analysis.

Joint Institute Awards


CIRA Research Initiative Award - Jebb Stewart for team leadership/mentoring, implementation of innovative and creative technology, and achievements that resulted in substantial impact within the workplace and cutting edge research.

CIRA Research Service Award - Bob Lipschutz for ingenuity, innovation, leadership, and persistence in pursuit of new technology and the objectives of CIRA and NOAA.


CIRA Research and Service Initiative Award - Missy Petty for the implementation of innovative and creative technology, and achievements that result in substantial impact within and external to the workplace.


CIRA Research and Service Initiative Award - Steve Albers for outstanding contributions to science and technology research and his noteworthy, sustained, accomplishments leading and contributing to numerous research projects over the past four years.

CIRES Bronze Medal for Superior Performance - Shilpi Gupta, Hilary Peddicord, and Beth Russell, CIRES staff in GSD/Advanced Technology and Outreach Branch, were part of a NOAA team honored with a DOC Bronze Medal for achieving the 100th worldwide installation of Science On a Sphere®.

CIRES Outstanding Performance Award for Service - Chris Golden for his work developing a user interface for the National Weather Service’s "Hazard Services."


CIRES Outstanding Performance Award in Science and Engineering - Ligia Bernardet for her excellence in scientific research, collaborative and multidisciplinary approach, and uncommon initiatives and for her leadership in working to unify differing versions of the Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) Model.


CIRA Research and Service Initiative Award - Sher Schranz for her outstanding service in administrative oversight, project management, and outreach and her superb accomplishments across a myriad of high-visibility programs and projects (fire weather research, NextGen aviation weather, unmanned aircraft systems, NEIS, FX-Net).

CIRES Outstanding Performance Award - Christopher Clack, CIRES staff in GSD/Renewable Energy Program, for his work in renewable energy and atmospheric science.

CIRES Outstanding Performance Award for Science and Engineering - Julien Lynge for his work with scientists to make data easy to find, access, visualize, and understand and as the lead developer on TerraViz (a component of NEIS), a highly creative and innovative graphical interface that may revolutionize the way scientists and others visualize massive physical data sets in real time.


CIRA Research Initiative (Team) Award - Jebb Stewart, Jeff Smith, Chris MacDermaid, and Randy Pierce for their work on the NOAA Environmental Information System (NEIS).

CIRA Research Initiative Award - Haidao Lin for his work on satellite temperature and moisture bias corrections in the High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) Model.

CIRA Service Initiative Award - Chris MacDermaid for his efforts as GSD's representative on a number of NOAA and OAR working groups and committees.

CIRES Employees of the Year (Team) - Stan Benjamin, Curtis Alexander, Eric James, Steven Peckham, Patrick Hofmann, Bill Moninger, Tanya Smirnova, Ming Hu, Joe Olson, and Xue Wei for the development, integration, and transition of the next generation of NOAA's hourly North American prediction, a foundation for realizing NOAA's 'Weather Ready Nation' strategies as well as position NOAA for emerging service areas.


CIRES Performance "Service Category" - Dr. Steven Peckham for helping to develop and provide support for a complex modeling system known as WRF-Chem, which allows research of extreme relevance to current environmental challenges, especially relating to air quality and global climate change. He has also led tutorials in Boulder and around the world. As a result, the training has made an impact on these regions conducting air quality studies. The model now has many national and international users.

CIRES Performance "Service Category" - Dr. Craig Tierney for promoting and inspiring excellence and dedication to the science and research performed at CIRES as a "cornerstone of the NOAA High Performance Computing (HPC) team in Boulder." He took on the demanding role of acting High Performance Computing (HPC) Lead, responsible for managing all aspects of NOAA Boulder's HPC resources and representing NOAA Boulder's HPC interests in the midst of a NOAA-wide HPC realignment.


CIRA Research and Service Initiative - Isidora Jankov and Steve Albers for their contributions to numerical weather prediction (NWP) forecasting – and more specifically, research that focuses on the initialization of fine-scale numerical models in GSD's Local Analysis and Prediction System (LAPS) and research efforts aimed at improved physical parameterization schemes and ensemble forecast techniques in NWP.

CIRES Bronze Medal - Curtis Alexander, Ming Hu, Tanya Smirnova for contributions to the operational assimilation of radar reflectivity that won 2010 NOAA Bronze Medal awards for Stan Benjamin, Steve Weygandt, and John Brown. GSD CIRA colleagues Kevin Brundage and Bob Lipschutz were also a part of this Cooperative Institute effort.

Other Awards


2019 Charles L. Hosler Alumni Scholar Medal to Stan Benjamin in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the development of science through research, teaching or administrative leadership.

Joint Polar Satellite System Esprit De Corps award for 2019 Q1 to Ravan Ahmadov in recognition of an individual who does great work and makes substantial contributions on a JPSS task in support of the program.


Certificate of Appreciation from the Korean Meteorological Agency to Zoltan Toth in recognition of extraordinary interests and devoted efforts during ICE POP 2018 (International Collaborative Experiments for Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. 

Certificate of Appreciation from the Commission for Atmospheric Sciences of the World Meteorological Organization: Zoltan Toth in recognition of outstanding contribution to the WMO ICE-POP 2018. 

FLC Far West Region Award for Outstanding Partnership: Wind Forecast Improvement Project-2, a Department of Energy and NOAA-led project successfully leveraged resources, instruments, and researchers across all NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) Divisions, the NOAA Air Resources Laboratory Field Research Division, other federal agencies, private companies, and universities research leading to improved forecasts of wind to support the renewable energy industry. 

AMS Weather Analysis and Forecasting Committee Early Career Award: Curtis Alexander for significant contributions to the weather forecasting enterprise. Curtis is on a path to becoming a science leader in the community.

AMS Artificial Intelligence Conference Student Poster Honorable Mention: Yu-Ju Lee (CIRES) for "Using Deep Learning for Targeted Data Selection: Improving Satellite Observation Utilization for Model Initialization."


AGU Editor’s Citation for Excellence in Refereeing for Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres - David Turner. This citation is a public expression of the gratitude of American Geophysical Union to those whose reviews have been particularly commendable.

AMS Kenneth C. Spengler Award - Betsy Weatherhead. The Kenneth C. Spengler Award is presented to an individual, team, or organization whose efforts have contributed to the growth of the weather, water, and climate enterprise while materially fostering a sense of community and creating synergistic linkages between the public, private, and academic sectors, as well as the user community.

AMS Editors Award: Brian Etherton for a referee’s report of outstanding merit on a manuscript submitted for publication in one of the Society’s journals.

2017 CO-LABS Governor’s Award for High Impact Research Honorable Mention: Science on a Sphere® and Science on a Sphere Explorer team for visualization systems that are used worldwide to educate the public about science.

Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group (UVIG) 2017 Annual Achievement Award granted to Kathy Lantz (GMD), Eric James (GSD/CIRES) and Joseph Olson (GSD/CIRES) for major contributions to advancing the state-of-the-art solar energy forecasting.


Haagen-Smit Prize awarded to GSD and CSD researchers for WRF-Chem research. Dr. Georg Grell, Dr. Stuart McKeen and Dr. David Frost and Steven Peckham were authors on a 2005 paper entitled, "Fully coupled 'online' chemistry within the WRF model." The fact that their paper was published in 2005 and was selected for this prestigious prize in 2016 shows its long-term influence in the field


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 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.

Certificate of Recognition – Presented to GSD Senior Scientist Zoltan Toth by the U.S. THORPEX Executive Committee for his international leadership and multifaceted research contributions to US participation in the World Meteorological Organization’s THORPEX Weather Research Program.

The Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group (UVIG) is giving a 2015 Achievement Award to the DOE/NOAA Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP) staff for contributions to improve wind energy forecasts. The NOAA Team includes Stan Benjamin and Joseph Olson. The UVIG was established in 1989 to provide a forum for the critical analysis of wind and solar technology for utility applications and to serve as a source of credible information on the status of wind and solar technology and deployment.

American Meteorological Society's Outstanding Leadership Award - Betsy Weatherhead for her work with the public, private, and academic sectors in improving weather forecasts.

Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) Gold Award to ESRL/GSD.

CFC Silver Star Awards - Cherie Adams for her administering and running of the CFC Silent Auction and Penny Granville for processing almost all of the on-line CFC contributions from an overwhelming majority of the David Skaggs Research Center’s on-site organizations.

NOAA DSRC Award - "70 Seconds of Science" Communications Challenge – Explain what you do for NOAA in 70 seconds or less in simple, straight-forward language: 2nd Place - Gopa Padmanabhan, GSD/CIRES.


UVIG Achievement Award - The Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group (UVIG), previously known as the Utility Wind Integration Group (UWIG), is giving a UVIG 2015 Achievement Award to GSD’s Melinda Marquis for her work in leading research to improve weather forecasts in support of wind power.

NOAA DSRC Award - "70 Seconds of Science" Communications Challenge – Explain what you do for NOAA in 70 seconds or less in simple, straight-forward language: 3rd Place - Hilary Peddicord, GSD/CIRES.


Australia's Bureau of Meteorology received Highly Commended Award in the Comcover Awards for Excellence 2012 – Risk Initiative for their Next Generation Forecast and Warning System Project, a major component of which was installing the Graphical Forecast Editor (GFE), designed, developed, and transferred by NOAA/ESRL/GSD/Information Systems Branch, in their forecasting offices.

Excellence in eGovernment Awards - Next Generation Forecast and Warning System Project featured prominently in the Excellence in eGovernment Awards that recognize the most outstanding initiatives in Government Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) at the local, state, and federal level. These are very prestigious awards for Australia's Bureau of Meteorology.

NOAA DSRC Award - "70 Seconds of Science" Communications Challenge – Explain what you do for NOAA in 70 seconds or less in simple, straight-forward language: 1st Place - Bill Moninger, GSD/CIRES.