200TH CELEBRATION SHOWCASES TOP TEN HISTORY MAKERS
29, 2006 — No
one knows for sure how many men and women have filled the rolls of NOAA
and its ancestor organizations throughout 200 years of history. But it’s
safe to say that they number in the hundreds of thousands. Many have distinguished
themselves by serving the nation and the world and inspiring their NOAA
colleagues with discoveries, innovations, and extraordinary influence
and leadership. Those who have worked at NOAA for any length of time can
easily name contemporaries who left indelible marks of accomplishment
and influence on NOAA’s science, service and stewardship missions
and on its people. (Click NOAA image for larger view of NOAA's
Top Ten History Makers. Please credit “NOAA. ”)
just who among the thousands who have set the survey marks, charted the
coast, measured the tides, predicted the weather, sampled the fisheries,
built satellites and supported scores of other NOAA missions has exerted
the most far-reaching and compelling influence? Who among those who have
come before us most shaped NOAA’s culture, laid the organizational
groundwork, built its capabilities and infrastructure, or advanced ocean,
Earth, atmospheric, or biological sciences and environmental stewardship
to make NOAA a world-renowned organization? They are the pioneers, the
visionaries, the stalwarts, models of commitment and perseverance, and
the brilliant minds on whose shoulders NOAA and the nation should acknowledge
with heart felt thanks.
and honors ten eminent individuals whose service to NOAA spans from NOAA
founding in 1807, through the Civil War, both world wars and to the present
day. All have bequeathed legacies of influence to NOAA or to society that
continue to reverberate. Some like Ferdinand
Hassler with the NOAA Office
of Coast Survey and Joseph
Smagorinsky with the NOAA Geophysical
Fluid Dynamics Laboratory were pioneers who established the foundations
of NOAA science missions;
others like Francis
Reichelderfer of the Weather Bureau guided NOAA through periods of
brought on by advancing technology or historic events; still others like
Carson and Susan
Solomon contributed discoveries that are vital to human health worldwide.
So significant are their contributions that NOAA is proud to call them
Top Ten History Makers.
about those who shaped and dramatically influenced NOAA should give all
of us a deeper regard, respect and appreciation for their hallowed achievements.
Now let’s meet these venerable and distinguished individuals (time
with NOAA or ancestor organizations in parentheses):
Abbe — First Scientist of the American Weather
Bureau (1871-1915): Pioneered theoretical dynamic meteorology
among many other contributions in the early years of the U. S. Weather
Dallas Bache — Leader of American Science
and Second Superintendent of the United States Coast Survey (1843-1867):
Expanded significantly the mission and geographic presence of the U.S.
Carson — Defender of the Environment (1935-1952):
Revered as the “mother of the age of ecology.”
— Eminent 19th Century Fish Scientist (1872-1888):
Set the methods and standards used in fishery research today.
Rudolph Hassler — Founder of the United States Coast Survey
Imbued the U.S. Coast Survey, as its first superintendent, with unswerving
devotion to accuracy, precision and scientific integrity.
Simonds Johnson — Ardent Champion of Satellite Technology
Paved the way for satellite technology in NOAA.
— Athlete, Idealist, Leader of the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey
and Father of the NOAA Corps (1915-1929): Entrusted
by four U.S. presidents to lead the Coast
and Geodetic Survey.
Reichelderfer — Sailor, Aviator, Meteorologist and Director
of the U.S. Weather Bureau (1938-1963):
Brought modern technology to weather forecasting.
Visionary in Numerical Weather Prediction and Climate Modeling (1953-1983):
Combined computers and mathematical models for extended predictions
of weather and trends in global climate.
Pioneering Atmospheric Scientist (1981–present):
Discovered the cause of depleted atmospheric ozone in the Antarctic
Daniel Albritton spent nearly 40 years as a scientist and head
of the NOAA Aeronomy Laboratory
(now part of the NOAA Earth System
Research Laboratory) working to understand the chemical processes
of the atmosphere and their implications for the health of living creatures
and their effect on the global climate system.
Fullerton Baird (1823-1887) was a naturalist who was appointed
the first Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries (a forerunner of the NOAA
National Marine Fisheries Service) in 1871. He encouraged the rapid
development of fish culture in the United States, founded the Woods
Hole fisheries laboratory, and commenced building and acquiring fisheries
research vessels, notably the NOAA ships Albatross
and the Fish
(1817-1891) designed and built the second tide prediction machine (which
was used for more than 30 years), wrote numerous theoretical treatises
on tides and tidal currents, and published a series of essays in Coast
and Geodetic Survey annual reports on such topics as “Meteorological
Researches - Cyclones, Tornadoes, and Water - Spouts,” while working
for the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.
(1941-2000) served as Director of the Sanctuary and Reserves Program
where she laid much of the groundwork for today’s great network
of NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries
and NOAA National Estuarine Research
Reserves. She also helped lead NOAA into the modern era of coastal
resource management and marine
conservation/protection by serving as Chief of the NOAA National
Marine Fisheries Service’s Office
of Protected Resources, Deputy Assistant Administrator of Fisheries
and Assistant Administrator of the NOAA
National Ocean Service.
Helmut Landsberg (1906-1985) was a leader and pioneer in many
aspects of the science of climatology. He served as the head the United
States Weather Bureau Office of Climatology, which he reorganized into
the National Weather Records Center (now the NOAA
National Climatic Data Center) and introduced new weather data processing
methods and electronic computing.
Lester Machta (1919-2001) was a leader in studying atmospheric
chemistry throughout his career in NOAA and its predecessor organization,
which extended from his appointment as head of the Special Projects
Section in 1948 till his passing in 2001 as a scientist emeritus with
the NOAA Air Resources Laboratory.
(1931- ) spent the first 39 years of his professional career, from 1958
to 1997, affiliated with the NOAA
Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and its predecessors and was
best known for his work on ocean and atmospheric modeling.
Sanders Peirce (1839-1914) served in the U.S. Coast Survey
from 1859-1891 where he was the pioneer in gravity observations and
made many contributions to mathematical methods and error analysis.
Anthony Schott (1826-1901) served as chief geodesist and chief
mathematician of the Survey, guided the evolution of the U.S.
Survey through its transition from purely coastal to a continent-wide
Oscar Elton Sette
(1900-1972) is considered the father of modern fisheries oceanography
in the United States and is internationally recognized for his many
significant contributions to fisheries research/management over a long
career. He also founded the NOAA
Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, in
Harris B. Stewart (1922-2000) was a marine geologist, pioneer
science SCUBA diver, first chief oceanographer of the U.S. Coast and
Geodetic Survey, founder and first director of the NOAA
Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, author, poet,
mentor and friend of many scientists in NOAA throughout his career.
(1836-1912) was a pioneer fish culturist, Deputy Commissioner of Fisheries
for the Pacific coast from 1872 to 1898, and senior fish culturist of
the U.S. Fish Commission from 1898 to 1903.
Fred Utter (1931- ) is known as the founding father of the
field of fishery genetics —
he joined the ancestor laboratory of the NOAA
Northwest Fisheries Science Center fishery genetics laboratory in
1959, became head of the laboratory in 1969 and led the genetics group
until his retirement from NOAA in 1988.
is the science and research director of the NOAA
Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, Wash., a position
she has held since 1994, when she became the first woman to lead one
of NOAA’s nine major fisheries field installations. Her
transformed NOAA’s capabilities in ecotoxicology, making it a
national and international leader in this area.
David Q. Wark
(1918-2002) was a pioneer in satellite meteorology, who served 55 years
with the federal government —
most of it with the United States Weather Bureau, and then, as a founder
and long-time scientist with the NOAA
Satellite and Information Service.
Harry Wexler (1911–1962) was the Director of Meteorological
Research of the United States Weather Bureau in the years following
the Second World War. Many innovative and long-lasting weather and climate
research programs were begun during his tenure including carbon dioxide
observations at Mauna Loa, atmospheric
ozone and radiation studies and the hurricane
200 Years of Science, Service and Stewardship
Bedford, NOAA, (202) 482-6090