Coast to Coast, NOAA presented 2001 Environmental Hero Awards
to 27 people and organizations. The annual tribute recognizes
those who volunteer time and commitment to leverage NOAA's work
of protecting our planet.
This year's tributes covered environmental efforts from weather
observation to beach safety, from conserving water resources
to underwater photography, from teaching marine biology to strengthening
forest practices, rescuing wetland vegetation, and advising
on environmental career paths.
All areas of NOAA are well represented:
Don Adams of the Barstow, Illinois, fire department has
been instrumental in helping the National Weather Service in
Davenport with major late winter ice jam flooding events on
the Rock River. Two of these events in February 1997 and February
2001 involved significant evacuations.
2) Mike Albers, of Colby, Kansas, has been an outstanding
National Weather Service volunteer for the past 20 years. He
is director of the amateur radio network for Skywarn operations
in Thomas County, Kansas. This club has assisted in protecting
lives and property across northwest Kansas, especially during
severe weather season.
3) Bolivar County, Miss., Emergency Operations Response Team.
When severe storms approach Bolivar County, the National Weather
Service can almost be assured that storm reports will be relayed
in a timely and accurate manner. This was the case in January
1999 when two F1 tornadoes moved through the county. The real-time
reports from the team made it possible for the NWS to issue
timely updates for the tornadoes.
4) Ray Burkholder of Pandora, Ohio, has been taking weather
observations for more than 50 years. He's never missed making
the midnight observations. He's a legend in northwest Ohio.
5) Florida Beach Patrol Chiefs Association has been helping
the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Miami, Fla.,
for the past ten years in the mutual interest of beach safety.
Rip currents, on average, have been more deadly in Florida than
hurricanes, lightning and other hazards.
6) Richard Hendrickson of Bridgehampton, NY, has been
making weather observations for the National Weather Service
for some 70 years. He's been a weather observer longer than
anyone in New York state.
7) The Panzenhagen Family. Roy Panzenhagen started making
river level observations for the Grand River at Comstock Park,
Mich., in 1938. He did this for 40 years before his death in
1978. His wife, Bertha, continues the tradition today. When
the rivers rises, Bertha reads river gauges installed in her
backyard and reports the information to the National Weather
Service Forecast Office in Grand Rapids, Mich.
8) Jerry Roberson of Oil Trough, Ark., has been an expert
storm spotter in an area where tornadoes frequently develop.
His timely report of a spotted tornado helped the National Weather
Service Forecast Office in Little Rock, Ark., to issue an immediate
Ruperto Chaparro with the University of Puerto Rico Sea
Grant Program, has dedicated a great deal of time to the study
of beach management practices within and outside Puerto Rico.
10) Ana Navarro, a chemical oceanographer and water quality
specialist, is committed to facilitating community participation
in the conservation of Puerto Rico's water resources.
11) Edgardo Ojeda, a doctoral candidate in fisheries
biology at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez, has dedicated
himself to the long-term sustainability of Puerto Rico fisheries
12) Richard Behnke has been instrumental in establishing
and maintaining the inter-agency National Space Weather Program
that benefits NOAA and the nation. This program helps to protect
technological systems and humans from adverse effects of the
Deborah Pardike was one of the most influential local
citizens involved in the designation of NOAA's Thunder Bay National
Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve. She volunteered countless
hours providing input to NOAA and the state of Michigan on the
14) Robert Michelson, a professional photographer and
videographer, who lives in Braintree, Mass., has been a staunch
advocate and supporter of NOAA's Stellwagen Bank National Marine
Sanctuary. He's donated significant amounts of time, including
wildlife and underwater photography and video to the sanctuary.
15) Francis "Paul" Spadaro is the president of the Magothy
River Association. He formed a strong all-volunteer network
made up of recreational, Navy and NOAA divers to help restore
oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.
16) Bob Breen has worked closely with NOAA's Gulf of
the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. He's been instrumental
during oil spills, and he teaches a special course at a local
high school for children interested in marine biology and the
17) Richie Moretti is the founder of the Turtle Hospital
in Marathon, Fla., which opened in 1986. He's recruited many
volunteers to assist with sea turtle surgery, care and feeding,
and public outreach.
18) Theodore Below, an ornithologist, has studied bird
populations of NOAA's Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research
Reserve for more than 25 years. At age 77, he is still plain
spoken and passionate about the birds.
Alice Morgan Carson Hiscock died recently at 92. Her
service and dedication to the Cape Cod, Mass., maritime community
of Chatham, and her passion for preservation of the natural
environment, will be long remembered.
20) BAYNET is a non-profit organization dedicated to
educating people from all over the world about the wonders of
our oceans and the living marine resources in the Monterey Bay
region of California. The program was organized in 1996 and
consists solely of volunteers. In 2000, these volunteers donated
1,700 hours, and they've spoken with more than 200,000 visitors
during the program's first four years.
21) Richard Gienger has been instrumental to NOAA's Southwest
Fisheries Region in helping to strengthen forest practice rules
to reduce the likelihood of take of coho salmon. His efforts
have helped NOAA Fisheries in its mission of conserving, restoring
and recovering listed salmonids.
22) Margie Stinson has volunteered her time to develop
a course for high school and college students on boating, navigation
and other skills which help NOAA Fisheries scientists conduct
sea turtle research in San Diego Bay.
23) Robert Baiocchi has dedicated his efforts to challenging
new water rights applications in California streams for the
protection of salmon and steelhead, which has greatly benefited
the Southwest Region of NOAA Fisheries.
24) Marine Mammal Care Center of Sausalito, Calif., for
the past 26 years has dedicated its work to rescuing and treating
ill, injured or orphaned marine mammals and returning them to
the wild as healthy animals. In 2000, volunteers worked more
than 87,000 hours.
25) John Sayre has donated countless hours of personal
time and expertise in helping NOAA Fisheries enhance and facilitate
habitat restoration, conservation and education projects that
benefit salmon in the Pacific Northwest.
26) Mari Lou Livingood has volunteered many hours of
her time and provided her expertise to enhance and facilitate
habitat restoration, conservation and education projects that
benefits NOAA trust resources in Virginia. She's been instrumental
in organizing the rescue of wetland vegetation destined to be
destroyed with the reconstruction of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge,
which connects Maryland and Virginia near Washington, DC.
Barbara Doll has volunteered her time to the North Carolina
Sea Grant Program in Raleigh, N.C., to help the community focus
attention on critical coastal water quality issues. She advises
North Carolina students on curriculum paths and graduate projects
in order to help them realize their environmental career objectives.