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THREE FROM NOAA RECEIVE PRESTIGIOUS RECOGNITION AT WHITE HOUSE

NOAA image of Susan Solomon, and some new friends, on Antarctic expedition in 1987 near McMurdo Station. May 6, 2004 — Three members of the NOAA team today received 2003 Distinguished Presidential Rank Awards at a White House ceremony. The award is the most prestigious recognition given to career government senior executives and scientists. Each year, one percent of the federal government work force is honored with the distinguished award for being "strong leaders who achieve results and consistently demonstrate strength, integrity, industry and a relentless commitment to excellence in public service," as the citation states. (Click NOAA image for larger view of Susan Solomon, and some new friends, on Antarctic expedition in 1987 near McMurdo Station. Please credit “NOAA.”)

NOAA image of Susan Solomon in her office in Boulder, Colo.This year, the award recipients from NOAA are Susan Solomon, senior scientist with the NOAA Aeronomy Laboratory in Boulder, Colo.; Rolland Schmitten, director of the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation; and Scott Gudes, who served as deputy undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere. (Click NOAA image for larger view of Susan Solomon in her office in Boulder, Colo. Click here for high resolution, which is a large file. Please credit “NOAA.”)

"These honored colleagues helped to secure NOAA's claim to world-class excellence," said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "I am proud of each one of them for their hard work and commitment to NOAA's mission."

Solomon is cited for her scientific contributions, particularly for her leading role in the international effort to discover the cause of the Antarctic ozone hole and her research in evaluating the environmental impacts of newly proposed substitutes for the now-banned ozone-depleting compounds.

NOAA image of Rolland Schmitten, director of the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation, helping to restore salt marsh habitat around historic Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Md., April 2001.Schmitten is recognized as an international advocate for living marine resources. He has served as the U.S. commissioner to major international fisheries organizations under three presidents, helping to restore fish stocks and increased opportunities for U.S. fishermen. Also, he has been instrumental in actions leading up to the passage of the Highseas Driftnet Act. (Click NOAA image for larger view of Rolland Schmitten, director of the NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation, helping to restore salt marsh habitat around historic Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Md., April 2001. Click here for high resolution version, which is a large file. Please credit “NOAA.”)

NOAA image of Scott Gudes, who served as deputy undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere.Gudes has distinguished himself through his 24-year career in public service where he worked in numerous positions around government, including acting NOAA deputy administrator and acting NOAA administrator. Among his many accomplishments, Gudes championed ocean exploration and habitat restoration issues. (Click NOAA image for larger view of Scott Gudes, who served as deputy undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere. Please credit “NOAA.”)

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nationís coastal and marine resources. NOAA is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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Kent Laborde, NOAA, (202) 482-6090