Richard Edwing Named Director of NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services

May 28, 2010

Richard Edwing has been named the new director of NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS), the nation’s authoritative source for accurate, reliable and timely water-level and current measurements. In his new role, he will oversee and continue to improve this 24-hour a day operation to provide mariners, coastal managers, and many other users with real-time data on ocean conditions along America’s 95,000-mile coastline.

Edwing’s career with NOAA spans three decades with much of that time spent advancing NOAA’s navigation services mission to provide the nation with up-to-date ocean, weather, mapping and positioning data and tools for safe transits to and from U.S. ports.

He started with NOAA in 1976 in the Marine Boundary Program, a partnership between NOAA and coastal states to establish tidal data such as base elevations in sensitive wetland areas vulnerable to urban growth. He later advanced through various positions in the field and at NOAA headquarters, including several years as division chief of the National Ocean Service’s policy, planning and analysis division, where he shaped NOAA’s priorities for ocean issues, as well as identified budget needs to advance and modernize ocean science for the twenty-first century.

“I am delighted that Rich has been named to this critical post in our ocean service,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “His experience and forward-thinking approaches will serve NOAA and the nation well as we meet the challenges of marine transportation, impacts of climate change, and the environmental changes along our coastlines.”

Graduating in 1976 from George Washington University, Edwing earned a Bachelor of Science degree in oceanography, and later completed graduate level work in civil engineering at the University of Maryland.  

He replaces former CO-OPS director Mike Szabados, who retired in December 2009.

For two hundred years, CO-OPS and its predecessor agencies have provided the critical oceanographic data needed to protect life, property, and the marine environment. Today, the Center manages NOAA’s Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System, the National Water Level Program, and National Current Observation Program—major national systems critical to keeping America’s oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes safe, healthy and productive.

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