NOAA 2000-215
Contact: John Leslie


Paul F. Moersdorf, an award-winning oceanographer, was named the new director of the National Data Buoy Center at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced today.

Moersdorf will lead efforts to improve the center's ability to obtain meteorological and oceanographic measurements that help NOAA's National Weather Service prepare forecasts that impact the nation's marine community and industry.

D. James Baker, NOAA administrator, said Moersdorf's track record in atmospheric and oceanographic models, high performance computing and meteorology makes him the ideal person for the leadership post.

"Over the years, he has shown impressive leadership, the ability to get results and help bring the best out of others around him," Baker said.

Moersdorf, a Jersey City, N.J., native, earned a bachelor of science degree in Chemistry from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. and a master of science degree and a doctorate in physical oceanography with a minor in meteorology from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.

After receiving his doctorate, Moersdorf served on the faculty of the math and computing sciences department at Old Dominion University. He began his federal career in 1978 when he joined the Naval Oceanographic Office. He was in charge of oceanographic data bases for the Integrated Command Acoustic Prediction System and later became the chief scientist for the office's Tactical Environmental Support System project, overseeing the integration of atmospheric and oceanographic models, data bases and tactical decision aids.

In 1984, Moersdorf became the director of the Space Oceanography Program at the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, where he managed procurement initiatives for the worldwide receipt and processing of satellite data. In 1989, he was promoted to deputy chief of staff for program Integration and charged with programming, planning and budgeting for meteorological and oceanographic equipment to support Navy forces around the world.

In 1993, Moersdorf became director of the Navy's Special Projects Office, coordinating many intelligence, special operations and classified projects. In July 1994, he became the scientific and technical director at the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center in Monterey, Calif. There he led initiatives to upgrade the atmospheric and oceanographic prediction models, replace all supercomputer equipment, and significantly expand the center's communication capability and its customer base.

Moersdorf was awarded the Navy's Superior Civilian Service Award in 1991 and again in 1994. He has received many citations for outstanding support provided to the Navy and Department of Defense in the areas of oceanography, meteorology, intelligence, remote sensing and high performance computing.

Moersdorf is married to the former Katherine A. Gundrum of Norfolk, Va. and they have two grown children.

The National Data Buoy Center is part of NOAA's National Weather Service. The center develops, demonstrates, implements, and operates automated environmental monitoring systems in support of the NWS and the requirements of other agencies' programs in which NOAA has an interest. NDBC directly supports the NWS and NOAA missions of warning and forecast services, climate and related services, research and technology development and demonstration.