NOAA 2001-R514
Contact: Jana Goldman


An oceanographer and a mechanical engineer from Miami were recognized for their work in education and engineering by being among the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's research office's employees of the year.

Evan Forde and Robert Roddy, both of NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Miami, Fla., are among the seven individuals who received this annual award during an Oct. 11 ceremony in Silver Spring, Md.

"I am proud to recognize Evan and Robert for their commitment and excellence in carrying out the NOAA research mission," said David L. Evans, NOAA assistant administrator of oceanic and atmospheric research. "Their achievements benefit NOAA, the science community and the general public."

Forde was recognized for his early initiatives and sustained commitment to outreach for NOAA and in science education in his community and classrooms around the nation. His efforts show children that interesting careers in oceanography and meteorology are open to them.

"I always like to think that my efforts relating to science education and outreach are making a difference," Forde said. "However, I never imagined my work in this area would win this type of recognition. I am proud to be a NOAA employee and grateful to AOML's management for supporting my role in getting the message about science and NOAA research to children."

Forde's parents were both Miami-Dade classroom teachers and his sister is an elementary school counselor. Forde has volunteered thousands of hours to public education activities in South Florida and has spoken to nearly 18,000 school children during outreach presentations.

A 27-year NOAA employee, Forde is also one of four scientists featured in a special exhibit that opened last month at the Staten Island Children's Museum in New York. Forde is married and has two sons.

Roddy was recognized for his tireless support of the field operations of the laboratory's Physical Oceanography Division, which often take him to sea for long periods of time. While at sea, he often works long hours under very demanding conditions.

"It's great to be noticed," Roddy said. "Other people out there work just as hard. I have always thought that by paying attention to the details during the preparation of a project ensures an unsurprising, but successful project."

He frequently designs new or modifies existing oceanography equipment to suit unique applications and has never sent anything to the field that was not completely tested and functional. Roddy also does much of the logistical effort required to conduct research on commercial container ships, from finding an appropriate vessel, acquiring the necessary permissions, getting equipment and personnel on board, and dealing with tight and changeable sailing schedules. These ships are often crewed by personnel from developing nations and Roddy has had to deal with unusual diet, living and sanitary conditions along with frequent communication difficulties.

When he is not at sea, Roddy races bicycles, dives and tinkers with his old BMW automobiles. He is married and has one daughter.

The Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 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 our nation's coastal and marine resources. To learn more, visit: