NOAA 2002-R304
Contact: Pat Viets
NOAA News Releases 2002
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Marie Colton, a physical oceanographer, has been named director of the Office of Research and Applications at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service. She replaces James Purdom, who retired last year.

In her position at NOAA's Satellite Service, Colton is in charge of satellite research and applications development for operational users such as NOAA's National Weather Service. The Office of Research and Applications provides guidance for the development and evolution of spacecraft and sensors to meet future needs.

ORA conducts oceanographic, land surface and atmospheric research on the use of satellite data for monitoring environmental characteristics and their change. The division also performs retrospective analyses of long-term satellite datasets to incorporate advances in research and to study changes and trends. ORA develops applications of satellite data and algorithms to produce satellite products, for uses relevant to NOAA's mission.

"The Office of Research and Applications is a very dynamic group of scientists, technicians and support staff," Colton said. "Our researchers are studying ways to improve weather and climate forecasting using new applications of satellite data. It's an exciting time to be doing this, as NOAA moves into the 21st Century with a pipeline of new satellites and sensors."

Before being named director, Colton had been serving as deputy director of the division, and was acting director. She came to NOAA two years ago from the remote-sensing program at the Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Va., where she managed Navy research efforts in remote-sensing. Colton has also worked at the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center, Naval Research Laboratory, the Naval Postgraduate School, NASA Kennedy Space Center, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and NASA Headquarters.

Colton received her bachelor's and master's degrees in physical oceanography from the Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, in 1978 and 1981, respectively, and her doctorate in physical oceanography from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif., in 1989. Colton lives in Great Falls, Va., with her husband Robert P. McCoy, and their family.

NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service is the nation's primary source of space-based meteorological and climate data. NOAA Satellite and Data Service operates the nation's environmental satellites, which are used fore weather forecasting, climate monitoring, and other environmental applications such as fire detection, ozone monitoring, and sea surface temperature measurements. NOAA Satellite and Data Service also operates three data centers, which house global data bases in climatology, physics, and paleoclimatology.

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