NOAA 2002-R311
Contact: Patricia Viets
NOAA News Releases 2002
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


Gerald J. Dittberner of the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), was recently inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame of Theta Tau Engineering Fraternity.

Dittberner, chief of the Advanced Systems Planning Division in NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NOAA Satellite and Data Service), was honored for outstanding service to his profession. Before assuming his current position, Dittberner was program manager of NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) program. "I am humbled to have had a small part in providing satellite information not only to professional meteorologists and scientists, but also to the millions of people who watch GOES cloud movements on television each night," he said.

Following a career as a weather officer in the U.S. Air Force, Dittberner joined Harris Corporation where he worked on the International Space Station and an Army communications contract. He then became a scientist for Kaman Sciences Corporation (now ITT Sciences) where he worked on the effects of nuclear explosions on infrared sensors and led an effort for the Department of Transportation analyzing parameters for the re-entry of a commercial spacecraft returning to Earth. He next became a program manager for Mentor Technologies Incorporated, directing a contract supporting the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center data processing center for the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission. Dittberner joined NOAA in 1995.

Dittberner is a Fellow of England's Royal Meteorological Society and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He is a member of the American Meteorological Society; Sigma Xi, The Research Society; and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters. Dittberner is certified by the American Meteorological Society as a Certified Consulting Meteorologist. He also served as Chair of the AIAA's Space Operations and Support Technical Committee, and earned the AIAA Distinguished Service Award.

Dittberner was formally recognized as a Theta Tau Hall of Fame Laureate and was presented a plaque commemorating the event. Founded at the University of Minnesota in 1904, Theta Tau is the largest and oldest professional fraternity in the field of engineering.

Dittberner received his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Minnesota in 1964. He then completed a Master of Science in Meteorology and Space Science and Engineering in 1969, and earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Meteorology in 1977, both degrees from the University of Wisconsin.

Dittberner and his wife Mary Kay live in Springfield, Va. They have three grown children.

NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NOAA Satellite and Data 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 for 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, oceanography, solid earth geophysics, marine geology and geophysics, solar-terrestrial physics, and paleoclimatology. To learn more about NOAA Satellite and Data Service, please visit