NOAA 2002-AK1031
Contact: Sheela McLean
NOAA News Releases 2002
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NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries (NOAA Fisheries) Alaska Region staff have been awarded seven bronze medals for exemplary work in scientific research, management and administration of the nation’s living marine resources. The awards were presented recently by Department of Commerce leaders. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is an agency of the Commerce Department.

“These bronze medals were earned by hard work and dedication. I am a witness that the recipients truly deserve this honor, “ said Dr. James Balsiger, administrator of the Alaska region for NOAA Fisheries. “Not long ago, we also got news that employees in the region and Science Center earned a silver award for their work with Steller sea lions and fisheries management.”

Some medal recipients recently traveled to Silver Spring, Md. to receive their medals from retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, at the headquarters of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Alaska earned seven of the 17 bronze medals awarded this year nation-wide to NOAA Fisheries.

Dr. Balsiger is himself set to receive an award for his excellent leadership directly from President George W. Bush later in the year.

Bronze medal programs and winners from the Alaska Region of NOAA Fisheries and from the Alaska Fisheries Science Center are:

  • Northern Fur Seals: David Cormany, for leadership in minimizing complexities of intergovernmental and tribal authorities for successful management of the northern fur sea population.
  • Sustainable Fisheries: Sarah Bibb and Lauren Smoker (an attorney with the Office of General Counsel) for exemplary administration of the Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program and promotion of sustainable fisheries and commerce.
  • Oil Pollution Research: Stanley Rice and Jeffrey Short for unparalleled research describing insidious effects of minute levels of oil pollution on fish embryos that are evidenced later in life.
  • IFQ Cost Recovery Program: Kristie Balovich, Karen Brock, and Thomas Fletcher for implementing the Individual Fishing Quota Cost Recovery Program using innovative web-enabled submission forms and credit card payment options.
  • Fisheries Observer Data Reporting: Marin Loefflad, Michael Brown, Glenn Campbell, Robert Hewitt, William Karp, Heather Kenney, and Alison Vijgen for scientific and technical achievement in advancing fisheries management in Alaska by implementing an electronic observer data reporting system.
  • Cook Inlet Beluga Whales: Barbara Mahoney, Michael Payne, Bradley Smith, David Rugh, Douglas Demaster, Roderick Hobbs, Kim Sheldon, Thomas Eagle (from NOAA Fisheries headquarters), Robert Babson and Thomas Meyer (both attorneys with the Office of the General Counsel) for conservation and recovery of Cook Inlet beluga whales and the maintenance of a sustainable Alaska Native subsistence harvest.
  • Advancing oceanography, ecology and sustainable fisheries: Alaska Fisheries Science Center and Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Office of Oceanic and Atomospheric Research for scientific achievements advancing fisheries oceanography and marine ecology, and enhancing sustainable fisheries in the U.S. North Pacific.

The Department of Commerce’s Bronze Award is the highest honorary award given by NOAA. It is granted by the Administrator for a significant contribution to NOAA or the department.

NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation’s living marine resources through scientific research, management, enforcement, and the conservation of marine mammals and other protected marine species and their habitat.

To learn more about NOAA Fisheries in Alaska, please visit our website at: