NOAA 2003-R221
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Pat Slattery
2/14/03
NOAA News Releases 2003
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JOHN J. LAGUE RECEIVES HIGHEST NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HONOR

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NOAA Weather Service) conferred its highest honor, the Isaac M. Cline Award, to John J. LaGue, a senior hydrometeorological forecaster at the weather service’s Missouri Basin River Forecast Center in Pleasant Hill, Mo. NOAA is part of the Department of Commerce.

Each year the NOAA Weather Service recognizes employees for operational excellence in the delivery of products and services in support of the weather service mission. LaGue received the Cline Award as part of a four-person team in the program management and administration category for pioneering efforts in establishing an effective and efficient teleconferencing system used by weather service offices throughout the continental United States. The weather service saves $113,000 a year using the new system.

“John LaGue’s efforts to improve our services for the American people is a testament to his selfless dedication,” said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Jack Kelly, director of the NOAA National Weather Service.

The NOAA Weather Service and the Department of Commerce will benefit from the cost savings generated by the team’s work, Kelly noted.

The Isaac M. Cline Award is named for the man whose courage and dedication is credited with savings thousands of lives during the Galveston, Texas, hurricane of September 8, 1900. Cline was in charge of the Weather Bureau Office in Galveston when the bustling seaport city was struck by the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history. The death toll exceeded 8,000, but could have been much higher if not for Cline’s understanding of the weather and his initiative in warning the public.

Eight of the prestigious awards are presented each year in the following categories: meteorology; hydrometeorology; hydrology; support services; upper air observation; leadership; engineering, electronics, or facilities; and, program management and administration.

LaGue earned a bachelor of science degree in meteorology from the University of Kansas in 1989. He started working for the weather service as an intern at the Moline, Ill., office in November 1989 and transferred to the Missouri Basin River Forecast Center in September 1993 as a hydrometeorological analysis and support (HAS) forecaster. He became a senior HAS forecaster in 1998. LaGue has been a member of several office teams and weather service units that have received group awards and citations in his 13 years with the agency.

NOAA Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, fore-casts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy.

The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 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.

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