NOAA 2003-R223
Contact: Pat Slattery
NOAA News Releases 2003
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) conferred its highest honor, the Isaac M. Cline Award, to Glenn A. Nielsen, a hydrometeorological technician at the weather service’s Aberdeen, S.D. forecast office. NOAA is part of the Department of Commerce.

Each year NOAA Weather Service recognizes employees for operational excellence in the delivery of products and services in support of the weather service mission. Nielsen received the Cline Award in the hydrometeorological category for exceptional expertise, enthusiasm, dedication and professionalism.

“Glenn Nielsen’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 National Weather Service. “His innovative and creative efforts ensured the success of many critical projects.”

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists, along with private and public meteorological organizations will benefit from this work. Nielsen expertly managed 14 hydrologic forecast points and worked with the office webmaster to set up the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) Internet page that ensured critical data was quickly available to emergency management officials, water control agencies and the public.

He also updated the office’s entire database to help ensure the accuracy of volunteer cooperative observer reports.

The practical implications of Nielsen’s work are wide ranging. Nielsen demonstrated his enthusiasm and expertise when he worked closely with the Columbia, S.D., mayor and city council to develop and execute a plan to purchase NOAA Weather Radio receivers for all residents of the town in lieu of updating the city’s worn out outdoor siren system. The plan saved the city more than $100,000.

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.

Nielsen earned a bachelor’s degree in earth science at Morehead State University in 1982 following a four-year stint in the U.S. Navy. His military career included 42 months of sea duty on an aircraft carrier and a tanker. His ships were off the coast of Vietnam in 1972, 1973 and 1975. He also served in the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean 1973-‘74.

Nielsen joined the National Weather Service in 1983 at Williston, N.D. His weather service career included previous stops at Huron and Aberdeen, S.D., Duluth, Minn., and three assignments to the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. Previous honors include a 2002 Cline Award, 2000 Department of Commerce Bronze Medal earned as part of the Aberdeen office’s outreach team, and a 2000 Central Region Diversity Award.

NOAA’s National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA National 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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