NOAA 03-R263
Contact: Delores Clark
NOAA News Releases 2003
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Nominated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS), educator Bruce Best was honored today for his outstanding achievements as the manager for the western Pacific portion of the Pan Pacific Education and Communications Experiment by Satellite (PEACESAT) system. Best, a University of Guam research associate, received the Citizen of the Year Award at the annual Honolulu-Pacific Federal Executive Board luncheon in Honolulu. NOAA is part of the Department of Commerce.

PEACESAT is a public service satellite telecommunications network that links educational institutions, regional organizations, and governments in the Pacific Islands Region. The network is mainly used for education, emergency management, health and medical services, environmental research, and economic development. The information is transmitted by NOAA geostationary satellites.

“Bruce has done an extraordinary job running the PEACESAT program in the western Pacific,” said Jeff LaDouce, director of the NWS Pacific region. “He is legendary in the region for his humanitarian efforts as well.“

Best not only keeps PEACESAT operational but has enhanced its use by establishing the capability for teleconferencing. The result is expanded educational opportunities, especially in the realms of nursing training, medical consultation, and environmental education. He provides a daily 30-minute newscast to many Pacific Islands and daily weather forecasts for Micronesia. During typhoons, Best transmits weather information and warnings and serves as a conduit between the outer Islands and emergency managers. During catastrophes, Best helps coordinate delivery of medicines and foods. He is frequently called upon to provide critical coordination between the Islands and the U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue missions.

Each year, Best coordinates the logistics between the Islands and the U.S. Air Force for its Christmas drop program, which delivers much needed supplies to thousands of isolated islanders.

In addition to PEACESAT, Best uses high frequency radio to contact outer Islands and atolls that have no other means of communication.

“Bruce is a key link to many isolated areas in the Pacific,” said Genny Miller, meteorologist in charge of the Guam National Weather Service Forecast Office. “NOAA and the nation are fortunate to have dedicated people like Bruce. America needs more heroes like him.”

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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