NOAA03-R299-28
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ron Trumbla
9/18/03
NOAA News Releases 2003
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


COMMERCE DEPARTMENT AWARDS SILVER MEDAL
TO NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE EMPLOYEE

The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded its prestigious Silver Medal to
Shawn Bennett, meteorologist in charge of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast Office in Brownsville, Texas. Bennett is being honored for individual leadership in National Weather Service activities to advance aviation safety and weather forecasting in Asia, the Pacific and the Americas. NOAA is part of the Department of Commerce.

During the last eight years, Bennett has worked tirelessly on the World Area Forecast System on behalf of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization of the United Nations. His computer expertise was crucial to the successful commissioning of the system (1996) through Central America and the Caribbean. This system provides information technology, two-way data flow and advanced weather forecast and warning tools that have improved civil aeronautical safety and weather forecasting and warning services — around the world.

His international activities included leading or participating in numerous U.S. delegations to Barbados, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Paraguay, Singapore and Mexico to train forecasters in the function and operation of the World Area Forecast System.

At the request of the WMO, Bennett developed and taught (1995 - 1996) a radar meteorology course in Spanish for forecasters in the Dominican Republic. He also designed a multi-phased project (2000 - 2003) to deliver locally generated hi-resolution numerical model output to support operations, forecasts and warnings for the Costa Rican weather service.

Bennett’s leadership and contributions represent outstanding support of the National Weather Service goal to promote the worldwide exchange of information and technology, increase U.S. participation in international activities and foster international education.

The award was presented at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C. The Silver Medal is the Commerce Department’s second highest honorary award — presented annually for exceptional performance in support of the department’s critical objectives.

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

On the Web:

NOAA National Weather Service: http://www.nws.noaa.gov.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: http://www.noaa.gov.