NOAA 2004-R233
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ron Trumbla
4/26/04
NOAA News Releases 2004
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


SHAWN BENNETT TO OVERSEE NOAA’S NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
FORECAST OFFICE IN RUSKIN, FLA.

Meteorologist Shawn Bennett has been appointed Meteorologist-in-Charge (MIC) of NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast Office in Ruskin, Fla. Bennett replaces Ira Brenner, who retired in March. Serving the Tampa Bay area, the Ruskin office is one of 122 NWS Weather Forecast Offices (WFO) in the nation and one of 32 in the NWS Southern Region. The NWS is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

As Meteorologist-in-Charge, Bennett will be responsible for ensuring the citizens including the marine community in the Tampa Bay area receive timely and accurate weather warnings, forecasts and climate information. His responsibilities also include maintaining close working relationships with NWS partners including the emergency management community and the media – and providing severe weather awareness, preparedness and safety education for the public.

A veteran of NOAA and the NWS, Bennett launched his career in 1987 in NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research in Silver Spring, Md. While there, he helped implement the U.S. Weather Research Program. In 1991, he accepted a position as a research meteorologist for the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Okla. and was a principal investigator for the SouthWest Area Monsoon Project assigned to and operating out of the WFO in Phoenix, Ariz. In 1994, Bennett joined the NWS Southern Region as a Science and Operations Officer (SOO) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He then transferred to WFO Brownsville, Texas (1999), where he has served as the SOO until his promotion to MIC of that office in January 2003.

Prior to joining NOAA, Bennett served four years in the U.S. Navy as an enlisted member of the Naval Weather Service. In addition, he served in the U.S. Naval Reserves where he earned a commission and retired at the rank of lieutenant in 1995. He attended Oregon State University (1983 - 1987) where he earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Atmospheric Sciences.

“A meteorologist-in-charge is the front line officer carrying out the National Weather Service mission of serving the American public by helping protect lives and property,” said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “We are proud to have Shawn Bennett serving in this important role.”

During the last nine years, Bennett also served as an instructor for the United Nations World Meteorological Organization and International Civil Aviation Organization. His numerous projects, including service as project leader for the World Area Forecast System project, have led to improvements in operational weather forecast services and warnings in Asia and the Americas – including the Caribbean.

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

The National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. The NWS 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 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: http://www.noaa.gov

NOAA’s National Weather Service: http://weather.gov

NOAA’s National Weather Service Southern Region: http://www.srh.noaa.gov