NOAA 2004-R240
Contact: Ron Trumbla

NOAA News Releases 2004
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Wayne E. Johnson of Fort Smith, Ark., receives the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Environmental Hero Award.

Held in conjunction with Earth Day celebrations, the award honors NOAA volunteers for their "tireless efforts to preserve and protect our nation's environment." Johnson was recognized for his outstanding efforts in support of the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) offices in Fort Smith and Tulsa. A volunteer amateur radio operator, Johnson has worked closely with the NWS Office in Fort Smith over the last 30 years. As a volunteer for the NWS, he coordinates storm spotters in parts of eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas and provides critical information to forecasters making severe thunderstorm and tornado warning decisions. Johnson also received training from the University of Oklahoma on radar and severe storm environments.

“NOAA and the nation are fortunate to have such dedicated people volunteer so much of their time,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “They set a perfect example for others to follow in their communities, America needs more environmental heroes like them.”

Established in 1995 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Earth Day, the NOAA Environmental Hero Award is presented to individuals and organizations that volunteer their time to help NOAA accomplish its mission of describing, predicting and protecting the nation's environment.

“On behalf of the 12,500 men and women working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, I am pleased to present you with this 2003 Environmental Hero Award,” Lautenbacher wrote in a letter to the recipients. “Your dedicated efforts and outstanding accomplishments greatly benefit the environment and make our nation a better place for all Americans.”

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

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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