NOAA 2004-023
Contact: John Leslie

NOAA News Releases 2004
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John A. Knaff, a leading expert in the study of hurricane structure and intensity, will receive the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) prestigious David S. Johnson Award, which recognizes young scientists for their innovative use of environmental satellite data. NOAA and the National Space Club will present the award to Knaff March 19, during the 47th Annual Goddard Memorial Dinner in Washington, D.C. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The NOAA-Johnson Award, named after the first NOAA assistant administrator for the Satellites and Information Service, honors professional scientists who create new uses for observational satellite data, which can better predict atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial conditions. The first was presented in 1999.

Knaff is a research scientist at NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), co-located with the Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science. His work involves combining data sets – including ground-based observations, air-borne reconnaissance data, model analyses – with data from NOAA’s satellites to improve operational forecast products used by NOAA’s National Hurricane Center and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

“We are proud to have an award like this to recognize the outstanding work by scientists like Dr. Knaff, who use satellite data to improve our understanding of the atmospheric sciences,” said Gregory W. Withee, assistant administrator for NOAA’s Satellites and Information Service.

“John was instrumental in bringing GOES data to NOAA’s P-3 [hurricane] aircraft, and improving the use of advanced satellite techniques at the Hurricane Center,” said Jim Purdom, senior research scientist at CIRA.

Before joining CIRA, Knaff was both a postdoctoral researcher and a graduate student at Colorado State University. When he arrived at CIRA as a postdoctoral fellow, his prime interest was the use of quick-interval visible satellite imagery for observing tropical cyclones. A prolific writer, Knaff is a member of the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society.

NOAA’s Satellites and Information Service is the nation’s primary source of space-based meteorological and climate data. It operates the nation's environmental satellites, which are used for weather forecasting, climate monitoring and other environmental applications such as fire detection, ozone monitoring and sea surface temperature measurements.

The agency also operates three data centers, which house global data bases in climatology, oceanography, solid earth geophysics, marine geology and geophysics, solar-terrestrial physics, and paleoclimatology.

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 the nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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