NOAA 2004-R517
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Research into tropical climate variability and the health of coral reefs has earned presidential recognition for two scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Dr. Gabriel A. Vecchi of NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, N.J., and Dr. Andrew Bruckner of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service in Silver Spring, Md., received Presidential Early Career Awards in Science and Engineering during a White House ceremony May 4. They were among 57 individuals who were awarded the nation’s highest award for young scientists.

“Both scientists conduct research that shows promise for significant improvements to benefit us all,” said Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans. “We are proud that their work has been recognized with this prestigious honor.”

The award citation for Vecchi reads, “fundamental contributions concerning the roles of subseasonal variability on the onset and termination of El Niño and on Indian monsoon rainfall.” Bruckner was cited for his “international and domestic leadership as a world-renowned authority on the conservation of coral reef ecosystems and a premier underwater photographer.”

Vecchi, who also worked at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, in Seattle, Wash., holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.; and master’s degrees in physical oceanography and applied mathematics and a Ph.D. in physical oceanography from the University of Washington, Seattle.

Bruckner has been with NOAA since 1998 and was a Knauss Sea Grant Fellow from Puerto Rico Sea Grant. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon, Eugene, Ore.; a master’s degree in marine science from Northeastern University, Boston; and a Ph.D. in biological oceanography from the University of Puerto Rico, Lajas, P.R.

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