NOAA 2005-034
Contact: David Miller
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NOAA Administrator Conrad C. Lautenbacher has been selected for the first American Astronautical Society Award for the Advancement of International Cooperation.

In notifying him of the award selection, Society President Jonathan T. Malay stated that Lautenbacher was the selection committee’s unanimous choice as the first recipient of the award for international cooperation. The award cites Lautenbacher for “outstanding leadership in advocating establishment of the U.S. Integrated Earth Observation System and in traveling the world to build an international consensus for development of a Global Earth Observation System.”

“I believe we will look back at this period, at the beginnings of GEOSS, and recognize what an enormous turning point it represents in the scientific understanding of our planet,” said retired Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D. under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “The goal of the United States, and all the countries participating in GEOSS, is to ensure that this understanding leads to improved products and services that benefit people throughout the world and the economies they depend on,” he said.

Lautenbacher is one of four international co-chairs of the Group on Earth Observations. Also co-chairing are: Achilleas Mitsos, director general for Research, European Commission, which hosted the Brussels summit; Tetuhisa Shirakawa, deputy minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan; and Rob Adam, director-general of Science and Technology, South Africa.

Last month, nearly 60 countries and the European Commission agreed to a 10-year plan that will revolutionize our understanding of Earth and how it works. Agreement for an implementation plan for a Global Earth Observation System of Systems, known as GEOSS, was reached by member countries of the Group on Earth Observations at the Third Earth Observation Summit held February 16 in Brussels. Nearly 40 international organizations also support the emerging global network.

The award was presented to Lautenbacher at the AAS 43rd Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium held March 30 in Greenbelt, Md.

NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. It 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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