NOAA 99R802
Contact: Jeanne Kouhestani


Lt.j.g. Robert A. Kamphaus of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officers Corps has been selected Junior Officer of the Year by NOAA's Association of Commissioned Officers. Kamphaus was commended for playing a key role in establishing the Center for Tsunami Inundation and Mapping Efforts (TIME) in Newport, Ore., where he currently serves as scientific support and operations officer.

Kamphaus was instrumental in developing the center's establishment plan; selecting and acquiring the geophysical data needed for the TIME modeling work; and developing the necessary federal, state, and local partnerships needed to make the project successful. He dedicated his own additional time and resources to learn the numerical modeling required for TIME, and then installed the tsunami models needed on the TIME workstation. He co-authored the report, "Hazard Mapping at Yaquina Bay, Oregon," which documents the analysis of modeling simulations and careful development of tsunami inundation maps for two coastal regions of Oregon and Washington. Finally, he has actively represented NOAA by leading the hazard mitigation and education process for tsunamis at the local community planner and emergency manager level.

Kamphaus joined the NOAA Corps in 1993. He served aboard the NOAA ship Discoverer as a deck officer while conducting oceanographic research throughout the Pacific. He was recognized as senior watch officer, and was entrusted with the duties of acting field operations officer while on this assignment. His sustained superior performance earned him a NOAA Special Achievement Award in 1995. In 1996 he was assigned to the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, Wash., and served as a research assistant in physical oceanography before beginning his current position with PMEL's TIME program.

Kamphaus currently resides in Newport, Ore., where he also serves as a volunteer firefighter. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, he is the son of George and Mary Sue Kamphaus. He holds a bachelor's degree in marine science from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, and has also completed several graduate classes in numerical methods and computer modeling techniques.

The Office of NOAA Corps Operations, composed of civilians and commissioned officers, manages and operates the agency's fleet of ships and aircraft. Officers also work in rotating shore assignments with NOAA's program offices. All NOAA Corps officers hold degrees --- many of them advanced – in science, engineering or math. The NOAA Corps is the nation's smallest uniformed service.