NOAA 99-R314
Contact: Pat Viets


David Wark, a research meteorologist, is retiring from federal service on July 2 after 55 years of service, the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced today.

Wark is regarded by many as "one of the founding fathers of NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service," says co-worker Kathy LeFevre of the Office of Research and Applications, NESDIS operates the country's civil and military weather satellites, Wark has been working for NOAA since 1946, and has been involved in the design of a dozen satellite instruments for both NOAA and NASA.

After graduating from Pasadena, Calif., public schools at the age of 17, Wark studied at Pasadena Junior College where he earned his associate's degree in 1937, He went on to earn his bachelor's degree at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1941, and completed his graduate studies in meteorology at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1942, In 1959, he earned a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley.

In his early career, Wark worked as an astronomer for the U.S. Naval Observatory, a meteorologist for Pan America Airways, and a meteorologist at the California Institute of Technology, He served active duty with the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1944-1946.

His next job led him to France, Germany and Egypt to work as a meteorologist with the U.S. Weather Bureau, After three years abroad, he returned to California to continue weather forecasting with the U.S. Weather Bureau at the San Francisco International Airport.

In 1958, Wark began working as a research meteorologist with the U.S. Weather Bureau, NOAA, and the Environmental Science Services Agency (NOAA's predecessor).

During collaboration with NASA, Wark served as the principal investigator for the SIRS instrument on the Nimbus-5 satellite in 1969, Two years later he was principal investigator for SIRS-2 on Nimbus-7.

Wark has received a host of awards, including the Department of Commerce Gold Medal, the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, the American Meteorological Society Second Half Century Award, the ESSA Unit Citation, the Lloyd V. Berkner Space Utilization Award from the American Astronautical Society, and the Robert M. Losey Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Along with these achievements, Wark has published about 50 refereed papers on airglow, atmospheric transmittance of radiation, radiation balance, and inversion of radiation measurements to obtain atmospheric and surface parameters, mainly from measurements from satellites.

Wark considers one of his major accomplishments to be his sail around the world, From 1982 to 1986, he sailed his 38-foot boat from Solomons, Md., to Panama, across the Pacific and Indian oceans, and up the Atlantic Ocean back to Solomons.

A reception will be held in Wark's honor on July 12 from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. at the World Weather Building in Camp Springs, Md, Wark lives in Clinton, Md.