Team Member of the Month (OAR): Ricardo Domingues and his colleagues at NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory developed a ship reporting system, designed to protect North Atlantic right whales, a critically endangered species with an estimated population of only 300 to 400.
Many whales are injured and even killed through collisions with ships. In the system Ricardo developed, ships entering two areas off the U.S. east coast report their current location and planned routes, and receive an automated response with the latest right whale sightings and instructions on how to avoid collisions with them. Ricardo is an early-career employee at the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies who has displayed exceptional independence and initiative. His leadership included coordinating with the U.S. Coast Guard to determine technical specifications and requirements for the system, and thorough evaluation of the system before it became operational.