AOML awarded for exceptional science and communications accomplishments

AOML scientists, staff, and team members were recognized this year for their outstanding contributions and dedication to NOAA’s mission. The following individuals and teams are recipients of prestigious awards that acknowledge their dedication to sharing our mission and initiatives with the community, fostering deeper connections and leaving a lasting, positive impact on the lives of those we serve.

Department of Commerce Awards:

  • Greg Foltz, Gustavo Goni, Francis Bringas, along with colleagues at NOAA PMEL, and support from affiliates Jun Zhang (CIMAS) and Joaquin Trinanes (contractor), have received the Department of Commerce Gold Medal for pioneering the application of uncrewed surface vehicles (saildrones) to observe hurricanes and tropical storms.

NOAA Office of Ocean and Atmospheric Research (OAR) Awards:

  • Emily Osborne has received OAR’s 2023 Employee of the Year award in the personal and professional excellence categoy for the tireless promotion and advocacy for safety regarding sexual assault and sexual harassment (SASH) at NOAA’s AOML, across OAR and NOAA, and in the broader scientific community.

  • Ian Enochs has received NOAA’s 2023 Dr. Daniel L. Albritton Outstanding Scientific Communicator Award. Ian was recognized for his outstanding leadership and communication of NOAA’s coral reef research and its relevance to the American public during the 2023 bleaching event.

  • The following group has received OAR’s 2023 Team Member(s) of the Year award in the Outreach and Education category for their exemplary response to the unexpected and unprecedented 2023 coral bleaching event in South Florida and their efforts to communicate the event to the American public:  Ben Chomitz, Kenzie Cooke, Allyson DeMerlis, Katie Eaton, Taylor Gill, Patrick Kiel, Graham Kolodziej, Christopher Malanuk, Ana Palacio, Marike Pinsonneault, Rayne Sabatello, Nash Soderberg, and Michael Studivan (CIMAS) and Thia Griffin-Elliott (Groundswell). The following federal team members also supported this effort:  Nicole Besemer, Laura Chaibongsai, Ian Enochs, Emy Rodriguez, and Kayelyn Simmons.

  • Jason Dunion (CIMAS) has received the OAR’s 2023 Team Member of the Year award in the Leadership category for advancing NOAA’s Hurricane Field Program through innovative, inclusive leadership; strong partnerships with key stakeholders; and capacity-building among early-career staff and external teams.

  • Sarah Ditchek (CIMAS) has received the OAR’s 2023 Team Member of the Year award in the Personal and Professional Excellence category for leading the most comprehensive assessments ever undertaken of the impacts of reconnaissance data and observing strategies on numerical weather prediction forecasts of tropical cyclones.

  • Andrew Hazelton (CIMAS) has received the OAR’s 2023 Team Member of the Year award in the Personal and Professional Excellence category for advancing operational hurricane forecasts by leading the development, evaluation, and operational readiness of the Hurricane Analysis and Forecast System’s “B” configuration.

  • William Ramstrom (CIMAS) has received the OAR’s 2023 Team Member of the Year award in the Personal and Professional Excellence category for developing the first ever high-resolution, cloud-allowing, storm-following moving nest capability in NOAA’s Hurricane Analysis and Forecast System and transitioning it to operations.

NOAA awards:

  • Nicole Besemer was named the NOAA Employee of the Month for February 2023 for successfully orchestrating field missions in support of the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program despite the heightened operational complexity and travel risks due to the pandemic.

  • Lidia Cucurull received the NOAA Boulder Outreach’s 2022 Gold Star Award for recording the NOAA Boulder tour in Spanish to help reach thousands of Spanish speakers across the Nation.

South Florida Federal Executive Board:

  • Hosmay Lopez was named the South Florida Federal Executive Board – Federal Employee of the Year in the Scientific category for groundbreaking contributions to the understanding of how ENSO events will evolve with global warming, with significant implications for how residents of South Florida will experience climate change over the next several decades.

American Meteorological Society:

  • Michael Fisher (CIMAS) has received the American Meteorological Society—2024 Editor’s Award, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, for multiple high-quality and very thorough reviews that have been helpful in making critical editorial decisions.


Join us in congratulating and thanking our award winners for your continued hard work and commitment to NOAA’s mission, making an important impact on the nation.