Executive Dean of the Semester At Sea program, Dr. Jill Wright, receives the NOAA 2007 Environmental Hero award

For combining educational opportunities with scientific research, Dr. Jill Wright has channeled her dedication, enthusiasm and collaboration to support the NOAA Ocean Observing System for climate and weather forecasts. On April 20, 2007, she received the NOAA 2007 Environmental Hero award, presented by retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher, undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Jill Wright receiving the NOAA 2007 Environmental Hero award on April 20, 2007.

In 1990 Dr. Wright joined the Institute for Shipboard Education (ISE), academically sponsored by the University of Virginia, where she is now the Director of Academic Development and Field Programs. During the Spring of 2005 she was key to initiate collaboration with NOAA/AOML to deploy surface drifters and profiling floats from the M/V Explorer of the Semester At Sea Program, a component of the ISE. These deployments are critical to maintain the ocean observing system for climate studies in areas that are highly undersampled. Since then, hundreds of students have participated in the deployment of ocean equipment and thousands have also attended lectures and classes on oceanography and climate given by the NOAA scientists on board the MV Explorer. Additionally, Dr. Wright and ISE have recently decided to augment the current collaboration by allowing NOAA/AOML to install permanent oceanographic equipment that will be critical in the investigation of CO2 dissolved in the ocean and to support future NOAA and NASA ocean satellite missions.

NOAA/AOML congratulates Dr. Wright for her dedication to education and support of ocean, climate and weather observations.