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NOAA Early Career Scientists Honored for Innovative Research

Eight NOAA scientists today were awarded the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for pioneering research on the Earth’s atmosphere, weather, our ocean, coasts, fisheries and marine ecosystems.

They were among 314 federally-supported scientists who received a PECASE at a ceremony hosted by the White House Office of Science Policy and Technology at the Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. 

The PECASE is the highest honor given by the U.S. government to early-career scientists. It recognizes recipients' potential to advance the frontiers of scientific knowledge and their commitment to community service, as demonstrated through professional leadership, education or community outreach.

“Congratulations to the NOAA PECASE awardees on their ground-breaking research into some of today’s most important weather, climate and natural resource challenges,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator. “I am proud of the scientific leadership they have brought to their respective fields, and I am confident they will move NOAA and the Nation forward by advancing science and technology.”

Meet the winners:

Eric Anderson, a physical scientist at NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for leading innovative research in hydrodynamic forecasting to address many of the Great Lakes’ most pressing issues, including harmful algal blooms, extreme storm conditions, and oil spill response.

Michelle Barbieri, a veterinary medical officer at NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, for advancing the field of marine mammal and sea turtle health, conservation, and emergency response. 

Andrew Hoell, a physical scientist at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory Physical Sciences Division in Boulder, Colorado, for development of novel regional drought prediction research and effective communication of this research to support the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, a project of USAID that coordinates with government agencies and international partners to produce objective, forward-looking analysis on the world’s most food-insecure countries.

Brian McDonald, an atmospheric scientist at NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Research (CIRES) in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado and NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory Chemical Sciences Division, for innovative approaches that improve the scientific understanding of the sources of atmospheric pollutants and link human activity to environmental change. 

Andrew Rollins, an atmospheric scientist at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory Chemical Sciences Division, for pioneering work in the development and application of new measurement techniques for studying water vapor, a major greenhouse gas, and sulfur dioxide, which influence Earth’s climate. 

Elizabeth Siddon, a fisheries scientist at NOAA’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center, in Seattle, for research of climate-mediated shifts in North Pacific Ocean fisheries, which has led to significant improvements in the ability to reliably forecast fisheries population dynamics.

Jeffrey Snyder, a meteorologist at NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma, for leading cutting-edge research using weather radar to improve the detection and short-term forecasts of severe thunderstorms, large hail and tornadoes. 

Melissa Soldevilla, a fisheries scientist at NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center in Miami, for applying cutting-edge acoustic techniques to determine the distribution, abundance, and threats to some of the most iconic and endangered marine mammals in the world. 

See stories from NOAA Research and NOAA Fisheries to learn more about the winners and their work.