What's New at NOAA Research
  • Spotlight on the UN Decade of Ocean Science
  • Research Highlights, including the release of the NOAA Science Report and major EPIC news
  • People of NOAA Research, including exciting changes at NOAA Ocean Exploration
  • News from the Cooperative Institutes, including new Great Lakes eDNA research
  • Innovation Corner, including a new patent for controlling invasive species
  • Upcoming May events and trainings
(Guest) Communications Director's Note
Hi NOAA Research!

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Claire Montgomery, a contractor with the communications office. It's been a pleasure to work with so many of you on external engagements and constituent affairs. If I haven’t, nice to e-meet you!

As we’re preparing for World Ocean Month in June, I wanted to share some exciting updates about the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. The Ocean Decade is engaging across sectors and society to support science and research for sustainable use of ocean resources and to improve ocean health. AA Craig McLean serves on the Decade Advisory Board to drive NOAA contributions towards the Decade, and I’ve been supporting communications with a small team at the NOAA Research level, all the way up to the UN.

May 31st would have seen a cohort of NOAA colleagues jetting overseas to join world leaders in science, philanthropy, academia, even the arts, for the Ocean Decade kickoff conference. The conference will now be a virtual celebration of The Ocean We Want by 2030 — which means everyone can join this livestream event! NOAA Research also supported the formation of the U.S. National Committee as an entry point for domestic projects and activities that aim to achieve the Decade outcomes. During World Ocean Month, NOAA and partners will be showcasing ocean science supporting the Decade, including a session at Capitol Hill Ocean Week.

Want to learn more or get involved? Visit oceandecade.org to view resources like the Decade brochure, recent newsletters, and reports. Follow #OceanDecade on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Join the NOAA Think Tank meetings for the latest updates on the Decade (email me if you’re interested). You can even listen to former Knauss Fellow Taylor Goelz’s podcast, the Ocean Decade Show, hosted by American Shoreline Podcast Network. And don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions!

I'm excited to see how the Ocean Decade will be transformative for science and a healthier world.

Research Highlights
The 2020 NOAA Science Report highlights major research
Launching uncrewed systems to monitor the Arctic environment, sequencing the genome for endangered marine species, and improving weather forecasts — these are just a few of NOAA’s scientific achievements in 2020. The newly released 2020 NOAA Science Report highlights these accomplishments and many more. Explore the report and take a look at a few of 2020's top accomplishments.
Raytheon Intelligence and Space to chosen to lead EPIC
Big news! Raytheon Intelligence & Space has been chosen to develop the Earth Prediction Innovation Center (EPIC), a virtual center that will unite the community to create the most user-friendly and user-accessible Earth modeling system. Learn more about this exciting news and what EPIC means for the future of weather forecasting.
5 ways NOAA scientists are answering big questions about climate change
From warmer ocean temperatures to longer and more intense droughts and heat waves, climate change is affecting our entire planet. In honor of Earth Day, NOAA Research highlighted five ways NOAA scientists work to track, understand and predict how climate change is progressing and impacting ecosystems, communities and economies.
NOAA scientists use drones to see tornado damage in remote areas
After deadly tornadoes struck the Southeast in March, NOAA researchers for the first time captured aerial photos and video of storm damage from hard-to-reach locations using remote-controlled, uncrewed aircraft. Scientists hope images from the research drones will improve our understanding of tornadoes and lead to better forecasts.
Despite pandemic shutdowns, carbon dioxide and methane surged in 2020
Levels of the two most important human-produced greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and methane, continued their unrelenting rise in 2020 despite the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic response, NOAA announced in April.
New study shows promise of forecasting meteotsunamis
Meteotsunamis are large waves caused by weather - a combination of changing air pressure, strong winds and thunderstorm activity. Right now, there are no forecast models that effectively predict meteotsunamis in the U.S. - but new research out of the Great Lakes shows promise for the future.⁣
Commerce building now part of weather and greenhouse gas tracking network
NOAA and NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology) have installed a Doppler lidar instrument to a weather station on top of the Department of Commerce building in Washington, D.C. The tool will measure wind flow and turbulence in the lowest part of the atmosphere for a research project studying greenhouse gas emissions in the region.
‘Average’ Atlantic hurricane season to reflect more storms
Beginning with this year’s hurricane season outlooks, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center will use 1991-2020 as the new 30-year period of record. The updated averages for the Atlantic hurricane season have increased with 14 named storms and 7 hurricanes. Learn more about this change from NOAA.gov.
Dive into NOAA's hurricane and ocean research
In April, the NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Lab hosted a series of virtual Open House webinars featuring NOAA scientists. The webinars focused on hurricane research, oceanography, coral ecosystems, and the new technologies being used to improve our understanding of the world around us. Check out the recordings to learn more!
Great Lakes scientists start harmful algal bloom sampling
The start of spring means harmful algal bloom season is just around the corner in the Great Lakes. In April, NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (GLERL) and Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR) staff began weekly field sample collection in support of the Lake Erie Operational HAB forecast. This monitoring of Lake Erie will provide valuable algal bloom reference data for the forecast and to other stakeholders.
People of NOAA Research
Exciting changes for NOAA Ocean Exploration!
NOAA Ocean Exploration has welcomed two new hires: Kristen Crossett, the new Chief of the the Outreach and Education Division, and Aurora Elmore, who is the new Cooperative Institute Manager. A NOAA employee since 2003, Kristen is an experienced communicator who specializes in developing strategic approaches to corporate and project-level communications and outreach programs. Aurora hails from coastal Maine and completed her Bachelor's in Geology from Boston University before pursuing a Master's Degree in marine geology and sedimentology at the University of South Carolina.

Ocean Exploration is also going through a brand refresh! While in the past the office was commonly shortened to "OER," they are now using only NOAA Ocean Exploration to refer to the office and dropping the use of the acronym.

These exciting changes come as Ocean Exploration celebrates its 20th anniversary! Learn more about the waves the office has made in the last 20 years.
Tech Partnerships Office welcomes new Technology Transfer Program Manager
Welcome to Wayne MacKenzie, formerly of NOAA Satellites, who joined the Technology Partnerships Office (TPO) in April! Wayne will oversee the Technology Transfer Program, which promotes increased use and commercialization of NOAA’s innovative technologies and knowledge by facilitating partnerships and transferring intellectual property from NOAA to other federal agencies, academia, and the U.S. private sector.
Apply for a NOAA leadership program!
Applications for the NOAA Leadership Competencies Development Program (LCDP) Cohort 12 will be accepted from Wednesday, April 28, through Friday, May 21, 2021. The LCDP is open to GS-11 through GS-15 levels. Want to apply? Visit the LCDP website to learn more.
Cooperative Institute Highlights
Environmental DNA advances science in the Great Lakes
CIGLR and NOAA GLERL scientists recently published an article in Scientific Reports describing a new methodology that uses environmental DNA and RNA (eDNA and eRNA) to detect and distinguish the presence of living organisms and improve estimates of their abundance. EDNA is a helpful scientific resource because it can be collected from the environment, rather than directly from an organism, and analyzed to identify what species are present in a specific area.
Carbon dioxide levels reflect COVID risk
Tracking carbon dioxide levels indoors is an inexpensive and powerful way to monitor the risk of people getting COVID-19, according to new research from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and the University of Colorado Boulder. In any given indoor environment, when excess CO2 levels double, the risk of transmission also roughly doubles.
Lancet Paper: 10 reasons why the Coronavirus is airborne
There is consistent, strong evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, is predominantly transmitted through the air, according to a new assessment published in the medical journal Lancet. Therefore, public health measures that fail to treat the virus as predominantly airborne leave people unprotected, according to experts including CIRES and CU Boulder chemist Jose-Luis Jimenez.
Innovation Corner
NOAA Awarded U.S. patent for innovative lionfish trap
NOAA received a patent for an innovative lionfish trap that could help protect threatened ecosystems and aid fishing communities. Read this story to learn all about the inventor, the invention, and ongoing trap-related research efforts. The lionfish trap serves as another example of NOAA technology transfer contributing to the agency’s vision of healthy and resilient ecosystems, communities, and economies.
Upcoming Events
May 16: Climate Equity and Environmental Justice webinar
The Performance, Risk, and Social Science Office is partnering with the NOAA Central Library to familiarize the NOAA community with the science-based concepts of climate equity and environmental justice and to examine how NOAA may better serve vulnerable and underrepresented communities. Learn more about this four-part series and register.
Throughout May: Register for Soar into Summer series!
  • We are approaching the kickoff of our Soar into Summer Series! The first 10 sessions will be a step-by-step overview of the hiring process. Please register for the webinars using this link.
June 2: As part of the NOAA Innovators Seminar Series, hosted by the NOAA Central Library, TPO’s Tiffany House will present "The Value of Phase III Awards" on June 2, 2021, 2:00-3:00 PM EST.
  • The Small Business and Innovation Research (SBIR) program has three phases: Phase I - idea generation, Phase II - prototype development, and Phase III - commercialization. Attendees will learn about SBIR Phase III awards, including details on how they can be acquired and how they benefit NOAA.
In the News
NOAA Global Systems Lab's Arlyn Andrews gave a great interview with The World, the largest international news show on US public radio, about record levels of CO2 and methane in 2020.

Many other outlets, including USA Today and CBS, also covered the news of surging greenhouse gases in 2020.

For another great scientist interview, listen to NOAA GLERL's Eric Anderson explain the phenomenon of meteotsunamis in the Great Lakes to WGN Radio.
Social Media Post of the Month
We had to use an epic photo to share NOAA's EPIC news on Instagram this month!

Check out our post to learn more about EPIC and how it's going to help us improve our forecast models (including for storms like the one seen here, in Nebraska.)
Follow us on social media!