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"Heroes Among Us"—USGS Personnel in St. Petersburg, FL, Win Awards

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The Federal Executive Council of Tampa Bay held their "Employees of the Year 2005" awards luncheon on May 5. The theme was "Heroes Among Us." In 1961, John F. Kennedy established the Federal Executive Councils for involvement within their local communities. The Federal Executive Council of Tampa Bay is "dedicated to emergency preparedness, domestic violence prevention, mentoring youth, and improving employee morale through recognition of exemplary civilian and military service of our most valuable Federal assets, our employees." More than 200 hundred people attended the awards ceremony, which featured awards in both civilian and military categories: Outstanding Manager Supervisor, Outstanding Scientific/Professional, Outstanding Partnership, Outstanding Award for Volunteer Service, and Outstanding Technician, Trade, or Craft. The judges considered job competence and accomplishments, as well as effect on the community. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) nominees from the USGS St. Petersburg Science Center in St. Petersburg, FL, in the civilian category were Abby Sallenger for Outstanding Scientific/Professional, Kim Yates for Outstanding Partnership, and Dave Wegener for Outstanding Technician, Trade, or Craft. All three USGS nominees were recognized for their accomplishments.

Abby Sallenger Dave Wegener Kim Yates and Peter Betzer
Above left: Abby Sallenger at a USGS Coastal and Marine Geology gathering in Santa Cruz, CA.

Above center: Dave Wegener in his shop at the USGS St. Petersburg Science Center in St. Petersburg, FL.

Above right: Kim Yates (right) and Peter Betzer, Dean of the College of Marine Science, University of South Florida, imitate corals at a USGS open house in St. Petersburg, FL.

Abby Sallenger received the Outstanding Scientific/Professional Award in recognition of his leadership of a research team conducting a National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards and his attendance at many scientific meetings and conferences. Most notably, Abby was an invited speaker for 1,000 emergency managers at the National Hurricane Conference in New Orleans in March 2005, where he presented findings from the historically significant hurricane season of 2004 in a talk entitled "Coastal Impacts of the 2004 Hurricanes." Abby's presentation led to interviews and several articles, one of which was carried by the Associated Press and appeared in numerous newspapers nationwide. In the international arena, Abby was the keynote speaker for the 5th International Conference on Coastal Dynamics, held April 4-8, 2005, in Barcelona, Spain. In his talk, "Large-Scale Coastal Change During Extreme Storms," he shared USGS technological innovations and research with the international scientific community. Work done by Abby's research team raises community awareness of the importance of science in understanding hurricanes and their impact on coastal communities. In addition, other Federal and local agencies and coastal communities nationwide depend on the data and results from his USGS research efforts.

Kim Yates received an Honorable Mention in the Partnership category. She is the project leader of a USGS flagship effort in creating integrated-science programs. The Tampa Bay Study is a pilot study for a larger Gulf of Mexico Integrated Science Program. Kim has pioneered efforts that integrate biologic, geologic, geographic, and hydrologic scientific studies. She not only has overseen the integration of scientific disciplines but also has enlisted the involvement of many partners to ensure that all parties share in the vision. Numerous local, county, and State government agencies, academic institutions, and community groups are involved in the USGS Tampa Bay Study. These partnership efforts raise awareness and share resources that further scientific understanding of the Tampa Bay estuary.

Dave Wegener received an award for Outstanding Technician, Trade, or Craft. Dave is an indispensable asset to the St. Petersburg center for his technical skills in designing and fabricating innovative equipment that allows scientists to measure and monitor variables that have not been measured or monitored before. He has repeatedly been recognized inhouse for his experimental-instrument designs with materials that can withstand a range of difficult field environments and conditions. His contributions elevate scientific knowledge and extend far beyond the USGS office. Dave has designed and built scientific displays ranging from museum exhibits to interactive displays that illustrate how volcanoes work and how ground water moves. A master craftsman whose skills include the creation of special awards, Dave commented that the award plaque he received at this event was the first he had ever received that he didn't have to make. In true Dave style, he attended the awards luncheon and then quickly departed for Orlando to attend the first Florida Integrated Science Center Science Meeting so that he could help set up more than 40 display boards (which he had made) for poster presentations.

Related Sound Waves Stories
USGS Oceanographer Interviewed About Erosion by Hurricanes
May 2005
Integrating Science and the Scientific Community at the Tampa Bay Study's 4th Annual Science Conference
April 2005

Related Web Sites
St. Petersburg Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Gulf of Mexico Integrated Science
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Tampa Bay Study
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

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Awards USGS Personnel in St. Petersburg, Florida, Win Awards

Staff & Center News Clean-Room Construction Begins at Woods Hole Science Center

USGS National Education Coordinator Visits St. Petersburg Office

Kurt Rosenberger Joins the Western Coastal and Marine Geology Team

Publications June Publications List

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Updated December 02, 2016 @ 12:09 PM (JSS)