Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Employee Awards

The highest honorary award granted by the NOAA Administrator. A Bronze Medal recognizes superior performance characterized by outstanding or significant contributions, which have increased NOAA's efficiency and effectiveness. Bronze Medals are awarded to individuals, groups (or teams), and organizations. Recipients receive a framed certificate signed by the NOAA Administrator.

Center Recipients (in bold)

2019 Crescent Moegling, Timi Vann, and Robert Schwartz - For producing "Women of the NOAA Corps: Reflections from Sea and Sky," a documentary film on the unique cultural history of women in the NOAA Corps.

Todd Hay and Victor Simon—For development of a fully digitized back-deck data collection network used at sea to improve quality of survey data and efficiency of data delivery.
2014 Jennifer A. Moore, Cheryl Scannell, Margaret W. Miller, Lance W. Smith, Elena J. Onaga, Russell E. Brainard, C. Mark Eakin, Gregory A. Piniak, J. Paul McElhany, Marta F. Nammack—For an unprecedented, multidisciplinary assessment that supports science-based decisions on listing 82 coral species under the Endangered Species Act.
2013 Greg Baker, Rob Ricker, Chris Plaisted, Natalie Cosentino-Manning, John Incardona, Nat Scholz, Patrick Rutten, Jan Roletto, and Ian Zelo - For exceptional coordination and scientific innovation leading to a swift, cooperative and unprecedented National Resource Damage Assessment settlement for the MV Cosco Busan oil spill.
2011 Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Northwest Regional Office, Office of Law Enforcement in Northwest Region- For developing and implementing the West Coast Groundfish Trawl Individual Quota Program, with the first 10 percent resource reserve for the public.

Phillip Levin, Isaac Kaplan, Jameal Samhouri, Kelly Andrews, Nicholas Tolimieri, Franklin Schwing, Churchill Grimes, Brian Wells, Steven Bograd, Steven Lindley- For developing rigorous tools and a whole-ecosystem model to complete the first Integrated Ecosystem Assessment of a U.S. Large Marine Ecosystem.

Dezhang Chu- For creation of EchoPro software program to rapidly analyze raw and historical acoustic data for fisheries biomass estimates for stock assessments.

Linda Park, Piper Schwenke, Dayna Matthews- For creation of revolutionary forensics program to aide NOAA's enforcement of laws to protect living marine resources and manage sustainable fisheries.
2010 Group award including Richard Methot- For leadership in developing a rigorous and flexible approach to end overfishing in U.S. fisheries via annual catch limits and accountability measures.
2010 Brian Clurer, Timothy Beechie, George Pess- For contributions to the scientific rigor used to evaluate and implement stream habitat restoration projects to the benefit of protected species.
2010 NOAA Northwest Regional Education and Outreach Group: Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Northwest Regional Office, National Ocean Service, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, and National Weather Service- For creating and managing NOAA Science Camp, a highly successful hands-on environmental educational program for middle-school youth.
2008 Thomas Hourigan, Andrew Bruckner, Robert Stone, S. A. Kalei Shotwell, Curt Whitmire, Elizabeth Clarke, Frank Parrish, David Packer, Vincent Guida and Martha Nizinski- For advancing conservation through spearheading the first peer-reviewed assessment of the state of deep coral ecosystems of the United States.

Bradley Hanson, Dawn Noren, Candice Emmons, Margaret Krahn, Jennifer Hempleman, Donald Van Doornik, Richard Boyer, and Douglas Burrows- For executing a biopsy and prey sampling program for endangered Southern Resident killer whales in the Puget Sound after attaining broad public support.
2007 Michelle M. McClure and Mary H. Ruckelshaus– For leading 30 authors and 100 reviewers from federal, state, tribal, local government, and non-profit entities in synthesis on the Puget Sound, Sound Science, a report which provides policy makers with the first consensus on threats to the ecosystem and research required for recovery.

William T. Peterson, Edmundo Casillas, Joanne M. Butzerin, John W. Ferguson– For developing a web-based description of eleven ocean productivity indicators which enables the forecasting of adult salmon returns years sooner than previous techniques.

Karen H. Abrams, Gretchen Arentzen, Merrick Burden, Stephen L. Copps, Jr., Stephen Freese, Jane S. Hannuksela (OGC), Stacey L. Nathanson (OGC), Suzanne Russell, W. Waldo Wakefield, and Mary Yoklavich– For protecting U.S. West Coast essential groundfish habitats via regulations to restrict fishing, buy-out trawlers, and create Marine Protected Areas.
2006 Thomas Cooney, Damon Holzer, Peter Lawson, Michelle McClure, Heather Stout, Thomas Wainwright, Christopher Jordan, Kim Kratz, Mary Ruckelshaus– For developing the scientific foundation for an adaptive approach to recovery planning for Endangered Species Act-listed salmon in the Columbia River and along the Oregon coast.

Melissa Baird , David Kuligowski, Paul Moran, David Teel, Donald VanDoornik, J. Carlos Garza, Devon Pearse, Charles Guthrie, Richard Wilmot - For creating a collaborative, standardized, coast-wide, genetic database of Chinook salmon populations to estimate stock composition in mixed populations.

Richard Ledgerwood, James Peacock, Brad Ryan, and Penny Smith among others For voluntary service provided during FEMA post-disaster relief operation after multiple hurricane strikes in 2005.
2005 Christopher Jordan
For developing innovative and collaborative, large-scale monitoring programs to support salmon recovery efforts in the Columbia River basin.

Donald Brown, Richard Boyer, David Herman, Ronald Pearce, Catherine Sloan
For substantially improving data quality and reducing the cost of information provided to NOAA management on the health and diet of marine species.

Lee Benaka, Victoria Cornish Credle, Jonathan Cusick, Tanya Dobrzynski, Michael Fogarty, James Nance, Joseph Powers, Joseph Terry, Svein Fougner
For contributions in designing a national approach to bycatch reporting methodologies which assist the Department in fulfilling its statutory obligations.

James Meador, Karen Peck Miller, Lyndal Johnson, Edmond Murrell, David Arthaud, Russell Strach Melanie Rowland, OGC
For conducting a complex ESA consultation providing enhanced protection for salmon, in collaboration with EPA, FWS, tribes, and the private sector.

William Fox, Jr., M. Elizabeth Clarke, Stephen Brown
For establishing the Center for Independent Experts to provide timely, high-quality, independent peer reviews of scientific products.

Michelle McClure, Timothy Beechie, Thomas Cooney, Mary Ruckelshaus
For innovative analysis of the potential for restored habitats to improve the status of ESA-listed Pacific salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River Basin.

Nancy McHugh, Paul Kostovick, Chris Pickett, Victor Simon
For implementing portable data acquisitions systems that coordinate logging of vessel and biological data collected during Cooperative Research Surveys.

Patricia Dornbusch, J. Paul McElhany, Elizabeth Gaar, Dan Guy, Richard Turner
For developing the Interim Regional Recovery Plan for ESA-listed Lower Columbia salmon and steelhead.

Fish Ecology Division
For improving juvenile salmon survival past dams, contributing to record adult returns and rebuilding ESA-listed stocks.

Keelin Kuipers, Paul Scholz, Tracy Collier, NMFS, Judith Gray, OAR, Russell Jackson, Thomas Siewicki, Frank Aikman, Stephen Gill, Jeffrey Savadel, NWS, Paul Hirschberg, NWS, Melissa Patterson, Rebecca Smyth, Suzanne Van Cooten, NWS, Michael L. Crane, NESDIS
For leadership in establishing the Coastal Storms Program and successfully completing the program’s first pilot in Florida.
2004 Dr. John Williams
For significantly advancing the understanding of fish migration and survival and its application to salmon conservation and hydropower management.

Dr. Bill Peterson
For developing a NOAA-wide Climate and Ecosystem program element that represents the needs of all NOAA line offices in time for the FY06 fundinc cycle.

2003 Dr. Elizabeth Clarke, Mr. Jonathan Cusick, Ms. Janell Majewski, Mr. John Lafargue, and Ms. Kristen Moynihan
For creating, in record time, the first comprehensive West Coast groundfish observer program, a critical program for sound ecosystem management.

Dr. Margaret M. Krahn, Dr. Paul R. Wade, Dr. Marilyn E. Dalheim, Dr. Barbara L. Taylor, Dr. M. Bradley Hanson, Ms. Gina M. Ylitalo, Dr. Robin P. Angliss, Dr. John E. Stein, Dr. Steven Kalinowski, and Dr. Robin S. Waples
For completing the first comprehensive status review of the Southern Resident killer whale population under the Endangered Species Act.

The Northwest Fisheries Science Center and Southwest Fisheries Science Center
For expeditiously reassessing the status of all 26 West Coast salmon and steelhead populations listed under the Endangered Species Act.

Dr. Paul McElhany, Dr. Mary Ruckelshaus Dr. James Myers, Dr. Norma Jean Sands, Dr. Ashley Steel, Dr. Robin Waples, Mr. Jeremy Davies, and Ms. Mindi Sheer
For developing an innovative, state-of-the-art technical foundation for effective conservation and recovery of Pacific salmon in four Western states.

Dr. Vera Trainer, Dr. Marc Suddleson, Ms. Keri Baugh, Ms. Bich-Thuy Eberhart, Mr. Nick Adams, Mr. Brian Bill, Dr. John Wekell, and Dr. Sylvester Spencer
For developing an unprecedented partnership that has improved understanding and reduced impacts of harmful algal blooms on humans and the environment.

Dr. Richard Methot
For strengthening the scientific base for stewardship of West Coast groundfish and marine ecosystems.

2000 Dr. Michael J. Ford, Dr. James P. McElhany, Dr. Mary H. Ruckleshaus, Dr. Thomas C. Wainwright, and Eric P. Bjorkstedt
For contributions to developing the concept of Variable Salmonid Populations, which is being used to guide coast-wide recovery planning.
1999 Dr. Michael B. Rust and Thomas Scott
For design and implementation of an innovative coldwater recirculation system to enhance the Center's capabilities for salmonid and marine fish culture research.
1999 Terry Vincent Babb, Penney D. Baile, Charles E. Beers, Mary J. Berklund, Branden S. Blum, Barbara Diane Brooks, Patricia A. Brown, Herbert C. Bruce, Jr., Linda Burroughs, Elizabeth D. Cano, James Anthony Cisco, III, Essie Coleman-Duffie, Howard P. Danley, Marjie Dee Dones, Michael F. Eng, James Patrick Faulkner, John Robert Hanson, Janice Hogan, Mark Christopher Holliday, Natalie B. Huff, Richard Charles Jackson, John Anthony Kaperick, Randall W. Kremkau, Michele Kuruc, Susan Kaplan, Melvin Lofgren, Lisa Pittman Love, Carolyn E. McDonald, Lynne Anne Mersfelder, Ruth Cowan Moore, Carol Ann Murray, David S. Nettleton, Capt. (ret.) Donald E. Nortrup, Kimberly Kaye Nye, Sherrie L. Rasmussen, Sennen S. Salapare, Tyra D. Smith, Michael R. Terrell, Ann Thorne, Stacey Topol, Darrell Gene Wallace, Michael J. Washington, Joseph M. Welch and Robert Ziobro.
For serving on NOAA workgroups to focus energy on identifying issues from the Survey Feedback Action survey and recommending improvements for NOAA's work environment.

Jonathan M. Kurland, Lee R. Crockett, James P. Burgess, III, Dr. Tracy K. Collier, Jeffrey N. Cross, Jane S. Hannuksela, Cindy A. Hartmann, Mark Helvey, Ronald Hill, Thomas J. Minello, Ramona A. Schreiber and Susan-Marie Stedman:
For serving on the national Essential Fish Habitat committee in developing a national regulatory program to describe, identify, conserve, and enhance essential fish habitat as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

Nancy Briscoe, Lynette Ansell, Nir Barnea, Kirsten Erickson, Dana Greeley, Mark George, I. Sam Higuchi, Dr. Linda Jones, Angela Quinn, John Pierson, Jim Schell, Dan Strandy, Capt. Donald Suloff, Capt. Warren Taguchi, T. Minh Trinh and Dave Ulrich.
For outstanding dedication and teamwork in exceeding the requirements of the Washington State Compliance Order for improving the management of hazardous waste.

1997 Dr. Robert N. Iwamoto, William D. Muir, Dr. Steven G. Smith, and Dr. John G. Williams
For pioneering research to determine and estimate the magnitude of factors that affect survival of juvenile Pacific salmon in the Columbia River Basin.

Randall Absolon, Dean A. Brege, Dr. Douglas B. Dey, Michael H. Gessel, Lynn McComas, and Bruce H. Monk
For innovative research and development of juvenile bypass systems at Columbia River dams as a member of the NWFSC's Fish Passage Group.
1996 Stephen H. Smith , Michael H. Bancroft, and Dr. Robin S. Waples
For resolving a long-term U.S. vs. Oregon dispute providing a framework for the Columbia River Basin co-managers to cooperate on wild stock supplementation.

Laurie A. Weitkamp, Gregory J. Bryant, Peggy J. Busby, Dr. Jeffrey J. Hard, Dr. Orlay W. Johnson, Dr. Robert G. Kope, Dr. Thomas C. Wainwright, and William F. Waknitz
For completing the most complex coastwide status review for Pacific salmon and Steelhead under the Endangered Species Act.

Dr. Usha Varanasi, Ford A. Cross, Douglas P. DeMaster, Charles Karnella, Steven Pennoyer, Kathi Rodrigues, Andrew A. Rosenberg, Michael Y. Yogi
For leadership which has resulted in an unprecedented organizational restructuring of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Paul B.Aebersold, Dr. Chi Do, Douglas Dightman, Dr. Stewart Grant, Dr. Jeffrey J. Hard, Eric Iwamoto, David R. Kuligowski, Eric LaHood, Dr. Paul Moran, Delia L. Patterson, Dr. Linda K. Park, David Teel, Donald Van Doornik, Dr. Robin S. Waples, Frederick Welch, and Dr. Gary A. Winans
For sustained excellence over many years in developing new genetic approaches to address key problems in fishery management.

1994 Patricia A. Cook
For the development and maintenance of library services for NMFS's facilities in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska.

1992 Including Jon Buzitis and Gina Ylitalo
For outstanding service to NOAA, the Gulf Program Office, and the Interagency Assessment Team in support of Operation Desert Storm.