Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced the selection of six new NOAA regional climate services directors. According to NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco:
NOAA’s new regional directors are liaisons to state and regional users and providers of climate science and information; they will also bring information from the regions back into NOAA. They will work with our many partners to identify new and emerging regional climate issues and help NOAA develop products or services to address issues like local climate forecasts, drought plans or flood risk mapping.
The new directors will be stationed at the respective National Weather Service regional headquarters work for the National Climatic Data Center. They are:
Eastern Region: Ellen Mecray
For the last four years, Mecray led strategic planning for NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and facilitated inter-and intra-agency dialog and collaboration on climate science in New England. She is the lead for the North Atlantic Regional Collaboration Team’s Climate sub-team which consists of 20 people representing all of NOAA’s line offices and key regional partners. Prior to joining NOAA, Mecray was an oceanographer with the US Geological Survey’s Coastal and Marine Geology program in Woods Hole, Mass. Her research interests include geochemistry and coastal contaminants as well as paleo-climatic reconstructions.
Central Region: Doug Kluck
Kluck worked for the National Weather Service for the last 18 years and served as a research meteorologist, forecast meteorologist, forecast hydrologist and regional hydrologist. For the past eight years he was the Climate Service Program Manager for the Central Region. In this capacity he focused on building networks and relationships with groups with climate interests on a number of issues including informing adaptation, climate data stewardship, building climate change capacity and assessment of climate services needs by sector and community. Kluck serves on the implementation committee for the National Integrated Drought Information System as the lead on education and outreach.
Southern Region: David Brown
Prior to joining NOAA, Brown served as assistant professor of geography at Louisiana State University, and as assistant professor of geography and New Hampshire state climatologist at the University of New Hampshire. For over a decade, he has been active in the climate services community as a researcher, state climatologist and member of three NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) projects. Most recently he was an investigator with the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program, the first RISA to co-locate and formalize research, operations and outreach linkages to both a NOAA regional climate center and a state climatologist office. His research interests include synoptic and applied climatology, human-environment interactions, and global climate change, and his work has been published in a number of scientific journals.
Western Region: DeWayne Cecil
Prior to joining NOAA, Cecil served with the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA and has more than 70 technical publications and books. His most recent position with the USGS was as the chief for science applications and decision support in the Global Change Program Office where he was a member of the Adaptive Management and Decision Support Working Group of the U.S. Department of Interior’s Climate Task Force. He was the senior science advisor for the Systems Engineering Office (SEO) at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. For the SEO, Cecil conducted a survey of global decision support systems that use Earth-science research results to address the Climate Societal Benefit Area within the Group for Earth Observations. He was the science lead for a NASA-sponsored project on “Responding to Climate Variability and Change: A Rapid Prototype for Assessing Impacts of Uncertainty in Climate Observations and Model Projections on Decision Support.” Cecil is also a member of the Terrestrial Domain Team on the World Meteorological Organization’s Global Climate Observing System and is a member of the writing team constructing the GCOS Implementation Plan for the next generation of global climate system observations.
Pacific Region: John Marra
For nearly 20 years Marra worked to bridge science, policy and information technology to address issues related to natural hazards risk reduction and climate adaptation planning. His particular area of expertise is the development and dissemination of data and products associated with coastal inundation and erosion. Marra has worked for the NOAA Integrated Data and Environmental Applications Center in Honolulu since August 2006, where he spearheaded a project on extreme storms in the Pacific. He also serves as an adjunct fellow at the East-West Center to support the integration of multi-disciplinary research and observations to address issues associated with coastal natural hazards and community resiliency. He worked in a similar capacity for four years at the NOAA Pacific Services Center after working independently for almost 10 years in Newport, Oregon, as a consulting geologist for a broad range of private and public sector clients. Prior to that, he was the North Coast Field Representative for the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development.
Alaska Region: James Partain
For the past 24 years, Partain worked to improve the provision of environmental information to NOAA customers and stakeholders. As the chief of the National Weather Service’s Alaska Region Environmental and Scientific Services Division, Partain oversaw university research on a variety of climate topics, ranging from sea ice retreat to storm effects and coastal erosion. As a science fellow to the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Arctic Research, he fostered collaboration between NOAA, academia and other researchers in Alaska and the Arctic. In addition, Partain was an active member of the steering committee for the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy. As the former regional scientist for the NWS Pacific Region, James also managed the Pacific Region’s climate services program. Partain’s career in the NWS includes meteorologist/forecaster positions in Reno, Nevada; Great Falls, Montana; Cleveland, Ohio; and as the science and operations officer for the NOAA/NCEP Ocean Prediction Center.