Peer Appreciation Award

Trish Weir

October 2019

Photo of Trish Weir

Please allow me to congratulate Patricia Weir for the October 2019 Peer Appreciation Award.

Trish is recognized for her efforts of developing and coordinating the Technology Maturation Program (TMP). This is was one of the most innovative and creative programs that I have seen in NOAA. Using her advanced portfolio management knowledge and decades of experience as a satellite system engineer she has delivered substantial progress towards aligning emerging technology with NOAA’s needs. The results that were delivered at the Science Support to the Technology Maturation Program Annual Review Meetinglast month were exciting and inspiring. Today's research will be tomorrow's operations thanks to Trish.

Congratulations, Trish!



Matt Austin

September 2019

Matt AustinMany workplace heroes go unnoticed but I’m honored to nominate one such workplace hero, Matthew (Matt) Austin of TPIO, for the Peer Appreciation Award. Matt has been a friend and colleague of mine since he joined TPIO, and I have always found him to be a true team player willing to share his knowledge with everyone with whom he works. Matt is a champion for data management and data quality. He is always willing to take the toughest projects and put in the necessary work to ensure that they are done properly. It is due directly to his efforts that OPPA has some of the tools needed to do the job: Google Cloud, SMARTSHEETS, Feature Manipulation Engine (FME), Tableau Desktop, and Tableau Server are just a few examples of the great tools, Matt has been key in bringing to OPPA. These tools have increased OPPA's analysis ability for greater web-based cross-team participation; streamlined document collaboration; finding what is relevant and impactful in NOAA's observing system and user requirements data; establishing a data visualization framework by converting raw textual and numerical information into easily understandable, beautiful, interactive dashboards. Due to his exceptional abilities, Matt has worked major projects across NOAA, such as the NOAA Chief Economist's "NOAA by the Numbers" report; NOAA CIO's NOAA Google Cloud Sandbox Initiative; NOAA Coast Survey Development Laboratory's effort to create a geographic information system (GIS) designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present geographical data from NOAA's Electronic Navigational Charts; and assisting NOAA Workforce Management to update its statistic reporting procedures. Matt was recently selected for the Federal Data Strategy Team, the only one from NOAA. The goal of the team is to create a coordinated approach to federal data use and management that serves the public.

I couldn't think of a person more deserving of this award than Matt Austin.



Lauraleen O'Connor

August 2019

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I am pleased to nominate Lauraleen O’Connor for her strong commitment to OPPA’s mission and her long-term, significant contributions to the data analytics and visualization capabilities here at OPPA and more broadly at NESDIS and collaborating agencies. Lauraleen has a long experience in meteorology-related technologies including forecasting and climatology. She is proficient in translating large arrays of individual and sometimes conflicting user needs to clear operational requirements. While her initial work was focused on individual polar satellite programs, in recent years she has expanded her scope to comparisons of systems to support TPIO’s goals in developing future mission profiles. In particular she has significantly upgraded the Office’s planning and integration capabilities through her data science work using Tableau and its business intelligence applications. Her dashboards, reports, and graphs have been valuable for trade studies and decision making on new imagers, sounders, and other instruments, and their satellite platforms.

Congratulations, Lauraleen, for your hard work and consistent results!



Dimitrios Vassiliadis

July 2019

Dimitrios VassiliadisSWFO Senior Science Support Dimitrios Vassiliadis has shown himself to be a great resource and addition to the OPPA organization. Dimitrios uses his wealth of knowledge and instructional skills to clarify the scientific objectives as well as the operational impact of instruments that will be developed and used by the SWFO program. His willingness to be a team player along with his ability to take ownwership over task completion speaks multitudes of his diligence and dedication to the initiatives of OPPA. His eagerness to explain SWFO goals through presentations and written documents warrants his hard work to be recognized. It is a pleasure to work with someone with these strengths, and such a pleasant disposition toward colleagues. With acclamation, I highly recommend Dimitrios for the OPPA Peer Appreciation Award.

Congratulations Dimitrios!



Tanisha Holland

April 2019

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Tanisha Holland has been diligently building up OPPA’s Risk Management capability for the past several months. Coming to OPPA from OSGS, where she was the ESPDS Risk Coordinator, Tanisha has brought OSGS’s defined practices to OPPA. It is very difficult to introduce a defined process to a new organization, but Tanisha has accomplished this through patient interaction with OPPA Management and the PMs for the active OPPA projects. Her pleasant disposition and dedication have been invaluable to making this possible. As a result, OPPA Risk Management from Office-Level down to Project-Level is being effectively executed. This is proving to be a great asset to the OPPA projects as they are proceeding through their lifecycle phases. I am pleased to recommend her for an OPPA Peer Appreciation Award.

As part of OPPA's Peer Appreciation Award Program, Tanisha will nominate and announce next month's Awardee.



Ken Jensen

March 2019

Ken JensenIt's with great pleasure to nominate INDEC/SCATSAT Chief Engineer Dr. Ken Jensen for the OPPA Peer Appreciation Award in recognition of his exceptional support and tireless efforts for the success of the project.

Ken joined the SCATSAT team in August 2018 and quickly learned the project to make remarkable contributions to Level 1 Requirements Document (L1RD), Project Management Plan, (PMP), Project Implementation Plan (PIP), System Requirements Review (SRR), and SCATSAT Milestone Review (SMR).

Shortly after the SMR, which took place on December 17, 2018, the longest government shutdown in American history started while I was furloughed without any communication with the SCATSAT team. During the shutdown period, Ken worked closely with Josh Henry, who is the SCATSAT Systems Engineer, to lead the SCATSAT project without any government direction to prepare for a Critical Designed Review (CDR) that was initially scheduled for January 16, 2019. Because of these efforts, Ken has earned not only the Peer Appreciation Award, but also the respect and gratitude of other NESDIS offices supporting the SCATSAT project. As one of those peers whom Ken has inspired and motivated for the success of the SCATSAT project, I am very thankful for having Ken in my team!



Chol Chang

December 2018

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I worked with Chol during the early phases of the INDEC Program and the ScatSat-1 Data Acquisition Project. Chol was tasked with pulling together a Project Management Plan and a Systems Engineering Plan, along with Level 1 Requirements, project budget and schedule, at very short notice, to kick-start a program of cooperation with the Indian Space Research Organisation. The INDEC Program had been promised by Dr. Volz but had yet to find someone to take on the task and deliver on the commitment to ISRO.

Chol quickly formed a cohesive team of Federal and contract employees working side-by-side to raise the profile of the Program and formulate the documentation set necessary to present to the NESDIS Enterprise Architecture Committee. Chol was highly effective in reaching out to all the Offices involved in supporting the INDEC Program and its first project, never hesitating to ask for input from colleagues, and directing effort where needed. Chol also took the time to listen to advice and suggestions, and did his best to ensure all relevant NESDIS project management and system engineering processes were adopted and followed to get the Program off to the best possible start.

Chol dedicated many long hours both in and out of the office to producing a comprehensive set of engineering and management plans and processes to start the Program on the right track, and has continued to guide the Program successfully through its Pre-Formulation Phase and into execution. I have every confidence that, with Chol at the helm, the Program will be a success and demonstrate how to collaborate across Offices, and start off a project with all parties fully engaged and aware of their roles and responsibilities. Chol leads by example, and is a pleasure to work with.

Congratulations again Chol! All the best from your OPPA colleagues and your partners across NESDIS.



Mark Seymour

November 2018

Mark SeymourThis month, I take great pleasure in nominating Mark Seymour for his high degree of multi-tasking capability and attention to details. Mark initially joined OSAAP to support the first round of the Commercial Weather Data Pilot. Since then, he has sought and undertaken further roles within OPPA such as coordinating the partnership with KARI for downlinks of KOMPSAT-5 data over NOAA's Fairbanks Station, and similar future cooperation with HISDESAT on the PAZ mission that included weekly coordination with the Partner Antenna Access Network group of OSPO and OSGS personnel.

When the COSMIC-2 Mission Operations position became vacant, Mark was quick to accept an additional role and bring his Flight Director and mission ops development experience to the program. Mark quickly established ownership of the instrument operational procedures and related operations documentation, drafting all Standard Operating Procedures and Contingency Recovery Procedures for the instruments, which have since been reviewed and signed-off by all instrument representatives and the wider US program team. Mark continues to engage with the COSMIC-2 mission team for clearly-defined operations concepts and agreements in other areas of cooperative effort that will benefit the mission.

As part of OPPA’s Peer Appreciation Award Program, Mark Seymour will nominate and announce next month’s Awardee.



Wei Xia-Serafino

September 2018

Photo of Wei Xia-Serafino

This month, I recognize Wei Xia-Serafino in appreciation for her dedication to OPPA and to the COSMIC-2 mission in the face of continued schedule uncertainty and conflicting priorities. Over the summer and through September, Wei spent countless hours coordinating and consulting among our partners and our NESDIS team in preparation for and ultimately in the rescheduling of the COSMIC-2 satellite pre-ship review and operational readiness review. All through this, her constructive focus on maintaining relationships and on tangible preparation for launch has resulted in a high level of readiness by all the organizations involved in the COSMIC program. Taiwan, Air Force, UCAR, Aerospace, and our ground systems partners have all pulled together under Wei's leadership to prepare for the reviews. This level of preparation will ultimately pay off when the launch date becomes firm.

As part of OPPA's Peer Appreciation Award Program, Wei will nominate and announce next month's Awardee.



Joanne Ostroy

June 2018

Joanne OstroyPlease allow me to congratulate Joanne Ostroy for the June 2018 Peer Appreciation award. Joanne Ostroy has provided valued engineering support to multiple programs IRSO/SCATSAT, SWFO, and COSMIC-2. Each of these programs has needs and requirements that require specialized engineering. Joanne's technical expertise has helped each program by providing documentation or leading studies that assist OPPA in program success. Please join me in thanking Joanne for her valued support. As part of OPPA's Peer Appreciation Award Program, Joanne can nominate and announce next month's Awardee.

Joanne is charged with nominating a peer for appreciation in August.





Dan Mamula

April 2018

Dan MamulaDan Mamula is a gifted project manager and over the past few years he has touched an aspect of just about every named project that OPPA has been engaged with. His contribution has always yielded solid results, even if not always with a decision to move forward. In the weeks since the SWFO activity at the Goddard mission design lab, Dan stepped in to guide the production of a truly excellent package for a SWFO way forward. This package was a decisive step toward making the SWFO project a reality. As if to top that, after the FY18 budget was passed by Congress and Dan found himself as lead of two other revived projects, CDARS and EON-MW. Dan, for pulling triple duty and performing with grace and continued excellence under extreme time pressure, I appreciate your contribution to SWFO and other OPPA projects.

As the final awardee in this period, Dan is charged with nominating a peer for appreciation in May 2018.



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