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3 STAR Scientists Honored with Distinguished Career Awards

9 December 2014 - NOAA's Distinguished Career Award honors cumulative career achievement of sustained excellence, rather than a single defined accomplishment. Three distinguished managers and scientists at STAR were honored this year. Felix Kogan, Bill Pichel, and Kent Hughes have together served NOAA for over 100 years.

photo: Kent HughesKent H. Hughes (OceanWatch)
Distinguished Career Award for Excellence in Management and Supervision

Kent was honored: "For sustained excellence and leadership in scientific management and support for the NOAA ocean mission during 42 years of public service.

Through May 2014, Mr. Hughes' federal service spans 43 years and 8 months under three federal Departments (Interior, Navy and Commerce), 8 U.S. Presidents, and every NOAA Administrator (10). He has served extensively at sea for the Department of Interior and U.S Navy in the Pacific, as Deputy Director of the NODC, Division Director of SOCD, and Program Manager of NOAA CoastWatch. Mr. Hughes has chaired NESDIS Line Office level committees including the Combined Federal Campaign and Equal Employment Opportunity.

photo: Felix KoganFelix Kogan (SMCD / EMB)
Distinguished Career Award for Excellence Scientific Achievement

Felix was honored: for applying NOAA satellite data to monitor global land surface conditions and providing data for critical applications worldwide.

Felix joined NESDIS in 1985, applying his expertise to a number of areas, including remote sensing; ecosystems; climate and weather impact assessments; land cover/land use change; monitoring droughts, desertification and deforestation; mosquito-borne diseases; productivity of land landscape; some issues of agriculture and forestry; agricultural meteorology and climatology; and environmental zoning.

Felix has acted as Principal Investigator of numerous national and international projects funded by the Agency for International Development, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, NATO and NOAA. He has lead global-scale international cooperation with government institutions, universities, and private organizations in transferring new technologies. He is a member of the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Technical Team and of the editorial board of the Indian Journal of Remote Sensing.

photo: Bill PichelWilliam G. Pichel (SOCD / MECB)
Distinguished Career Award for Excellence Scientific Achievement

Bill was honored: for continuously advancing state-of-the-art satellite operational ocean remote sensing throughout 44 years of service to NOAA.

Mr. Pichel's career with NOAA began in 1970 when he joined the NOAA Commissioned Corps and served aboard the NOAA Ship Researcher attaining the rank of Lieutenant and serving as Computer Officer. He has been an employee of NESDIS since 1973. He has been Product Area Leader for Oceanographic Products (1973-1985), Chief of the Product Systems Branch (1985-1988), and then since 1988 has been a research scientist in the ORA/ORAD. His primary research interests have been in improving satellite sea surface temperature measurements and in ocean applications of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data. He served as PI on ERS-1 and RADARSAT-1 SAR projects, and Co-I on an ERS-2 SAR project. He is now PI on ENVISAT, ALOS, and RADARSAT-1 projects, all related to demonstrations of coastal ocean applications of SAR data.

Currently the focus of his SAR work is the Alaska SAR Demonstration and the Gulf of Mexico Experiment which are near real-time and retrospective demonstrations of practical SAR applications (high-resolution surface winds for safety of life and property, vessel positions for fisheries management and enforcement, river ice spring breakup monitoring for hazard warnings, sea ice imagery for ice forecasts, oil spill mapping, and river plume monitoring). He has received four Dept. of Commerce Bronze Medals (2002, 1999, 1997, 1993) for his work in developing ocean requirements, for the Alaska SAR Demonstration, for implementing a system for operational use of RADARSAT SAR, and for CoastWatch sea surface temperature product development and implementation. In 2004 he received the Dept. of Commerce Silver Medal for his work on convergence zone monitoring with satellite data in support of marine debris detection.