Ted Kaufman - United States Senator for Delaware

Great Federal Employees Initiative

Honoree for Week of July 12, 2010

Dr. Eddie Bernard

Director of NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory

Dr. Eddie Bernard has served as Director of NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, Washington, since 1982.  One of the leading experts on tsunamis, he has published over eighty scientific articles and edited books on the phenomenon.  For three years, Eddie directed the National Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii, and he was the founding Chairman of the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Steering Committee – a joint federal/state effort.  In addition to his work on tsunamis, as Director of the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory Eddie oversees a number of important oceanographic research programs, such as El Niño forecasts and studies of underwater volcanoes.  Eddie received his bachelor’s degree in Physics from Lamar University, and he holds master’s and doctoral degrees in Physical Oceanography from Texas A&M.  In order to protect our coastlines against damage from Pacific tsunamis, like the one that devastated the coasts of South Asia in 2004, Eddie led the development of the innovative “DART” system.  As a tsunami wave moves under the ocean, DART uses buoys to report data back to Tsunami Warning Centers.  It took years to perfect, and Eddie and his team had hoped to get close to a sixty percent accuracy rate in predicting the scope and intensity of incoming tsunamis.  As it turns out, they were able to achieve over ninety percent accuracy with DART.  Their system became the basis for the Tsunami Warning and Education Act, which passed the Congress in 2006.  Eddie was instrumental in helping to draft that legislation, which strengthened tsunami detection, warning, and mitigation programs to ensure that we are prepared for even the worst-case scenario. 

Read Senator Kaufman's full remarks on Dr. Eddie Bernard HERE

100 Great Federal Employees
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