19 March 2021
Brian McDonald, a researcher in CSL's Regional Chemical Modeling program, receives a NOAA Silver Sherman Award. This award was initiated during Dr. Kathy Sullivan's tenure as NOAA Administrator, to recognize individuals who excel in their work, achieve a milestone that contributes significantly or critically towards a particular program's goal, or demonstrate leadership toward process improvement of a significant magnitude. Dr. Sullivan was particularly invested in reaching down into the organization to recognize those who made extraordinary efforts to keep the mission moving forward.
Brian "donated his Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers [PECASE] to enable NOAA and its partners to collect more aircraft measurements of air pollution in northeast U.S. cities during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. His selfless act of scientific leadership significantly increased the available observations, improving understanding of the air quality impacts from the pandemic's social and economic disruption." NOAA research activities exploring the impact of COVID-19 response on the environment involved several efforts, including aerial sampling over several large East Coast cities that have been previously studied.
Brian was recognized by Ko Barrett, OAR Deputy Assistant Administrator for Programs & Administration, and virtually receives his NOAA Silver Sherman award certificate at the lab gathering via Google Meet on 19 March 2021. The pin that accompanies this award "... is dubbed the 'Silver Sherman' because it features Sherman the Shark from Jim Toomey's popular daily comic Sherman's Lagoon. Artist and conservationist Jim Toomey has long been a friend of NOAA. Besides sharing the exploits of the comic strip's namesake shark and his underwater friends, Mr. Toomey uses the cartoon to educate his readers about the environment."