On August 3, Dr. Chet Koblinsky will retire as the Director of NOAA's Climate Program Office (CPO). Dr. Koblinsky joined the agency in 2003 and worked with NOAA leadership to build the Climate Program Office, which consolidated earlier climate programmatic and goal activities. As its first and only Director since 2005, he led the development of, and oversaw, a robust, integrated program of competitive climate research efforts across NOAA and in partnership with the university community.
Fig. 1.3. Geopotential height (850 mb) from January-March 2016. The normally continuous tropospheric polar vortex of low heights (purple shading) over the central Arctic was split in two parts in winter 2016, giving rise to southerly winds and extreme record temperatures over the central Arctic.
Dr. Koblinsky's vision for the agency's climate goal emphasized both core scientific capabilities and their application to societal needs. Improvements in core capablities included the development of the global ocean observing system, successful completion of a number of ocean and atmosphere research field programs and advances in earth system modeling and climate prediction. Striking examples of the application of science to society include the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), the expansion of the widely-acclaimed Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) program, the NOAA climate portal (Climate.gov), and a new climate literacy program. As NOAA's principal representative to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, Dr. Koblinsky advanced the growth of climate research across the federal enterprise. In recognition of his accomplishments, he received the Presidential Rank Award for federal senior executives.
Dr. Koblinsky joined NOAA after a 25-year career as a research oceanographer and science manager at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. During his research career, he regularly published papers on ocean circulation and monitoring and led the development of research satellite missions. For the latter, Dr. Koblinsky received NASA's Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement.
"I am grateful to Chet for his leadership and service to the Nation," said Dr. Robert Detrick, Assistant Administrator of the Office of Atmospheric and Oceanic Research, in an announcement to employees late last month. "I am committed to continuing the CPO which Chet established and to conduct an open and search for a new leader of the CPO."
Dr. Richard A. Rosen will serve as the acting director until the successful completion of the search for a new director.