As AA Dr. Steve Thur continues to settle into his new role at OAR, he is conducting visits to labs and program offices to engage with staff directly and learn their processes. Over 40 CPO staff and nearly 10 OAR HQ staff gathered in Silver Spring, MD and online on January 30, 2023 for a visit with Steve. CPO was the first program office he visited to experience a deep dive into the program and learn why we do what we do, and how we position ourselves as team players within the rest of OAR and NOAA at large.
To begin the day, there were two plenary sessions where the OAR HQ guests could get a better understanding of CPO’s mission and core functions. Then, each division and the integrated information systems and assessments programs led individual sessions to brief Steve on their work, successes, and challenges. There was also time for networking during breaks, breakfast, and lunch.
With respect to foundational research, Steve’s goal is to work on clarifying the differences between programs and labs, who makes decisions when it comes to funding research, and how we can improve collaboration between the two entities so that we have a clear process to follow when we receive increases in funding. He wants to “challenge the paradigms” and push boundaries to see what we can accomplish if we ask the questions no one has asked in regards to hiring federal employees to work in labs.
Overall, Steve was very appreciative of the deep dive into CPO and found the staff to be “energetic, enthusiastic, and very willing to contemplate the sometimes-pressing questions that he posed. His desire to gain a greater understanding of CPO activities, operations, and people were met which will help him in his role as Assistant Administrator.”
CPO thanks Steve and all OAR HQ guests for their time, attention, and interest in learning more about the office.
For more information, contact Amber Liggett.