Sunnyside Local Recognized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Mike Marquez was presented his 30-year service award by the National Weather Service in 2018. Photo courtesy of the National Weather Service.

A webinar award ceremony was hosted on Tuesday afternoon by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This ceremony was to honor those in the Cooperative Observer Program (COOP).

The presentation was kicked off by Dr. Thomas Day, who acted at the Master of Ceremony. He stated that it was an honor and a pleasure to host the ceremony that awards those with continued dedication to the mission of the National Weather Service.

The historic data that is collected by those in the COOP is used to keep the economy running. Companies, industries and governments can base their decisions on the findings in the program. This award ceremony serves to recognize those in the COOP and thank them for their efforts.

Next up, Kevin Cooley, Director and Officer of Planning and Programming for Service Delivery for the Weather Service, spoke. Cooley said that he spends his days leading a great team of people. He stated that observation is a key component of the service’s capabilities and that he himself has benefitted directly from observers.

Some valuable observations that are made are daily maximum and minimum temperatures, evaporations and soil temperatures, and critical hourly precipitation recordings. Cooley stated that those in the COOP give critical, important and fundamental observations for the forecast that help to protect life and property.

Those in the webinar also heard from Sean Wink of the Western Region Systems and Facilities Division. He said that as the environment continues to evolve, the COOP stations have become increasingly important. “Today, we get the honor to say thank you,” said Wink, who also shared that they were honoring some of the best observers.

Following this, the Pacific Regional Director, Raymond Tanabe, said that almost nothing can replace physical observations. Local observers help to fill in the gaps and provide crucial information that help better understand the atmosphere and predict storms.

Following these sentiments, the awarding portion of the ceremony began. Some of the awards included Individual Length of Service, Family Heritage, Honored Institutions and the John Campanius Holm Award. The John Campanius Holm Award included a Carbon County local as Mike Marquez of Sunnyside was recognized as one of 12 that was presented with this particular award.

It was stated that Marquez has provided timely and accurate weather observations for 34 years. As an employee of Sunnyside, he began when the city took over the Sunnyside Weather Station. When the offices were moved in 2008, Marquez was credited as giving pivotal input during the relocation.

Marquez is assisted by his wife when it comes to measuring and recording the data. It was stated that Marquez’s observations enable the office to accurately read throughout the region and the heavily-traveled corridor.

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