WASHINGTON – The Joint Oceanographic Institutions (JOI), a consortium of leading U.S. oceanography research institutions, today announced that it has named Dr. Kendra Daly as the director of the Ocean Research Interactive Observatory Networks (ORION) Program and Stuart Williams is JOI’s new director of Ocean Observing. Bill Ball also joins JOI as the new director of the Scientific Ocean Drilling Vessel (SODV) Conversion program, taking over for Williams who has held the post since September 2004.
In her new role as ORION Project Office director, Dr. Daly will facilitate the planning of the new global network of sensor systems that will give scientists the ability to continuously gather a wide array of detailed measurements over broad areas of the world’s oceans and the sea floor, over long periods of time and without ever leaving land.
Dr. Daly comes to JOI from the University of South Florida, where she has been a professor in the College of Marine Science since 2001. From 1997-2001, she worked as an associate program director in the Biological Oceanography Program of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF).
Stuart Williams is now the project manager responsible for the development work in preparation for designing and building the hardware for the ORION Program. Mr. Williams says his goal is, “to make sure management of the design, construction and delivery of the observatories’ equipment gets planned in a way that is responsive to the science community’s needs.”
Mr. Williams feels his experience as former deputy program manager for NOAA’s Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) has given him a strong foundation for directing the development of the new ocean observing facilities. For the AWIPS, Williams successfully delivered the $550 million acquisition of the system that collects and processes weather data that is then displayed on local meteorologists’ computers as they prepare forecasts.
Dr. Steven R. Bohlen, president of Joint Oceanographic Institutions, will oversee the ORION Project Office as he works closely with both Dr. Daly and Mr. Williams. NSF supports the ORION Program.
Bill Ball recently joined JOI to manage the Scientific Ocean Drilling Vessel program. As director of the program, Ball now leads JOI’s efforts to manage the process that will transform the JOIDES Resolution, the pioneering vessel that has retrieved samples of the Earth’s crust and sediments from deep beneath the ocean, into a state-of-the-art research ship and the U.S. contribution to the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP).
Mr. Ball has 35 years of experience in ship design and acquisition management. He designed numerous ships for the U.S. Navy including a glass reinforced plastic mine hunter. Ball then turned his talents to managing the acquisition of new research vessels for the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) before leaving the government to join a naval architecture firm where he managed the technical and program management support for a $4 billion navy ship acquisition program.
In December 2005, an NSF-approved contract selecting the JOIDES Resolution as the SODV was signed between Overseas Drilling Limited, the provider of the vessel, and Texas A&M University Research Foundation, science operator and member of the JOI Alliance, after open competition.
JOI President Bohlen remarked, “I’m extremely pleased to have three such talented, knowledgeable and uniquely qualified professionals joining JOI’s leadership team at this time. Ocean observing is bold new territory for JOI, and the new drill ship will usher in an exciting new phase of discovery. Kendra, Stu and Bill’s leadership will be integral to success in these efforts.”