President Donald Trump on Wednesday proposed Barry Myers as the next administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an agency whose budget the administration has proposed slashing for fiscal year 2018.
(From EOS / By Randy Showstack) — Myers, who is chief executive officer of AccuWeather, Inc., would be just the second nonscientist nominated to lead NOAA since the formation of the agency in 1970. AccuWeather, headquartered in State College, Pa., is the world’s largest weather media company, reaching nearly 2 billion people daily, according to its website.
Some NOAA watchers applaud Myers’s background and understanding of weather issues. However, others said that his lack of science training and a potential for conflict of interest are red flags.
Myers has a law degree and a master’s degree in management science and organizational behavior. He has served as a special adviser to three directors of the National Weather Service, which is an office within NOAA; is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society; and has served on a NOAA Science Advisory Board working group. In addition to weather monitoring and prediction, NOAA has many other responsibilities, which include conducting research about and managing aspects of Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and fish populations; conducting satellite observations of Earth and near space; monitoring and predicting space weather; and conducting climate research, evaluations, and forecasting.
In selecting Myers, Trump called him “one of the world’s leading authorities on the use of weather information.”
Former NOAA administrator Conrad Lautenbacher told Eos, “I am very happy for both Barry and NOAA. Barry brings with him an outstanding record as a leader and manager as well as many years of experience in all aspects of meteorology. He is an ideal fit for the position at this time.”
“From my years of working with Barry, I know he appreciates the importance of reestablishing U.S. preeminence in weather prediction,” Antonio Busalacchi, president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), said in a statement released to Eos. “I look forward to hearing Barry’s plans to improve weather forecasting through partnerships among government agencies, private companies, and the university community. As we have seen from the recent hurricanes, timely and accurate forecasts are critical for evacuating residents and protecting lives and property, as well as strengthening our economy and safeguarding national security.” UCAR manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.
Myers, along with Timothy Gallaudet, who was confirmed recently as assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, “will bring fresh perspectives to the agency whose mission is to understand, predict, and share information about changes in climate, weather, ocean, and coasts and to manage and conserve our nation’s vast coastal and marine ecosystems and resources,” Jon White, president and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, said in a statement. “Mr. Myers’ knowledge of the weather and climate enterprise will be complemented by Admiral Gallaudet’s extensive scientific and operational expertise in oceanography and meteorology. Their combined proficiency extends across the full spectrum of NOAA’s important missions from the deepest depths of the ocean to the heights of the atmosphere.”
Read the full article here: https://eos.org/articles/white-house-will-nominate-accuweathers-barry-myers-to-lead-noaa