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NOAA Environmental Leadership Seminar Series: Home

NOAA Environmental Leadership Seminar (NELS) Series

The NOAA-wide Environmental Leadership Seminar (NELS) Series provides examples and insight into NOAA’s leadership in environmental science, by those who lead it and make it happen. The Series invites NOAA senior leadership, Subject Matter Experts, and rising stars from throughout the agency, as well as our NOAA partners (e.g., Federal/State/Local, Industry, Academia, and others) to speak on topics relevant to NOAA’s mission. The series was established in 2019 and sponsored by the NOAA Science Council as part of the NOAA Science Seminar Series. The NELS Team schedules 9-10 webinars and 1-2 panel discussions per fiscal year. The webinars are presented online and open to the public and all NOAA staff to attend. Upcoming and past NELS webinar details are below. Webinar recordings and copies of the presentations are usually made available shortly after the seminar, and can be found under the "Past Presentations" tab below.
To request further information, to provide comments, or to suggest speakers, please contact the NELS Team by sending an email to (NELS Team: Hernan Garcia, NESDIS; Sandra Claar, NESDIS, and Katie.Rowley, OAR).

Upcoming Presentations

Seminar Titles, Presenters, Registration




2-3 pm

Title: Everyone has a story, what's your leadership story?

Speaker: Paul M. Scholz, Deputy Assistant Administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Ocean Service (NOS)

Register: TBD

August 4th

3-4 pm

Title: Reflections on Leadership in an Environmental Agency

Speaker: John Cortinas, PhD;  Director Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), OAR, NOAA


June 14

2-3 pm

Title: NOAA’s Role in the Whole-of-Government Effort to Address the Climate Crisis

Speaker: ​Wayne Higgins, Ph.D.; Director of NOAA's Office of Oceanic Research, Climate Program Office


May 10

2-3 pm

Title: Science for the Largest Environmental, Social, and Economic Challenge of the Century

Speaker: Steven Thur, Ph.D., Director, NOAA NOS National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science 


April 12

2-3 pm

Title: Professional Excellence at NOAA: A Diversity of Perspectives

Watch Now: ; This event was pre-recorded


  • Dr. Sim Aberson, Meteorologist, NOAA/OAR, Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorology Lab, Miami, FL 

  • JoAnn Becker, Senior Aviation Meteorologist, NOAA/NWS/AWC/Aviation Operations Branch, Kansas City, MO 

  • Degui Cao, Oceanographer, NOAA/NOS/COOPS/Coastal Hazards Branch, Silver Spring, MD 

  • LT Erick Estela, NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps, NOAA/OMAO, Newport, OR

  • Dr. Tom Jamir, Senior Advisor on Organizational Excellence, NOAA/NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, Gloucester, MA

  • Artara Johnson, Physical Scientist, NOAA/NOS/COOPS, Business Operations Division, SIlver Spring, MD 

  • John Moore, Meteorologist, NOAA/NWS/National Weather Service Operations Center, Silver Spring, MD

  • Neavaly Touray, Program and Management Analyst, NOAA/SO/CAO Facilities Operations Division, SIlver Spring, MD

  • Dr. Hernan Garcia, Oceanographer, NOAA NESDIS NCEI.

The webinar was moderated by Dr. Letise LaFeir, Senior Advisor at the NOAA Office of the
Under Secretary/Administrator, in Washington, DC 

March 8

2-3 pm

Ko Barrett
, NOAA's Senior Advisor for Climate 

Title: Equity in Climate Science and Policy


Feb 8

2-3 pm 

Monica Grasso, Ph.D.; NOAA Chief Economist, Performance, Risk and Social Science Office, Office of the Chief Financial Officer, NOAA

Title: Valuing NOAA Products and Services: Connecting to Society through Economics and Social Science


Jan 11

2-3 pm

Janet Coit, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Deputy Administrator, as well as the Assistant Administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

Title: NOAA Fisheries' Unique Role in the Marine World


Dec 9

2-3 pm

Richard W. Spinrad, Ph.D., Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere & NOAA Administrator

NOAA's role at the intersection of environmental stewardship and economic development


Nov 10

1-2 pm

Kenneth Graham, Director, National Hurricane Center, NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS)

Top Ten "Gotchas" - an opportunity to improve ​NOAA NWS Impact-Based Decision Support Services (IDSS)



Oct 12

2-3:30 pm

                            NOAA Assistant Administrators Look at the Year Ahead; First Annual NELS Panel Discussion

Panel of NOAA Assistant Administrators: Mr. Craig McLeanDr. Louis Uccellini, RDML Nancy Hann, Ms. Nicole LeBoeufDr. Steve VolzMs Janet Coit. Moderator: Louisa Koch (NOAA Education Director)


Resources about NOAA Leadership

Notes: Webinar access and other details are at the NOAA Science Seminar Series website.
Most seminars will be on the 2nd Tuesday of the month. Seminars are available to the Public. Webinar is available on a first come, first served basis. 

Sign language interpreting services for NOAA's Deaf and hard of hearing employees is available through NOAA Human Capital Services' Sign Language Interpreting Services Program. 

If you would like for us to request an ASL interpreter in person or via webcam for an upcoming webinar, please let us know five business days in advance. You are free to request these services on your own through the link below: