James ‘Doc’ McFadden, Programs and Projects director for NOAA’s Aircraft Operations Center (AOC), has been nominated for the People’s Choice Award of the Partnership for Public Service organization. The Partnership for Public Service is a “nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that believes good government starts with good people.” It offers annual Samuel J. Heyman Service to America (Sammy) awards to U.S. Government employees to recognize their efforts to promote better service and effective governance. The People’s Choice Award is selected by public vote, which can be accessed here.
Doc McFadden has worked for the Federal Government for over fifty years, starting with the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratories‘ Sea-Air Interaction Laboratory in 1965 where he examined the relationship of ocean temperatures to tropical weather, flying several times aboard Weather Bureau aircraft to make real-time measurements. He became enamored with flying and transferred to the Research Flight Facility (predecessor to AOC) and since that time has recorded over 500 penetrations of hurricane eyes.
His current job involves working with the research community in scheduling the use of AOC’s invaluable aircraft resources and in planning future activities. Currently he is involved with the implementation of the COYOTE drone, which is launched from the NOAA aircraft into the hurricane environment. “There isn’t a single person who has experienced a hurricane or a tropical cyclone who hasn’t been directly impacted by his work in a positive way,” said Carl Newman, former AOC director, in nominating McFadden for this award.