NOAA institutes science advisory board


  • Randy Showstack


James Baker, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), looked at the distinguished scientists seated around the conference table on the sixth floor of the Main Commerce Building in Washington, D.C., in mid-July, smiled, and called them “PWAKT.” He joked that it was an acronym he had created that means “people who actually know things.”

The PWAKTs, who are experts in many of NOAA's science areas, had arrived from around the country to attend the first meeting of the newly established NOAA Science Advisory Board. Their charge is to advise Baker on long- and short-range strategies for research, education, and application of science to resource management, and to provide input to ensure that NOAA science programs are of the highest quality and provide optimal support to resource management.