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Auke Bay Laboratory Staff
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(Quarterly Report for July-Aug-Sept 2000)

Picture of Jeep Rice receiving NOAA award

At surprise ceremonies held at the Auke Bay Laboratory on 24 August 2000, Dr. Stanley “Jeep” Rice, manager of the Auke Bay Laboratory’s Habitat Program was presented  NOAA’s Best Practices Award by NOAA Deputy Under Secretary Scott Gudes.  “I’ve seldom seen Jeep at a loss for words, but he was this time,” said ABL biologist Mandy Lindeberg.

The Best Practices Award is a new NOAA award which recognizes managers or management groups who foster model working environments where employees can flourish.  Jeep was secretly nominated for the award by his coworkers. According to team member Adam Moles, the idea to nominate Jeep for the Best Practices Award was a groundswell effort. “Jeep is universally respected by his staff, and we all worked on the nomination,” Moles said. About 18 of them collaborated on the nomination , which is another reflection of their successful teamwork.

 “I’ve worked for Jeep for 30 years, and he is the best at helping you do what you really want to do as a scientist, while ensuring the work fits in with the government’s mission and goals,” said Moles.  Moles went on to say that Jeep uses his experience as a sports coach to instill the value of teamwork and designs assignments tailored to each employee’s abilities and interests.  The Habitat Program has evolved into a network, with Jeep at the center receiving input and providing resources and guidance toward achievement of the goals.   Jeep’s team wanted the “coach” to be recognized for his exemplary leadership. During the 30 years under his leadership, Jeep’s team has produced well over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles on the effects of human perturbations and natural fluctuations on the aquatic species and habitats of Alaska, including noteworthy findings on the effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Rice said the Best Practices Award is special.  “Their names are all on it.  I get an awful lot of work out of them.   I support them, they support me.  It’s close to (being a) family.”

By Carol Tocco and Susan Calderón.


Dr. K Koski of the Auke Bay Laboratory was awarded the Department of Commerce Group Silver Medal for his leadership and performance in helping to establish the NOAA Community-Based Restoration Program for habitat vital to living marine resources.  The Silver Medal is the second highest honor bestowed upon employees by the Department of Commerce.

Dr. Koski is the principal investigator for the Duck Creek Restoration Program which he organized in the early 1990s as a community-based program to restore water quality and anadromous fish habitat to Duck Creek. Duck Creek is a small anadromous fish stream located in the Mendenhall Valley, the most populated residential area of Juneau, Alaska. Once an important salmon stream, the creek was listed by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation as impaired because of urban runoff, poor water quality, and degraded habitat. Koski worked to establish the Duck Creek Advisory Group, which is comprised of over 25 organizations and partners including the City and Borough of Juneau, State and Federal agencies, private businesses, conservation organizations, and individual homeowners. Under his leadership, the group provides education to the community, collects field data, holds monthly meetings, publishes a newsletter, and recently drafted the Duck Creek Watershed Management Plan.

The Duck Creek Plan emphasizes needed enforcement, management, and restoration to control urban runoff and to develop better land-use practices. Restoration projects have included replacement of inadequate culverts with bridges and bottomless arches, installation of snow fences, revegetation of streambanks and riparian areas, removal of sediment in spawning areas, channel reconfiguration, and creation of storm water treatment wetlands.  In 1999, the Duck Creek Advisory Group was awarded Coastal America’s National Partnership Award for its success in developing cooperative partnership programs in restoring important coastal resources and was selected as one of 12 watersheds in the nation to be showcased for stream corridor restoration activities.

By Susan Calderón.


Marie Larsen and Larry Holland, research chemists at the Auke Bay Laboratory,  were   presented the NOAA bronze award  for “adapting pressurized fluid extraction technology - improving our science, saving dollars, and reducing solvent use by 90%.”

Larsen and Holland, who work in ABL’s Exxon Valdez Oil Spill group, identified a new method for evaluating oil contaminated sediment and marine life tissue samples  by adapting a recently developed process within industry for extracting water insoluble semivolatile organic compounds from waste solids and sludges. The process uses a pressurized fluid extractor which requires only one-tenth the volume of solvent traditionally used in the chemical analysis of marine samples.  Larsen and Holland realized that if the technology could be adapted for analysis of marine tissue samples, the associated 90% reduction in solvent use would not only reduce airborne emissions and potential health risks to researchers, but also greatly eliminate the generation of hazardous waste.

The adaption of this new technology will result in savings for taxpayers;  increase the safety of employees, visitors, and the environment; enable scientists to accurately process twice the number of samples in one-half the time; require the purchase of fewer solvents, and generate almost no hazardous waste requiring disposal; the technology is expected to pay for itself in three years.

By Carol Tocco and Susan Calderón.