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New NOAA Gulf Team Lead Selected

Russ Beard Selected NOAA Gulf of Mexico Regional Collaboration Team Lead Stennis Space Center, MS - March 29, 2012 - Russell H. Beard has been selected as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Gulf of Mexico Regional Collaboration Team Lead. Mr. Beard will assume this leadership role in addition to his duties as Director of NOAA's National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC), a division of the National Oceanographic Data Center. Mr. Beard is second Gulf Regional Collaboration Team Lead. He previously served as the both the Climate Lead and the Deepwater Horizon Science Lead for the Team.

The Gulf of Mexico Regional Collaboration Team is a part of NOAA's Regional Collaboration effort to coordinate NOAA's diverse resources within regions and collaborate with partners to respond shared regional concerns. Regional Collaboration Teams are led by Regional Collaboration Team Leads, selected by leadership from all parts of NOAA, which bring together NOAA offices in eight distinct regions. Mr. Beard is the first Regional Collaboration Team Lead to represent NOAA's National Environmental Satellite and Information Service (NESDIS) which manages NOAA's national data centers.

"The NOAA Gulf Regional Collaboration Team is composed of dedicated regional personnel who have demonstrated the ability to work across NOAA activities in the Gulf in an integrated, efficient effort to meet the region's and the nation's needs related to the health of the Gulf ecosystem," Mr. Beard said.

Mr. Beard assumes the leadership of the Gulf of Mexico Regional Collaboration Team from Frederick (Buck) Sutter, Acting Deputy Chief Financial Officer/Chief Administrative Officer for NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service.

"Thanks to Buck's leadership, we have established strong relationships with Gulf partners, such as the Gulf of Mexico Alliance and the Northern Gulf Institute, that are helping us reach our goals," Mr. Beard said. "I want to continue to find new ways to work with our federal, state, non-governmental agencies, and academic partners."

Mr. Beard plans to encourage an active and organized team representing all NOAA efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico Regional Collaboration Team will continue to develop integrated ecosystem assessments, build hazard resilient communities, integrate water resource services, and expand outreach and education. For more information about the NOAA Gulf of Mexico Regional Collaboration Team, visit www.regions.noaa.gov/gulf_mexico/index.html.

Mr. Beard has been Director of NCDDC, located at Stennis Space Center, MS, since 2007. He was the NCDDC Chief Scientist for five years before becoming director. He is currently the NESDIS representative to NOAA's Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, the NESDIS representative to the Northern Gulf Institute serving on the Advisory Council, the NESDIS lead for the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Ecosystem Integrated Assessments Priority Issue Team and a member of the interagency Deepwater Horizon Joint Analysis Group. Prior to joining NOAA, Mr. Beard was employed by the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office for 15 years providing oceanographic support to the fleet, joint forces, and naval special warfare. Mr. Beard graduated from Millsaps College with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He received a Master of Science degree in Geology at the University of Southern Mississippi.