Research Meteorologist Wins First NOAA Science Communicator Award

December 9, 2008

Keith Dixon.

Keith Dixon.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Keith Dixon, a NOAA scientist who demonstrates both skill and enthusiasm for communicating to the public about climate research and climate change, is the recipient of the first Dr. Daniel L. Albritton Outstanding Science Communicator Award.

Dixon, a research meteorologist and climate modeler at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, N.J., will receive the award during a Dec. 11 ceremony in Silver Spring, Md.

“Keith has a rare talent and passion for explaining the complexities of climate science in a clear, compelling, and often entertaining style,” said Richard W. Spinrad, NOAA assistant administrator for oceanic and atmospheric research.

The award is named for Daniel Albritton, who was the director of NOAA’s Aeronomy Laboratory, which was consolidated with five other laboratories into what is now the Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo. Albritton, now retired, used illustrations and easily understood language to explain complex concepts to a variety of audiences, including U.S. Cabinet secretaries, members of Congress, and the general public.

Dixon has given presentations on climate and its complexities to the public, to students, in media interviews, and in meetings with policy-makers. He has also created engaging graphics and worked with museum exhibit developers. The award recognizes his ability as a climate research scientist to translate complex information and make it understandable to non-scientists.

“For more than 20 years I’ve enjoyed working at the lab where so many top scientists team together to produce high quality climate science that’s relevant to society and worth communicating about,” said Dixon.

A life-long resident of New Jersey, Dixon joined NOAA in 1983. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in meteorology from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. Early in his professional career he also worked as a radio broadcast meteorologist in the northeastern United States and taught at Rutgers.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.