LaDon Swann, director of the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, has been named NOAA Research Team Member of the Month for December 2013.
Swann has been director of the consortium since 2002. During his tenure, he has demonstrated exceptional and sustained contributions to allow NOAA, NOAA Research and Sea Grant to accomplish their shared mission. His accomplishments and activities have been recognized locally, regionally and nationally.
In the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, he was selected to serve on the Governor's Coastal Recovery Commission of Alabama and the Mississippi Governor's GoCoast 2020. In addition, Swann has helped lead large-scale, regional research to address Gulf-wide priorities with NOAA and other federal partners.
Swann’s engagement and leadership during the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill included bringing experts from the Exxon Valdez oil spill to meet with Gulf residents, agency members and Sea Grant staff. He implemented a peer-listening program in cooperation with university-based staff and NOAA to help the community better deal with the stress and pressures of the disaster. He worked closely with the fishing industry to share seafood safety information and fishing ground closures. He also organized dockside chats at a seafood facility so federal officials could listen to seafood industry concerns.
Swann served as the NOAA representative for several town hall meetings that were organized by U.S. Navy Secretary Mabus to develop a Gulf Coast recovery plan at the request of President Barack Obama. He testified to U.S. Congress about the status of the oil spill and related concerns.
A leader in the Gulf region, he is an advisory group member for National Academy of Sciences Gulf Research Program and is part of the NOAA Gulf of Mexico Regional Collaboration Team. Swann also serves on the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Management Team.
Swann is a leader for Sea Grant outreach, which is central to NOAA’s Engagement Enterprise in the Gulf of Mexico Region and beyond for current and emerging topics. He initiated the Gulf of Mexico Climate Outreach Community of Practice for NOAA’s public engagement for climate adaptation and mitigation and serves on the Gulf of Mexico Universities Research Collaborative, the newly forming Centers of Excellence, and other regional and state efforts that help coordinate science, restoration and education and outreach activities.
He also is serving as president of the Sea Grant Association.
The National Sea Grant Office said Swann exemplifies the drive, initiative and spirit of Sea Grant.
Swann’s colleagues nominated him for this award, and a committee at NOAA’s Office of Personnel Management selected him as Team Member of the Month.