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Baker lab alum Holly Bamford named director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service

Holly Bamford
Holly Bamford

Earlier this month, NOAA announced a familiar name to head its National Ocean Service (NOS). Holly Bamford has been a longtime collaborator with the Center for Urban Waters through our joint study of marine microplastics as leader of NOAA’s Marine Debris Program. Bamford also received her master’s degree and doctorate in environmental chemistry studying with PSI Director Joel Baker when his research group was at the University of Maryland.

After receiving her doctorate, Bamford began a career at NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration, where she led a scientifically-rigorous examination of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, including the tiny, but ubiquitous particles known as microplastics that now pervade marine waters. [Read more about a collaboration between the Marine Debris Program and Baker’s group.] Bamford became a deputy assistant NOAA administrator in 2011, and was named as assistant NOAA administrator for the National Ocean Service in early February.

As head of NOS, Bamford now oversees the agency’s response and restoration activities and its critical navigation products and services. NOAA describes NOS as “the lead federal agency providing science-based solutions to address economic, environmental, and social pressures on our oceans and coasts.”

Bamford succeeds David M. Kennedy, who was named NOAA’s deputy under secretary for operations.

View NOAA’s announcement.

Download the proceedings of a joint workshop between UW and NOAA’s Marine Debris Program: “International Research Workshop on the Occurrence, Effects, and Fate of Microplastic Marine debris”.