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NOAA salutes Scripps grad

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has selected Dr. Dale Vance “Van” Holliday as one of its Environmental Heroes for 2010. The Environmental Hero Award honors individuals and organizations that volunteer their time to help NOAA carry out its mission.

Holliday, who earned his Ph.D. in applied physics from UCSD Scripps Institution of Oceanography, was nominated posthumously for his contributions to NOAA’s mission through his work in underwater acoustic techniques. He died in February.

Although a physicist by training, he became interested in the applications of underwater acoustics in oceanography and fisheries early in his career. He constantly sought projects in these areas because they were the “fun stuff” that his employers would let him do on the side, according to a news release.

Holliday was well known nationally and internationally for his scientific contributions, such as his role as a U.S. representative to the International Council for Exploration of the Sea (ICES). His work in ICES helped develop the standards for acoustically quiet research ships that are used in new ship construction, including a new class of fishery survey vessels being built for and deployed by NOAA.