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Awards

Debbie Norling Receives USGS Central Region Diversity Award

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Presenting the USGS Central Region Diversity award to Debbie Norling of the USGS National Wetlands Research Center are David Applegate, Acting Central Regional Director (left), and Randy Updike, USGS Regional Executive for the Rocky Mountain Area.
Above: Presenting the USGS Central Region Diversity award to Debbie Norling of the USGS National Wetlands Research Center are David Applegate, Acting Central Regional Director (left), and Randy Updike, USGS Regional Executive for the Rocky Mountain Area. [larger version]

Debbie Norling, branch secretary at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)'s National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, Louisiana, received the 2008 Central Region Diversity Award, Individual category, during award ceremonies at the USGS Regional Office in Denver, Colorado, on September 22. She was nominated by individuals both within and outside the National Wetlands Research Center for her invaluable contributions to diversity within the Department of the Interior during the past 15 years, according to center director Gregory Smith.

Norling has been involved in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Federal Women's Program, the USGS Central Region's Special Emphasis Program Advisory Committee, and the USGS Central Region's Diversity Council. As a member and cochair of the Special Emphasis Program, she worked to gather, synthesize, and report data related to employment, training, and retention. She also organized diversity training for USGS managers, supervisors, and employees and served on the committee to create the bylaws and operating procedures for the Diversity Council when it was formed.

At the National Wetlands Research Center, Norling organized several programs for Black History Month and Women's History Month, featuring speakers that included local dignitaries and mayors, authors, Lindy Boggs (former U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican and Louisiana Congresswoman who served nearly 2 decades in the U.S. House of Representatives), and Mary Landrieu (U.S. Senator from Louisiana).

In March 2008, Norling chaired a group of women who turned the National Wetlands Research Center into an art gallery to celebrate "Women's Art: Women's Vision of the Natural World." She worked with dozens of local artists and the media to promote the event. (See Sound Waves article, "USGS National Wetlands Research Center Celebrates National Women's History Month.")

In 2006, Norling was named a Woman of Excellence for Public Service by the Lafayette Commission on the Needs of Women in recognition of her volunteer work at the National Wetlands Research Center and in the community after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (see Sound Waves article, "Debbie Norling Honored with Excellence Award"). This work, in addition to boat rescues and geoaddressing 911 calls, was one of the reasons that the center shared in a Service to America Medal (see Sound Waves article, "USGS Team Receives Service to America Medal." Norling continues to champion the cause of diversity at the center and in her local community, Smith said.


Related Sound Waves Stories
USGS National Wetlands Research Center Celebrates National Women's History Month
August 2008
Debbie Norling Honored with Excellence Award
October 2006
USGS Team Receives Service to America Medal
November 2006

Related Web Sites
National Wetlands Research Center
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

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Fieldwork
cover story:
Scientists Discover New Pacific Iguana

Tracking Sea Otters

Research Sea-Otter Decline Affects Kelp Forests and Eagles

Outreach International Coastal Cleanup

Awards Norling Receives Diversity Award

Publications November 2008 Publications List


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