PITD Associate Director Ms. H. Gingerlei Porter (2nd from left) and ET NWS WSO Pago Pago, Mr. Marcus Langkilde (right end) with crew of NOAA’s Gulfsteam G-IV, nicknamed #Gonzo (#NOAA49) including Lt. Cmdr. Rebecca Waddington and Capt. Kristie Twining (4th and 5th from left).

Pago Pago, American Samoa (March 24, 2019) – Associate Director of the NOAA/NWS’s Pacific International Training Desk at the University of Hawaii Ms. H. Gingerlei Porter and NWS WSO Pago Pago ET Mr. Marcus Langkilde visited the NOAA Gulfstream G-IV, nicknamed Gonzo (NOAA49) on Sunday, March 24, 2019 at the Pago Pago International Airport in American Samoa. The NOAA49 was in American Samoa to support the GRAV-D project, sponsored by the National Geodetic Survey (NGS). GRAV-D aims to redefine the vertical datum of the U.S. and Territories by 2022 by modeling and monitoring the Earth’s geoid (a surface of the gravity field, very closely related to global mean sea level) to serve as a zero reference surface for all heights in the US and Territories. Accurate heights are critical to many scientific endeavors, but particularly to understanding and protecting low-lying coastal ecosystems. Learn more about GRAV-D Project: https://www.ngs.noaa.gov/GRAV-D/science.shtml  

Porter says she is fortunate to have had such an opportunity to visit and learn about the mission of the NOAA49 in American Samoa and the Pacific, to identify collective efforts for training but especially to learn from women who are trendsetters in the sciences. Capt. Kristie Twining and Lt. Cmdr. Rebecca Waddington were NOAA’s first all-female crew to pilot for NOAA when they flew into Hurricane Hector in August 2018. NOAA has 39 pilots and only five are women.