for Supporting Diversity
in the Workplace
NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center
N E W SWoods Hole, Mass. -- Two National Marine Fisheries Service employees who work in Woods Hole have won NOAA Diversity Spectrum Awards for their efforts to help the agency create a working environment in which all people are respected as individuals and valued for their contributions, NOAA Deputy Under Secretary Scott Gudes announced this week. Mashpee resident Dennis Hansford and East Falmouth resident Dr. Ambrose Jearld will receive plaques, cash awards of $2,500 and diversity mementos December 14 at an awards ceremony in College Park, Maryland.
Jearld is chief of Research Planning and Coordination for the Northeast Fisheries Science Center. Hansford is a fisheries biologist in NMFS’s Fisheries Sampling Branch. The awards are two of eight individual Spectrum Achievement Awards given this year to to NOAA employees around the country.
The Spectrum Awards are an outgrowth of the NOAA Diversity Plan, which outlines NOAA’s commitment to effective management of diversity and the creation of a positive climate of learning, innovation, flexibility, inclusion, opportunity and growth.
Hansford’s Spectrum Award recognizes his commitment to improving the understanding and appreciation of diversity within NOAA, in the community of Woods Hole, and across Cape. He has served on the Woods Hole Black History Month Committee since its inception 20 years ago and been chairman of that committee for the last three years. He also works with the “Circle of Caring”, a group that has achieved important reforms in the recruitment of minorities in Cape Cod schools.
The Circle of Caring works with “Cape Codders Against Racism” to provide legal advice and representation in cases of discrimination. Hansford is a charter member of “Concerned Black Men of Cape Cod”, and has helped make oceanography and marine biology more accessible to minorities through support of ocean-going field trips for a day-camp for disadvantaged children.
Hansford earned a degree in biology from Lincoln University in 1979. He has worked at the Woods Hole lab since 1977. He lives with his wife, Patricia, on DeGrasse Road in Mashpee. They have a daughter Morgan and a son Patrick, both students at Quashnet Elementary School.
Jearld was instrumental in conceptualizing, organizing, and chairing a NOAA-sponsored conference on “Expanding Opportunities in Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences,” held last March. The Conference was an attempt to strengthen linkages between NOAA and historically black and minority serving colleges and universities (HBMSCUs).
Jearld assembled a Steering Committee of 25 representatives from NOAA line offices and other federal departments, the private sector, and colleges and universities throughout the nation. That committee developed an agenda of panel presentations and open discussions on topics such as career opportunities in marine and atmospheric sciences, student perspectives, building alliances between HBMSCUs and NOAA, and sustained research funding opportunities at NOAA for HBMSCUs.
In 1999 Jearld provided assistance to NOAA leadership on national and international affairs in support of the US-South Africa Binational Commission activities. He worked with Sea Fisheries, South Africa, to facilitate development and implementation of its strategic plan, organizational restructuring, and mandates for corrective actions dealing with human resources.
Locally, Jearld is also a charter member of the Concerned Black Men of Cape Cod.
Jearld earned a Ph.D. in zoology with an emphasis on fisheries science from Oklahoma State University in 1975. He has worked at the Woods Hole lab since 1978. Jearld lives on Tanglewood Drive in East Falmouth with his wife, Anna Martin. They have a daughter, Saba, who works at Harvard Medical School and a son, Asa, who is a junior at Falmouth High School.