Brown Bag Seminar Series

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The NOAA Central Library Brown Bag program provides an educational forum (hosting over 800 presentations since 1994) for the presentation of ideas, provide updates on research projects and share news in support of NOAA's mission to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans and coasts; to share that knowledge and information with others; and to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources. 

Brown Bag Seminars (unless otherwise noted) are held from 12 PM - 1 PM EDT in the NOAA Central Library, 2nd Floor, SSMC#3, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD and via webinar. If you are not able to join us in person at the Library, please register using the webinar link under each announcement. During the seminar, please be respectful of the speaker and the audience, and hold your questions until the Q&A period that follows the presentation. Seminars are recorded and made available in the MP4 format along with a PDF version of the slides.    

Sign language interpreting services for NOAA's Deaf and hard of hearing employees is available through NOAA Workplace Management Office's Sign Language Interpreting Services Program. If you have difficulty accessing information on this site, particularly if using assistive technology including screen readers, eye tracking devices, or voice recognition software, please email us at with the following information: URL (web address) of the material you tried to access, the problem you experienced and your contact information. We'll get back to you as soon as we can, and attempt to provide the information you're seeking.


Brown Bag Seminars from 2017 and their available recordings, can be found on the Archived Brown Bags page.

2018 Seminars

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at 2PM EST

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NOAA Institutional Repository Seminar: 508 Compliance       

Presenters: Jennifer Fagan-Fry, MLIS and Sarah Davis, MLS, NOAA Central Library

Abstract: Welcome to NOAA's Institutional Repository Seminar Series! Each bimonthly NOAA IR seminar will be on a topic related to the NOAA IR. Registering for this seminar will provide you access to the full series of seminars. February 2018's topic is Section 508 Compliance. NOAA's Institutional Repository (NOAA IR) provides long-term public access to NOAA publications and articles. Register for the NOAA Institutional Repository Seminar Series to learn more about recent developments in the NOAA IR and with the submission process as well as information about Section 508 compliance. A Q&A session will follow the presentation.       

About the Speakers: Jennifer Fagan-Fry received her MLIS from Catholic University and has been with the NOAA Central Library since 2015. Jenn manages the NOAA Institutional Repository, provides cataloging/metadata services and works with the library website. Sarah Davis received her M.L.S from the University of Maryland and has been with the NOAA Central Library since 2008. She heads the bibliometrics team and also works with the NOAA Institutional Repository and the library website. (February 20, 2018) Accessible PDF  and MP4 coming soon! 

Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 11AM EST

Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2017 Interim Report

Presenter: Philip Schneider, National Institute of Building Sciences 

Abstract: More than a decade after releasing its original report on mitigation, the National Institute of Building Sciences issued Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2017 Interim Report. The 2017 Interim Report highlights the benefits of two mitigation strategies.The Institute's project team looked at the results of 23 years of federally funded mitigation grants provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and found mitigation funding can save the nation $6 in future disaster costs, for every $1 spent on hazard mitigation. In addition, the project team looked at scenarios that focus on designing new buildings to exceed provisions of the 2015 model building codes. The 2017 Interim Report demonstrates that investing in hazard mitigation measures to exceed select requirements of the 2015 International Codes (I-Codes), the model building codes developed by the International Code Council (ICC), can save the nation $4 for every $1 spent. The project team estimated that just implementing these two sets of mitigation strategies would prevent 600 deaths, 1 million nonfatal injuries and 4,000 cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the long term. In addition, designing new buildings to exceed the 2015 International Building Code (IBC) and International Residential Code (IRC) would result in 87,000 new, long-term jobs and an approximate 1% increase in utilization of domestically produced construction material. Sponsors of the report include FEMA, HUD, EDA, ICC, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home  Safety (IBHS), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

About the Speaker: Philip Schneider is the Director of the Building Seismic Safety Council, Director of the Multihazard Mitigation Council and Director of the buildingSMART alliance®.

POC: Denna Geppi, NOAA Office of Performance, Risk & Social Science

(Feburary 22, 2018) 

Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 2PM EST

Section 508 Compliance Training  

Presenters: Bruce Bailey, Accessibility Specialist/Information Technology Specialist,  and Timothy Creagan, Senior Accessibility Specialist/Information Technology, U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (the Access Board) 

Abstract: Federal agencies must comply with the Revised 508 Standards as of January 18, 2018. What does this mean? Join us for this session as we hear from Bruce Bailey and Timothy Creagan of the U.S. Access Board as they review the changes between the original Section 508 Standards (2000) and the Revised 508 Standards (2017.  Mr. Bailey and Mr. Creagan are experienced leaders in the federal community with years of experience in the revision and development of the Revised 508 Standards. Join Bruce and Tim as they review what has changed, what has remained the same, highlight available resources, share insights, and assist participants to help their agencies to successfully transition from the old to the new standards.  This webinar will feature new materials developed by several agencies working together that recognized the challenges ahead and the need for roadmap along with tools for managers, team leaders, and others tasked with implementing the Revised 508 Standards.    The presenters will allow time to respond to questions from webinar attendees who are encouraged to prepare their thoughts in advance.  This session will be helpful to people who need to know what resources are available to assist their agencies to get on-track and to avoid compliance issues. Along with a high-level overview of the Revised 508 Standards,presenters will share best practices, helpful tips, and will provide real-life examples to better prepare your agency to successfully meet its 508 obligations.

About the Speakers: Bruce Bailey has lead responsibility for the agency web site and with providing technical assistance on Section 508 as the policy relates to web sites and software. Bruce has been working for over twenty years in the field of assistive technology, and more than ten of those years in the Federal government. Bruce also is an invited expert with the W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group and an ex officio member of the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standards (NIMAS) Board.    

Timothy Creagan is a senior accessibility specialist with the US Access Board. He provides technical assistance and training on the Revised Section 508 Standards and the Revised Section 255 Guidelines, and he frequently presents on accessible electronic and information technology and telecommunications. He is co-chair of the Education subcommittee of the Accessibility Community of Practice of the Chief Information Officers’ Council. He currently serves on the Disability Advisory Committee of the Federal Communications Commission. Mr. Creagan joined the US Access Board in 2006 to lead the team revising the Board’s existing standards and guidelines for electronic and communication technologies. He served as the Designated Federal Official for the Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee (TEITAC). He was a member of the team that developed the revised accessibility standards for information and communication technology (ICT) under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and the revised accessibility guidelines under Section 255 of the Communications Act, published in 2017.   He was formerly the Director of Consumer Training for the Information Technology Technical Assistance and Training Center (ITTATC) and before that he was the Director of Public Policy for Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) (formerly SHHH). Before joining HLAA, Mr. Creagan was a litigator in the courts of D.C. and Maryland.   Mr. Creagan received his J.D. from the Catholic University of America, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame. 


Join us in the Library on Thursday, March 8th at 2PM EST or Register for the Section 508 Compliance Training Webinar.

Coming soon!

Library Database Training: Westlaw for NOAA

Presenters: Westlaw Representatives

Summary: Learn how to best utilize Westlaw in your work at NOAA. 

Register now for the Westlaw Webinar and be notified when the training date is selected. 

February 14, 2018: Recording is available


Process studies to quantify ecosystem dynamics and inform EBFM in the central California Current  

Presenter: Brian Wells, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center

Abstract: Brian Wells described the large- and regional-scale environmental conditions of the Pacific Ocean Basin and California Current shelf ecosystem that relate to forage, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), and seabird productivity in central California. This information can be used to parameterize ecosystem models and evaluate likely outcomes of ecosystem management options, including considerations of three fishery resources and recovering seabird populations. Wells put the work in the context of the EBFM priorities. (Feburary 14, 2018). PDF 

February 9, 2018: Recording is available


Join us on Friday, February 9th at 12PM EST in the NOAA Central Library for the "second launch" of the Coast & Geodetic Survey Ship Pathfinder!

A NOAA Heritage Week event to unveil a recently restored painting of the famous ship.

Distinguished Guests and Speakers: 

RDML Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., USN Ret.

RDML Shepard Smith, Director, Coast Survey

Craig McLean, Assistant Administrator, OAR

Event Sponsors: National Ocean Service; Office of the Coast Survey; NOAA Central Library; NOAA Preserve America Initiative; U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Heritage Society. 

(February 9, 2018). PDF 

February 8, 2018: Recording is available


Coffee and Questions in the Library

Event Hosts: Trevor Riley, Head of Public Services and Bibliometrics Librarian: Jamie Roberts and ILL Librarian: Hope Shinn 

Summary: NOAA employees were invited to stop in for coffee, snacks, and an introduction to the resources and services of the NOAA Central Library. Coffee was provided to in-person attendees. Attendees were encouraged to bring their coffee cups and their questions. (February 8, 2018) PDF 

Previously held seminars (2018)

Views of the presenters are not necessarily representative of NOAA or the NOAA Central Library.
Brown Bag Seminars from 2017 and their available recordings, can be found on the Archived Brown Bags page.

For Brown Bag questions please email or