Employee culture related articles such as food bank donation, holiday parties and the Lynker flag photo contest.

Lynker Wins NOAA ProTech Weather Contract!

Lynker is proud to be a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Professional and Technical Services (ProTech) Weather Domain contract awardee. We now hold the ProTech Weather, ProTech Oceans, and ProTech Fish multiple award task order contracts.

9 Lynker Employees Receive NOS Team Member Awards!

Lynker President Joe Linza and Lynker Vice Presidents Jill Meyer and Liz Tarquin were on hand to help NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS) officials hand out NOS Team Member of the Year and Group Team Member Awards for 2019. The following Lynker awardees are being recognized for their outstanding contributions in support of the NOS mission over the past year. Congratulations!

NOS Employees of the Year
Chris Robinson
Brenna Sweetman
Gwen Shaughnessy
Sajeed Pouydal
Robbie Greene

Team Award
Leon Geschwind
Michael Griffin
Kenneth Rainer
Shannon Lewinski

Lynker Opens New Reston Office!

Lynker is pleased to announce our new office in Reston, VA. This new space is located adjacent to USGS (United States Geological Survey) headquarters and convenient to the Reston metro, which is opening in 2020, as well as our national headquarters in Leesburg, VA. It will be a main hub for our Information Technology Services group consisting of a core team of developers, analysts and architecture subject matter experts.

Lynker staffs NOAA Booth at Nation’s Largest In-Water Boat Shows

Lynker Employees Joe Linza, Katie Fitzenreiter, and Sam DeBow (L-R) at the 2019 Annapolis Boat Show

Lynker President Joe Linza stopped in to see Lynker employees RADM Sam De Bow (VP) and Katie Fitzenreiter (Oceanographic Data Specialist) who were helping staff the NOAA booth supporting The Office of Coast Survey (OCS) and the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (COOPS) at the October 2019 Annapolis, MD Powerboat and Sailboat Shows.  These are the Nation’s Largest In-Water Boat Shows.  Lynker interacted with the recreational mariner community and answered technical questions about charting and tide products.  High praise was received for the work NOAA does to promote the safety of navigation.





There were significant high tides over the weekend and a tropical storm offshore, which pushed water up the Chesapeake Bay, resulting in a lot of people with soggy shoes and wet pant legs asking questions about the tides. The chart below displays the predicted tide (shown in blue) against the measured tides (shown in green).

Data courtesy of NOAA/NOS/COOPS



Lynker Attends First Annual Nic ECO at Duke!

Lynker HR attended Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment first annual Nic ECO (Explore Career Options) event last week. We met a lot of talented students interested in a career in the environmental field. We identified exciting potential candidates that Lynker is looking for to fill internships and full-time openings in the future.


NOAA Fisheries’ ESA & MMPA Programs Receive Gold Medal Award

The US Secretary of Commerce recognized NOAA Fisheries’ ESA and MMPA programs with a Gold Medal Award for their contribution to regulatory efficiencies and effectiveness in protecting and sustaining at-risk marine and ocean living resources. The Department of Commerce Gold Medal is the highest honor award of the United States Department of Commerce.  Since 1949, the Gold Medal is presented by the Secretary of Commerce for distinguished performance. Particularly noted, Lynker’s Dean-Lorenz Szumylo spearheaded the implementation of the ESA Section 7 Mapper, an interactive, GIS-driven visualization tool NOAA scientists, federal action agencies, and the general public use to help identify ESA-listed species and critical habitats along the East Coast.  Dean was previously awarded NMFS Team Member of the Year for his efforts regarding this tool.

The innovative Mapper tool provides a dynamic web interface used to locate areas where Section 7 Consultations are recommended due to the presence of ESA-listed fish, marine mammals, or sea turtles at various life stages, exhibiting specific behaviors (such as migrating, foraging, spawning, rearing, or calving). The Mapper currently covers consultation areas along major waterways and marine zones of the Greater Atlantic Region and is expanding to include the South Atlantic and Eastern Gulf of Mexico later this year. The tool allows users to draw a project site on a map, determine which consultation areas overlap, and generate a detailed report of ESA species found there. In addition to greatly expediting the process of determining whether further consultation with NOAA Fisheries is necessary, the tool has reduced the number of unnecessary consultation requests received and has improved the quality, accuracy, and reliability of data needed to support regulatory compliance.

Version 2 is now out and represents a major update to the underlying Section 7 Consultation Area data. In the new version of the mapper, users now have increased control over the map display.  They can toggle individual data layers on and off, rearrange the drawing order of data layers, and use a new tool that easily allows them to “swipe” away the data to view the underlying basemap.

Lynker In the Field: Hideyo Hattori

Lynker’s Hideyo Hattori, who serves as site liaison for the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation and Coastal Zone Management programs in American Samoa, is partaking in local Samoan delicacy – palolo worms! These worms are only available for a short time between mid-October and early November and are collected with a net for preparation in many local dishes. Hideyo collected and prepared these worms himself for our jurisdictional workshop here in American Samoa!


Lynker Receives WBJ’s Fastest Growing Company Award

We are pleased to announce that Lynker is the 45th fastest growing company as recognized on the Washington Business Journal’s 2019 Fast 75 list! President Joe Linza accepted the award.

Joe Linza and Kathy O'Day receive Lynker's Fast 75 award,

Multimillion-Dollar Shellfish Economy Depends on Research Reserve Data

Data from the National Estuarine Research Reserves helps the US shellfish industry increase commercial yields. Lynker’s staff at NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management help tell the story for National Seafood Month.

Multimillion-Dollar Shellfish Economy Depends on Research Reserve Data

By monitoring oxygen, eelgrass health, and other marsh variables, the data system supports shellfish habitat and commercial yields.
U.S. estuaries are the lifeblood of commercial shellfishing. Total fish catch in estuaries contributes $4.3 billion annually to the national economy, and estuaries are nurseries to more than 75 percent of all the fish and shellfish harvested. Data from the National Estuarine Research Reserve System’s environmental monitoring program keeps shellfish businesses informed about conditions and supports product safety. Examples are provided below:

• The West Coast reserves—California’s San Francisco Bay and Elkhorn Slough, Oregon’s South Slough, and Washington State’s Padilla Bay—provide the region’s $270 million annual commercial shellfish industry with critical data about marsh health, including oxygen and nitrogen levels, eelgrass health, turbidity, restoration, and other marsh variables.

• In Massachusetts, the Waquoit Bay Reserve’s water-temperature data are routinely used by the state’s shellfish aquaculture industry, an economic powerhouse that in 2013 generated more than $25 million in profits and paid out nearly $12 million in wages.

• The Apalachicola (Florida), ACE Basin (South Carolina), and North Inlet-Winyah Bay (South Carolina) reserves collect rainfall, salinity, and temperature data critical to the commercial blue crab industry, which in Florida alone carried a dockside value of over $12 million in 2015.

• In North Carolina, the commercial oyster harvests garner $4.5 million in annual profits. Harmful bacteria have caused repeated shellfish farm closures, so the North Carolina Reserve and University of North Carolina are developing a tool to help shellfish aquaculture firms make more-informed siting decisions.

• In Alaska, the Kachemak Bay Reserve supplies real-time temperature, oxygen, acidification, and toxin-related data used by commercial oyster farms and state officials. Alaska’s seafood industry employs more people than any other private industry in the state, and fishermen in this North Pacific region made $238 million in 2014 from crab alone.

• In South Carolina, data from the ACE Basin Reserve aids the state’s shrimp industry—which in 2015 netted more than two million pounds with a dockside value of over $8 million—by predicting areas of shrimp abundance and sending out alerts when black-gill disease is found. (2017)

Image Credit: NOAA Photo Gallery


Cold-Stun Alert Helps Save Spotted Seatrout in VA and SC

The National Estuarine Research Reserves in Virginia and SouthCarolina have a cold-stun alert that aids fisheries to temperature drops and potential die-offs. Check out the story written by Lynker staff at NOAA’s Office of Coastal Management.

Cold-Stun Alert Aids Fishery Managers and Seatrout Stocks

The alerts’ real-time monitoring data comes from three research reserves in Virginia and South Carolina.

Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is piloting a cold stun alert system that identifies when sudden drops in water temperature could cause die-offs of Spotted Seatrout and other species along Virginia’s Bay areas and the South Carolina coast. It gives commercial and recreational fishermen the chance to take actions that can preserve existing stocks. Spotted sea trout (Cynoscion nebulosus) are popular catches for commercial and recreational fishermen trolling the Chesapeake Bay, Southeast coast, and Gulf of Mexico.

The alerts use real-time monitoring data from the Virginia research reserve as well as South Carolina’s ACE Basin and North Inlet-Winyah Bay research reserves. The system also logs how long each temperature drop lasts. “Winter kills” are a serious threat to local and regional Spotted Seatrout. The cold-stun alert can help fishery managers act to save fish populations by temporarily cutting their catch quotas or asking recreational fishermen to “catch and release” for a limited time. For example, a 2018 winter kill along Virginia’s coast motivated North Carolina’s Division of Marine Fisheries to enact an emergency season closure through June 15, which allowed surviving seatrout to spawn in springtime.

Spotted Seatrout is an important cash crop for commercial fisheries. In 2017, North Carolina’s Division of Marine Fisheries reported commercial landings of nearly 300,000 pounds of this species. The Virginia research reserve hopes to expand the alert system to the Gulf of Mexico and other areas along the Southeast and Gulf of Mexico coasts. (2018)