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Congratulations to the 2022 Class of Sustainability, Energy, and Environmental (SEE) Ambassadors!

First row: Dominica Zhu, Census; Erica Dintaman, NOAA; Commander Lecia Salerno, NOAA; Dr. Derek Manzello, NOAA; Dr. Matthew Lauretta, NOAA; LTJG Luke Evancoe, NOAA. Second row: Chris Doninger, USPTO; Greg Gabel, USPTO; Adam Yuhas, NIST; Avi Gopstein, NIST; Benjamin Bullock, NIST; David Yashar, NIST; Dawn Carroll-Amin, NIST. Third row: George Tehan, NIST; Phillip Neuberg, NIST; Saul Roberts, NIST; Susan Cantilli, NIST; Wayne Appenzellar, NIST; Andrew Daniels, NIST. Not pictured: Bernard Brusko, NIST; Philip Kaiser, NIST.

The Sustainability, Energy, and Environmental (SEE) Ambassadors program recognizes individual Departmental employees for their outstanding performance in implementing exceptional cost-saving projects and/or programs that help improve the Department’s sustainability, energy and water efficiency, climate change adaptation, resilience, and environmental performance. On behalf of the Department’s Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer, the Office of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Programs is proud to announce the Department of Commerce 2022 Class of SEE Ambassadors:


  • Dominica Zhu: For her thoughtful leadership in supporting the creation and execution of The Opportunity Project’s Natural Environment Sprint, which engages dozens of public and private stakeholders to address federally recommended priorities around reducing ocean plastic pollution, increasing awareness of transportation emissions’ effect on air quality, and developing markets for recycled materials. Ms. Zhu has made it her mission to ensure indigenous voices are prioritized regarding climate-related issues as their traditional ecological knowledge is crucial to biodiversity and ecosystem protection.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Erica Dintaman: For her exceptional leadership on climate issues, including her vision, organization, and leadership in bringing together experts from every NOAA line office for NOAA’s Climate-Ready Nation initiative, creating a cohesive, inclusive vision to deliver NOAA's climate data and services to the nation.
  • Commander Lecia Salerno: For her commitment to pursuing several changes onboard NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson to improve the vessel's sustainability, including implementing a more sustainable food waste disposal solution alongside the Deck and Stewards department; supporting the ship in using a composting company to minimize waste sent to landfill; and leading an initiative to switch to compostable cups, prep gloves, and food waste bags.
  • Dr. Derek Manzello: For demonstrating significant scientific expertise and organizational excellence on behalf of NOAA through his leadership of NOAA's Coral Reef Watch, a free online tool that provides a global analysis of sea surface temperature and outlooks to identify coral reefs that are at risk of bleaching.
  • Dr. Matthew Lauretta: For his excellence in explaining complex concepts regarding the intersection of fishery science and management to U.S. stakeholders, particularly commercial and recreational fishermen, strengthening their understanding of Atlantic bluefin tuna stock assessments and implications. 
  • LTJG Luke Evancoe: For his leadership and commitment to facilitating environmental stewardship, including assisting with the three-day cleaning of NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette prior to the ship sailing into the protected waters of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument; cleaning the ship’s hull is critical to protecting the biosecurity, sustainability, and environmental management of the islands.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

  • Chris Doninger: For leading the effort to eliminate the printed Trademark registration certificate and transition it to an electronic format, working tirelessly to shepherd the project from concept to reality and devise a solution that worked for Trademark customers and stakeholders.
  • Greg Gabel: For his technical acumen and persistence in conducting several technical proofs of concept to support the development of the new digitally signed electronic Trademark registration certificate and demonstrate its feasibility.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

  • Adam Yuhas: For overseeing the replacement of the roofs on two NIST Gaithersburg lab buildings—representing a combined 90,000 square feet at a cost of $2.6M—while improving the sustainability and extending the life of these two mission-critical research facilities.

The following individuals, for their commendable work collaborating with an architecture and engineering firm to develop documents that will be used as the basis to construct new research laboratory, office, and warehouse buildings. These individuals embrace sustainability and the spirit of Executive Order 14057 to the maximum extent possible as they pursue Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for all new construction and total modernization projects:

  • Avi Gopstein
  • Benjamin Bullock
  • David Yashar
  • Dawn Carroll-Amin
  • George Tehan
  • Phillip Neuberg
  • Saul Roberts
  • Susan Cantilli
  • Wayne Appenzellar

The following individuals, for their daily commitment to providing active oversight of the NIST Gaithersburg Central Utility Plant (CUP) to optimize operations, improving energy efficiency, and maximizing NIST’s energy dollars:

  • Andrew Daniels
  • Bernard Brusko
  • Philip Kaiser