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Congratulations to the 2023 Class of Sustainability, Energy, and Environmental (SEE) Ambassadors!

Pictured above: The 2023 Class of SEE Ambassadors.

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 2023 Class of SEE Ambassadors:


  • Yvonna Gibbs: For her commitment to improving the sustainability of Census facilities by participating in the Department of Commerce Green Contracting team and leading an effort to acquire electric vehicles and charging stations at Census National Processing Center. Ms. Gibbs also attended the most recent Energy Exchange conference and uses what she learned to identify and champion sustainability opportunities at multiple Census offices.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Amanda Dwyer: For her hard work to reduce waste, promote reuse, and affect sustainable behavior across the National Ocean Service (NOS). As the lead for the NOS Zero Waste Team, Ms. Dwyer spearheads the creation of annual action plans and supports their implementation; notable accomplishments have included launching an office supplies donation pilot program; conducting a week-long waste assessment; and distributing 48 zero waste kits to support waste reduction at workshops and events.
  • Allison Ferreira: For her dedication to improving sustainability as Chair of the environmental committee at the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO). In this role, Ms. Ferreira coordinated a composting operation at the facility; organized TerraCycle collection bins to recycle office supplies; spearheaded the reduction of plastic by stocking kitchens with reusable supplies; worked with facilities to reduce unnecessary lighting; and created a resource to provide sustainability tips and education to GARFO staff.
  • John May: For taking initiative to investigate, develop, and implement the use of digital maps and mobile apps to eliminate the need to print materials before, during, and after global navigation satellite system (GNSS) surveys. Mr. May, a cartographer at the Nation Geodetic Survey Field Operations Branch, provided field observers with the ability to find and document survey field work electronically, saving an estimated 13,000 pages of paper across 1,100 GNSS observations.
  • Kristen Schepel: For her dedicated work while serving in a climate innovation capacity during an employee exchange program with USPTO, which infused new knowledge into both agencies. In this role, Ms. Schepel went above and beyond to significantly advance climate policy goals; strengthen the mutual knowledge and partnership between NOAA and USPTO; and support the Department of Commerce strategic priorities to address climate change and advance innovation.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

  • Parikha Mehta: For her thorough work during a detail to NOAA, during which she explored perceptions and attitudes towards intellectual property among NOAA research scientists and fostered greater collaboration across USPTO and NOAA. As a result of her research, NOAA can customize its internal intellectual property processes to better encourage innovation and transfer of environmental technologies into use.
  • Tiffany Spina: For her leadership in reinventing the annual USPTO Green Fair to be inclusive of the growing telework population while still providing in-person connection and demonstrations for which the USPTO Green Fair is renowned. Ms. Spina created the first-ever hybrid Green Fair, which offered both live stream and in-person capabilities as well as a SharePoint page hosting additional educational content to encourage a climate conscious workforce.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

  • John Palmer: For his remarkable efforts to improve energy efficiency as NIST’s first full-time energy manager. Mr. Palmer has become an active participant in the Department of Energy Smart Labs program; revised design and construction standards to account for energy efficiency best practices; partnered with the National Renewable Energy Lab to comprehensively study and identify renewable energy measures the NIST Boulder campus; and identified numerous issues in order optimize building energy performance.