Special Recognition Award

The Special Recognition Award is intended to highlight and honor the outstanding contributions of individuals and institutions that have supported and advanced the professions of meteorology, flood hydrology, and flood risk management. These professions share the public safety goal of protecting life and property from the ravages of flooding. Together these professionals provide the tools, information, and knowledge essential for forecasting flood events before they occur, estimating potential flood magnitudes and impacts used in designing flood risk reduction projects, and responding to floods when they occur. Each honoree contributed to making the people of California safer from flood events over their many years of service.

The idea for the Special Recognition Award came from the staff of the California-Nevada River Forecast Center (RFC) in Sacramento. They wanted to recognize and honor J. Owen Rhea for his life's work of developing quantitative precipitation forecasting tools for mountainous regions, like the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains. Owen retired in 2000 from the RFC and continued to work part-time to help with precipitation forecasting until 2004.