Scientist, Educator & Community Activist

Evan B. Forde has been an oceanographer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) in Miami, Florida for 37 years. He received his early education in the public school system of Miami, Florida. He has a Bachelor's degree in Geology (Oceanography Specialty) and a Master's Degree in Marine Geology and Geophysics from Columbia University in the City of New York.

Forde was the African American scientist to participate in research dives aboard a submersible, and he has completed successful dive expeditions in several submarine canyons utilizing 3 of these mini-submarines. Evan has conducted scientific research in a number of oceanographic and meteorological disciplines. His current research includes using satellite sensors to observe and analyze atmospheric conditions related to hurricane formation and intensification. Forde has been a versatile pioneer in scientific research and remains one of only a handful of black oceanographers in the United States.

Evan has also worked extensively in the area of science education. He personally developed and taught graduate level courses on Tropical Meteorology for the University of Miami's INSTAR program for seven years (graduate teachers from his course teach an estimated 15,000 students per year). He also created and teaches an oceanography course for middle school students in South Florida called Oceanographic Curriculum Empowering Achievement in Natural Sciences (OCEANS) that has been featured in nationally distributed periodicals. Forde authored the "Science Corner" in Ebony Jr. magazine for three years, and created a Severe Weather Poster for NOAA that was distributed nationally to 50,000 teachers and is seen daily by an estimated 8,000,000 students per day. He has spoken to nearly 40,000 Miami-Dade students during career days and other school presentations. Additionally, Forde was appointed to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) 2010 Committee of Visitors to review its Geoscience Education and Diversity portfolio programs and proposals for 2007-2010. He has also been the subject of 3 museum exhibits, including the Great Explorations section of the Staten Island Children's Museum, and he has been featured in a numerous periodical articles, science text books as well as many other books and publications on prominent African American scientists.

Forde has also served as a PTA President, Scoutmaster, youth basketball coach, Sunday School and youth church teacher, church webmaster, neighborhood Crime Watch chairman and in numerous other roles that have fostered youth and improved his community. He has a host of career and community awards that include being named NOAA’s Environmental Research Laboratories EEO Outstanding Employee, South Florida’s Federal Employee of the Year (in the Service to the Community category), a Congressional Commendation, NOAA Research Employee of the Year and in 2009 he had days named in his honor by both the City of North Miami and Miami-Dade County, Florida. In 2010, the Miami-Dade County School Board issued a proclamation honoring Evan’s contributions to the students citing his ongoing efforts to enhance public education throughout the community. Forde was recently named as the recipient of the NOAA Administrator (Under Secretary of Commerce) Administrator Award for 2011 for "...his outstanding communication of NOAA science, sharing the joy of science with students, and helping to foster a science-literate society".