Federal 100 winner: Eric Hackathorn
Information Technology Specialist
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Hackathorn proved that virtual-world technology can have practical applications in making public data more accessible.
Hackathorn built the agency’s presence in virtual worlds by creating its Meteora Island in Second Life. Now NOAA is able to globally broadcast its work on predicting hurricanes, protecting coral reefs and modeling tsunamis.
“NOAA now has recognition across the globe as a strong scientific organization,” said William Bendel, chief of NOAA’s Technology Outreach Branch. “Many young adults — and others — have never heard of NOAA.… Eric was able to promote our mission and to show the value of NOAA’s science and research on a global basis.”
Hackathorn has since established a virtual continent for many federal agencies, including the Defense Department, the Energy Department, NASA and the National Institutes of Health.