Federal 100 winner: Eric Hackathorn

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.

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Reader comments

Tue, Mar 24, 2009 Eric Hackathorn Colorado

While I would love to take full credit for all things virtual world in government there literally is a cast of thousands. The virtual continent mentioned above is "SciLands" (http://www.scilands.org/). While I play a part in what SciLands has become, kudos should go to the community whose creativity has inspired a variety of agencies to join the community.

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