Holm Award Winner Ruth K. Robertson

Ruth Robertson of Mellette, South Dakota was recently awarded the John Campanius Holm Award in a ceremony held at the National Weather Service Office in Aberdeen. The Holm Award is granted each year to a maximum of 25 volunteer weather observers to honor them for outstanding accomplishments in the field of cooperative observing. The award was named for a Lutheran minister who was the first person known to have taken systematic weather observations in the American Colonies. Today, the core of volunteers that makeup the Cooperative Observing Program (COOP) number nearly 12,000 strong. Each of the 121 Weather Service offices worldwide, may nominate at least one observer who then competes for the prestigious award.

A native of Montana, Ruth was born in the Bitter Root Valley in Polson, but spent most of her formative years in Spokane, Washington. While attending college in Montana, Ruth met Duncan Robertson who would later become her husband. Lucky for us, Duncan brought Ruth back to his hometown of Mellette, South Dakota where they currently make their home.

Ruth began taking observers for the Weather Service back in 1974 and for nearly 26 years, she braved blinding snowstorms, torrential rains, sub-zero temperatures, and extreme winds to provide accurate, timely, and comprehensive observations on a daily basis. During this period, Ruth amassed a 25 year uninterrupted record of weather data.

In addition to her hard work as a COOP observer, Ruth has played an important role in our SkyWarn Program as a severe storm spotter. Her "eye to the sky" coupled with her diligent monitoring of Weather Radio has significantly contributed to the accuracy of forecasts and the protection of life and property of the great people of South Dakota.

Along with the praise and gratitude of the National Weather Service, Ruth also received letters of support and congratulations from Senators Daschle and Johnson, and Congressman Thune. Governor Janklow was so impressed with Ruth's accomplishments, he issued an Executive Proclamation proclaiming December 1, 2000 as "Ruth Robertson Day" in South Dakota.

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