There are several different types of awards that are given to Cooperative Program Observers by the National Weather Service. Many are awarded based on Length of Service (LOS), while some are awarded based on individual merit. Below is a description of the different awards which COOP observers are eligible to receive.
Thomas Jefferson Award
In 1959, the Thomas Jefferson Award was created to honor cooperative weather observers for unusual and outstanding achievements in the field of meteorological observations. This is the highest award that an observer can receive. To be eligible to receive the Jefferson Award, an observer must have received the Holm Award at least five years prior, and must still be performing his or her duties in an outstanding manner. No more than five Jefferson Awards are given out each year.
John Campanius Holm Award
Created in 1959, the Holm Award gives recognition to cooperative weather observers for their outstanding accomplishments in the field of meteorological observations. The award is named for John Campanius Holm, a Lutheran Minister. He was the first known person to have taken weather observations in the American Colonies. No more then twenty-five Holm Awards are given each year.
Earl Stewart Award
This award, named after a cooperative weather observer named Earl Stewart in Cottage Grove, OR, is given to observers who complete 75 years of continuous observations.
Ruby Stifft Award
Mrs. Ruby Stifft, from Elsmere, NE, was the first female observers to complete 70 years worth of continuous observations. This award is named after her, and given to cooperative weather observers who amass 70 years of continuous observations.
Albert J Meyer Award
Appointed by congress in 1870 to create the "Division of Telegrams and Reports for the Benefit of Commerce," Albert J. Meyer was the architect of what became the National Weather Service. This award is given to cooperative weather observers who establish continuous observations for 65 years.
Helmut E Landsberg Award
Dr. Helmut Landsberg was a renowned climatologist and Director of the National Weather Service Climatology Program for a number of years until 1973, when it was abolished. This award, created in 1986, is given to observers who complete 60 years of continuous observations.
Edward H Stoll Award
Mr. Edward H. Stoll was an observers at Elwood, NE for over 76 years and was the first to receive the Stoll Award, which was created in 1975. In honor of his accomplishment, the "Dean of Weather Observers" was flown to Washington, D.C. where he met then United States President Jimmy Carter. The Stoll Award is given to observers who complete 50 years of continuous weather observations.
There are several additional awards that cooperative weather observers may receive besides those already mentioned. Length of Service Emblems and Letters may be given for every five years of service, beginning at ten years. Length of Service Certificates may also be awarded every five years, through fifty years. The ten and fifteen year certificates are bronze, twenty and twenty-five year certificates are silver, and the thirty plus year certificates are gold. Observers who provide service for sixty years will receive a letter signed by the President of the United States, in addition to the Landsberg Award. Letters signed by the Director of the National Weather Service are sent to observers who compile forty and fifty years worth of service.
40 Years - Gilbert Tews - New Ulm, MN (1965). Awarded April 15, 2005. Picture - Gilbert Tews (observer), Craig Edwards (MPX MIC) and Steve Buan (MPX SH)
25 Years - Rick Lohmann - Zumbrota, MN (1980). Awarded April 8, 2005. Picture - Rick Lohmann (observer) and Steve Buan (MPX SH)
20 Years - Richard Holen - St. Francis, MN (1985). Awarded September 7, 2005. Picture - Richard Holen (observer) and Craig Edwards (MPX MIC)
20 Years - Bob Grunseth - Big Falls Hydro, WI (1985). Awarded September 28, 2005. Picture - Bob Grunseth (observer) and Craig Edwards (MPX MIC)
10 Years - Dennis Vonderharr - Madison, MN (1995). Awarded April 1, 2005. Picture - Dennis Vonderharr (observer) and Steve Buan (MPX SH)
10 Years - George Nelson - University of Minnesota, Morris Experimental Farm (1995). Awarded August 17, 2005. Picture - George Nelson (observer) and Craig Edwards (MPX MIC)
40 Years - Kenneth H. Freie - Long Prairie MN (1974) Awarded July 28, 2004. Picture - Craig Edwards (MPX MIC) and Kenneth Freie (observer).
40 Years - Richard Feser - Springfield, MN (1964). Awarded October 12, 2004 at the Kuehnast Lecture Hall on the University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus. Picture - Gary McDevitt (retired MPX SH), Steve Buan (MPX SH), Richard Feser (observer) and Craig Edwards (MPX MIC)
100 Years - Robert Richards - Stanley, WI (1903) - Awarded September 1, 2003. Picture - Craig Edwards (MPX MIC), Dave Jankoski (Mayor of Stanley), and Robert Richards (observer).
55 Years - Darold Snortum - Canby MN (1948) - Awarded July 14, 2003. Picture 1 - Mr. Snortum & Jim Kline, Data and Acquisitions Program Manager. Picture 2 - Mr. Snortum & Craig Edwards, Meteorologist-In-Charge
50 Years - St. James Waste Water Department - St. James, MN (1953)
40 Years - William Bengtson - Little Falls, MN (1963)
35 Years - Arleigh Jeseritz - Granite Falls, MN (1968)
35 Years - Steven Reckers - New Hope, MN (1968)
25 Years - Milo H. Born - Chaska, MN (1978)
25 Years - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - Ladysmith, WI (1978)
20 Years - Donna kassela - Weyerhauser, WI (1983)
20 Years - Tim Matheisen - Benson, MN (1983)
15 Years - Scott Hines - Ellsworth 1E, WI (1988)
15 Years - Kathy & Robert Jorgenson - Wild River State Park, WI (1988)
15 Years - Gary Newton - Baldwin, WI (1988)
10 Years - James Krochler - Henderson, MN (1993)
10 Years - Jim Ohnstad - Hutchinson, MN (1993)
10 Years - Mark Strizic - Jim Falls, WI (1993)
20 Years - Irving L. Hessel - Rockford, MN (1982)
20 Years - Richard J. Koziel Jr. - Fall Creek 3N, WI (1982)
20 Years - Donald & Jodie Link - Ridgeland 1NNE, WI (1982)
20 Years - John E. Morris - Glenwood 2WNW, MN (1982)
20 Years - Luther T. Opjorden - Milan 1NW, MN (1982)
10 Years - Lon Berberich - Henderson, MN (1992)
10 Years - Pete Maiers - Stewart, MN (1992)
10 Years - Norman Skabroud - Sheldon, WI (1992)
10 Years - Marjorie Slavicek - Jordan 1S, MN (1992)
25 Years - Father Melchior Freund - Collegeville, MN (1976)
15 Years - Ronald Cox - Cedar, MN (1986)
15 Years - Marlys & Richard Hjort - Forest Lake 5NE, MN (1986)
15 Years - Kenneth A. Kotval - Vesta, MN (1986)
10 Years - Vera Hahn - Gaylord, MN (1991)
10 Years - Steven C. Lenhart - Lower St. Anthony, MN (1991)
10 Years - Mike Meindel - Bloomer, WI (1991)
10 Years - Michael Quady - Buffalo, MN (1991)