Murkowski Raises Alaskan Priorities with NOAA Administrator

Former Astronaut Gives Senator Picture of Alaska Taken from Outer Space

Senator Lisa Murkowski met with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration head Dr. Kathy Sullivan for the first time since Sullivan was confirmed by the Senate earlier this month. Murkowski took this opportunity to run Dr. Sullivan through a line-up of Alaskan concerns including the Chinese Shellfish ban, electronic monitoring on small fishing boats and the potential of radiation from the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami entering Alaska waters.

“I was glad I had the chance to raise concerns that are on Alaskans minds with Dr. Sullivan – who is in the key position to take action and address issues that affect many Alaskans,” said Murkowski.  “NOAA decision makers impact Alaskans in a variety of ways, and I look forward to continuing to work with her and her agency to assure Alaskans’ interests are protected.”

Dr. Sullivan also is an astronaut, and became the first American woman to walk in space in 1984.  She brought Senator Murkowski a picture of Alaska that she had taken during her mission aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis and spoke of her hopes for a productive partnership with Murkowski during her time running NOAA.

(Senator Murkowski with Dr. Sullivan holding a photograph of Alaska that Sullivan took while an astronaut on the Atlantis 22 years ago.)