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NSWC Dahlgren Division Scientist Awarded for Impact on the Environment

By NSWC Dahlgren Corporate Communications | July 7, 2020

DAHLGREN, Va. – A Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Environmental Program manager won the Helen Springer Award, the command announced July 7.

Bethany Brown is one of 90 individuals and 39 teams honored with various awards and featured in a special NSWCDD Honor Awards video program to be released later this month.

“I’m very honored to be receiving the award,” said Brown, a scientist who is recognized for her leadership in an effort to implement in-house sampling of soils, surface water, and groundwater. “We could not have done this without the support of management who could see how it would benefit the Warfare Center. This would not have be possible without the hard work of the entire environmental team who were not afraid to try something new. I am so lucky to work with a group of people who are so dedicated to their jobs.”

The Helen Springer Award is presented to individuals who delivered significant benefit to business operations at NSWCDD with command-wide impact.

“The transition away from contracted sampling resulted in a cost avoidance of approximately $250,000,” according to the award citation. “Additionally, this initiative freed up valuable range time allowing operations to proceed with minimal delays.”

The initiative began when Brown and her colleagues at the NSWCDD Environmental Branch planned to give the command’s Gun and Electric Weapon Systems Department and those who utilize the ranges at the Explosives Experimental Area for testing, some more flexibility while taking up less range time. 

“We decided that if we conducted sampling in-house, we would not only save a lot of money but we’d have a lot more flexibility with the whole process,” said Brown. “We’re now in our fifth or sixth year of conducting the sampling ourselves and it’s going great. We’ve gone from tying up the range from a week at a time, to as little as two days, saved a lot of money, and had more control over any issues that arise. It has definitely been a positive experience.”

The award is named in honor of Helen Springer, a former NSWCDD Deputy Human Resources director who was instrumental in transforming business operations at Dahlgren from a paper-based system to an electronic environment.

NSWC Dahlgren Division's mission to the Navy and warfighter focuses on research, development, test and evaluation, analysis, systems engineering, integration and certification of complex naval warfare systems related to surface warfare, strategic systems, combat and weapons systems associated with surface warfare. The command also provides system integration and certification for weapons, combat systems and warfare systems.

The NSWCDD Honorary Awards video program to be published on the command’s YouTube page will feature congratulatory remarks to awardees and their families by NSWCDD Commanding Officer Capt. Casey Plew, NSWCDD Technical Director John Fiore, and U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman. Check the NSWCDD website for updates: https://www.navsea.navy.mil/Home/Warfare-Centers/NSWC-Dahlgren/.