National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

James B. Price presented the Benjamin Franklin Award

Mr. Price receiving the Benjamin Franklin Award from NWS Birmingham's Meteorologist-In-Charge Jim Stefkovich
Mr. Price receiving the Benjamin Franklin Award from
NWS Birmingham's Meteorologist-In-Charge, Jim Stefkovich

Officials from the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Birmingham presented James B. Price of Pinson (Jefferson County) with the Benjamin Franklin Award on February 9, 2006. This award is given to a cooperative observer completing 55 years of service. Mr. Price has provided the NWS Birmingham office with weather data for nearly 21,000 consecutive days and has never missed a day! This was the first Benjamin Franklin Award given to an Alabamian in over 11 years.

Dave Wilfing, Data Acquisition Program Manager (DAPM) at NWS Birmingham states, “James Price is truly unique among all Americans and stands out among the 11,000 cooperative observers nationwide.” Mr. Price has also been recognized by National Weather Service Director D.L. Johnson, Alabama Congressman Spencer Bachus, and Alabama Governor Bob Riley for his dedication and accomplishments.


Mr. Price has also received the following recognitions:

The John Campanius Holm Award, which is granted each year to a maximum of 25 cooperative observers for outstanding accomplishments in the field of cooperative observations. The award was named for a Lutheran minister who was the first person known to have taken systematic weather observations in the American colonies in 1644 and 1645.

The Thomas Jefferson Award, the highest and most prestigious award bestowed on Cooperative Weather Observers. It is named for our third President, who kept an almost unbroken series of weather records from 1776 to 1816. This award is given to very few observers each year, usually not more than five, for outstanding and unusual achievements. All candidates for the Jefferson Award must have received the Holm Award in the past and allow five years to pass after receiving the Holm Award before observers are eligible for the Jefferson Award.

Benjamin Franklin is best known for the lightning and kite incident, but few people know that he was also the first person to track a storm moving up the East Coast. As U.S. Postmaster, he instructed other postmasters along the eastern seaboard to record the weather, and the compilation of these records showed storm movement.


Cooperative Observer Basics