In 2004, NOAA reduced the funds available to data rescue and digitization activities and Richard Crouthamel realized that rescuing critical climate data was in peril.
In 2005, Dr. Richard Crouthamel founded IEDRO, a U.S. based 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization, after retiring from the NOAA NWS IAO, to ensure data rescue and digitization of historical climate data funded through charitable contributions, grants and government awards. Today, IEDRO is a major player in the international climate services field specializing in climate data rescue and digitization, working closely with the World Meteorological Organization, NOAA, and the Natinoal Weather Services of developing countries.
In 2000, Dr. Sharon E. Nicholson, Distinguished Research Profession of Meteorology, Florida State University, approached the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service’s International Activities Office (IAO) to locate and rescue historic climate data in Africa. IAO’s Chief, Dr. Martin Yerg, provided the initial funding for the effort through U.S. donations to the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization’s Voluntary Cooperation Programme (VCP). Shortly thereafter, Dr. Richard I. Crouthamel, D.Sc., assumed managing the project. Focusing on six African countries: Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, and Zambia, each were provided data rescue (DARE) equipment consisting of computers, digital cameras, copy stands, and software. The Data Rescue (DARE) Team consisting of Larry Nicodemus, NOAA and Mark Seiderman, NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), Dr. Wassila Thiaw, NOAA’s Center Prediction Center (CPC), and Ken Clark, IAO, traveled to each country, installing computers and instructing the staff from each National Meteorological Service on data rescue and imaging. These countries continue imaging and sending their climate data to NOAA for digitization.