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Logo of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Flag of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
|Formed||February 10, 1807|
October 3, 1970
|Jurisdiction||US Federal Government|
|Headquarters|| Silver Spring, Maryland, US|
|Annual budget||US$5.6 billion (est. 2011)|
|Parent agency||US Department of Commerce|
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, // like Noah ) is an American scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce that focuses on the conditions of the oceans, major waterways, and the atmosphere.
NOAA warns of dangerous weather, charts seas, guides the use and protection of ocean and coastal resources, and conducts research to provide understanding and improve stewardship of the environment.
NOAA was officially formed in 1970and in 2017 had over 11,000 civilian employees. Its research and operations are further supported by 321 uniformed service members who make up the NOAA Commissioned Corps.
Since February 2019, NOAA has been headed by Neil Jacobs, as acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA interim administrator. NOAA has not had a confirmed leader since January 2017.
NOAA's specific roles include:
The five "fundamental activities" are:
NOAA traces its history back to multiple agencies,some of which were among the oldest in the federal government:
Another direct predecessor of NOAA was the Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA), into which several existing scientific agencies such as the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, the Weather Bureau and the uniformed Corps were absorbed in 1965.
NOAA was established within the Department of Commerce via the Reorganization Plan No. 4 [ citation needed ] NOAA is a part of the Department of Commerce rather than the Department of Interior because of a feud between President Nixon and his interior secretary, Wally Hickel, over the Nixon Administration's Vietnam War policy. Nixon did not like Hickel's letter urging Nixon to listen to the Vietnam War demonstrators, and thus punished Hickel by not putting NOAA in the Interior Department.and formed on October 3, 1970 after U.S. President Richard Nixon proposed creating a new agency to serve a national need for "better protection of life and property from natural hazards …for a better understanding of the total environment…[and] for exploration and development leading to the intelligent use of our marine resources."
In 2007, NOAA celebrated 200 years of service in its role as successor to the United States Survey of the Coast.In 2013, NOAA closed 600 weather stations.
Since February 25, 2019, Neil Jacobs, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction, has served as acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere at the US Department of Commerce and NOAA's interim administrator.
Jacobs succeeded Timothy Gallaudet who succeeded Benjamin Friedman. The three have served in series as NOAA's interim administrator since the end of the Obama Administration on January 20, 2017. In October 2017, Barry Lee Myers, CEO of AccuWeather, was proposed to be the agency's administrator by the Trump Administration. After two years in the nomination process, on November 21, 2019, Myers withdrew his name from consideration due to health concerns.
NOAA works toward its mission through six major line offices, the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the National Ocean Service (NOS), the National Weather Service (NWS), the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) and the Office of Marine & Aviation Operations (OMAO).and in addition more than a dozen staff offices, including the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorology, the NOAA Central Library, the Office of Program Planning and Integration (PPI).
The National Weather Service (NWS) is tasked with providing "weather, hydrologic and climate forecasts and warnings for the United States, its territories, adjacent waters and ocean areas, for the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the national economy."This is done through a collection of national and regional centers, 13 river forecast centers (RFCs), and more than 120 local weather forecast offices (WFOs). They are charged with issuing weather and river forecasts, advisories, watches, and warnings on a daily basis. They issue more than 734,000 weather and 850,000 river forecasts, and more than 45,000 severe weather warnings annually. NOAA data is also relevant to the issues of global warming and ozone depletion.
The NWS operates NEXRAD, a nationwide network of Doppler weather radars which can detect precipitation and their velocities. Many of their products are broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio, a network of radio transmitters that broadcasts weather forecasts, severe weather statements, watches and warnings 24 hours a day.
The National Ocean Service (NOS) focuses on ensuring that ocean and coastal areas are safe, healthy, and productive. NOS scientists, natural resource managers, and specialists serve America by ensuring safe and efficient marine transportation, promoting innovative solutions to protect coastal communities, and conserving marine and coastal places.[ citation needed ]
The National Ocean Service is composed of eight program offices: the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services,the Coastal Services Center, the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, the Office of Coast Survey, the Office of National Geodetic Survey, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management and the Office of Response and Restoration.
There are two NOS programs, namely the Mussel Watch Contaminant Monitoring Program and the NOAA Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) and two staff offices, the International Program Office and the Management and Budget Office.
The National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) was created by NOAA to operate and manage the US environmental satellite programs, and manage NWS data and those of other government agencies and departments.[ citation needed ] NESDIS's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) archives data collected by the NOAA, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, the Federal Aviation Administration, and meteorological services around the world and comprises the Center for Weather and Climate (previously NOAA's National Climatic Data Center) and the Center for Coasts, Oceans, and Geophysics (created by a merger of NOAA's National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC), National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) and the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC)).
In 1960, TIROS-1, NOAA's first owned and operated geostationary satellite was launched. Since 1966 NESDIS has managed polar orbiting satellites (POES) and since 1974 it has operated geosynchronous satellites (GOES) . In 1979 NOAA's first polar-orbiting environmental satellite was launched. Current operational satellites include NOAA-15, NOAA-18, NOAA-19, GOES 13, GOES 14, GOES 15, Jason-2 and DSCOVR. In 1983, NOAA assumed operational responsibility for Landsat satellite system.
Since May 1998, NESIDS has operated the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) satellites on behalf of the Air Force Weather Agency.
New generations of satellites are developed to succeed the current polar orbiting and geosynchronous satellites, the Joint Polar Satellite System) and GOES-R, which is scheduled for launch in March 2017.
NESDIS runs the Office of Projects, Planning, and Analysis (OPPA)] formerly the Office of Systems Development,the Office of Satellite Ground Systems (formerly the Office of Satellite Operations) the Office of Satellite and Project Operations, the Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR)], the Joint Polar Satellite System Program Office the GOES-R Program Office, the International & Interagency Affairs Office, the Office of Space Commercialization and the Office of System Architecture and Advanced Planning.
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), also known as NOAA Fisheries, was initiated in 1871 with a primary goal of the research, protection, management, and restoration of commercial and recreational fisheries and their habitat, and protected species. NMFS operates twelve headquarters offices, five regional offices, six fisheries science centers, and more than 20 laboratories throughout the United States and U.S. territories, which are the sites of research and management of marine resources. NMFS also operates the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement in Silver Spring, Maryland, which is the primary site of marine resource law enforcement.
NOAA's research, conducted through the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), is the driving force behind NOAA environmental products and services that protect life and property and promote economic growth. Research, conducted in OAR laboratories and by extramural programs, focuses on enhancing our understanding of environmental phenomena such as tornadoes, hurricanes, climate variability, solar flares, changes in the ozone, air pollution transport and dispersion,El Niño/La Niña events, fisheries productivity, ocean currents, deep sea thermal vents, and coastal ecosystem health. NOAA research also develops innovative technologies and observing systems.
The NOAA Research network consists of seven internal research laboratories, extramural research at 30 Sea Grant university and research programs, six undersea research centers, a research grants program through the Climate Program Office, and 13 cooperative institutes with academia. Through NOAA and its academic partners, thousands of scientists, engineers, technicians, and graduate students participate in furthering our knowledge of natural phenomena that affect the lives of us all. [ citation needed ]
The Air Resources Laboratory (ARL) is one of the laboratories in the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. It studies processes and develops models relating to climate and air quality, including the transport, dispersion, transformation and removal of pollutants from the ambient atmosphere. The emphasis of the ARL's work is on data interpretation, technology development and transfer. The specific goal of ARL research is to improve and eventually to institutionalize prediction of trends, dispersion of air pollutant plumes, air quality, atmospheric deposition, and related variables. [ self-published source ][ citation needed ]
The Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), is part of NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, located in Miami, Florida. AOML's research spans hurricanes, coastal ecosystems, oceans and human health, climate studies, global carbon systems, and ocean observations. AOML's organizational structure consists of an Office of the Director and three scientific research divisions (Physical Oceanography, Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems, and Hurricane Research). The Office of the Director oversees the Laboratory's scientific programs, as well as its financial, administrative, computer, outreach/education, and facility management services. Research programs are augmented by the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS), a joint enterprise with the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. CIMAS enables AOML and university scientists to collaborate on research areas of mutual interest and facilitates the participation of students and visiting scientists. AOML is a member of a unique community of marine research and educational institutions located on Virginia Key in Miami, Florida.[ citation needed ]
In 1977, the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) deployed the first successful moored equatorial current meter – the beginning of the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean, TAO, array. In 1984, the Tropical Ocean-Global Atmosphere program (TOGA) program began.
The Office of Marine and Aviation Operations is responsible for the fleet of NOAA ships, aircraft, and diving operations. It has the largest research fleet of the Federal government. Its personnel is made up of civilians and the NOAA Commissioned Corps.The office is headed by a NOAA Corps two-star rear admiral, who also commands the Corps.
The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) is the primary surveying organization in the United States.[ citation needed ]
The National Integrated Drought Information System is a program within NOAA with an interagency mandate to coordinate and integrate drought research, building upon existing federal, tribal, state, and local partnerships in support of creating a national drought early warning information system.
The NOAA Commissioned Corps is a uniformed service of men and women who operate NOAA ships and aircraft, and serve in scientific and administrative posts.
Since 2001, the organization has hosted the senior staff and recent chair, Susan Solomon, of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's working group on climate science.
Hurricane Dorian was an extremely powerful and destructive tropical cyclone that devastated the northwestern Bahamas and caused significant damage to the Southeastern United States and Atlantic Canada in September 2019. By September 1, NOAA had issued a statement saying that the "current forecast path of Dorian does not include Alabama." However, on that date President Donald Trump tweeted that Alabama, among other states, "will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated." Shortly thereafter, the Birmingham, Alabama office of the National Weather Service issued a tweet that appeared to contradict Trump, saying that Alabama "will NOT see any impacts from Dorian" On September 6, NOAA published a statement from an unidentified spokesperson supporting Trump's September 1 claim. The statement also labelled the Birmingham, Alabama branch of the National Weather Service's contradiction of Trump as incorrect.The New York Times reported that the NOAA September 6 statement was prompted by a threat from U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to fire high-level NOAA staff unless they supported President Trump's claim. The Department of Commerce described this report as "false". Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported that NOAA had twice ordered National Weather Service employees not to provide "any opinion" on Hurricane Dorian and to "only stick with official National Hurricane Center forecasts". The first order came after Trump's September 1 comments and the Birmingham, Alabama National Weather Service's contradiction of Trump. The second order came on September 4 after Trump displayed an August 29 map that was altered with a black marker to show that Hurricane Dorian may hit Alabama.
On September 9, speaking at an Alabama National Weather Service (NWS) meeting the Director of the National Weather Service gave a speech supporting Birmingham NWS and said the team "stopped public panic" and "ensured public safety." He said that when Birmingham issued their instructions they were not aware that the calls they were receiving were a result of Trump's tweet. The acting chief scientist and assistant administrator for ocean and atmospheric research said he is “pursuing the potential violations” of the agency's science integrity policy.
The NOAA flag is a modification of the flag of one of its predecessor organizations, the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey. The Coast and Geodetic Survey's flag, authorized in 1899 and in use until 1970, was blue, with a white circle centered in it and a red triangle centered within the circle. It symbolized the use of triangulation in surveying, and was flown by ships of the Survey.
When NOAA was established in 1970 and the Coast and Geodetic Survey's assets became a part of NOAA, NOAA based its own flag on that of the Coast and Geodetic Survey. The NOAA flag is in essence the Coast and Geodetic Survey flag, with the NOAA logo—a circle divided by the silhouette of a seabird into an upper dark blue and a lower light blue section, but with the "NOAA" legend omitted—centered within the red triangle. NOAA ships in commission display the NOAA flag; those with only one mast fly it immediately beneath the ship's commissioning pennant or the personal flag of a civilian official or flag officer if one is aboard the ship, while multimasted vessels fly it at the masthead of the forwardmost mast.NOAA ships fly the same ensign as United States Navy ships but fly the NOAA flag as a distinguishing mark to differentiate themselves from Navy ships.
The National Weather Service (NWS) is an agency of the United States federal government that is tasked with providing weather forecasts, warnings of hazardous weather, and other weather-related products to organizations and the public for the purposes of protection, safety, and general information. It is a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) branch of the Department of Commerce, and is headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, within the Washington metropolitan area. The agency was known as the United States Weather Bureau from 1890 until it adopted its current name in 1970.
The National Ocean Service (NOS), an office within the U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is responsible for preserving and enhancing the nation's coastal resources and ecosystems along 95,000 miles (153,000 km) of shoreline bordering 3,500,000 square miles (9,100,000 km2) of coastal, Great Lakes, and ocean waters. Its mission is to "provide science-based solutions through collaborative partnerships to address evolving economic, environmental, and social pressures on our oceans and coasts." NOS works closely with many partner agencies to ensure that ocean and coastal areas are safe, healthy, and productive. National Ocean Service scientists, natural resource managers, and specialists ensure safe and efficient marine transportation, promote innovative solutions to protect coastal communities, and conserve marine and coastal places. NOS is a scientific and technical organization of 1,700 scientists, natural resource managers, and specialists in many different fields. NOS delivers a dynamic range of nationwide coastal and Great Lakes scientific, technical, and resource management services in support of safe, healthy, and productive oceans and coasts. NOS develops partnerships to integrate expertise and efforts across all levels of government and with other interests to protect, maintain, and sustain the viability of coastal communities, economies and ecosystems.
The United States National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) provided scientific stewardship, products and services for geophysical data describing the solid earth, marine, and solar-terrestrial environment, as well as earth observations from space. In 2015, NGDC was merged with the National Climatic Data Center and the National Oceanographic Data Center into the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).
The National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) was one of the national environmental data centers operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The main NODC facility was located in Silver Spring, Maryland and was made up of five divisions. The NODC also had field offices collocated with major government or academic oceanographic laboratories in Stennis Space Center, MS; Miami, FL; La Jolla, San Diego, California; Seattle, WA; Austin, Texas; Charleston, South Carolina; Norfolk, Virginia; and Honolulu, Hawaii. In 2015, NODC was merged with the National Climatic Data Center and the National Geophysical Data Center into the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).
Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) is a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). OAR is also referred to as NOAA Research.
The Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), a federal research laboratory, is part of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), located in Miami, Florida. AOML's research spans tropical cyclone and hurricanes, coastal ecosystems, oceans and human health, climate studies, global carbon systems, and ocean observations. It is one of seven NOAA Research Laboratories (RLs).
The Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) is a laboratory in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR). It is one of seven NOAA Research Laboratories (RLs). The PMEL is split across two sites in the Pacific Northwest, in Seattle, Washington and Newport, Oregon.
The Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies is a research organization created in 1978 by a cooperative agreement between the University of Oklahoma and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. CIMMS promotes collaborative research between NOAA and OU scientists on problems of mutual interest to improve basic understanding of mesoscale meteorological phenomena, weather radar, and regional climate to help produce better forecasts and warnings that save lives and property. CIMMS research contributes to the NOAA mission through improvement of the observation, analysis, understanding, and prediction of weather elements and systems and climate anomalies ranging in size from cloud nuclei to multi-state areas.
The Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) is a scientific research institution at Colorado State University (CSU) that operates under a cooperative agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) and the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS). Atmospheric research at CIRA focuses on augmenting operational meteorology with advanced techniques in satellite observations and retrievals, numerical modeling and computational techniques, and data analysis, visualization, and storage. Along with NOAA, CIRA also partners with the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Park Service (NPS), and the Department of Defense (DoD).
The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) is a research institute that is sponsored jointly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) and the University of Colorado Boulder (CU). CIRES scientists study the Earth system, including the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, biosphere, and geosphere, and communicate these findings to decision makers, the scientific community, and the public.
The Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA) was a United States Federal executive agency created in 1965 as part of a reorganization of the United States Department of Commerce. Its mission was to unify and oversee the meteorological, climatological, hydrographic, and geodetic operations of the United States. It operated until 1970, when it was replaced by the new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) was created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to operate and manage the United States environmental satellite programs, and manage the data gathered by the National Weather Service and other government agencies and departments.
The Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) is a research institute where scientists study the use of data from geostationary and polar orbit weather satellites to improve forecasts of weather (including tropical cyclones and severe storms. CIMSS was formed through a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. CIMSS parent organization, the Space Science and Engineering Center is a primary developer and operator of environmental satellite technologies.
The Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, or USC(OA), is a high-ranking official in the United States Department of Commerce and the principal advisor to the United States Secretary of Commerce on the environmental and scientific activities of the Department. The Under Secretary is dual hatted as the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration within the Commerce Department.
GOES-1, designated GOES-A and SMS-C prior to entering service, was a weather satellite operated by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It was the first Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite to be launched.
The Department of Commerce Gold Medal is the highest honor award of the United States Department of Commerce. Since 1949, the Gold Medal is presented by the Secretary of Commerce for distinguished performance. The award may be presented to an individual, group, or organization in the Commerce Department for extraordinary, noble, or prestigious contributions that impact the mission of the department and/or one or more operating units, which reflects favorable on the department.
The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) is the latest generation of U.S. polar-orbiting, non-geosynchronous, environmental satellites. JPSS will provide the global environmental data used in numerical weather prediction models for forecasts, and scientific data used for climate monitoring. JPSS will aid in fulfilling the mission of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an agency of the Department of Commerce. Data and imagery obtained from the JPSS will increase timeliness and accuracy of public warnings and forecasts of climate and weather events, thus reducing the potential loss of human life and property and advancing the national economy. The JPSS is developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who is responsible for operation of JPSS. Three to five satellites are planned for the JPSS constellation of satellites. JPSS satellites will be flown, and the scientific data from JPSS will be processed, by the JPSS - Common Ground System (JPSS-CGS).
Pablo Clemente-Colón born in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico is the first Puerto Rican to serve as Chief Scientist of the National Ice Center (NIC), headquartered in Alexandria Virginia, a position he has held since 2005. As such, he serves the three entities that operate the NIC, the United States Navy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Coast Guard.
Rear Admiral Sigmund R. Petersen is a retired career officer who served in the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey Corps, its successor, the Environmental Science Services Administration Corps, and the ESSA Corps's successor, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps. He served as the fourth Director of the NOAA Corps.
The AN/UMQ-13(V) system or MARK IVB, is a meteorological data station that is owned and operated by the United States Air Force. This system allows meteorologists from around the globe to analyze and forecast meteorological data from polar orbiting satellites belonging to, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). The MARK IVB also uses geostationary orbiting satellites to include Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES), Japan's Geostationary Meteorological Satellite (GMS), and Meteosat which is operated in cooperation between EUMETSAT and the European Space Agency.
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