The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a federal agency operating under the Department of Commerce that monitors the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere. NOAA covers elements from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor and keeps US citizens informed about the changes in the environment around them. NOAA’s products and services support the economic vitality of the nation and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic products through daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce. Through extensive research and high-tech instrumentation, NOAA’s scientists provide planners, emergency managers and other decision makers with reliable information to U.S. citizens when they need.
NOAA does the following:
- provides warnings about dangerous weather,
- charts seas and skies,
- guides the use and protection of ocean and coastal resources, and
- conducts extensive research on improving understanding and stewardship of the environment.
The first scientific agency, the Survey of Coast was established in 1807 which evolved into NOAA. NOAA is an international leader on scientific and environmental matters and has its presence in all U.S. states.
NOAA offices include:
- National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) – NESDIS is dedicated to promote, protect, and enhance the nation’s economy, security, environment, and quality of life by providing timely access to global environmental data from satellites and other sources. NESDIS acquires and manages the Nation’s operational environmental satellites. It operates the NOAA National Data Centers, and provides data and information services including Earth system monitoring. NESDIS performs official assessments of the environment, and related research.
- National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) – As a steward, NMFS conserves, protects, and manages living marine resources and ensures their continuation as functioning components of marine ecosystems. It affords economic opportunities, and enhances the quality of life for the American public through science-based conservation and management, and the promotion of healthy ecosystems.
- National Ocean Service (NOS) – NOS is aimed at ensuring safe, healthy and productive ocean and coastal areas. The scientists, natural resource managers, and specialists serving NOS, work hard to provide safe and efficient marine transportation. It promotes innovative solutions to protect coastal communities, and conservation of marine and coastal places.
- National Weather Service (NWS) – Forecasting and providing warnings on weather, hydrology, and climate for the U.S., its territories, adjacent waters and ocean areas are the prime duties of NWS. This is essential for the protection of life, property and the enhancement of the national economy. The NWS operates through 120 weather forecast offices all around the nation.
- Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) – The OAR provides the basis for NOAA’s environmental products and services protecting life and property and thus promoting economic growth. OAR laboratories conduct researches and extramural programs focusing on improving peoples’ understanding of the environment as a whole.
- Office of Program Planning and Integration (OPPI) – The OPPI was established with the view of inputting the modern corporate management culture into NOAA. It fosters strategic management among NOAA Line and Staff Offices, Goal Teams, Programs, and Councils. This office supports planning activities through greater opportunities for active participation of employees, stakeholders, and partners. OPPI builds decision support systems based on the goals and outcomes set in NOAA’s strategic plan, and guides managers and employees on program and performance management, the National Environmental Policy Act, and socioeconomic analysis.
NOAA leads the global community as a supplier of environmental information products, a provider of environmental stewardship services, and a leader in applied scientific research.