Monday, March 27, 2017
 

Below is a list of the NOAA organizational units, by Line Office, that either fund or conduct R&D.  This list is based on FY 2011 budget appropriation and, as such, only includes those units with appropriated funds for R&D in FY 2011. In later years, additional organizations may have declared R&D dollars (e.g., NCDC, IOOS).

NOAA National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NESDIS)

CENTER FOR SATELLITE APPLICATIONS AND RESEARCH (STAR)

STAR is the science arm of NESDIS. The mission of STAR is to use satellite-based observations to create products of the land, atmosphere, and ocean, and transfer them from scientific R&D into NOAA’s routine operations. STAR is a leader in planning future satellite observing systems to enhance the nation’s ability to remotely monitor the environment. STAR also calibrates the Earth-observing instruments of all NOAA satellites.

NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)

ALASKA FISHERIES SCIENCE CENTER (AFSC)

AFSC is responsible for research in the marine waters and rivers of Alaska. The AFSC develops and manages scientific data and provides technical advice to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, the NMFS Alaska Regional Office, state of Alaska, Alaskan coastal subsistence communities, U.S. representatives participating in international fishery negotiations, and the fishing industry and its constituents. The AFSC also conducts research on marine mammals worldwide, primarily in coastal California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. This work includes stock assessments, life history determinations, and status and trends.  Information is provided to various U.S. governmental and international organizations to assist in developing rational and appropriate management regimes for marine resources under NOAA’s jurisdiction.  The AFSC is engaged in cutting-edge research on emerging issues such as global warming and the loss of sea ice in the Bering Sea.

ALASKA REGION, NMFS (AKR)

NMFS Regional Offices receive R&D funding to support their management activities. However, NMFS Regional Offices (RO) do not conduct substantial research.  Instead, ROs use the funding to support R&D activities at fisheries science centers, universities, and other institutions, as needed.

NORTHEAST FISHERIES SCIENCE CENTER (NEFSC)

The Northeast Fisheries Science Center is the research arm of NOAA Fisheries in the region. The Center plans, develops, and manages a multidisciplinary program of basic and applied research to: (1) better understand living marine resources of the Northeast Continental Shelf Ecosystem from the Gulf of Maine to Cape Hatteras, and the habitat quality essential for their existence and continued productivity; and (2) describe and provide to management, industry, and the public, options for the conservation and utilization of living marine resources, and for the restoration and maintenance of marine environmental quality. The functions are carried out through the coordinated efforts of research facilities located in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington DC, and Maine.

NORTHEAST REGION, NMFS (NER)

NMFS Regional Offices receive R&D funding to support their management activities. However, NMFS Regional Offices (RO) do not conduct substantial research.  Instead, ROs use the funding to support R&D activities at fisheries science centers, universities, and other institutions, as needed.

NORTHWEST FISHERIES SCIENCE CENTER (NWFSC)

The Northwest Fisheries Science Center conducts research to conserve and manage living marine resources and their marine, estuarine and freshwater habitat.  The NWFSC’s research supports NOAA Fisheries’ Northwest Regional Office, the Pacific Fishery Management Council and other agencies in managing more than 90 commercially important fish species, recovering over 30 threatened and endangered fish and marine mammal species, and identifying and mitigating coastal and ocean health risks. The NWFSC also fills an important role, together with the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, in providing the scientific knowledge to inform management decisions on the stewardship of the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME). The California Current encompasses a broad range of coastal ecosystems, diverse habitats and biological communities. The CCLME provides vital habitat for living marine resources, economic development within coastal communities, and aesthetic enjoyment.

NORTHWEST REGION, NMFS (NWR)

NMFS Regional Offices receive R&D funding to support their management activities. However, NMFS Regional Offices (RO) do not conduct substantial research.  Instead, ROs use the funding to support R&D activities at fisheries science centers, universities, and other institutions, as needed.

OFFICE OF HABITAT CONSERVATION (OHC)

The Habitat program receives R&D funding to support their management activities. However, the NMFS Habitat Program does not conduct substantial research.  Instead, it uses the funding to support R&D activities at fisheries science centers, universities, and other institutions, as needed.

OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (S&T)

The NMFS Office of Science and Technology provides headquarters-level coordination and oversight of NOAA Fisheries scientific research and technology development.  The Office serves as the focal point within NOAA Fisheries for the development and evaluation of science and technology strategies and policies, and evaluation of NOAA Fisheries scientific mission.  The Office also has primary responsibility for national Commercial and Recreational Fisheries Statistics Programs including research on improving data collection and estimation procedures.  Other active research includes development of advanced sampling technologies, creation of catch share performance measures, design of non-market valuation methods, improvement to stock and protected resource assessments methods, development of ecosystem-based approaches to assessment and management, and implementation of an enterprise Data Management strategy for the Agency.

PACIFIC ISLANDS FISHERIES SCIENCE CENTER (PIFSC)

PIFSC conducts research on fisheries, coral reefs, protected species, and the oceanographic and ecosystem processes that support them. PIFSC conducts biological, ecological, and socio-economic research in support of fishery management plans and protected species recovery plans. Research and analysis of the resulting fisheries data support fisheries policy and management; protected species efforts examine the status and problems affecting the populations of the Hawaiian monk seal and the sea turtles. PIFSC activities support the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, the NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office, and international commissions on Pacific tuna.

PACIFIC ISLANDS REGION, NMFS (PIR)

NMFS Regional Offices receive R&D funding to support their management activities. However, NMFS Regional Offices (RO) do not conduct substantial research.  Instead, ROs use the funding to support R&D activities at fisheries science centers, universities, and other institutions, as needed.

SOUTHEAST FISHERIES SCIENCE CENTER (SEFSC)

SEFSC conducts research in the southeastern United States, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  SEFSC develops scientific information required for fishery resource conservation, habitat conservation, and protection of marine mammals, sea turtles, and endangered species. The research addresses specific needs in population dynamics, fishery biology, fishery economics, engineering and gear development, and protected species biology.  The SEFSC also conducts impact analyses and environmental assessments for international negotiations and for the South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils.

SOUTHEAST REGION, NMFS (SER)

NMFS Regional Offices receive R&D funding to support their management activities. However, NMFS Regional Offices (RO) do not conduct substantial research.  Instead, ROs use the funding to support R&D activities at fisheries science centers, universities, and other institutions, as needed.

SOUTHWEST FISHERIES SCIENCE CENTER (SWFSC)

SWFSC is the research arm of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service in the Southwest Region. Center scientists conduct marine biological, economic, and oceanographic research, observations, and monitoring on living marine resources and their environment throughout the Pacific Ocean and in the Southern Ocean off Antarctica. The ultimate purpose of these scientific efforts is for the conservation and management of marine and anadromous fish, marine mammal, sea turtle, and other marine life populations to ensure that they remain at sustainable and healthy levels.  Key research areas including managing the U.S. Antarctic Marine Living Resources Program, the distribution of environmental index products and time series data bases to cooperating researchers, describing the links between environmental processes and population dynamics of important fish stocks, conducting research on the ecology of groundfish, economic analysis of fishery data, Pacific salmon studies (including 10 endangered salmon and steelhead runs), and coastal habitat issues affecting the San Francisco Bay and the Gulf of Farallones, the assessing the biomass of valuable coastal pelagic fish stocks and evaluations the biological and environmental factors that affect their distribution, abundance, and survival, and the conservation and management of U.S. and international populations of marine mammals and their critical habitat.

SOUTHWEST REGION, NMFS (SWR)

NMFS Regional Offices receive R&D funding to support their management activities. However, NMFS Regional Offices (RO) do not conduct substantial research.  Instead, ROs use the funding to support R&D activities at fisheries science centers, universities, and other institutions, as needed.

NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS)

COAST SURVEY DEVELOPMENT LABORATORY (CSDL)

CSDL explores, develops, and transitions emerging cartographic, hydrographic, and oceanographic technologies and techniques to provide products and services to Coast Survey, NOS, and NOAA partners and customers in the coastal community. These products support safe and efficient marine navigation and a sustainable coastal environment. CSDL consists of three components: Cartographic and Geospatial Technology Programs (CGTP), Hydrographic Systems and Technology Programs (HSTP), and Marine Modeling and Analysis Programs (MMAP).

CENTER FOR OPERATIONAL OCEANOGRAPHIC PRODUCTS AND SERVICES (CO-OPS)
The’ CO-OPS Ocean Systems Test and Evaluation Program OSTEP introduces new and improved oceanographic and marine meteorological sensors and systems to improve quality, responsiveness, and value of individual sensors or integrated sensor systems. In addition to the testing, evaluation, and integrating phases, OSTEP performs continuous research and awareness of technology offerings and their application to navigation safety.

ENGINEERING DIVISION (ED)

The Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services’ OSTEP introduces new and improved oceanographic and marine meteorological sensors and systems to improve quality, responsiveness, and value of individual sensors or integrated sensor systems. In addition to the testing, evaluation, and integrating phases, OSTEP performs continuous research and awareness of technology offerings and their application to navigation safety.

GEOSCIENCES RESEARCH DIVISION (GRD)

The NGS Geosciences Research Division performs fundamental research in applications of GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) technology to Earth science and in development of gravity measurement systems.

NATIONAL CENTERS FOR COASTAL OCEAN SCIENCE / HEADQUARTERS (NCCOS HQ)

The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) conducts research, modeling, monitoring and assessments for building and advancing scientific expertise essential for addressing environmental issues that affect commerce, recreation, human health and general well-being of the nation’s coastal communities and ecosystems. The Center collaborates and integrates its expertise with other federal agencies, academic institutions, coastal resource managers and public health officials, and provide timely and useful information, including ecological forecasts, for decision-making and advancing adaptive resource management.  NCCOS Headquarters, located in Silver Spring, MD, is responsible for administrative, planning, execution and evaluation functions, and it ensures that research and related activities meet the highest standards of scientific integrity, provide a balanced response to local, regional and national issues, and are utilized by decision makers to sustain the viability of coastal ecosystems and communities. NCCOS consists of five centers. Brief descriptions of activities conducted at the centers are provided below.

NCCOS / CENTER FOR SPONSORED COASTAL OCEAN RESEARCH (CSCOR)

Located in Silver Spring, MD, CSCOR supports competitive, peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary research investigations with finite life cycles conducted on a regional scale over a 3-5 year period.  The program relies upon established processes that reflect the requirements and advice of both the management and science communities in setting its priorities to ensure the utility and credibility of research designed to investigate ecological stressors including HABs, hypoxia and climate change; and to forecast the ecological effects of ecosystem stressors in a regional context for coastal ecosystems of concern to NOAA.

NCCOS / CENTER FOR COASTAL MONITORING & ASSESSMENT (CCMA)

Located in Silver Spring, MD, CCMA conducts applied research, monitoring, and assessments to characterize and forecast coastal, marine, and Great Lakes ecosystem conditions. The Center focuses its work around the principles of biogeography in support of marine spatial planning and monitoring and assessment of coastal ecosystems. Additional thematic areas include monitoring and evaluating the environmental quality and consequences of anthropogenic stresses to estuarine, coastal, and Great Lakes areas and forecasting and assessing the impacts of harmful algal blooms. The integrated research, monitoring, and assessment studies provide unique assessment capabilities to forecast outcomes of alternative management actions addressing environmental services provided by coastal ecosystems.

NCCOS / CENTER FOR COASTAL ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND BIOMOLECULAR RESEARCH (CCEHBR)

Located in Charleston, SC, with a laboratory at Oxford MD, CCEHBR conducts applied research to: develop methods to characterize and measure harmful algal blooms and their toxins, chemical and microbial pollutants, and diseases of marine origin. The Center’s studies improve understanding of linkages between coastal land-use and changes in contamination and incidence of adverse biological effects in coastal bays and estuaries. Additional emphasis is placed on the health of coral reef ecosystems and modeling of climate change impacts on biological communities and habitats.

NCCOS / CENTER FOR COASTAL FISHERIES AND HABITAT RESEARCH (CCFHR)

With laboratories in Beaufort, NC and Kasitsna Bay, AK, CCFHR’s research and related activities provide coastal managers the tools and services to maintain healthy coastal habitats, and forecast how ecosystem services are affected by natural and human-induced changes.  The Center’s focus on applied science is developing test kits for detecting harmful algae, developing mapping products for coastal marine habitats, assessing and improving mitigation strategies for climate change, and developing tools for siting and evaluation of the environmental impacts of marine aquaculture.

NCCOS / CENTER FOR HUMAN HEALTH RISK (CHHR)

Located in Charleston, SC at the Hollings Marine Laboratory (HML), CHHR conducts research focused on the development of innovative tools and technologies to detect, diagnose, and resolve emerging issues in the coastal environment. Research relies on core capabilities in pathogen detection, environmental chemistry and toxicology, molecule-level diagnostics, marine wildlife epidemiology, statistical models and human dimension indicators.

NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVES SYSTEM (NERRS)

NERRS is a network of 28 areas representing different biogeographic regions of the United States. The reserves are protected for long-term research, water quality monitoring, education, and coastal stewardship.  The NERRS serve as living laboratories for on-site staff, visiting scientists and graduate students who study coastal ecosystems.  In this capacity, the reserves serve as platforms for long-term research and monitoring, as sites to better understand the effects of climate change, and as reference sites for comparative studies.  The goals of the Reserve System's research and monitoring program include (1) ensuring a stable environment for research through long-term protection of Reserve resources; (2) addressing coastal management issues through coordinated estuarine research within the System; and (3) collecting information necessary for improved understanding and management of estuarine areas, and making the information available to stakeholders.

OFFICE OF COAST SURVEY (OCS)

Hydrographic Science and Technology (used to fund the Joint Hydrographic Center)

OFFICE OF RESPONSE AND RESTORATION (OR&R)

OR&R is a center of expertise in preparing for, evaluating, and responding to threats to coastal environments, including oil and chemical spills, releases from hazardous waste sites, and marine debris.

REMOTE SENSING DIVISION (RSD)

The NGS Remote Sensing Research Group conducts R&D in emerging remote sensing technologies, including platforms, sensors, and processing and analysis hardware and software, with the goal of increasing the quality, quantity, and timeliness of information available for Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping (IOCM).

NOAA National Weather Service (NWS)

NATIONAL CENTERS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PREDICTION (NCEP)

NCEP delivers reliable, timely and accurate national and global weather, water, climate, and space weather guidance, forecasts, warnings, and analyses to a broad range of users and partners. These products and services respond to user needs to protect life and property, enhance the nation’s economy, and support the nation’s growing need for environmental information. In developing its products and services, NCEP’s constituent centers undertake and/or support the research needed to maintain its ranking as a world leader in operational environmental prediction.

OFFICE OF HYDROLOGIC DEVELOPMENT (OHD)

OHD enhances NWS products by infusing new hydrologic science, developing hydrologic, hydraulic, and hydrometeorologic techniques for operational use, managing hydrologic development by NWS field offices, and providing advanced hydrologic products to meet needs identified by NWS customers. OHD also performs studies to update precipitation frequency climate normals.

OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (OST)

OST plans, develops, tests and infuses advanced science and technology into NWS operations. These include advanced techniques and technologies for observations, numerical guidance, forecast techniques, preparation, collaboration and dissemination technologies; and decision support tools and techniques required for NWS Operations. OST furnishes a full spectrum of forecast guidance, provides interactive tools for decision assistance and forecast preparation, and conducts comprehensive evaluations of NWS Products.

NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR)

AIR RESOURCES LABORATORY (ARL)

ARL conducts research on processes that relate to air chemistry, atmospheric dispersion, the atmospheric boundary layer, and climate, concentrating on the transport, dispersion, transformation, and removal of trace gases and aerosols, their climatic and ecological influences, and exchange between the atmosphere and biological and non-biological surfaces. Key activities include the development, evaluation, and application of air quality models; improvement of approaches for predicting atmospheric dispersion of hazardous materials and low-level winds; the generation of new insights into air-surface exchange and climate variability and trends; and the development of reference climate observation systems. The time frame of interest ranges from minutes and hours to that of the global climate. ARL provides scientific and technical advice to elements of NOAA and other Government agencies on atmospheric science, environmental problems, emergency assistance, and climate change. The goal of this work is to improve the nation’s ability to protect human and ecosystem health while also maintaining a vibrant economy.

ATLANTIC OCEANOGRAPHIC & METEOROLOGICAL LAB (AOML)

AOML conducts research in physical oceanography, tropical meteorology, oceanic biogeochemistry, and modeling. Research at AOML improves the understanding and prediction of hurricane track and intensity, the ocean’s role in annual to multi-decadal climate variability, and human impacts on coastal ecosystems. AOML is a primary partner in the development of a sustained Ocean Observing System for Climate and a center for hurricane research and Observing System Simulation Experiments for the atmosphere and ocean.

CLIMATE PROGRAM OFFICE (CPO)

CPO provides strategic guidance and oversight for the Agency's climate science and services programs.  Designed to build knowledge of climate variability and change—and how they affect our health, our economy, and our future—the CPO's programs have three main objectives: Describe and understand the state of the climate system through integrated observations, monitoring, and data management; Understand and predict climate variability and change from weeks to decades to a century into the future; and Improve society's ability to plan and respond to climate variability and change. CPO funds high-priority climate research to advance understanding of atmospheric and oceanic processes as well as climate impacts resulting from drought and other stresses.  This research is conducted in most regions of the United States and at national and international scales, including in the Arctic.  Recognizing that climate science literacy is a prerequisite for putting this new knowledge into action at all levels of society, the CPO also helps to lead NOAA's climate communication, education, and professional development and training activities.

EARTH SYSTEM RESEARCH LABORATORY / DIRECTOR'S OFFICE (ESRL DIR)

In addition to providing oversight, management, and support services to the ESRL divisions, the Director's office serves as a program development center where nascent activities that cross-cut the ESRL divisions can be undertaken.  Current initiatives include the NOAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) program, the NOAA Renewable Energy Program, the Advanced Networking Group (NWave), and the NOAA Environmental Software Infrastructure and Interoperability (NESII) project.

ESRL/CHEMICAL SCIENCES DIVISION (CSD)

ESRL-CSD’s mission is to discover, understand, and quantify the processes that control the chemical makeup of Earth's atmosphere to better understand the atmosphere’s future, thereby providing the sound scientific basis for decisions and choices made by industry, government, and the public.  ESRL-CSD’s research is centered on three major environmental issues and the linkages between them: climate change, ozone layer depletion, and air quality degradation.  Through laboratory investigations in atmospheric chemistry, intensive field measurement campaigns in a variety of environments, and diagnostic analyses and interpretations, ESRL-CSD advances understanding of chemical reactions and radiative processes (heating, cooling, and initiation of reactions) that drive atmospheric change.  CSD provides explanations of our research in user-friendly, policy-relevant formats, such as assessments, which may be used to help develop informed decisions.

ESRL/GLOBAL MONITORING DIVISION (GMD)

ESRL-GMD conducts sustained observations and research related to global distributions, trends, sources, and sinks of atmospheric constituents that are capable of forcing change in Earth’s climate and environment.  This research advances climate projections and provides scientific, policy-relevant decision-support information to enhance society's ability to plan and respond by providing the best possible information on atmospheric constituents that drive climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, and baseline air quality.  ESRL-GMD supports several components of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, much of the World Meteorological Organization Global Atmospheric Watch program, which aims to coordinate long term, climate-relevant measurements worldwide, and other international programs, including the Global Climate Observing System, the Baseline Surface Radiation Network, and the Global Earth Observing System of Systems.  

ESRL/GLOBAL SYSTEMS DIVISION (GSD)

ESRL-GSD conducts R&D to provide NOAA and the nation with observing, prediction, computer, and information systems that deliver environmental products ranging from local to global predictions of short-range, high impact weather and air quality events to longer-term intraseasonal climate forecasts.

ESRL/PHYSICAL SCIENCES DIVISION (PSD)

ESRL-PSD conducts weather and climate research to provide the observation, analysis, and diagnosis of weather and climate physical processes necessary to increase understanding of Earth's physical environment, including the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, and land, and to enable improved weather and climate predictions on global-to-local scales.

GEOPHYSICAL FLUID DYNAMICS LABORATORY (GFDL)

GFDL conducts comprehensive long-lead time research fundamental to NOAA’s mission of understanding climate variability and change. GFDL scientists initiate, develop and apply mathematical models and computer simulations to advance our understanding and ability to project and predict the behavior of the atmosphere, the oceans, and climate. GFDL scientists focus on model-building relevant for society, such as hurricane research, prediction, and seasonal-to-decadal prediction, and understanding global and regional climate variations and change arising from natural and human-influenced factors. GFDL research encompasses the predictability and sensitivity of global and regional climate; the structure, variability, dynamics and interaction of the atmosphere and the ocean; and the ways that the atmosphere and oceans influence, and are influenced by various trace constituents. The scientific work of the Laboratory incorporates a variety of disciplines including meteorology, oceanography, hydrology, physics, fluid dynamics, atmospheric and biogeochemistry, applied mathematics, and numerical analysis.

GREAT LAKES ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LAB (GLERL)

GLERL conducts research and provides scientific leadership to understand, observe, assess, and predict the status and changes of Great Lakes and coastal marine ecosystems to educate and advise stakeholders of optimal management strategies. GLERL houses a multidisciplinary scientific core focusing on research that leads ecosystem forecasts on physical hazards, water quality and quantity, human health, invasive species, and fish recruitment and productivity. GLERL places special emphasis on a systems approach to problem-oriented research to develop environmental service tools.  It houses NOAA’s National Invasive Species Center and the NOAA Center of Excellence for Great Lakes and Human Health.

NATIONAL SEA GRANT COLLEGE PROGRAM (Sea Grant)

The National Sea Grant Program works closely with the 30 state Sea Grant programs located in every coastal and Great Lakes state and Puerto Rico. Sea Grant provides a stable national infrastructure of programs serving as the core of a dynamic, national university-based network of over 300 institutions involving more than 3,000 scientists, engineers, educators, students, and outreach experts. This network works on a variety of topics vital to human and environmental health—topics such as healthy coastal ecosystems, hazard resilience in coastal communities, a safe and sustainable seafood supply and sustainable coastal development. Through their research, education, and outreach activities, Sea Grant has helped position the United States as the world leader in marine research and the sustainable development of coastal resources. Sea Grant activities exist at the nexus of local, state, national, and sometimes international interests. In this way, local needs receive national attention, and national commitments are fulfilled at the local level.

NATIONAL SEVERE STORMS LABORATORY (NSSL)

NSSL conducts research to improve accurate and timely forecasts and warnings of hazardous weather phenomena such as deadly tornadoes, damaging hail and high winds, dangerous lightning, flash floods, blizzards, and ice storms, in order to save lives and reduce property damage. NSSL accomplishes this goal through a balanced program of research to advance the understanding of high-impact weather processes, research to improve forecasting and warning techniques, development of new operational observing tools such as advanced weather radar, and transfer of this knowledge, techniques, and tools to the National Weather Service and other agencies.

OCEAN ACIDIFICATION PROGRAM (OA)

The NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) was established by SEC. 12406. of the 2009 Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act (FOARAM) to coordinate research, monitoring, and other activities to improve understanding of ocean acidification.  The OAP maintains a long-term OA monitoring; conducts research designed to enhance conserving marine ecosystems sensitive to OA; promote OA educational opportunities; engage national public outreach activities related to OA and its impacts; and coordinate OA activities across other agencies and appropriate international ocean science bodies.  As part of its responsibility, the OAP provides grants for critical research projects that explore the effects on ecosystems and the socioeconomic impacts.

OFFICE OF OCEAN EXPLORATION AND RESEARCH (OER)

The NOAA Ocean Exploration (OE) program was established in 2001 in response to the report of the President’s Panel on Ocean Exploration and focuses on: (1) mapping and characterizing the 95 percent of the ocean that is currently unexplored; (2) investigating poorly known ocean processes at multiple scales; (3) developing new sensors and systems; and (4) engaging stakeholders in new and innovative ways.  OE investigates unknown ocean areas and phenomena, and employs an interdisciplinary scientific approach to ensure broad and comprehensive results that catalyze future research.  The program invests in: (1) extramural grants; (2) telepresence-enabled expeditions using the Nation’s only dedicated ship of exploration, the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer; (3) interagency partnership expeditions; and (4) participation in major national and international initiatives.  Other key areas of investment include data and information management and product development, and education and outreach, which ensure the information derived from each expedition and project is widely distributed.  OE continues to break new ground in the research, development, testing and evaluation, and application of undersea, ship-based, and communications technologies.  The NURP component of OER provides NOAA with the unique ability to engage scientists in cutting edge research required to follow up on discoveries made during the course of exploration. NURP centers include the Hawaii Undersea Research Lab at the University of Hawaii, the West Coast and Polar Regions Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research and Technology operated by the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University and the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  NURP supports the National Institute of Undersea Science and Technology at the University of Mississippi.  NURP, through the University of North Carolina Wilmington, also operates the NOAA-owned Aquarius Undersea Habitat, the only manned undersea research facility, located in the Florida Keys.  NURP provides extramural grants to both the federal and non-federal research community, while assisting scientists in acquiring data and observations that provide the information necessary to further NOAA’s priority goals specific to increasing our knowledge of the oceans.

OFFICE OF WEATHER AND AIR QUALITY (OWAQ)

The OWAQ Program helps provide improved weather forecast information and products to the Nation by facilitating, coordinating, and transitioning into applied weather and air quality research in NOAA.  OWAQ programs provide outreach, linkage, and coordination between NOAA, other government agencies, and the academic and private sectors, both within the U.S. and internationally.  OWAQ strives to ensure NOAA is optimally leveraging weather and air quality research capacity.  OWAQ manages the overall U.S. Weather Research Program (USWRP) effort in support of research for air quality forecasting, societal benefits, and related weather research through projects with such internal and external partners as the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and NOAA’s Cooperative Institutes.  NOAA’s USWRP seeks to improve weather and air quality forecast information and products by funding, facilitating, and coordinating cutting-edge research to improve weather and air quality predictions to protect lives and property of the American public and inform weather sensitive U.S. industry.  

PACIFIC MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL LABORATORY (PMEL)

PMEL carries out interdisciplinary investigations in oceanography and atmospheric science and develops and maintains efficient and effective ocean observing systems. Results from PMEL research activities contribute to improved scientific understanding of the changing climate systems and its impacts, improved tsunami forecast capabilities, and improved understanding of the impacts of climate and ocean conditions on marine ecosystems. PMEL cultivates innovative technologies to improve research and observing capabilities that can be transferred to operations and private industry.

TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIPS OFFICE (TPO)

The NOAA Technology Partnerships Office, or TPO, serves the needs of both NOAA inventors and U.S. companies looking to partner with NOAA or license our technologies.  Located in Silver Spring, MD, the NOAA TPO oversees both NOAA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and the Technology Transfer Program.  The Technology Partnerships Office also provides specific technical and communication/outreach services to all NOAA labs.  This site provides answers to commonly asked questions from staff and the public, as well as resources to make the process of locating NOAA's latest, most innovative technologies and partnering opportunities as easy as possible.

NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO)

MARINE AND AVIATION OPERATIONS CENTERS (MOC)

OMAO operates a wide variety of specialized aircraft and ships to complete NOAA’s environmental and scientific missions. NOAA’s ship fleet provides hydrographic survey, oceanographic and atmospheric research, and fisheries research vessels to support NOAA’s research activities. NOAA also operates a fleet of fixed-wing and aircraft that collect the environmental and geographic data essential to NOAA hurricane and other weather and atmospheric research; provide aerial support for remote sensing projects; conduct aerial surveys for hydrologic research to help predict flooding potential from snow melt;, and provide support to NOAA’s fishery and protected species research. To complement NOAA’s research fleet, NOAA’s ship and aircraft support needs are met through contracts for ship and aircraft time with other sources, such as the private sector and the university fleet.