National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

National Oceanography and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA logo.svg
Logo of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA Flag.svg
Flag of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Agency overview
FormedFebruary 10, 1807; 211 years ago (1807-02-10)
October 3, 1970; 48 years ago (1970-10-03)
Preceding agency
  • United States Survey of the Coast
JurisdictionUS Federal Government
HeadquartersSilver Spring, Maryland, US
38°59′32.1″N 77°01′50.3″W / 38°59′32.1″N 77°01′50.3″W / 38.992250; -77.030639
Annual budgetUS$5.6 billion (est. 2011)
Agency executive
Parent agencyUS Department of Commerce

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, ə/ 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 1970[5] and in 2017 had over 11,000 civilian employees.[3] Its research and operations are further supported by 321 uniformed service members who make up the NOAA Commissioned Corps.[6]

Since October 2017, NOAA has been headed by Timothy Gallaudet, as acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA interim administrator.

Purpose and function

Two NOAA WP-3D Orions

NOAA plays several specific roles in society, the benefits of which extend beyond the US economy and into the larger global community:

  • A Supplier of Environmental Information Products. NOAA supplies to its customers and partners information pertaining to the state of the oceans and the atmosphere. This is clear through the production of weather warnings and forecasts via the National Weather Service, but NOAA's information products extend to climate, ecosystems and commerce as well.
  • A Provider of Environmental Stewardship Services. NOAA is a steward of U.S. coastal and marine environments. In coordination with federal, state, local, tribal and international authorities, NOAA manages the use of these environments, regulating fisheries and marine sanctuaries as well as protecting threatened and endangered marine species.
  • A Leader in Applied Scientific Research. NOAA is intended to be a source of accurate and objective scientific information in the four particular areas of national and global importance identified above: ecosystems, climate, weather and water, and commerce and transportation.[7]

The five "fundamental activities" are:

  • Monitoring and observing Earth systems with instruments and data collection networks.
  • Understanding and describing Earth systems through research and analysis of that data.
  • Assessing and predicting the changes of these systems over time.
  • Engaging, advising, and informing the public and partner organizations with important information.
  • Managing resources for the betterment of society, economy and environment.[8]
Other Languages
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Nacionalna oceanska i atmosferska administracija
suomi: NOAA