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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)


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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Credits - NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) conducts research and gathers data about the global oceans, atmosphere, space, and sun, and applies this knowledge to science and service relevant to all Americans. NOAA warns of dangerous weather, charts the seas and skies, guides the use and protection of ocean and coastal resources, and conducts research to improve understanding and stewardship of the environment.


A Commerce Department agency created in 1970, NOAA provides these services through five major organizations: the National Weather Service; the National Ocean Service; the National Marine Fisheries Service; the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service; and NOAA Research; and numerous special program units. In addition, the NOAA Corps, the nation's seventh uniformed service and a commissioned officer corps of men and women, supports NOAA research and operational activities, operates NOAA ships and aircraft, and serves in scientific and administrative posts.


The National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts, and warnings for the United States. Television weathercasters and private meteorology companies prepare their forecasts using this information. The NWS is the sole U.S. official voice for issuing warnings during life threatening weather situations.


The National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service manages the U.S. civil operational remote-sensing satellite systems, as well as global databases for meteorology, oceanography, solid-earth geophysics, and solar-terrestrial sciences.


NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service is responsible for the stewardship of the nation's living marine resources and their habitat.


The National Ocean Service works to balance present use of coastal and ocean resources with the need to protect, preserve, and restore these priceless realms for future generations.


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 sustainable economic growth.


The Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, an office made up of officers of the NOAA Corps, manages, operates, and maintains the NOAA fleet of ships and aircraft, which since NOAA's beginning, have collected much of its oceanographic, atmospheric, hydrographic, fisheries and coastal data. These flexible, multipurpose platforms support a wide range of activities related to weather forecasting and prediction, public safety, navigation and trade, natural resource management and environmental protection.