National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Some folks might call the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the federal weatherman, but show some respect (it’s meteorologist, please).

Despite its association with one the nation’s most often-mocked professions, NOAA is one of our countries most respected scientific agencies. NOAA’s mission is to study, record, and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts to ensure our nation's economic, social, and environmental well-being.

Their diligence in collecting and sharing data about our nation’s weather, climate, and related ecosystems not only help families know when to take shelter from storms, but also help businesses assess environmental risks and keep trade and commerce flowing safely. With several sub-agencies (including Ocean, Weather, Law Enforcement, and Marine Fisheries) and many more Offices plugging away daily, their scientific tentacles are everywhere—stretching from the “surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor,” according to the NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco. Their research and reporting keep tabs on everything from ocean tides and currents to storm patterns and the health of marine shellfish stocks.

But when it’s not doing the impossible (like predicting the weather) NOAA is focusing on its equally important mission of stewardship and conservation. You might be interested to know that NOAA recently teamed up with Russia to conduct a comprehensive survey of the Bering Sea and its ice-dependent seal populations.

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