National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
NOAA is currently headed by Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, who is its administrator. The organization has its headquarters at Silver Spring, Maryland, US. Although the NoAA was formed in 1970, but the agencies that came together at that time are one of the oldest agencies of US Federal Government. NOAA provides weather information from the sun and atmosphere to the floor of the ocean. Historically, NOAA has a long legacy, as it includes under its umbrella, organizations like United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, 1807; the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, 1871, and the Weather Bureau formed in 1870.
NOAA’s Organization and activities
NOAA has 6 line offices and more than a dozen staff offices within the organization dedicated to the work of protecting the environment, natural resources, and human life and property.
The six line offices are – The National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Services (NESDIS), The National Weather Services, National Ocean Services, Offices of Program Planning and Integration, and Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research.
Besides conserving the earth’s natural resources and environment, the other major activities of NOAA include monitoring the earth system on regular basis and describing the earth system with proper research. Predicting and measuring the changes on the earth and the atmosphere and providing all the information to the world are some of the other activities of this organization.
Role and Responsibilities of NOAA
NOAA’s main role is to provide accurate information about the climate, ecosystem, water and weather to the US government and the world in general for better governance and economic and environmental vitality. One of its main roles includes conserving and managing the marine and coastal resources and guiding the government towards maintaining the marine sanctuaries and protected areas. NOAA is also responsible for providing accurate warning and forecast of impending natural calamities.
NOAA’s contribution to US economy
NOAA with its scientific researches and analytical expertise provides intellectual leadership to the government required in a constantly changing environment. NOAA’s expertise guides the government in the resource management decisions and makes the country a weather ready nation in terms of its adaptation of the changing climate.