The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has launched a new federal Ocean Exploration Advisory Board that will provide guidance to NOAA on the exploration of the oceans.
The 13 members of the Ocean Exploration Advisory Board represent government agencies, private sector leaders, academic institutions and not-for-profit institutions involved in all areas of ocean exploration, from advanced technology to citizen exploration.
“This distinguished board will advise NOAA on priority areas for exploration, investments in new technologies, and a strategic plan for greater understanding of our planet’s last frontier,” said NOAA Chief Scientist Richard W. Spinrad, Ph.D., who will serve as liaison to the board for NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D. “I congratulate these individuals on their selection, and look forward to working with them to achieve the next generation of ocean exploration.”
Through its Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, NOAA coordinates the only federal program that systematically explores largely unexplored oceans — to address national marine environmental, economic and U.S. security priorities, to catalyze new areas of scientific inquiry, and to increase the overall knowledge and understanding of oceans.
NOAA expects the board will reinforce the relationship between ocean exploration and NOAA’s priorities to provide information and services to make communities more resilient and to invest in global observing systems that sustain and improve the environmental intelligence upon which U.S. citizens and businesses rely.
Congress designated NOAA the coordinator of a national ocean exploration program, and mandated the creation of an Ocean Exploration Advisory Board under the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The board is expected to meet twice a year and will report directly to the NOAA administrator on matters relevant to a coordinated U.S. national program of ocean exploration and on NOAA’s own ocean exploration activities.
The Ocean Exploration Advisory Board will meet for the first time on December 2 and 3, 2014, in Washington D.C., for informational briefings about NOAA and national ocean exploration activities.