NOAA and the nation depend on the cutting-edge science provided by its research programs. Recently, NOAA Research built much of the foundation for the modernization of the National Weather Service. The research programs provide the science necessary to help NOAA achieve its goals to:
- serve society’s needs for weather and water information;
- lead the effort to understand and monitor climate variability and change to enhance society’s ability to plan and respond;
- work to protect, restore and manage the use of coastal and ocean resources through ecosystem-based management; and
- support the Nation’s commerce with information for safe, efficient and environmentally sound transportation.
Working under the broad themes of Climate, Weather and Air Quality, and Ocean and Coastal Resources, NOAA scientists study the ocean’s depths and the highest reaches of space to better understand our environment. NOAA’s long-term commitment to the highest quality research includes engaging in-house and extramural talent to:
- continue to conduct experiments to understand natural processes (physical, geochemical, ecological);
- build predictive models for use in weather, air quality, climate, solar, ocean, emergency management, and coastal assessments and predictions;
- develop and deploy new observing technologies to provide data to support predictive models and to document natural variability;
- develop new analytical and forecast tools to improve weather services;
- use new information technology to share information with other federal and academic scientists; and
- prepare scientific assessments and information products to enhance public education and guide governmental action.
Research plans and products are developed in partnership with academia and other federal agencies, and are peer-reviewed and widely distributed. A high premium is placed on external collaboration both domestically and internationally. In addition, personnel management practices of hiring, promotion, and awards are based on demonstrable capability through internal and external peer assessment. Peer review, collaboration, and partnerships ensure that NOAA’s research is of the highest quality and remains focused on critical issues.
How the Nation and the World Benefit
Most of the environmental questions our nation and the world face are not easily answered. A strong NOAA is necessary to tackle the complex issues that only advanced scientific knowledge is able to adequately address. NOAA Research answers the call and:
- provides comprehensive knowledge to guide national environmental policy decisions, including better predictions of the climate response to emissions changes, choices for protection of the ozone layer, and alternatives for developing coastal communities;
- improves environmental services to the nation, including reliable predictions and assessments; and
- promotes economic growth through science for decision-making, new technology, and partnerships with academia and industry;
NOAA is a world leader in environmental science today and is well positioned and organized to provide the sound scientific research policy-makers will always need.
OAR is in the final stages of updating its Strategic Plan, which will better align our planning activities with the Goals and Objectives outlined in NOAA's Next Generation Strategic Plan. The new strategic plan will guide our future research and resource decisions to foster an innovative and integrated research enterprise dedicated to advancing our understanding of the oceans and atmosphere. We will post the final document on this page when complete.
In addition, the NOAA Research Council is working to develop the next NOAA 5-Year Research and Development Plan for FY13-17. As with the OAR Strategic Plan, this 5-year plan will be closely tied to NOAA's Strategic Plan, describing how we will integrate our research and development activities across each of NOAA's Line Offices in support of NOAA's service and stewardship mission. You can provide input and follow the development of this plan on the NOAA Research Council website.