National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

As a service to all American citizens, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) plays an important role in daily life. The stated mission of NOAA reads: “to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet our nation's economic, social, and environmental needs.”

In the early 19th century Thomas Jefferson set up the first science-based agency in the United States, called the Survey of the Coast. It was formed primarily to make sure that coastal areas were protected during times of hostility and war. The Survey of the Coast, the Weather Bureau, and the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, along with other agencies, merged and evolved into NOAA over the course of almost two centuries. On ...

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