Sunday, January 29, 2017

NOAA Gateway

HI Sea Fans!

I had the privilege of visiting the NOAA Gateway, an interactive exhibition about NOAA's science.

"Hand of NOAA" by Ray Kaskey – this sculpture of a giant hand releasing seagulls to the ocean represents the agency’s mission of recording and protecting the environment.
This model ship is the  Oceanographer launched on 18 April 1964. She was 92 m (303 feet) long, the largest vessel constructed for research purposes to date. She had a very distinctive appearance with her stark white paint, large radome aft of the funnels, and heavy crane on the aft deck. She had a number of labs (chemistrywet and dry oceanographic, meteorologicalgravimetric, and photographic) and several winches.

The Survey of the Coast was formed in 1807, renamed a few times and then became a part of NOAA in 1970. 

Some items from early Coast Survey ships included china, a hat and epaulets from uniforms.

The Survey's mission was to provide accurate nautical charts (maps of the oceans), but now it includes most of the physical sciences including:

·         hydrography (the science of the measurement and description and mapping of the surface waters of the earth with special reference to navigation),
·         geodesy (the branch of maths dealing with the shape and area of the earth or large portions of it),
·         astronomy (the study of celestial objects, space, and the physical universe as a whole),
·         topography (detailed mapping or charting of the features of a relatively small area),
·         oceanography (the study of the physical and biological properties and phenomena of the sea.),
·         tide and current measurement and prediction,
·         seismology (the study of earthquakes and related phenomena),
·         magnetics,
·         national standards,
·         photogrammetry (the use of photography in surveying and mapping to figure out measurements between objects.),
·         and more.

I loved my visit, but I really enjoyed the videos from Ocean Today ( and the Turtle Excluder Device (TED) which is a specialized device that allows a captured sea turtle to escape when caught in a fisherman's net. 
In particular, sea turtles can be caught when bottom trawling is used by the commercial shrimp fishing industry. In order to catch shrimp, a fine meshed trawl net is needed.

Here are my new friends, Bruce, Molly and Peg in front of the new Science on Sphere (
Thanks so much to Peg Steffen for showing me around!

Have a great week, Sea Fans!
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