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February 1, 2007

CONTACT: David Hall, NOAA National Ocean Service
(301) 713-3066, ext. 191

New NOAA Exhibit Takes Public on Journey Through 200 Years of Science and Service to the Nation

Artifacts representing 200 years of science, service, and stewardship by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its predecessor agencies will be on display at the agency’s headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., February 5-14, 2007 during the third annual NOAA Heritage Week.

“The history of NOAA and the nation are intertwined,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “We invite everyone to come with us on a journey back through time to the early days of coastal exploration, weather prediction, and oceanic research.”

The exhibit, “Treasures of NOAA’s Ark: Journey Through Time,” will highlight groundbreaking technologies developed by NOAA and its predecessors that have helped save lives, promote commerce, and expand our knowledge of the Earth.

Experts will be on hand to explain the history and uses of the displayed items, including early scientific instruments, maps and charts from the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, the nation’s oldest government scientific agency. The exhibit will also highlight the evolution of the NOAA National Weather Service, NOAA Fisheries Service, and NOAA Satellites and Information Service.

“Visitors to ‘Treasures of NOAA’s Ark’ will get a glimpse into the fascinating history of technologies and services we all take for granted today, from global positioning systems to weather satellite imagery,” said NOAA chief of staff Scott Rayder. “We are proud to put these artifacts on display for the American public, their true owners.”

But technology will be just one of the stars of "Treasures of NOAA’s Ark." The exhibit will also highlight pioneers, past and present, who have made significant contributions to our understanding of land, sea and sky.

Featured pioneers include African-American innovator George Washington Carver, who provided weather data to the U.S. Weather Bureau; Silent Spring author Rachel Carson, who began her career as a writer and scientist with the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries; and NOAA scientist Susan Solomon, who played a key role in identifying the cause of the Antarctic ozone hole.

“These inspiring pioneers are as diverse as NOAA itself,” said Rayder. “They are role models whose legacy of service to the nation is truly worth celebrating.”

"Treasures of NOAA’s Ark" and NOAA Heritage Week are part of Preserve America, a White House initiative aimed at preserving, protecting, and promoting our nation’s rich heritage.

The exhibit is located in the NOAA Science Center at 1301 East West Highway in Silver Spring, Md., and will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, February 5 through Wednesday, February 14 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 10, and Sunday, February 11. Admission is free.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts, and protects.


On the Web:


NOAA Preserve America Initiative:  

NOAA 200th Celebration:






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