is an intrinsic part of the history
of the United States and the development of its science and commercial
infrastructure. The ancestor agencies of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration include the United States Coast Survey established in
1807, the United States Weather Bureau established in 1870, and the
United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries established in 1871.
These organizations were the first physical science agency in the
United States, the first agency formed specifically for observation
and study of the atmosphere, and the first agency formed to study
and conserve natural resources. Under these agencies and their descendants
the United States has become recognized as a world leader in the sciences
of geodesy, geophysics, metrology, oceanography, meteorology, climatology,
marine biology, and marine ecology. Additionally, the impetus given
to various types of engineering and the advancement of the mathematical
sciences by these organizations was and still is a major contribution
to the welfare and well-being of our Nation.
Besides the science that has grown up in these organizations, they
have also been great humanitarian agencies concerned with the saving
of life both on our shores and within the interior of the United States.
Millions of passengers and trillions of tons of cargo have safely
come to our shores while guided by the charts of the Coast Survey
and its descendant organizations. The American citizens whose lives
have been saved by the warnings of the Weather Bureau and its descendants
and the dollars saved by our national economy as a result of better
forecasting are beyond measure. And the fight to save our fisheries
for future generations has been led by the Fish and Fisheries Commission
and its descendants.
The personnel of these organizations served in peace and war; worked
in the remote and frontier regions of our Nation; and experienced
rough seas, violent weather, various and sundry hardships in accomplishing
their mission, and separation from family and friends. But through
all of this they persevered with quiet courage and a fierce loyalty
to their organization and the Nation. Within the NOAA History Site
you will find the stories of many of these dedicated public servants,
the stories of their agencies, and the stories of the development
of a major segment of American science.