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collage with various vintage photos and drawings of early 1800 through world war 2 subjects.NOAA History 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.

Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library.

Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:24 AM

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