NOAA 2001-025
Contact: Pat Viets


NOAA's National Oceanographic Data Center in Silver Spring, Md., is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The center is the place to go for information on everything from global sea level to beach temperatures around the United States.

"NODC is the world's largest publicly accessible collection of global oceanographic data," said NODC Director H. Lee Dantzler. "Our primary mission is to ensure that global oceanographic data collected worldwide are maintained and made easily accessible through a permanent archive to the world's scientific and public users. NODC manages, distributes and interprets physical, chemical and biological oceanographic data collected by organizations in the United States and dozens of other countries around the world."

Established in 1961, NODC was originally an interagency facility administered by the U.S. Naval Hydrographic (later Oceanographic) Office. NODC was transferred to NOAA in 1970 when NOAA was created by executive order. With headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., NODC also has field offices collocated with major oceanographic facilities in Bay St. Louis, Miss.; Woods Hole, Mass.; La Jolla, Calif.; Miami; Seattle; and Honolulu.

NODC holds data collected by U.S. federal agencies, including the Department of Defense (primarily the U.S. Navy); state and local government agencies; universities and research institutions; and private industry. NODC also receives foreign data from organizations and institutions in countries around the world through direct bilateral exchanges with other countries. The center also serves as the United States World Data Center for Oceanography, under the auspices of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

NODC also hosts the NOAA Library and Information Network, which includes the NOAA Central Library in Silver Spring, Md., and regional libraries in Miami and Seattle; and supports NOAA field libraries or information centers at about 30 sites throughout the United States. The NOAA Central Library alone holds more than one million volumes, including books, journals, data and information CD-ROMs, and audio and video tapes.

NODC data and information are being used to answer questions about climate changes, management of coastal and deep water resources, marine transportation and natural disasters.

Visit NODC at:
Visit the NOAA Central Library at