NOAA 2005-072
Contact: Peter West
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Members Will Provide Guidance and Oversight on Ocean Exploration

NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, seeks to fill vacancies for its newly formed Ocean Exploration Program Advisory Working Group.

The nine-member working group, which will be a standing subcommittee of the NOAA Science Advisory Board, will provide NOAA with guidance and oversight on general priorities for ocean exploration as well as advice about emerging ocean exploration-relevant technologies. An initial task for the working group will be to advise on priority ocean exploration topics and geographic areas of interest to help establish an initial schedule of operations for Okeanos Explorer, NOAA’s new ocean exploration vessel.

Another of the working group’s critical functions is to organize and conduct periodic reviews, such as of the quality of the NOAA Ocean Exploration program's exploration and research and the relevance of its activities and goals to NOAA’s mission and planning process.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for individuals to take an active role in helping to guide NOAA’s efforts to explore and understand the ocean realm while at the same time advancing and shaping the agency’s scientific agenda,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.

Working group members will be selected from nominated individuals, who will have national and international reputations in fields related to ocean exploration, such as physical, chemical, or biological oceanography, social sciences, or ocean engineering. The members will be drawn from academia, government, industry, and other ocean-related institutions.

The chair of the Science Advisory Board, in consultation with the director of the Ocean Exploration Program and the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, will choose the working group members, who will serve three-year terms. Complete nomination information can be found at

As the working group is a newly formed body, there are nine vacancies. Members will be appointed to three, four, or five-year terms so that the appointments will not expire at the same time.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through research to better understand atmospheric and climate variability and to manage wisely our nation's coastal and marine resources.

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