NOAA 2005-R916
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Aja Sea-Kung
6/2/05
NOAA News Releases 2005
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


NOAA AND NAUTICUS UNVEIL NEW 3-D MULTI-MEDIA EXHIBIT
AT THE NATIONAL MARITIME CENTER

Science On a Sphere™ is latest result of NOAA@Nauticus Partnership
Norfolk Mayor and NOAA Official Give Remarks

Norfolk, Va.—NOAA and Nauticus, The National Maritime Center today unveiled an imaginative and dynamic 6-foot globe that shows 3-D animated images of how the oceans and atmosphere interact to produce our weather and climate. Known as NOAA Science on a Sphere™, the exhibit at Nauticus is the first on public display in the nation for earth science. A group of Norfolk area science students were among the first to see the globe at today’s event, which was coordinated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Nauticus officials.

“NOAA Science on a Sphere™ is an excellent tool that is a revolutionary system for educating the public about the holistic nature of earth's oceans, atmosphere, biology, and land,” said Scott Rayder, NOAA chief of staff. “The NOAA and Nauticus partnership has created the opportunity for NOAA to integrate its science with education and outreach efforts. The new exhibit and NOAA education resource center will provide the Norfolk community and its visitors with valuable information about our environment.”

During the unveiling ceremony, Rayder and Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim gave keynote remarks. A demonstration by Dr. Alexander MacDonald, director of NOAA’s Forecast Systems Laboratory and creator of the Sphere followed the remarks. Other NOAA, government, and city officials were also present for the unveiling.

The sphere—which presents NOAA's global science through a 3-D representation of our planet as if the viewer were looking at the Earth from outer space—is a collaborative effort among the offices of NOAA Research, NOAA Environmental Satellite Service, and the NOAA National Weather Service. NOAA Science On a Sphere™, responds to NOAA's goals to educate present and future generations about the changing Earth and its processes.

“NOAA Science On a Sphere™ is one of the most unique tools in existence for presenting the sciences,” said Richard C. Conti, executive director of The National Maritime Center. “Our partnership with NOAA is truly a national model and continues to yield dynamic programs and exhibits that benefit the public.”

NOAA and Nauticus have worked together in recent years on several mutually beneficial projects. Currently, NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey as well as its Chesapeake Bay Office and Maritime Heritage Programs, which includes an education resource center, are located at the facility. Visitors to The National Maritime Center benefit from the many educational programs and interactive exhibits that are the products of the partnership.

Nauticus, The National Maritime Center, a maritime-themed science and technology center that explores the economic, naval, and natural power of the sea. It features hands-on exhibits, interactive theaters, digital high definition films, shark touch, touch pools, and national-caliber traveling exhibits. Adjacent to Nauticus is the Battleship Wisconsin, which remains an asset of the U.S. Navy. Its daily operations are managed by The Hampton Roads Naval Museum, located within Nauticus.

The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through research to better understand weather and climate-related events and to manage wisely our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

On the Web:

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov

Nauticus: http://www.nauticus.org

NOAA Science on a Sphere™: http://www.fsl.noaa.gov/sos/index.html