Contact: Ben Sherman
NOAA News Releases 2005
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On November 12, 2005, representatives from NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey will position a commemorative marker at the site where the Corps of Discovery Expedition, led by explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, spent four months wintering over on their historic journey 200 years ago. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The ceremony will be held at 11:00 a.m. at the canoe landing on the Lewis and Clark River below Fort Clatsop, Ore. NOAA National Ocean Service Acting Assistant Administrator, Charlie Challstrom will make the presentation. Later in the day, at 2:00 p.m., in the “Tent of Many Voices”, David Doyle, National Geodetic Survey senior geodesist will present the history of the National Geodetic Survey, which traces its roots to the Survey of the Coast, the nation’s first civilian scientific agency, established in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson also initiated the Corps of Discovery Expedition in 1803.

When the Corps of Discovery II Expedition began retracing the steps of Lewis and Clark in 2003, NOAA placed a marker at Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello in Charlottesville, Va., the symbolic starting point of the expedition. The design of the marker is based on the Jefferson Peace Medal that Lewis and Clark presented to American Indian leaders as they traveled west.

“Jefferson had an image of America as a land of small property ownership and well-defined boundaries,” said Charlie Challstrom during his remarks at the presentation. “Lewis and Clark executed this vision, measuring their way across America with only a few basic surveying tools and resources at hand. Today, the geography of America continues to be more accurately depicted through NOAA’s use of advanced positioning technology.”

Each commemorative marker is positioned using the Global Positioning System. The coordinates derived are a part of the National Spatial Reference System, which serves as the nation’s geodetic reference framework for latitude, longitude and elevation. NOAA establishes and maintains the National Spatial Reference System, providing the foundation for transportation and communication systems, boundary and property surveys, land record systems, mapping and charting, and a multitude of scientific and engineering applications.

As a surveyor, Thomas Jefferson had a vision for a clear delineation of the United States coastline to reduce shipwrecks while expanding commerce and industry. Jefferson created the Coast and Geodetic Survey, to focus on the importance of geodesy, the science of measuring the size and shape of the earth, and the nation’s coasts. After a federal reorganization in 1970, part of the Coast and Geodetic Survey became the National Geodetic Survey, an operation within NOAA.

NOAA’s National Ocean Service, which includes the National Geodetic Survey, is dedicated to exploring, understanding, conserving and restoring the nation’s coasts and oceans. It balances environmental protection with economic prosperity in fulfilling its mission to promote safe navigation, support coastal communities, sustain coastal habits and mitigate coastal hazards.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners and nearly 60 countries to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes.

On the Web: NOAA:

NOAA National Ocean Service:

NOAA National Geodetic Survey:

NOAA’s Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Website:

National Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Website:

Pictures of commemorative marker:

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