NOAA 2006-R404
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NOAA News Releases 2006
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Artifacts representing nearly 200 years of science, service and stewardship by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and its ancestor agencies will be on public display at the agency’s headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., February 6-11, 2006 during the second annual NOAA Heritage Week.

“The history of NOAA and the nation are intertwined,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “We invite everyone to come with us on a journey back through time to the early days of weather prediction, coastal exploration and oceanic research.”

The “Treasures of NOAA’s Ark” exhibit will highlight groundbreaking technologies developed by NOAA and its predecessors that have helped save lives, promote commerce, and expand our knowledge of the Earth.

Experts will be on hand to explain the history and uses of the displayed items, including early scientific instruments, maps and charts from the U.S. Weather Bureau (now the NOAA Weather Service), U.S. Bureau of Fisheries (now the NOAA Fisheries Service), and the nation’s oldest government scientific agency, the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, founded in 1807 by President Thomas Jefferson. The exhibit will also feature recreations of a marine science lab, weather forecast office and undersea lab.

“Visitors to Treasures of NOAA’s Ark will get a glimpse into the fascinating history of technologies and services we all take for granted today, from Global Positioning Systems to weather satellite imagery,” said NOAA Chief of Staff Scott Rayder. “We are proud to put these artifacts on display for the American public, their true owners.”

But technology will be just one of the stars of "Treasures of NOAA’s Ark." The exhibit will also highlight eight pioneers, past and present, whom have made significant contributions to our understanding of land, sea and sky.

Featured pioneers include African-American innovator George Washington Carver, who provided weather data to the U.S. Weather Bureau; Silent Spring author Rachel Carson, who began her career as a writer and scientist with the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries; and NOAA scientist Susan Solomon, who played a key role in identifying the cause of the Antarctic ozone hole.

“These inspiring pioneers are as diverse as NOAA itself,” said Rayder. “They are role models whose legacy of service to the nation is truly worth celebrating.”

Three lunchtime presentations, from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m., will be featured in the NOAA Science Center Auditorium. Speakers for the week are set as described below. All events will be videotaped, edited and posted on the NOAA Preserve America Website. Lunchtime programming is being sponsored in collaboration with BIG (Blacks in Government).

  • Maritime Heritage in NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries
    Tuesday, February 7: Dave Alberg, sanctuary manager, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary; Hans Van Tilburg, Pacific Islands Region maritime heritage program coordinator Dede Marx , maritime archaeologist, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
  • Bringing NOAA's History to Life Through the Art of the Picture Book
    Wednesday, February 8: Taylor Morrison - children's book author and illustrator
  • Northern Neck Chantey Singers from Reedsville, VA
    Friday, February 10: Featuring menhaden fishermen between the ages of 50 and 80 who actually worked the purse boasts in the days before power-block winches.

"Treasures of NOAA’s Ark" and NOAA Heritage Week are part of Preserve America, a White House initiative aimed at preserving, protecting and promoting our nation’s rich heritage.

The exhibit is located in the NOAA Science Center at 1301 East-West Highway in Silver Spring and will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, February 6 through Friday, February 10 and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 11. Admission is free.

NOAA, 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.

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