NOAA 2006-R815
Contact: Jeanne Kouhestani
NOAA News Releases 2006
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Students in Washington, Oregon, and California have an opportunity to contribute to federal maritime history by naming the newest fisheries survey vessel currently being built for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fleet. “Name NOAA’s New Ship” contest begins this month.

The contest is open to all students in grades six through 12 in the three West Coast states. The contest was created to encourage interest in scientific studies, particularly those relating to fisheries and the oceans.

The name selected through the contest will be given to NOAA’s fourth 208-foot fisheries survey vessel, currently known as FSV 4. The ship will be homeported on the West Coast, but its exact location has not yet been determined. Once operational, this new vessel will support NOAA Fisheries in its primary goals of rebuilding and maintaining sustainable fisheries, promoting the recovery of protected species, and protecting and maintaining the health of coastal marine habitats.

“This is an exciting opportunity for students to learn more about the environment and make their mark in history,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “We hope that everyone who participates learns more about the biology of fisheries, as well as their importance and their impact on local, regional, and national economies.”

Working in teams of four to eight students, students will research one name of their choosing for the ship and work on an essay to support their selection. Essays will be judged on imagination and creativity, evidence of educational value, and ocean literacy.

“Students will have fun while learning about their local living marine resources, coastal ecosystems, oceanography, and history,” said Louisa Koch, NOAA director of education, whose office is sponsoring the contest. “At the same time, they will be helping NOAA achieve one of its educational goals: to bring to America’s students a greater appreciation and understanding of our environment. We hope to create a new generation of stewards who will watch over and protect our precious natural resources for generations to come.”

Members of the team whose entry is selected will be invited to the ship’s keel-laying ceremony in Moss Point, Miss., and a tour of the NOAA Fisheries research laboratory on the Gulf Coast. The school of the team with the selected entry will be given a duplicate keel plate bearing the ship’s new name. Additionally, the school will receive a visit from Rear Admiral Samuel P. De Bow Jr., director of the NOAA Corps and NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations. De Bow will address environmental stewardship and the role students can play as individuals in protecting the ecosystems.

Deadline for submission of entry packets is December 15. The winning team will be announced in March 2007. For more information on the contest, please visit:

NOAA ships are operated, managed and maintained by its Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, which is composed of civilians and officers of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps, one of the nation’s seven uniformed services. NOAA Corps officers sersve aboard the ships and aircraft of the NOAA research and survey fleet, and bring their operational expertise to assignments in shore-based program offices throughout NOAA.

In 2007, NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, celebrates 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Bureau oxf Commercial Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA. NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by 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, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.