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NOAA Mission Planning

Overview OF NOAA's Strategy

schematic: NOAA's NGSP matrix chart

Through its long-standing mission of science, service, and stewardship, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) generates tremendous value for the Nation-and the world-by advancing our understanding of and ability to anticipate changes in the Earth's environment, by improving society's ability to make scientifically informed decisions, and by conserving and managing ocean and coastal resources.

NOAA's Mission:

Science, Service, and Stewardship
To understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts;
To share that knowledge and information with others, and;
To conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources

NOAA's mission is central to many of today's greatest challenges. Climate change. Severe weather. Natural and human-induced disasters. Declining biodiversity. Ocean acidification. Threatened or degraded ocean and coastal resources. These challenges convey a common message: human health, prosperity, and well-being depend upon the health and resilience of coupled natural and social ecosystems. Managing this interdependence requires timely and usable information to make decisions and the science that underpins our knowledge of these systems. NOAA's mission of science, service, and stewardship is directed to a vision of the future where societies and their ecosystems are healthy and resilient in the face of sudden or prolonged change.

NOAA's Vision of the Future:

Resilient Ecosystems, Communities, and Economies
Healthy ecosystems, communities, and economies that are resilient in the face of change

Resilient ecosystems, communities, and economies can maintain and improve their health and vitality over time by anticipating, absorbing, and diffusing change. This vision of resilience will guide NOAA and its partners in a collective effort to reduce the vulnerability of communities and ecological systems in the short-term, while helping society avoid or adapt to long-term environmental, social, and economic changes. To this end, NOAA will focus on four long-term outcomes within its primary mission domains.

NOAA's Long-term Goals:

Climate Adaptation and Mitigation
An informed society anticipating and responding to climate and its impacts
Weather-Ready Nation
Society is prepared for and responds to weather-related events
Healthy Oceans
Marine fisheries, habitats, and biodiversity are sustained within healthy and productive ecosystems
Resilient Coastal Communities and Economies
Coastal and Great Lakes communities are environmentally and economically sustainable

NOAA cannot achieve these goals on its own, but neither can society achieve them without NOAA. This plan describes long-term outcomes where NOAA will contribute in each of the goal areas, along with specific objectives that NOAA will pursue over the next five years. Evidence of progress within each objective form the basis of outcome-oriented performance measures. As a whole, NOAA's capacity to achieve these goals and objectives will depend upon the continued strengthening and integration of NOAA's enterprise-wide science and technology, stronger partnerships and stakeholder engagement, and effective organizational and administrative functions.

NOAA's 5-Year Research Plan

NOAA 5-Year Research PlanIn its Five-Year Research Plan (2013-2017) (PDF, 304 KB), NOAA highlighted the importance of developing an integrated observing system on both local and global scales. NOAA also produces a twenty-year "Research Vision" which provides the "big picture" of where NOAA will go and the role that research will play. The NOAA Administrator also distributes his Annual Guidance Memorandum that relays his priorities to his organization for the year. At the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society in January 2005, the NOAA Deputy Under Secretary stressed the following areas as NOAA priorities:

  • Early warning for temperature, humidity, vegetation, soil moisture
  • Air quality — wet deposition trends, composition of aerosols, global distribution of ozone, forest fires
  • Sustainable agriculture practices
  • Programs to acquire satellites

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