About Us

NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

Even as the importance of deep areas of the ocean in our everyday lives continues to increase, most of our knowledge of the ocean lies in shallower waters. Our deep-ocean knowledge remains limited and, in many instances, we are left “flying blind” when it comes to areas such as management, regulation, and resource use in deep-water areas.

The NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research is the only federal organization currently dedicated to exploring our unknown ocean.

Our unique capabilities are allowing us to reduce unknowns in deep-ocean areas and provide the high-value environmental intelligence needed by NOAA and the nation to address both current and emerging science and management needs.

We provide partnership coordination, funding, staff, tools, and expertise needed to develop exploration missions that deliver rigorous, systematic observations and documentation of biological, chemical, physical, geological, and archaeological aspects of the ocean. We work to get scientists to uncharted areas; to design, test, and implement new deep-sea technologies; and to bring the wonders of ocean exploration to everyone. And, during and after expeditions, our system of data management ensures that collected information arrives quickly – and accurately – into the hands of those who need it to make timely decisions.

Every day, our unique capabilities are helping to advance knowledge and understanding needed to help citizens, businesses, and governments make smart choices to protect lives, property, and economic wellbeing.

Explore the pages below to learn who we are and what we do.



Who We Are


What We Do