Site Information

The Ocean Explorer website is designed to provide the public with information on NOAA's ocean exploration activities, especially those being undertaken via funding from the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. This page describes the general purposes of the site and its organization, summarizes editorial policies, and provides brief technical and navigational information.

Purpose and Principles
Editorial Policy
Technical Information
Downloadable Documents


Purpose and Organization

The Ocean Explorer website is designed to be an engaging and educational Internet offering for all who wish to learn about, discover, and virtually explore the ocean realm. The site is primarily directed to the general public, educators, and students. Other important groups include the press, nongovernmental organizations, marine scientists and resource managers, marine protected area professionals, ocean exploration groups, and policymakers interested in the marine environment.

The site is organized into eight sections. The centerpiece is Explorations. Here, expeditions funded by the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research are documented through a series of background essays and mission logs. A special section of the website dedicated to expeditions that take place on the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. An Education section provides access to lesson plans connected to expeditions as well as information about professional development opportunities and other resources for teachers. The Technology section of the site includes descriptions of many of the technologies used in the expeditions, and the Multimedia page provides access to image galleries, video playlists, and interactive materials. NOAA's long history of ocean exploration stretching back to the early 19th century is captured in History. For Fun includes desktop wallpapers, puzzles, and other materials for entertainment purposes. And rounding out the site is a section of Ocean Explorer Facts, providing short answers to questions about the ocean and exploration.




Every attempt has been made to make this website compliant with Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Additionally, we have provided a link to a detailed Site Index at the bottom of every page. This index provides a direct link to every page in the site for simple text navigation.

We would appreciate knowing of any specific accessibility problems that we might have missed, or suggestions you might on how we could improve this site's access. Please email these comments and suggestions to the Ocean Explorer Webmaster.



Editorial Policy

This site is managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. As a federal government website, all federal editorial policies apply, such as those on privacy, copyright, commercial promotion, etc.

Information presented on this website is considered public information and may be distributed freely. If you elect to use materials from this web offering, please cite NOAA as the source, and include the appropriate URL of the page(s) from which the materials were taken. Note: Selected copyrighted images have been contributed to the site. These copyrights are mentioned in image captions. If you would like to reproduce these images, you must contact the contributing source for approval.

Materials posted on this site are reviewed by professional staff prior to publishing. Final decisions are made by the website manager.



Technical Information

Access Time
Some pages on this site contain several images. The purposes of these images are to provide necessary visual supplements for the text (e.g., maps of exploration routes) and enhance the visual appeal of the page. All images have been provided with captions that allow those readers who do not load images immediately to select specific images for viewing. Pages have been developed to load text first. Some larger images are provided on the page in reduced form. The caption provides access to a larger image in a separate page.

Links External Link
Some links are provided to other websites as reference or supplemental material. External sites accessed by such links will appear in a separate window. Each external site that is accessed will appear in this same browser window until the window is closed. A limited number of links to non-U.S. government sites are included. Users are notified that they are leaving a U.S. government website by a separate page that appears on screen for approximately 20 seconds.

Fonts and Type Sizes
Verdana is the default font for this site; 10 point is the default size. All browsers allow users to select specific fonts and type sizes for display. Some users select large type sizes for ease of reading, or specific fonts for personal tastes. The text and layout should not be adversely affected by a user's selection of alternative fonts and type sizes.

Printing Pages
This site has been designed to ensure simple printing. We recommend printing in portrait format at a scale of 85 to 100 percent.



Downloadable Documents
Some documents are available on this site as downloadable files in Portable Document Format (pdf). These files can be viewed on microcomputers equipped with recent versions of Adobe Acrobat Reader External Link. Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded for free.

There are some known issues with downloading PDF documents, particularly on Windows systems, due to conflicting changes in the way in which Acrobat Reader and various browsers talk to one another. But there is a simple work-around: if you right-click (Windows) or option-click (Macintosh) on the link, the entire file will be sent to your machine, and then you can open it off your own hard drive using Acrobat Reader.

Navigation through the site is straightforward. There are four levels of navigation. The first level is access to the major sections of the site at the top of the page, under the Ocean Explorer banner. The second level is in the right-hand column of the page (and the left-hand column for older expeditions). The third level is within-page navigation found near the top of some pages that includes links (as tabs) to sections within the page. The fourth level includes text links within page content. These links take the user to external links related to the topic of the page or to supplement pages within the Ocean Explorer website.

Index and Search This Site
These two pages appear on every page and provide additional access assistance. The Index is a complete listing of every page on the site. Search This Site is a standard word/phrase search through all text and documents (pdf) on the site's pages.

Advanced Features (Audio, Video, and Animations)
The site includes many audio and video clips. These are provided as Quicktime, Windows Media, and/or Real Player. You may need to download: Quicktime | Windows Media | RealPlayer


What is a Podcast?
A podcast is an audio file published on the web that is designed for playback on mobile devices. Podcasts typically include a syndication feature known as RSS that allows the content (or episodes) of the podcast to be automatically updated.

Read more about Podcasting

Other U.S. Government Podcasts


What is RSS?
Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a family of web formats used to publish frequently updated digital content.

Most commonly used to update news articles and other content that changes quickly, RSS feeds may also include audio files (PodCasts) or even video files (VodCasts).

Users of RSS content use programs called feed 'readers' or 'aggregators' (newer versions of Web browsers offer built in support for RSS feeds).

A user 'subscribes' to a feed by entering the link of the RSS feed into their RSS feed reader; the RSS feed reader then checks the subscribed feeds to see if any have new content since the last time it checked, and if so, retrieves the new content and presents it to the user.

Read more about RSS

Other U.S. Government RSS Feeds


For Further Technical Information
For questions or comments about the technical aspects of this site, please e-mail: