Given the immense breadth and scope of ocean exploration, it would be impossible for us to meet our mission without working closely with other federal and state agencies, academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and private industry. This is why partnerships play such a crucial role in all of the work that we accomplish within the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER).
OER's partnerships leverage complementary expertise and produce innovations in exploration tools and capabilities. By working with institutions with a range of experience, expertise, and creativity, we are able to enhance the potential for significant new advances in discovery, understanding, and action. We are also working to coordinate a national program for ocean exploration, the foundation of which will need to be built on strong and successful partnerships across the exploration community.
Below are the primary academic and non-governmental organizations that OER partners with regularly.
The Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center (CCOM/JHC) was founded in 1999 with two main objectives: to develop tools to advance ocean mapping and hydrography and to train the next generation of hydrographers and ocean mappers. The JHC is a formal cooperative partnership between the University of New Hampshire and NOAA, with the aim is to create a national center for expertise in ocean mapping and hydrographic sciences. CCOM, a complementary university center, expands the scope of ocean mapping interaction and collaboration with the private sector, other government agencies, and other universities.
The Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration (GFOE) is a non-profit foundation whose primary mission is to develop the capabilities and foster the relationships necessary to be a global presence in the world of ocean exploration, as well as an international resource for partners. Through GFOE's work in the deep sea, the organization helps society to understand, interpret, and protect this critical ocean environment. GFOE works to empower the underwater science community with the tools and expertise required to explore the greatest depths of the planet’s largest and deepest bodies of water and trains the ocean exploration workforce, not only for the national ocean exploration program, but for the community at large.
The Inner Space Center (ISC) is a one-of-a-kind national facility that supports live ocean exploration via telepresence technology. Located at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, the ISC is home to a diverse team of ocean scientists, engineers, education professionals, and video producers. The team works with cutting-edge technology to facilitate, capture, produce, and promote underwater exploration in real time.
The NOAA Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research and Technology (CIOERT) focuses on three main themes: exploration of the eastern U.S. continental shelf; improving understanding of vulnerable sponge and coral ecosystems; and developing advanced underwater technologies. In addition, CIOERT is dedicated to building education, outreach, and workforce development. CIOERT’s primary NOAA partner is the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. CIOERT’s partner institutions and collaborators provide deep expertise in theme areas and allows CIOERT to develop integrated, innovative projects that directly address NOAA needs and national priorities.
The Ocean Exploration Trust was founded in 2008 by Dr. Robert Ballard to engage in pure ocean exploration. In addition to conducting scientific research on board the Exploration Vessel Nautilus, the Ocean Exploration Trust offers its expeditions to explorers, educators, and students of all ages on shore via live video, audio, and data feeds from the field.
The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) is a nonprofit consortium of more than 100 North American member colleges and universities focused on research and training in the atmospheric and related Earth system sciences. UCAR manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research with sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Through community programs, UCAR supports and extends the capabilities of its academic consortium. OER partners with UCAR to provide early career explorers hands-on experience in ocean exploration on board NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer.