Supporting a wide range of applied ocean and fisheries research, NOAA Ship Nancy Foster is one of the most operationally diverse platforms in the NOAA fleet.
The ship is equipped with single and multibeam echo sounders for seafloor mapping, an echo sounder for fish stock assessments, and a vast array of additional oceanographic and atmospheric sensors needed to collect data about the ocean environment. For a closer look at what lies below the ocean surface, Nancy Foster can also support air and NITROX scientific diving operations and the ship’s dynamic positioning system allows for successful deployment of autonomous underwater and remotely operated vehicles. Additionally, Nancy Foster is equipped to service oceanographic and atmospheric surface and subsurface buoys and employs state-of-the art navigation and propulsion systems needed for high-quality and efficient data collection.
Using these tools, scientists aboard Nancy Foster conduct missions to characterize habitats and fauna in national marine sanctuaries and coastal waters, conduct bathymetric surveys and physical and chemical oceanography studies, document maritime heritage sites, and complete pollution assessments.
Homeported in Charleston, South Carolina, ship operations focus primarily on the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts and the Caribbean Sea. Nancy Foster is operated by NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations.
The ship was named for Dr. Nancy Foster, a pioneer for coastal stewardship who led several NOAA programs to explore, map, protect, and sustainably develop our nation's coastal and fishery resources.
Recent Missions Supported by the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research