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NOAA Science Report highlights 2017 research accomplishments
Monica Allen

NOAA Science Report highlights 2017 research accomplishments

Discovering new features on the ocean floor, predicting the path of a tornado long before it formed, and enhancing the efficiency and safety of our nation’s ports: these are just a few of NOAA’s many notable scientific accomplishments from the past year.

NOAA is the nation’s premier ocean, weather and atmospheric science agency. Our scientists explore from the bottom of the ocean to the surface of the sun, to protect lives and property, support a vibrant economy, and help build national security. Nearly every American relies every day on the many products and services that came from NOAA research

Facing the storm

Facing the storm

Researchers from NOAA's National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Okla. watch the approach of a storm cell by their mobile command vehicle. NSSL is developing the Warn-on Forecast model, which shows promise at identifying likely tornado tracks hours in advance.

In 2017, NOAA research aided emergency response efforts across the country from wildfires in the western United States to  hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. NOAA’s science also resulted in significant advances in weather forecasting, improved fisheries management plans to ensure productive fisheries for years to come, and helped develop methods to improve U.S. aquaculture production.

The 2017 NOAA Science Report celebrates NOAA’s research and development accomplishments and highlights how NOAA’s research products impact the lives of all Americans.  

The NOAA Science Report is pided into four sections: (1) Introduction, (2) Theme Chapters (3) Bibliometrics, and (4) NOAA’s Scientific Workforce.

NOAA 2017 Science Report

NOAA 2017 Science Report

Cover image of NOAA 2017 Science Report

Report explains why NOAA invests in research

The Introduction defines NOAA’s research portfolio, answering questions such as why NOAA invests in research, what kind of research NOAA supports, where NOAA invests in research, and how NOAA transitions research into operations, applications and helps enable commercial uses.

The report  spans the entire range of NOAA’s mission, and the 64 stories featured in this year’s report represent a selection of NOAA’s R&D accomplishments, including the following examples: 

Integrated Earth System Processes and Predictions

•A revolutionary Global Weather Model
•Preparing the Nation for Hurricanes

Environmental Observations and Data

•Next Generation Satellite Provides Enhanced Observational Capabilities
•First Stock Assessments of 27 Hawaii Reef and Bottom Fish Species

Decision Science, Risk Assessment, and Risk Communication

•Tools and Expertise to Help U.S. aquaculture Industry Expand
•Advances in Precision Navigation

Water Prediction

•Storm Surge Planning and Preparedness
•Better Toxin Detection for Harmful Algal Blooms


•Innovative Technology for Arctic Exploration
•Autonomous and Piloted Aircraft support Search and Rescue

NOAA leads in federal weather, oceanography and fisheries research

The Bibliometrics section of the NOAA Science Report measures the productivity and impact of NOAA science in major research areas across the agency. Between 2011 and 2016, NOAA authored or co-authored 11,475 publications and more than 90 percent of the articles published have been cited.  In comparison to other federal agencies, NOAA has the highest productivity in the fields of meteorology & atmospheric sciences, marine & freshwater biology, fisheries, and oceanography.

Improving Forecast Skill

Improving Forecast Skill

NOAA's new global forecast model will improve the skill of mid-range forecasts of events like these typhoons in the western Pacific Ocean.

Report profiles excellence of scientific workforce

The final section of the NOAA Science Report, NOAA’s Scientific Workforce, highlights the creative and vibrant workforce that is at the core of NOAA’s research and development, and mission services enterprise.  Between 2016 and 2017, the agency had over 580 individual and team accolades from internal and external entities.

For more information, download the full interactive report: Final 2017 NOAA Science Report

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Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) - or "NOAA Research" - provides the research foundation for understanding the complex systems that support our planet. Working in partnership with other organizational units of the NOAA, a bureau of the Department of Commerce, NOAA Research enables better forecasts, earlier warnings for natural disasters, and a greater understanding of the Earth. Our role is to provide unbiased science to better manage the environment, nationally, and globally.


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