Ships cross the oceans in days, air travelers span continents and oceans in a few short hours, and satellites circumnavigate the earth in less time than it takes for us to check in to work and stop for the morning coffee break. Today's technology allow colleagues and friends half the world apart to exchange greetings and information instantaneously. With this seeming shrinking of the Earth has come the realization that we humans are bound together by common problems. Our atmosphere knows no boundaries, crosses borders and oceans with impunity, and belongs to all. The oceanic circulation affects the climate of all as it marches from pole to tropics and back to pole in a seemingly endless conveyor belt that is beyond the power of man to alter. Interaction between ocean and atmosphere including storm formation and subtle to radical changes in climatic patterns affect all. Like the atmospheric and oceanic circulation, the living resources of the sea also know no human boundaries. Fish come and go as they please and the management of fisheries and protection of resources is a problem that transcends political boundaries.
NOAA scientists and policy-makers and their colleagues in the world scientific community often tackle the problems of the ocean, atmosphere and living resources of the sea as collaborative efforts that involve the cooperation of all. In doing so, NOAA personnel travel around the globe representing our Nation as part of great scientific efforts; they travel on NOAA ships to far corners of the Earth studying problems of ocean, atmosphere, and fisheries; and they fly where they have to in order to study atmospheric phenomena. In the course of their duties, NOAA personnel have worked on all continents. They have sailed throughout much of the world ocean and entered the ports of many countries. They have worked on fisheries problems the world over.