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About NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is the descendant of America's oldest science agencies, the Survey of the Coast formed in 1807, the Weather Service formed in 1870, and the forerunner of today's National Marine Fisheries Service formed in 1871. The foundation built by these great organizations has given rise to an agency whose realm extends from the surface of the sun to the bottom of the sea, whose concern for life in the sea extends from microscopic creatures to the great whales, and whose reach in time extends from thousands of years in the past to decades in the future with global change studies and observations. On any given day, NOAA ships, buoys, observatories, aircraft, and satellites will observe environmental conditions from Arctic to Antarctic. They might observe features as diverse as fish stocks, ozone content of the atmosphere, sun spots, tornadoes, or coastlines. Or they could be engaged in producing warnings and forecasts or producing charts and tide tables to help keep the citizens of the United States safe in their homes, at their work, or on the seas.

About the Collection

The NOAA collection spans centuries of time and much of the natural world from the center of the Earth to the surface of the Sun. Because of this broad base of scientific expertise and the geographic range under which NOAA science and observations are conducted, the NOAA collection includes thousands of weather and space images, hundreds of images of our shores and coastal seas, and thousands of marine species images ranging from the great whales to the most minute plankton.

The geographic range of NOAA work encompasses polar region to polar region and much of the World's oceans. On any given day NOAA personnel could be chasing tornadoes, flying into hurricanes, battling stormy seas, tagging turtles and whales, taking scientific readings at the South Pole, monitoring the health of coral reefs, or engaging in virtually any task that can be thought of related to monitoring our environment and the health of our planet.

About the Images

estrictions for Using NOAA Images

Most NOAA photos and slides are in the public domain and CANNOT be copyrighted.
There is no fee for downloading any images on the NOAA Photo Library.  Educational use is encouraged as the primary goal of the NOAA Photo Library is to help all understand our oceans and atmosphere so as to be better stewards of our environment for future generations.
A few photos in the NOAA Photo Library that are known to have copyright restrictions are so noted in the caption information associated with those images. 

Credit MUST be given to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce.  Where a photographer is noted, please credit the photographer and his/her affiliated organization as well.
Downloading Images

If you wish to download an image, click below the image caption on High Resolution Photo. This will download a high resolution "jpg" image that can be saved by rightclicking your mouse for printing or manipulation within a graphics software program.

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Last Updated:
September 30, 2009