Office of Ocean Exploration

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In the United States the Office of Ocean Exploration (OE) (now Office of Ocean Exploration and Research) is a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) run under the auspices of the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR).


OE facilitates ocean exploration by supporting expeditions, exploration projects, and related field campaigns. The focus of OE is very broad. They act as early explorers of area of the ocean that have not been seen. The goal is to bring information about the ocean that allows scientists to formulate questions that need to be answered about the ocean based on the preliminary information. In essence, OE acts as a scout or vanguard, much as Lewis and Clark did.

The mission of OE has four components:

  • Mapping the physical, biological, chemical and archaeological aspects of the ocean;
  • Understanding ocean dynamics at new levels to describe the complex interactions of the living ocean;
  • Developing new sensors and systems to regain U.S. leadership in ocean technology;
  • Reaching out to the public to communicate how and why unlocking the secrets of the ocean is well worth the commitment of time and resources, and to benefit current and future generations.

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