National Oceanographic Partnership Program

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NOPP Logo PMS3015 with text.png
Abbreviation NOPP
Motto Leveraging resources among Federal agencies, academia, industry, and NGOs that promote exploration, education and innovative technologies to advance knowledge and foster stewardship of our ocean.
Formation 1997
Purpose Supporting collaboration, education and outreach of oceanographic research and technology.
Headquarters Arlington, VA
Program Manager
Dr. Barbara Bischof
Remarks Host organization is Karthik Consulting/Vencore


The NOPP was established by the National Defense Authorization Act in Fiscal Year 1997. Public Law 104-201 (DOCID: f:publ201.104) Section 282, Chapter 665, states the mandate of the National Oceanographic Partnership Program and establishes it as a required program that includes three main components:

Section 7901. National Oceanographic Partnership Program

Describes the NOPP program mission and establishes the NOPP Office to support, advise, and coordinate the needs of Federal collaborative ocean research planning and project development.

Section 7902. National Ocean Research Leadership Council (NORLC)

Establishes the NORLC supervisory body, which is now the National Ocean Council (NOC)

Section 7903. Ocean Research Advisory Panel (ORAP)

Establishes the Federal Advisory Committee to engage the range of knowledge and experience from non-Federal and Federal entities so to best advise Federal agencies on emergent ocean science and technology issues.

for two general purposes:

  • To promote the goals of assuring national security, advancing economic development, protecting quality of life, and strengthening science education and communication through improved knowledge of the ocean
  • To coordinate and strengthen oceanographic efforts in support of those goals by identifying and carrying out partnerships among federal agencies, academia, industry, and other members of the oceanographic scientific community and reporting annually to Congress on the Program

The National Oceanographic Partnership Program Office (NOPPO) assists in the management of the NOPP and provides daily administrative support. Using competitive procedures, a contract for the operation of the NOPPO was awarded to the team of Karthik Consulting and Vencore in 2013.

Strategic Plan[edit]

The NOPP Ten-Year Strategic Plan[1] identifies four goals:

  • Achieve and sustain an Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS)
  • Promote lifelong ocean education
  • Modernize ocean infrastructure and enhance technology development
  • Foster interagency partnerships to increase and apply scientific knowledge


NOPP brings together the public and private sectors to support large, comprehensive projects to promote sharing of resources, and to foster community-wide innovative advances in ocean science, technology, and education. On average, 11 new projects are started each year. Since 1997, NOPP has invested more than $435 million to support 200 research and education projects involving public and private institutions. A comparable amount of in-kind support has been committed by the research and education community.

NOPP promotes lifelong education. It sponsors the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, a national academic competition for high school students conducted by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. The NOSB competition is intended to increase knowledge of the oceans on the part of high school students, their teachers, and communities.

Modernizing ocean infrastructure is another high priority of NOPP. The federal oceanographic research and survey fleet consists of sophisticated research vessels that permit scientists to survey and conduct research on the complex ocean, seafloor, and sub-sea floor environment. The fleet capacity and capabilities must be evaluated to see how they can support agency missions and national priorities. In 2013, NOPP published and widely disseminated the latest Federal Oceanographic Fleet Status Report.


Interagency committees and working groups provide guidance and oversight to NOPP activities and funding opportunities. The Interagency Working Group on Ocean Partnerships is the operational feedback body charged with organizing, directing, and conducting most NOPP activities; it functions under the National Ocean Council, a Principal and Deputies level committee tasked with implementing the National Ocean Policy. The Ocean Research Advisory Panel provides advice and scientific guidance to NOPP and the National Ocean Council. NOPP also provides support to the Interagency Working Group on Facilities and Infrastructure.

  • The Interagency Working Group on Ocean Partnerships (IWG-OP) plans and implements partnerships among federal agencies relating to research opportunities, such as publication of annual broad-agency funding announcements and managing of research awards. The IWG-OP utilizes NOPP as a standing forum for discussion of ideas and priorities within the federal oceanographic community.
  • The Interagency Working Group on Facilities and Infrastructure (IWG-FI) reviews and evaluates federal infrastructure regarding facilities, such as ships, necessary to conduct ocean research and observation. This group also evaluates future needs and plans for future investments in ocean-related facilities.
  • The Ocean Research Advisory Panel (ORAP) includes individual members from the National Academies, state government, academia, and ocean industries, representing marine science, marine policy, and other related fields.
  • The NOPP Program Office serves four main functions: meeting support for the NOPP committees, project management, reporting on NOPP annually to Congress, and NOPP outreach.

Funded projects[edit]

Overall investment in NOPP-funded activities has increased significantly since the program’s inception in 1997 to more than $435M total. Since FY 1997, NOPP has funded 200 projects, including renewal projects.[citation needed]

Using a peer review process, NOPP identifies and funds the most scientifically and technically meritorious research that clearly demonstrates public-private partnerships in the areas of interest each year.

In FY 2014, 8 research projects were funded on three topics:

  • Advancing Air-Ocean-Land-Ice Global Coupled Predictions on Emerging Computational Architectures
  • Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study - Ecosystem Dynamics and Monitoring of the Beaufort Sea: An Integrated Science Approach
  • Demonstration of a U.S. Marine Biodiversity Network

Descriptions of NOPP-funded projects can be found on the NOPP website.

Participating agencies[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]

External links[edit]