Tuesday, September 18, 2018


NOAA's Office of Exploration and Research (OER) is a science-driven organization that supports national and NOAA’s mission requirements by executing and facilitating exploration efforts of the earth's largely unknown ocean in all its dimensions. Using state-of-the-art technologies in evolutionary and revolutionary ways, the results of OER’s investments provide the basis to advance knowledge of the ocean and educate the public at large. Science is the overarching theme that drives all OER activities. It infuses the preparation and execution of our exploration efforts, informs the development of advanced technologies and the delivery of our data and products to the science and management communities, and supports our education and outreach efforts. 

Exploration often results in discoveries that highlight areas, features, resources and/or processes that are new to ocean science and need further study. OER's science team focuses on transitioning exploration and research results to new applications to benefit the rest of NOAA, and the national and international science, technology, and ocean management communities.


  • Funding Opportunities OER has an annual funding opportunity to support its mission, consistent with NOAA's Next Generation Strategic Plan, to search, investigate, and document poorly-known and unknown areas of the ocean and Great Lakes.
  • Marine Archaeology Projects Since 2002, OER has been a substantial source of public funding in the discovery and protection of shipwrecks and other submerged cultural resources.
  • Cooperative Institute The Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research, and Technology (CIOERT) explores and studies the nation's ocean frontiers using innovation and cutting-edge technologies.  CIOERT is sponsored by the NOAA OER and is headquartered at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University in Fort Pierce, FL.
  • Marine Biodiversity  Marine biodiversity is the variability among living organisms in the ocean and Great Lakes.  This variability exists at all levels of complexity from the genetic level, within species, and across ecosystems or biomes. OER supports projects that produce baseline biodiversity inventories.
  • Living Marine Resources Projects An ecosystem is defined as a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.  OER characterizations of new or poorly-known ecosystems are used as a baseline to study, over time, changes and impacts associated with the Earth's global changes.  OER has long focused its at-sea efforts to document, spatially and temporally, the diversity and distribution of marine life as well as beneficial products extracted from marine organisms.
  • Non-Living Marine Resources Projects Our explorations have led to the discovery of many morphological or geological features and processes. In particular, numerous gaseous seeps, actively erupting volcanoes and submarine emissions of liquid CO2 have been identified an are associated with new types of habitats.

Contact Information for OER Research Program:

Dr. Nathalie Valette-Silver
1315 East-West Highway, SSMC3
Silver Spring, MD 20910

phone: (301) 734-1047

Or submit your questions to nathalie.valette-silver@noaa.gov