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NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration & Research

Exploration advances the breadth of knowledge and Research advances the depth of knowledge. In 2011, NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration and Research is celebrating 10 years of Ocean Exploration and more than 30 years of Undersea Research.

Some of the stunning imagery collected by the Little Hercules ROV during its dives from July 2010.


"A society that understands the importance of a healthy ocean to all life on Earth and is informed and inspired by discoveries that reveal the wonders, mysteries, and workings of the ocean."

The ROV Little Hercules decends through water column while exploring the Kawio Barat volcano during
                                  the INDEX-SATAL 2010 expedition.


"Support National and NOAA objectives by exploring the Earth's largely unknown ocean in all its dimensions for the purpose of discovery and the advancement of knowledge, using state-of-the-art technologies in evolutionary and revolutionary ways."

Click the image to launch the OE Expedition Digital Atlas based on Google Map technology.

April 28, 2011: NOAA and partners conducted 11 ocean explorations in the Gulf of Mexico during the past ten years, providing a foundation of information against which to measure change to the region’s ecosystems—changes that may relate to the Deepwater Horizon event that took place a year ago. With this foundation, as well as emerging information about the oil spill and the response to the spill, NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research created The Gulf of Mexico Deep-Sea Ecosystem Education Materials Collection, which includes an educator’s guide and 16 associated lesson plans.

NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2011–2015 is now available. The Plan was produced to meet the requirement for program direction under Public Law 111-11, Section 12104(b).