March 2018 Newsletter     Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter 
Fifty Years of Surveying for Safety  

Two hydrographic survey ships recently celebrated 50 years of surveying service. NOAA's Rainier and Fairweather --- each 231 feet long - -- have been mapping the nation's waterways for half a century. 

The hydrographic data collected by ship personnel is used to create or update nautical charts--- fundamental navigational tools for commercial mariners and recreational boaters alike. 

To recognize this milestone NOAA hosted free public tours of the two vessels in Newport, OR the homeport of Rainier.
Celebrating Women's History Month
Photo courtesy of NOAA

Did you know that the U.S. Coast Survey was the first federal government office to hire women in a professional capacity? 

Coast Survey records indicate Maria Mitchell began her Coast Survey career in August 1845, when the agency hired her as an astronomic observer, based in Nantucket. Records indicate she was paid $300 a year. 

Learn more about Maria Mitchell's story.
Navigation Quiz: How Prepared Are You?

Do you know what datum means? Or what LOP stands for? Get ready for boating season by taking the navigation quiz offered by the American Sailing Association.


Safety at Sea

According to NOAA, sonar (short for sound navigation and ranging), is helpful for exploring and mapping the ocean because sound waves travel farther in the water than do radar and light waves. NOAA scientists use sonar to develop nautical charts, locate underwater hazards, search for objects like shipwrecks on the sea floor, and map the sea floor itself. 

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