NOAA marks 200 years with educational efforts

WASHINGTON: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said its $1.5 million educational outreach effort launched this year complements a long-term plan to make it as well-known as other government agencies like NASA.

WASHINGTON: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said its $1.5 million educational outreach effort launched this year complements a long-term plan to make it as well-known as other government agencies like NASA.

To commemorate the 1807 creation of the NOAA's founding organization, events promoting the agency's work in weather surveillance, climate research, and more are scheduled throughout 2007 at schools, marine sanctuaries, state fairs, and elsewhere.

Bill Proenza, director of NOAA's National Hurricane Center, has publicly criticized the outreach as a waste of money, given recent cuts in hurricane research. But David MacFarland, director of NOAA's Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services, said such efforts aren't new for the NOAA, and they ensure that people take advantage of its services.

"We as scientists forget that it's not enough to do the science; you have to talk to people about how to use these services," he said.

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