NOAA Labs and Centers

The NOAA TPO is the Office of Research and Technology Application or ORTA for all NOAA’s Labs and Science Centers, as required by the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. Chapter 63 – Technology Innovation).  While we oversee the innovation and CRADA portfolios for these Labs and Centers, it is best for companies interested in partnering with a Lab or Center to first approach them directly to gauge interest and availability.

Following is a listing of the NOAA Labs and Science Centers and their R&D focus areas.     

The Air Resources Laboratory’s (ARL) mission is to improve the ability of the Nation to protect human and ecosystem health and to support a vibrant economy through advanced atmospheric sciences and technologies. ARL’s research focus is on the surface of the earth from a few feet below the soil up to 2-3 miles in the atmosphere (aka the boundary layer), which has a direct impact on people’s health and safety, business, and the environment. ARL studies the physical and chemical processes that occur in the boundary layer, on time scales spanning a few hours to several years.

NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction

We study Alaska’s marine life to ensure the sustainable use of living marine resources in federal waters. We monitor fish and marine mammal populations that have supported Alaska Native communities for centuries and provided food, income, and recreational enjoyment for millions of people around the world. Effectively studying fish and marine mammals also requires researching their habitats and the relationships between predators and prey. We study Alaska marine ecosystems.

Fishing boats in Dutch Harbor in the Fog
AOML aerial view of the lab

To conduct and transition world-class Earth system research, with a focus on the Atlantic Ocean region, to inform: the accurate forecasting of extreme weather and ocean phenomena, the management of marine resources, and an understanding of climate change and associated impacts, thereby improving ocean and weather services for the region, the nation, and the world.

NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction

STAR translates raw satellite data into critical information needed to inform the public and safeguard the environment across the country and around the world.

Satellite data in its raw form can’t be used right away. Once the Office of Satellite Ground Services (OSGS) receives the raw data, it needs to be processed (or transformed) into a form that is understandable. 

CSL is composed of world-renowned scientists, experienced technical staff, committed support staff, world-class laboratory facilities, instrumentation and models, access to dedicated platforms, and dedicated resources to advance scientific understanding of the chemical and physical processes that affect Earth’s atmospheric chemistry and composition. By advancing scientific knowledge of the Earth’s atmosphere, CSL responds to emerging and evolving societal issues related to air quality, climate, and the stratosphere.

Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Research Graphic

GFDL is focused on comprehensive long-lead-time research that is fundamental to advancing the scientific understanding of the physical, dynamical, chemical and biogeochemical processes governing the behavior of the atmosphere, oceans, land, and ice components and their interactions with the ecosystem. Scientists at GFDL develop and use Earth system models and computer simulations to improve our understanding and prediction of all aspects of the climate system. GFDL scientists focus on model-building relevant for society, for hurricane research, weather and ocean prediction, seasonal forecasting, understanding regional and global climate change, and more.

Climate model visualization of air flow over Earth
Barrow Alaska aerial view of the old and new observatories.

The Global Monitoring Laboratory (GML) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration conducts research that addresses three major challenges: greenhouse gas and carbon cycle feedbacks, changes in clouds, aerosols, and surface radiation, and recovery of stratospheric ozone.

The Global Systems Laboratory (GSL) is one of ten NOAA Research laboratories and is located in Boulder, Colorado. Our research improves environmental prediction models, develops state-of-the-science decision support tools and visualization systems, and uses high-performance computing technology to support a Weather-Ready Nation.

The Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) is a Federal scientific research facility based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, operating as part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR). GLERL’s Ann Arbor facility houses experimental and marine instrumentation laboratories furnished with state-of-the-art equipment and technology to support GLERL’s scientific research. Integral to GLERL’s operation is the Lake Michigan Field Station (LMFS), strategically located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan in Muskegon, Michigan. The LMFS serves as the home base for field operations, research, and GLERL vessel operations—critical assets in providing physical access to the Great Lakes and advancing NOAA’s mission in the region.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) formed the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) in 1999 as the focal point for NOAA’s coastal ocean science efforts. We help NOAA meet its coastal stewardship and management responsibilities, and we provide coastal managers with the scientific information necessary to decide how best to protect environmental resources and public health, preserve valued habitats, and improve the way communities interact with coastal ecosystems. Our work includes:

  • Coastal Change: Vulnerability, Mitigation, and Restoration
  • Social Science
  • Marine Spatial Ecology
  • Stressor Impacts and Mitigation
Hollings Marine Laboratory
National Data Buoy Center Aerial View

The National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) is a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS). NDBC designs, develops, operates, and maintains a network of data collecting buoys and coastal stations.

NSSL research vehicle with a tornado in the background

NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory serves the nation by working to improve the lead time and accuracy of severe weather warnings and forecasts in order to save lives and reduce property damage. NSSL scientists are committed to their mission to understand the causes of severe weather and explore new ways to use weather information to assist National Weather Service forecasters and federal, university and private sector partners.

The Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s functions are carried out through the coordinated efforts of research facilities in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. The Northeast Fisheries Science Center has conducted a comprehensive marine science program in the region since 1871. We  study fishery species and fisheries, monitor and model ocean ecosystems, and provide reliable advice for policy makers. Our work promotes recovery and long-term sustainability of marine life in the region, supports both wild and cultured seafood harvests, helps sustain coastal  communities, and generates economic opportunities and  benefits from the use of these resources.

NE Fisheries Science Center locations on US map

The scientists at NOAA Fisheries Northwest Fisheries Science Center conduct research to support sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, protect and recover endangered species, guide restoration of habitat, and maintain healthy communities and the ecosystems they rely on.

We work with our NOAA Fisheries counterpart, the West Coast Region, to:

  • Manage more than 90 commercially important fish species.
  • Recover more than 30 threatened and endangered fish and marine mammal species.
  • Identify and mitigate coastal and ocean health risks.
  • We also work with the Southwest Fisheries Science Center to inform management decisions on the stewardship of the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem.
Orcas surface for a breath with NOAA research vessel in the background
NOAA Coxswain William Reich and divers Rebecca Weible and Alika Garcia survey and find a large derelict fishing net at Kamokukamohoaliʻi (Maro Reef). Photo credit: NOAA Fisheries/James Morioka.

Working with the Pacific Islands Regional Office to conduct research and monitoring programs that support the domestic and international conservation and management of living marine resources across the Pacific Islands. Our focus areas include:

  • Ecosystem Sciences
  • Fisheries Research and Monitoring
  • Protected Species
Carbon waveglider deployment in Prince William Sound, AK

NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) is a federal laboratory that makes critical observations and conducts groundbreaking research to advance our knowledge of the global ocean and its interactions with the earth, atmosphere, ecosystems, and climate. These observations are used to improve weather and climate predictions, fisheries management and coastal resilience. PMEL is a global leader in the development and deployment of innovative strategies for ocean observation. PMEL’s mission is to deliver trusted scientific information through innovative oceanographic and atmospheric research, observations, and technology development in support of society’s response to urgent global and regional environmental challenges.  Research areas at PMEL include ocean acidification, tsunami detection and forecasting, air-sea interactions, hydrothermal vent systems, fisheries oceanography, and long term climate monitoring and analysis.

The mission of the NOAA Physical Sciences Laboratory (PSL) is to conduct scientific research to observe, understand, model, predict and forecast weather, water and climate extremes and their impacts.

  • Rigorously characterize and predict weather, water, and climate extremes and their uncertainties to support NOAA’s mission.
  • Develop new process understanding, observing, and modeling capabilities to predict conditions associated with too much or too little water for early warning, preparedness, resource management, and adaptation.
  • Improve monitoring and prediction of weather, climate, and water conditions impacting marine resources.
Collage of images from flooding to drought

The Southeast Fisheries Science Center provides the scientific advice and data needed to effectively manage the living marine resources of the Southeast region and Atlantic high seas. We work closely with NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office to provide independent, objective science.

Our multidisciplinary research informs natural resource management. Fisheries management councils, fisheries commissions, and federal, state and local agencies depend on our science to make decisions that protect and conserve the region’s living marine resources.  

Divisions:

  • Fisheries Assessment, Technology, and Engineering Support
  • Fisheries Statistics
  • Marine Mammals and Sea Turtles
  • Population and Ecosystem Monitoring
  • Sustainable Fisheries
SE Fisheries Science Center Graphical Priorities

Established in 1964 to study the sardine and tuna fisheries of the U.S. West Coast, we provide scientific information to support fisheries management and conserve protected species in the California Current, throughout the Pacific Ocean, and in the Southern Ocean off Antarctica.

Our scientists conduct marine biological, economic and oceanographic research, observations, and monitoring of living marine resources and their environment. We also conduct research on the impacts of environmental variability and climate change on marine ecosystems and on fishery and conservation socio-economics. We work with numerous partners and our NOAA Fisheries counterparts—the Northwest, Pacific Islands and Alaska Fisheries Science Centers and the West Coast Regional Office—provide sound science for national and international management decisions.