Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

NOAA Ship Rainier + enthusiastic students = future hydrographers?   2 comments

Cold Bay's elementary school student visit the NOAA Ship Rainier

Cold Bay Elementary School students visit the NOAA Ship Rainier

On September 13, NOAA Ship Rainier began surveying Cold Bay, its fourth project of the summer. Cold Bay is a small town on the Aleutian Peninsula approximately 540 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. The town currently has approximately 88 full-time residents and boasts an airport with one of the longest runways in Alaska.

On September 19, after deploying her launches for the day, officers and crew welcomed aboard the entire Cold Bay Elementary School – all eight students, teaching assistant Mrs. Lyons, and their teacher, Mrs. Burkhardt. The students are currently between fourth and seventh grade and go to school in a state-of-the-art, two-room school-house.

During the tour, the students learned about driving the ship and making nautical charts. They saw how sonars work, and they even used a sediment sampler to determine the seafloor composition.

The students were full of questions and enjoyed learning about life on a ship. They also captured the admiration of Rainier‘s commanding officer. “When Cold Bay residents describe their town, they can also boast of wonderful elementary school students who have a desire to explore new things,” explained Cmdr. Rick Brennan. “One of the great things about working on a NOAA ship is the opportunity to meet students like this. Combining our love of the sea with their enthusiasm for learning — that’s where America’s future hydrography starts.”

This student is ready to work!

This student is ready to work!

The group examines bottom samples collected by the Rainier.

The group examines bottom samples collected by the Rainier.

Cmdr. Rick Brennan explains how davits work.

Cmdr. Rick Brennan explains how davits work.

Cmdr. Rick Brennan with friends -- and potential hydrographers.
Cmdr. Brennan with friends — and potential future hydrographers.

Posted September 21, 2013 by NOAA Office of Coast Survey in Education, Rainier

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Boaters! Get free NOAA nautical products for fun and safety…   Leave a comment

Coast Survey’s mandate is to provide nautical products that help make maritime transportation safe. As we develop and improve navigational products for commercial mariners, we also look for opportunities to serve the recreational boating community. All of the products listed below are available as free downloads.

BookletCharts™ are nautical charts in booklet form, downloadable for printing from home computers. People like to put each page into a sheet protector, and keep the updated notebooks on their boats.


For the tons (and tons) of useful information that can’t be put on the nautical charts, check out the United States Coast Pilot®, nine volumes of supplemental information important to safe and enjoyable navigation.


What’s happening on the water? nowCOAST is a web mapping portal to real-time coastal observations and NOAA forecasts, helping boaters stay aware of the ever-changing marine environment.


U.S. Chart No. 1 is the guide for understanding the symbols, abbreviations, and terms used on nautical charts.


It’s fun to learn the history of where you’re sailing, and studying old charts sometimes reveal histories you never suspected. Our Historical Map & Chart Collection has over 35,000 images, covering offshore and onshore sites. They include some of the nation’s earliest nautical charts, bathymetric maps, city plans, and even a special collection of Civil War maps, charts and sketches.

Historical Maps & Charts emblem

If you’ve got an Android tablet, don’t forget our beta test of a new app. MyNOAACharts allows users to download free NOAA nautical charts and editions of the U.S. Coast Pilot for easy use in trip planning and while sailing.


Do you want to teach kids about nautical charting? Explore these educational activities and videos, including the animated primer on nautical charts, Travel the Seas.

Travel the Seas

Finally, this reminder: Coast Survey is the nation’s nautical chartmaker, responsible for charting 3.4 million square nautical miles of U.S. coastal waters and the Great Lakes. We need your help. While we use four NOAA survey ships, six 28-survey boats, a 57-foot research vessel, and private contractors to acquire hydrographic data to update charts, it isn’t nearly enough to keep up on changes of the seafloor and coasts. We need you to report discrepancies between what’s on your chart and what’s in the water. Report charting discrepancies online or call 888-990-6622.

And have a fun (and safe) time on the water!


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