OER's Public Affairs Office communicates within NOAA and to the Department of Commerce, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Capitol Hill, and the general public, the vital need to explore Earth's largely unknown ocean for the purpose of discovery and the advancement of knowledge. Public Affairs supports communications in traditional ways, such as issuance of news releases; and in new ways, including the promotion of live video streaming from the seafloor to audiences ashore. Increasing numbers of "citizen scientists" can observe the distant seafloor and hear scientists live as they comment on what they are seeing.
- Publishes News Releases
Public Affairs writes and releases compelling news articles that strongly invite the public's attention to the vital role that OER plays in ocean exploration and the positive impacts from the resulting observations and discoveries that benefit NOAA and the nation.
- Promotes OER's Education and Outreach Website
Public Affairs promotes OER's education and outreach website, Ocean Explorer, which boasts over 10 million visits per year.
- Organizes Virtual Exploration Experiences
Public Affairs encourages the public to become "citizen scientists" and "virtual explorers" by participating in telepresence-enabled Internet sessions to experience ocean exploration in real-time by watching live streaming video from the Okeanos Explorer's remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), Deep Discoverer and Seirios.
- Hosts Public Events and Forums
Public Affairs organizes ocean exploration events and tours of the Okeanos Explorer and Exploration Command Centers (ECCs) for the general public, media, and students. Public Affairs also hosts forums and symposia, which frame the basis for a U.S. National Ocean Exploration Program.
- Answers Public, Media, and Legislative Inquiries
Public Affairs develops answers and responds to a wide variety of public, media, and legislative inquiries, some of which involve sensitive government issues.
Contact Information for OER Communications:
Fred Gorell, OER Public Affairs
1315 East-West Highway,
Silver Spring, MD 20910
phone: (301) 734-1021