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international activities

The Oceanic and Atmospheric Research International Activities Office (OAR/IA) advances NOAA’s science enterprise and priorities on ocean, atmosphere, and climate. 

NOAA maintains a dedicated and vibrant research enterprise that provides a holistic understanding of how weather, climate, ocean, and coastal systems are inextricably interconnected with each other and with society. 

OAR is NOAA’s research capability which innovates, incubates, and integrates new ideas and new technologies that result in improved services for the Nation.

The OAR International Activities Office:

  • Leverages international collaborations and strategic partnerships;
  • Supports U.S. foreign policy objectives through active participation in the Science and Technology (S&T) fora and;
  • Serves the needs of OAR laboratories and programs on specific research issues and operational requests. 

These efforts support NOAA’s overall vision of healthy ecosystems, communities, and economies that are resilient to environmental change. OAR/IA has four operational objectives:

  1. Advise NOAA and its research leadership on international science policy, strategies, programs,and issues in support of U.S. foreign policy and corporate science priorities;
  2. Support and represent OAR interests and programs by serving its laboratories on international programmatic,administrative and operational needs;
  3. Promote strategic partnerships with national and international organizations that benefit NOAA and OAR’s research programs in climate, atmospheric, and marine science; and
  4. Lead U.S. science and technology partnerships by serving as executor and administrator for several of NOAA’s bilateral agreements with Australia, China, France, Indonesia, India, Japan, and Russia.

 

SPECIFIC AREAS OF OAR/IA'S OBJECTIVES ARE:
 

1) Leadership Support, Policy, Management and Coordination

OAR/IA advises NOAA and its Research leadership on international science policy, strategies, programs and issues in support of U.S. foreign policy and corporate science priorities, participates in NOAA International Affairs Council (IAC) meetings and its Working Groups, meets weekly with the NOAA Director for International Affairs, and responds to IAC data and information calls. OAR/IA staffs and accompanies NOAA and OAR leadership to domestic and overseas international meetings and events, holds weekly staff meetings, and participates in weekly OAR leadership staff meetings.

2) Bilateral Cooperation

OAR/IA provides executive and management oversight for NOAA on seven formal agreements with:

  • Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO),
  • China’s State Oceanic Administration (SOA),
  • The French Research Institute for Exploration of the Sea (Ifremer),
  • Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF),
  • India’s Ministry of Earth Science (MoES),
  • The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and,
  • The Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS)

The U.S. chairperson for these bilaterals is the OAR Assistant Administrator. OAR/IA Program Analysts carry out U.S. Executive Secretarial functions, including staffing on NOAA-wide strategic planning, project coordination, and implementation of joint activities.

OAR/IA supports and coordinates, as needed, Joint Commission Meetings (JCM) on the corresponding government-to-government science and technology agreements, which are led by the Department of State (DOS) and/or the Office for Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on behalf of the United States. In addition, OAR/IA manages program activities involving ocean-climate, ocean, and coastal observations; aquaculture; and Sea Grant International (SGI). OAR/IA oversees and administers corresponding project funds under the NOAA Joint Program Agreement (JPA) with South Korea, and staffs OAR for the NOAA-Environment Canada MOU.

3) Multi-National Cooperation

OAR/IA staff supports the United States permanent representative for the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) for both annual domestic and international meetings, as well as information requests during the year.

4) Strategic Partnerships

OAR/IA responds to NOAA and OAR science priorities (Ocean Acidification, Ship-time, Arctic/Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), Environmental Modeling and Weather Research, etc.) and seeks, develops, and leverages new international partnerships that advance the interests of NOAA’s research. These efforts could entail developing a new strategic partnership with a foreign ministry or agency that NOAA does not have a formal agreement with or has had limited interaction with in the past.

Much of NOAA’s ongoing international science and technology enterprise is driven by gaining access to foreign data, technology, expertise, geographic locations, or engaging in cost-sharing opportunities on large-scale projects of mutual interest. These same drivers apply to NOAA’s new and emerging science priorities which require new linkages and relationships with foreign counterparts.

5) Administration and Operational Support

OAR/IA processes all foreign travel packages for the line office, including all country clearance cables, passport and visa requests, foreign national J1 visa requests, and Marine Scientific Research (MSR) requests. It also responds to external data calls and information requests from DOS, OSTP, and other agencies on international science and resource issues. It staffs OAR laboratories and programs on international issues and process requests for international field campaigns, research programs and operations, coordinates and manages all international executive correspondence to be signed by the AA and DAAs, oversees budget planning, formulation and execution for the office.

International Activities Staff Listing & Duties

Name/Title Portfolio Support Functions
René Eppi
Director 
(301) 734-1099
rene.eppi@noaa.gov
  • Senior advisor on international matters to OAR AA/DAA 
  • Direct report to NOAA Director for Int’l Affairs 
  • Oversight of all program and staff activities 
  • GOOS/shiptime 
  • UAS-lead Arctic Observations
  • Senior advisor on international matters to OAR AA/DAA
  • Direct report to NOAA DAS for Int’l Affairs
  • Oversight of all administrative & operational functions
  • Personnel Actions/Performance Evaluations
  • IAC-Lead
  • Budget formulation, management and execution
Rhonda Brown
Administrative Assistant
(301) 734-1095
rhonda.brown@noaa.gov
  • Assist director and program staff as needed
  • Special projects
  • Country profiles
  • Director’s calendar/Scheduling meetings
  • Controlled correspondence- backup
  • Day-to-day IA operations
  • Country Clearance Cables
  • Travel preparation and processing ((FTC) Foreign Travel Coordinator for the Line/Corporate Office Headquarters)- lead
  • Office files  
  • Logistical support for meetings
Wanda Howard
Program Support Specialist
(301) 734-1098
wanda.howard@noaa.gov
  • Canada
  • Pacific Islands
  • Korea-JPA administration and support
  • Office lead for international meeting preparation and logistics
  • Assist on program execution functions
  • T&A
  • Personnel Actions
  • MOU/IA clearance process
  • OAR MSR POC
  • Foreign Visitors/Clearances/Process- Lead
  • Controlled correspondence-Lead
  • Travel preparation/processing- backup
  • Country Clearance Cables – back-up
  • J1 visa requests
Terry Schaefer
Program Analyst 
(301) 734-1187
terry.schaefer@noaa.gov
LCDP detail until 3/13
  • China
  • Korea (including Korean Sea Grant)
  • IOC
  • Environmental modeling
  • IAC-Back-up
  • Controlled correspondence, assessments, other requests lead
Ed Gorecki
Program Analyst
(301) 734-1094
edward.gorecki@noaa.gov
  • India
  • Oceania (Australia)
  • Latin America
  • Indonesia
  • Africa
  • Controlled correspondence, assessments, other requests
  • IAC-Back-up
  • Communications/IA Website
Scott van der Hyde
SG Fellow
(301) 734-1276
scott.vanderhyde@noaa.gov 
  • Europe (incl. France bilat, Statoil, EC)
  • Russia
  • Middle East
  • UAS - assist
  • Controlled correspondence, assessments, other requests
  • IAC-Back-up

OAR PROGRAMS

We conduct research in three major areas: weather and air quality, climate, and ocean and coastal resources.

OAR LABS

The laboratories and their field stations are located across the country and around the world.

LAB REVIEWS

Scientific reviews are conducted every four years to evaluate the quality, relevance, and performance of research conducted at the OAR laboratories.

INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITIES

The Oceanic and Atmospheric Research International Activities Office (OAR/IA) advances NOAA’s science enterprise and priorities on ocean, atmosphere, and climate.

Oar Headquarters

Phone: 301-713-2458
Address: 1315 East-West Highway Silver Spring, MD 20910

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About Us

The Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) - or "NOAA Research" - provides the research foundation for understanding the complex systems that support our planet. Working in partnership with other organizational units of the NOAA, a bureau of the Department of Commerce, NOAA Research enables better forecasts, earlier warnings for natural disasters, and a greater understanding of the Earth. Our role is to provide unbiased science to better manage the environment, nationally, and globally.

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