Ocean Observing and Monitoring Division

The Ocean Observing and Monitoring Division (OOMD) in the Climate Program Office (CPO) is NOAA’s observing enterprise that addresses a wide range of needs for climate and environmental information to understand past and present conditions, as well as foundational information for predicting future changes. OOMD has led the development of in situ observation systems for the global/open oceans and the Arctic. Additionally, OOMD has sponsored research leading to value added information and products based on a wider range of NOAA climate observing systems. This plan articulates our strategy to maintain this leadership role and embrace new opportunities to evolve, improve, and expand our activities in targeted areas.

OOMD-supported activities are an important foundation for a modern climate enterprise that aspires to advance (1) scientific understanding, (2) monitoring and prediction of climate, and (3) understanding of its impacts to improve available climate information and enable effective decisions on the part of resource managers and decision/policy makers. As such, the observations and information that OOMD supports provide a foundation that is critical for monitoring of changes in the climate system; predicting climate (on time scales of weeks to centuries); developing our understanding of processes in the ocean, at the ocean-atmosphere interface, and in the Arctic and how they contribute to change in the state of the climate,; and identifying impacts of such changes across the earth system – e.g., on marine ecosystems, sea level, sea-ice extent, coastal oceans, an acidifying ocean, energy and transportation (especially for the Arctic), and weather and climate extremes such as droughts, flooding, and tropical cyclones.

OOMD’s activities also contribute significantly towards fulfilling the requirements of key international programs including the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) and Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). OOMD provides essential ocean, Arctic, and climate observations and information to improve understanding, build toward better predictive capabilities, and foster a more informed and climate resilient society.


Why we exist: to provide high-quality long term global observations, climate information, and products to researchers, forecasters, and other users to inform and prepare society for environmental challenges


What we hope to achieve: a sustained, comprehensive, and responsive global climate observing system that seamlessly delivers information and products to our partners and users within and beyond NOAA, and that provides a critical foundation for climate, weather, and environmental decision making

OOM's unique contribution

What we are uniquely positioned to do: OOM provides leadership for sustained global in situ ocean climate and Arctic observing systems and is the U.S. Federal Source for sustained climate observations and information in support of research, monitoring, and prediction

(Read more in the Strategic Plan).

Program activities aim to:

  1. Build and sustain a global climate observing system according to climate monitoring principles
  2. Develop and maintain long time-series indicators of climate variability and change
  3. Develop and maintain standard data sets for initialization and evaluation of climate forecast models, assessments of climate change, and informed risk management
  4. Develop informational products, diagnostics, and assessments of observed climate variability and change on global to regional scales


SST Government Performance Measure (supported by OOM): Satellite Bias Correction by in situ SST data

The difference between satellite measurements and surface measurements is calculated for all 1000 kilometer square regions of the global ocean surface. The differences for all regions are then averaged. The average difference produces a single indicator number for the global ocean. That indicator is calculated monthly and graphed in a time series.

Check out the current performance!


The resulting global observations and products contribute to other NOAA Programs, national and international capabilities aimed at understanding, modeling, and forecasting of the earth system, as well as developing targeted information to better inform society about changes of the earth system, including better response options. Access to these global observations and analyses of observational data has provided our Nation with invaluable information needed to better minimize climate-related risk and maximize climate-related opportunities. The program also provides data and information management support for national and international climate assessments. The Ocean Observing and Monitoring Division supports and coordinates its observing efforts with other activities in NOAA, other federal agencies, as well as international partners.


In Loving Memory of  Dr. Stephen Piotrowicz 5 April 2018

In Loving Memory of Dr. Stephen Piotrowicz

Our dear friend and distinguished colleague Dr. Stephen (Steve) R. Piotrowicz passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on April 2, 2018. While we, his NOAA colleagues, are deeply saddened by his departure and miss him sorely, we are also celebrating his life, leadership, and remarkable legacy of scientific achievements.

NOAA’s Climate Program Office awards $38.8M to advance scientific understanding, improve predictions, and enhance community and coastal resilience 1 November 2017

NOAA’s Climate Program Office awards $38.8M to advance scientific understanding, improve predictions, and enhance community and coastal resilience

NOAA’s Climate Program Office (CPO), a part of NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), has awarded $38.8 million for 78 new projects* in FY 2017. The projects — ranging from advancing the understanding and prediction of drought to building resilience in coastal communities — will expand the breadth and scope of NOAA’s current climate research and offers opportunities for NOAA to collaborate with outside experts and new stakeholders.

Biology and Beyond in the Arctic 2 October 2017

Biology and Beyond in the Arctic

Third article in our Summer Series

What is IASOA? 5 September 2017

What is IASOA?

Summer Series about the Arctic Research Program


Contact the OOMD Division Chief

Executive Assistant, OOMD, Riverside Technology, Inc.
P: 301-427-2466
E: monica.morales@noaa.gov

Program Support, Riverside Technology, Inc.
P: 301-427-2461
E: claudia.perez@noaa.gov

Contact Arctic Research

Dr. Emily Osborne *

P: 301-427-2467
E: emily.osborne@noaa.gov

Contact OCO

Dr. James Todd
Program Manager, OceanSITES 
P: 301-734-1258
F: 301-427-0033
E: james.todd@noaa.gov

Dr. Sid Thurston
Program Manager of International Development
P: 301-427-2459
F: 301-427-0033
E: sidney.thurston@noaa.gov

Tony Perry III LCDR
P: 301-427-2465
E: tony.perry.iii@noaa.gov

Dr. Kathy Tedesco (UCAR)
Program Manager, 
Ocean Climate Observations
P: 301-427-2462
E: kathy.tedesco@noaa.gov

Dr. Emily Smith
Program Manager, GLOSS and Communications Specialist
P: 301-427-2463
E: emily.smith@noaa.gov

Dr. Shelby Brunner*
P: 301-427-2473
E: shelby.brunner@noaa.gov


Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2017, the United States experienced a record-tying 16 climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 362 lives, and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted, costing more than $306 billion. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.


Climate Program Office
1315 East-West Hwy, Suite 1100
Silver Spring, MD 20910