Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is marine debris?
Our oceans are filled with items that do not belong there. Huge amounts of consumer plastics, metals, rubber, paper, textiles, derelict fishing gear, vessels, and other lost or discarded items enter the marine environment every day, making marine debris one of the most widespread pollution problems facing the world's oceans and waterways.
Marine debris is defined as any persistent solid material that is manufactured or processed and directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, disposed of or abandoned into the marine environment or the Great Lakes. Learn more about marine debris and find out how to prevent it.
NOAA divers from the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center diving unit have been working since 1996 to remove marine debris, specifically derelict fishing gear, from the Hawaiian Archipelago. Every year they set out on the NOAA Ship Hi'ialakai to survey vast swaths of coast line and coral habitat to collect tons of the derelict fishing gear. Read more about why this is important and what they have collected so far on the NOAA Fisheries website.
Where can I find information on a specific NOAA Ship?
When and how long are the Teacher at Sea cruises?
Participants can expect to be at sea anywhere from one week to one month, with the average cruise lasting 12-14 days. Most of our participants try to sail on cruises offered during the summer vacation, but cruises take place throughout most of the year on a space-available basis.
Can I work on a NOAA ship?
NOAA ships are run by a combination of NOAA Corps officers, civilian wage mariners, and other federal employees while being supported by NOAA's Marine Operations Center. Each of these has a different hiring path. If you are interested in an exciting seagoing career on technologically-advanced platforms, please visit here. Applicants must be U.S. citizens to be considered.
How do I identify a NOAA ship?
The webpage for each NOAA ship has images and hull numbers for you to compare. The facilities webpage is also a useful tool to learn which ships frequent a specific home port or fleet group facility. NOAA Corps officers and OMAO/NOAA personnel may log into the ShipTracker to help locate a specific ship.