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Prominent Oceanographic Institutes in the United States Essay

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Updated: May 15th, 2021

The American Geophysical Union (AGU), Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI), and the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) are some of the most prominent oceanographic institutions in the US. American Geophysical Union is located on Florida Avenue in Washington, D.C. (“Contact Us”). The organization was founded by the National Research Council. The year of the foundation was 1919. For over five decades, the AGU functioned as the affiliate of the National Academy of Sciences. Since 1972, the institution has been working independently (“Our History”).

The activity of the AGU is focused on reaching four strategic goals that include talent pool, scientific collaboration and leadership, science and society, and organizational excellence (“Strategic Goals and Objectives”). There are twenty-eight objectives, such as expanding training opportunities, increasing recognition and effectiveness of the institution, raising awareness of limited natural resources, and developing strategies for collaboration. The research specialty of the AGU is related to the areas of geophysics that include space sciences, solid-Earth sciences, atmospheric and ocean sciences, and hydrologic sciences. The research specialty is not dictated by the characteristics of the region. The organization is international, and its numerous members work on a variety of scientific projects.

HBOI is a non-profit oceanographic organization run by Florida Atlantic University. HBOI is located in Fort Pierce, Florida (“Location/Maps”). The institution was founded in 1971 by J. Steward Johnson and Edwin A. Link. The merger with Florida Atlantic University happened in 2007. Nearly 200 ocean scientists and staff work on driving innovation in coral reef conservation, marine engineering, and science, ocean modeling and dynamics, aquaculture, marine drug discovery, and marine science education (“About Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute”).

The institution is focused on research, education, and engineering areas, including aquatic health, fish and gastropod aquaculture, marine microbiology, drug discovery, cell biology, marine mammal research and conservation, and other important spheres. It is possible to assume that the location of the institution was selected due to the physical and biological characteristics of the region. Florida is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.

Because of such a location, there are ample opportunities for marine research in the area. The situation makes it easy for HBOI staff and scientists to access the areas of the ocean where they perform studies. The collaboration with Florida Atlantic University provides possibilities for students to work in research fields from the start of their education.

The GSFC is located in Greenbelt, Maryland, nearly 10 kilometers from Washington, D.C. The center was founded by NASA as a major space research laboratory (“About the Goddard Space Flight Center”). The institution was opened in 1959 as the first space flight center of NASA (“About the Goddard Space Flight Center”). Goddard plays a crucial role in the exploration of space since this is the institution’s research specialty. The responsibilities of the GSFC scientists include the management of communications between mission control. Goddard is also home to Hubble operations that make a considerable contribution to space research (“About the Goddard Space Flight Center”).

The specialty of the institution is not directly related to the region’s characteristics. The location was most probably chosen because of the proximity to the capital, where the majority of scientific and research laboratories are situated. The significance of the organization’s mission also influenced the choice of the location.

Works Cited

Harbor Branch, 2018. Web.

NASA. 2018. Web.

“Contact Us.” American Geophysical Union, 2018. Web.

Harbor Branch, 2018. Web.

“Our History.” American Geophysical Union, 2018. Web.

“Strategic Goals and Objectives.” American Geophysical Union, 2018. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Prominent Oceanographic Institutes in the United States." May 15, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/prominent-oceanographic-institutes-in-the-united-states/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Prominent Oceanographic Institutes in the United States'. 15 May.

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