Building Blocks - The Foundations of Our Science
Without a strong foundation, structures become weak and fail. Science is no different. Here are a few of our foundational building blocks that have become an established baseline for ocean stewardship and science excellence.
Sound science requires a strong foundation made with solid, reliable building blocks. Developing those building blocks takes time, thought, and fortitude. For us, that’s 150 years of asking tough research questions. Many of our surveys, equipment, methods, research programs, and reference collections simply started as questions: Can we measure it?, How do we measure it?, or What do we measure it with? . Let’s take a look at the history and evolution of a few of our foundational building blocks, and see how they became established baselines of ocean stewardship and science excellence that you can’t find anywhere else.
Standard Seawater? Yes, There is Such a Thing!
Spencer Baird established the first federal fisheries lab in Woods Hole for a number of reasons. One of them was the salinity of the seawater, which he felt was suitable for rearing animals and a consistent source for research experiments.
Today the NEFSC has an entire laboratory built to support aquaculture. But did you know this charge goes all the easy back to 1872, then $15,000 in Congressional funding to the U.S. Fish Commission started a nationwide fish propagation effort? Read more about how the commission took on this project and successfully moved fish live fish from the East Coast to the West Coast in the days before flight.
NOAA's Long History of Water Column Sampling in the Northeast
What started as ocean exploration in 1912 is now a broadly focused, long-term program. We supply critical information to climate research and predictions, fisheries and protected species management, and basic science.
Learn more about the history of column sampling.