Do you NOAA our history?

It’s National Trivia Day! Take this quiz to see how much you know about NOAA’s history.

Questions

1. Which President founded America’s oldest scientific agency?

A. John Adams

B. Thomas Jefferson

C. John Quincy Adams

D. Andrew Jackson

2. What was the first government agency to provide weather observations and warnings?

A. Department of Agriculture

B. Department of Commerce

C. U.S. Army

D. U.S. Air Force

3. When was the first weather satellite launched?

A. 1960

B. 1953

C. 1970

D. 1962

4. Where was the first marine research station located?

A. A windmill in Washington

B. A shed in Massachusetts

C. An aquarium in Maryland

D. A lighthouse in Connecticut

5. What was the name of the first vessel built especially for marine research by any government?

A. Pathfinder

B. George S. Blake

C. Albatross

D. Bibb

6. What prompted the founding of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps?

A. When civilian coast surveyors were working with the Armed Forces during the Civil War

B. When the US acquired the Philippines and Puerto Rico and coastal surveying was needed in those territories

C. When, during World War II, over half of the commissioned officers of the Coast & Geodetic Survey were transferred to either the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps

D. When un-uniformed civilian scientists accompanying Armed Forces were in jeopardy of being considered spies if captured by the enemy during World War I

7. Which were the first National Marine Sanctuaries established?

A. Monterey Bay and Gray’s Reef

B. Mallows Bay-Potomac River and Thunder Bay

C. Olympic Coast and American Samoa

D. Monitor and Key Largo

Answers

1. The answer is B! Thomas Jefferson founded the nation’s first scientific agency, the Survey of the Coast, to provide nautical charts to the American maritime community for safe passage into American ports and along our extensive coastline in 1807. It later became part of NOAA.

A painting of President Thomas, from the chest up on a brown background.
Official Presidential portrait of Thomas Jefferson (by Rembrandt Peale, 1800)

2. The answer is C! The first government agency to provide weather observations and warnings was established within the U.S. Army in 1870. The Weather Bureau began in 1890, when Congress transferred these services to the Department of Agriculture.

1872 weather map for the United States, created by the U.S. Army's Signal Service.
1872 weather map for the United States, created by the U.S. Army's Signal Service.

3. The answer is A! The first weather satellite, the TIROS-1, was launched in 1960. While in orbit for 78 days, TIROS-1 generated 23,000 pictures of the Earth, enhancing our understanding of meteorology and expanding our view of our planet, its natural wonders, and its place in the heavens.

TIROS-1, the world's first weather satellite, was launched  by NASA on April 1, 1960.
TIROS-1, the world's first weather satellite, was launched by NASA on April 1, 1960. (NASA)

4. The answer is B! The first marine research station started in a borrowed shed in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and grew into the nation’s center of fisheries research. It also houses the first public aquarium in the United States.

A black and white photo of the original Woods Hole, MA lab building with renovations, 1875. A crate housing a piano is visible on the horse-drawn carriage at right.
The original Woods Hole, MA lab building with renovations, 1875. A crate housing a piano is visible on the horse-drawn carriage at right. (NOAA Fisheries, NEFSC Historical Collection)

5. The answer is C! The Albatross was the first vessel built especially for marine research by any government. In the year 1881, Congress authorized an appropriation totaling $148,000 for the construction of the vessel. The keel was laid in March 1882, the ship was launched in August, and she made her trial run on December 30.

A drawing of the ship, Albatross, dredging in the ocean.
The Albatross dredging. (Report on the Construction and Outfit of the United States Fish Commission Steamer Albatross, by Lieutenant-Commander Z. L. Tanner, U. S. N. United States Commission of Fish and Fisheries.)

6. The answer is D! With the entry of the United States into World War I in 1917, the commissioned service of the Coast & Geodetic Survey was formed in order to eliminate the unexpected situation that arose during the Civil War, where civilian scientists accompanying armed forces were in jeopardy of being considered spies if captured by the enemy.

A group of NOAA Corps officers posing for a photo in the wardroom of the Coast and Geodetic Survey Ship Explorer. Eight men are standing and five more men are kneeling in front of them.
NOAA Corps officers. Standing L to R - Jeffers, Tison, Malnate, Wennermark, Grenell, Clark, Conerly, Sawyer. Kneeling - L to R, Dr. Lush, Upham, _ , _, David Whipp. Wardroom of the Coast and Geodetic Survey Ship Explorer. (Family of Captain David M. Whipp, C&GS)

7. The answer is D! The Monitor National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Key Largo, Florida (now part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary) were the first areas to be designated as such in 1975.

Corals in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Corals in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (NOAA)

 

Scoring

Find out which animal you are, based on your score!

0-2 Correct

You’re a regal angelfish! We’re glad you’re interested in NOAA’s history and hope you learned a lot from our quiz!

A regal angelfish swims through a coral reef. It has electric blue, bright yellow, and white stripes and a bright green tail.
Regal angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus). ( Dr. Dwayne Meadows, NOAA/NMFS/OPR)
3-4 Correct

You’re an octopus! Our quiz was hard, but we hope it taught you more about NOAA’s history!

A greyish octopus curls upside down, nestled in a coral reef.
Octopus (NOAA OKEANOS Explorer Program , 2013 Northeast U. S. Canyons Expedition)
5-6 Correct

You’re a spotted dolphin! We can tell you love NOAA and our history and are glad we could teach you a bit more about it!

A spotted dolphin in the ocean. The photographer has caught it mid-jump, with it's reflection below it.
Spotted dolphin. (Chris Cutler)
All 7 Correct

You’re a Western gull, practically NOAA mascot, Safety Seagull, himself! You’re a true blue NOAA history buff and we appreciate you!

A Western gull stands amidst greenery and yellow flowers.
A Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) sits among the coreopsis on Anacapa Island. California, Channel Islands NMS. (Claire Fackler, CINMS, NOAA.)