NOAA Education and Outreach frequently asked questions

The NOAA Outreach Center is happy to answer education and outreach-related questions. Here are some answers to our most commonly asked questions. If you have more questions, please reach out to us at education@noaa.gov.

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Connecting with NOAA

How can I contact my local NOAA office?

NOAA has offices in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as weather service offices in the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. 

Visit NOAA in your backyard to find points of contact for local NOAA offices. 

How can I connect with NOAA on social media?

As one of the federal government’s premier science agencies, NOAA is using social media tools to share critical information and provide the public a better understanding of the work we do on behalf of  the ocean, our coasts, fisheries, climate, atmosphere and weather sciences. 

You can connect with NOAA’s main social media channels. We also invite you to connect with NOAA Education’s social media channels, too.

Will you share an article I wrote or a resource I developed?

NOAA is a part of the U.S. federal government, and the content we share typically only comes from NOAA, formal NOAA partners (for example, grantees or partners that have a Memorandum of Understanding or Memorandum of Agreement with NOAA), or federal partners (other government agencies). NOAA Education and NOAA Office of Education do not accept articles submitted from external sources without an existing partnership. 

One exception is Climate.gov, which does form content-sharing relationships with other agencies, institutions, and groups who share their goals, objectives, and communication strategies. You can read more about this under “How can I publish my content on NOAA Climate.gov?” on their frequently asked questions page.

How can I verify the employment status of a current or former employee?

Federal employees

NOAA is part of the Department of Commerce, which has an online portal for employment verification. Their website explains:

Visit online at www.theworknumber.com and enter the Commerce Company Code of 10342, your social security number and a Personal Identification Number (PIN). Your PIN is the four digit number denoting the month and day of your birth. For example, if your birth month and day are January 15, your PIN is 0115.

You can read more at the NOAA employment verification page.

Contracted employees

Reach out to the contract company that employed the contractor. Check with the person in question to determine the company name and point of contact.

Interns

If possible, find out if the intern was part of a structured internship program (like Hollings, EPP/MSI, or Lapenta). If so, please look up the program and reach out to the internship program itself for verification. If the intern was not part of a formal program, reach out to the office where the intern was housed. Please ask the intern for as much information as possible (office name and location, supervisor name). You can find contact information for most current NOAA employees in the staff directory

 

Where can I find out about NOAA funding opportunities?

If you are looking for general information about NOAA funding opportunities, visit grants.gov and do a keyword search under “search grants” on the left. NOAA listings currently appear under “Department of Commerce”.

For grants from the Office of Education, follow NOAA Education on social media for competition updates. If your program is working to build community resilience through education, check out NOAA’s Environmental Literacy Program or email oed.grants@noaa.gov for further inquiries. For funding to support place-based experiential environmental education for K–12 students and related professional development for teachers, check out the NOAA B-WET program.

Using NOAA content

Can I use NOAA content in a product I am developing?

Nearly all of NOAA content, including images, videos, data products, educational materials, and more, is in the public domain and can be used without express permission. However, please read the guidance below to make sure you are using the content correctly.  

Not all content on a NOAA website is NOAA-sourced. Please read credits carefully to verify the source. If the source does not list NOAA or a NOAA program, you will need to reach out to the source for permission. 

If you use NOAA content, please do:

  • Credit NOAA, the NOAA program, if listed (e.g. National Weather Service, NOAA Fisheries, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, etc.), and the name of an individual, if listed. 
  • Note that some NOAA programs request specific credits. Please follow any instructions on a particular website as to how to use or cite the content. 

You may not

  • Claim NOAA content as your own (e.g. by claiming copyright for federal information).
  • Use NOAA content in a manner that implies an endorsement or affiliation with the U.S. Government.
  • Modify the content or misrepresent the content, and then present it as official government material. (If you make any edits, make it clear that you edited it.)
Why don’t NOAA Education pages have authors?

Many NOAA pages do not list authors. This is because our content is representing NOAA as an agency or the NOAA Office of Education as a subset of NOAA, not the writing or viewpoints of any individual person. This includes news and stories, unless they are written in the first person.

NOAA stands for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a part of the U.S. federal government under the Department of Commerce. Learn more about who we are.

The resource collections are written by NOAA Office of Education staff in partnership with scientists and other experts from NOAA. For example, the oil spills collection was made with help from the NOAA Office of Response and Restoration, the hurricanes collection was made with help from the National Weather Service, and the climate change impacts collection was made with help from staff from the NOAA Climate Program Office 

 

Careers, internships, and scholarships

How can I get a scholarship, internship, or fellowship with NOAA?

Most formal NOAA student programs (scholarships, internships, fellowships) can be found at noaa.gov/students. Please note that most have deadlines many months before the program will begin. 

Some field offices may have more informal internship opportunities. You can always reach out to local offices to inquire about other opportunities available. Visit NOAA in your backyard to find points of contact for local NOAA offices.

How can I get a career with NOAA?

Most federal positions with NOAA can be found at USAJobs.gov. Search "NOAA" in the search bar to see available opportunities. 

If you are interested in contracting positions at NOAA, you can use “NOAA” as a keyword search in a job search engine.

If you are interested in a wage mariner position, you can learn more and apply here

If you are interested in a career with NOAA Corps, you can learn more here.

Can I get a job or internship with NOAA if I am not a U.S. citizen or U.S. national?

NOAA is a part of the U.S. federal government, and most jobs on USAJobs.gov are federal positions that require U.S. citizenship. You can learn about finding jobs for non-U.S. citizens at USAJobs.gov.

You may also find some contract positions at NOAA that do not require citizenship. You can search for “NOAA” as a keyword in a job search engine to look for contract positions.

Most formal NOAA internship and fellowship programs are for U.S. citizens or nationals, though there are some exceptions. The Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship is open to students attending an accredited U.S. college or university. Some opportunities through Sea Grant may be open to international applicants, but again, there may be a requirement to attend a U.S. institution.

How do I apply to the SkillBridge program?

The DOD SkillBridge program is an opportunity for Service members to gain valuable civilian work experience through specific industry training, apprenticeships, or internships during the last 180 days of service. SkillBridge connects Service members with federal agencies and industry partners through real-world job experiences.

For tracking purposes, all queries about the SkillBridge program at NOAA must go to their main email address: skillbridge.opportunities@noaa.gov. The program recommends contacting them with both a personal and your military email address, as .mil email addresses may block responses. Also please check your spam folder if you have not received a response.

The NOAA Office of Education has no oversight or coordination role with the SkillBridge program and cannot answer any questions about the program.

Common weather questions

How can I find past weather data?

You can search for past weather at our Climate Data Online portal. The easiest way to do it is to click on the blue “Search Tool” box. You will likely want to select “Daily Summaries” from the “Select a Dataset” drop down and then enter the date and location that you are looking for.

How can I obtain certified weather data?

If you need certified data for insurance, a court case, or any other reason, please follow these instructions. Please note that there is a cost associated with certified data, but all other NOAA data is free.

How can I remove the NOAA weather app that is charging me fees?

NOAA and the National Weather Service do not have a weather app. NOAA data is in the public domain, and outside organizations are allowed to use NOAA data to create their own apps. Sometimes they use NOAA in the app’s name, but there is no weather forecasting app supported by NOAA. You will need to reach out to the developer of the app with your comment. You can find this information in the Google Play or Apple App store on your phone. If you are being charged and can’t make this stop, you can also reach out to your credit card company for assistance.

The National Weather Service provides instructions on how to use and bookmark their mobile site.

How far in advance can meteorologists predict the weather?

Meteorologists can make fairly accurate weather predictions 5-10 days in the future. Beyond that, there is too much variability offsite link in our atmosphere to make accurate weather forecasts.

You can find a seven-day forecast for your location at weather.gov. You can find broad, nationwide outlooks for eight days through three months in the future from the Climate Prediction Center. These longer-term forecasts are not specific, but are rather nationwide trends.

What should I do if I find a radiosonde/weather balloon?

If you find a radiosonde (part of a weather balloon) and it still has an intact prepaid postage mailbag, you can send it back to the National Weather Service so it can be reused. 

If the radiosonde is missing a mailbag, is damaged (for example, the exterior casing is crushed), or was found floating in water, it should be disposed of following regulations in your area for handling discarded electronics with depleted lithium batteries.

You can see photos and read more here

You are also welcome to keep it if you would like!