Rear Admiral Shepard M. Smith (Bio)
Director, Office of Coast Survey
The nation's nautical chartmaker
President Thomas Jefferson created the U.S. Coast Survey in 1807 to provide nautical charts that would help the young nation with safe shipping, national defense, and maritime boundaries. Two centuries later, Coast Survey – now an office within NOAA – continues to provide navigation products and services that ensure safe and efficient maritime commerce on America’s oceans and coastal waters, and in the Great Lakes.
Innovative applications beyond navigation emerge as researchers harness evolving technologies. These advancements give Coast Survey tremendous opportunities to help the nation meet the challenges of the changing environment. Applying the newest advancements for survey and detection, data adds to our scientific knowledge of the coastal seafloor. With this knowledge, we can simulate sea level effects on coasts and ecosystems, identify sensitive marine habitats, select alternative energy sites, identify geological hazards, and predict the impact of environmental conditions on species and habitats.