Message from NOAA chief Jane Lubchenco:

March 11, 2010

You’ve probably heard me say how much I value communications, both for the advancement of science and the good of our society.

Good communication, at the most basic level, can unify us. It strengthens our democracy and creates an environment of transparency and trust.

Good communication is essential for science. By translating complex science into understandable information and providing meaningful context behind the day’s headlines, we can equip decision-makers with the knowledge they need to take action on issues such as climate change , rebuilding our fisheries and protecting our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes. Our responsibility is to communicate
clearly and accurately.

Good communication means maintaining an open dialogue with the people we serve — the public, our constituents, our partners and ourselves. It is integral to NOAA’s mission and is at the heart of good governance.

To do this, we need to be bold. We need to be creative. We need to tell more stories about our natural world and the important work NOAA employees are doing every day.

And, we need to communicate whatever way works best: either through words, pictures, video, podcasts — or a mix of methods.

*Social media are helping us to accomplish this — and more. * These interactive tools are keeping us
connected to an ever-expanding online community of NOAA staff, constituents, partners and citizens across the globe in ways we could not have dreamed even a decade ago.

Many of you are familiar with my Facebook page launched this past fall with help from NOAA’s Communications & External Affairs social media team.

With an expanding base of more than 4,000 Facebook subscribers (or “fans”), the page is helping people inside and outside NOAA — including me — keep their fingers on the pulse of the work that we do and the issues affecting us. It also provides the public a forum for engaging and discussing NOAA news, initiatives and scientific research.

However, you may not be familiar with *NOAA’s larger portfolio of social media tools* that include:

A large number of people and groups are following NOAA daily news and  happenings every day:

  • More than 23,000 fans follow NOAA on *Facebook*, and more than 8,500 are following our posts (“tweets”) on *Twitter*.
  • NOAA has nearly 600 *YouTube* subscribers and has had more than 60,000 video views. Our most popular video is “Scientists Discover and Image Explosive Deep-Ocean Volcano (approaching 35,000 views) followed by “NOAA Helps USS New York Clear Bridge (9,000+ views).
  • The White House, the House Committee on Science and Technology, the Associated Press Climate Pool, Washington Post and Baltimore Sun are just some from an expanding list of organizations and media outlets who regularly follow NOAA on *Twitter*.

What topics, in general, are most popular among those who follow our sites? *Whale disentanglements, sea turtle rescues, underwater volcanoes, oil spills, marine debris, corals, dam removals, fisheries management*, *weather *and* climate change* top the list.

Check them out for yourself! For a full listing of _all_ of NOAA’s social media pages, visit: Thanks again for continuing to spread  the word about all of NOAA’s interactive communications “outposts” and helping to keep Americans virtually connected to their natural world.


Dr. Jane Lubchenco
Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator

Note: Oregon Sea Grant’s Facebook page now has 31 followers; the FaceBook Page for the HMSC Visitor Center has 257 followers.