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Note: An Annual Comprehensive Review, as required by §7 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, is conducted each year on committee data entered for the previous fiscal year (referred to as the reporting year). The data for the reporting year is not considered verified until this review is complete and the data is moved to history for an agency/department. See the Data From Previous Years section at the bottom of this page for the committee’s historical, verified data.

DOC - 80491 - Ocean Exploration Advisory Board - Statutory (Congress Created)


Committee NameOcean Exploration Advisory BoardAgency NameDepartment of Commerce
Fiscal Year2020Committee Number80491
Original Establishment Date8/6/2012Committee StatusChartered
Actual Termination Date Committee URL
New Committee This FYNoPresidential Appointments*No
Terminated This FYNoMax Number of Members*15
Current Charter Date7/26/2016Designated Fed Officer Position Title*DFO
Date Of Renewal Charter7/26/2026Designated Federal Officer Prefix
Projected Termination Date Designated Federal Officer First Name*David
Exempt From Renewal*YesDesignated Federal Officer Middle Name
Specific Termination AuthorityDesignated Federal Officer Last Name*McKinnie
Establishment Authority*Statutory (Congress Created)Designated Federal Officer Suffix
Specific Establishment Authority*33 U.S.C. 3401 et seq.Designated Federal Officer Phone*206-526-6950
Effective Date Of Authority*3/30/2009Designated Federal Officer Fax*301-713-1967
Exempt From EO 13875 Discretionary CmteNot ApplicableDesignated Federal Officer Email*
Committee Type*Continuing
Committee Function*Other Committee


Agency Recommendation*Continue
Legislation to Terminate RequiredNo
Legislation StatusNot Applicable
How does cmte accomplish its purpose?*The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) Oceans Exploration Advisory Board (the Board): a. advises the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere (Under Secretary) on priority areas for survey and discovery; b. assists the program in the development of a 5-year strategic plan for the fields of ocean, marine, and Great Lakes science, exploration, and discovery; c. reviews annually the quality and effectiveness of the proposal review process established under Section 12003(a)(4); and d. provides other assistance and advice as requested by the Under Secretary.
How is membership balanced?*The Board consists of approximately ten members including a Chair and Co-chair, designated by the Under Secretary in accordance with Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) requirements. Consideration is given to members that are experts in fields relevant to ocean exploration, including ocean scientists, engineers and technical experts, and experts in education and communications. Membership is open to individuals from academia, government, industry, non-governmental not-for-profit organizations, and other ocean-related institutions. Consideration is also given to members that have national and international reputations, or have degrees or professional qualifications in: physical, chemical, or biological oceanography, social sciences, or ocean engineering, technology, operations, education, and/or communications. Members have scientific credentials and/or relevant experience that enable them to provide expert advice concerning the Boards' roles within the context of NOAA’s ocean missions and policies. OTHER BALANCE FACTORS: The categories of professional sector, geographic, gender and ethnic diversity are considered in the selection of Board members but are secondary to the scientific and technical expertise required.
How frequent & relevant are cmte mtgs?*The Board meets approximately three times per year. The meetings are required to assure that all members are fully informed and are provided the opportunity to contribute.
Why advice can't be obtained elsewhere?*The Board is established by law. It reports to the NOAA Administrator as directed by 33 U.S.C. 3401 et seq.
Why close or partially close meetings?N/A
Recommendation RemarksRe: payments to federal members: We have a member who is employed by USGS and one employed by NASA. In the past, we were asked to include a value for the salary of Federal employees who were members of the OEAB for their participation in meetings even though NOAA does not, of course, cover the salary costs of these members. The RGEs are being reimbursed for travel and per diem by their home agency.
"Please see the Costs page for details on these payments."


Outcome Improvement To Health Or Safety*NoAction Reorganize Priorities*Yes
Outcome Trust In GovernmentNoAction Reallocate ResourcesYes
Outcome Major Policy ChangesYesAction Issued New RegulationsNo
Outcome Advance In Scientific ResearchYesAction Proposed LegislationNo
Outcome Effective Grant MakingYesAction Approved Grants Or Other PaymentsNo
Outcome Improved Service DeliveryYesAction OtherYes
Outcome Increased Customer SatisfactionNoAction CommentOcean Exploration and Research (OER) has begun to implement many of the OEAB recommendations that fall within its span of control.
Outcome Implement Laws/Reg RequirementsYesGrants Review*No
Outcome OtherNoNumber Of Grants Reviewed0
Outcome CommentN/ANumber Of Grants Recommended0
Cost Savings*Unable to DetermineDollar Value Of Grants Recommended$0.00
Cost Savings CommentOEAB recommendations could result in efficiencies and cost savings to government, but these are not possible to quantify.Grants Review CommentNote that the OEAB is charged with an annual review NOAA's process for making ocean exploration grants, not a grants review. The OEAB conducted this annual review at its March 31-April 1 2015, 13-14 September 2016, and again at its January 2018 meeting.
Number Of Recommendations*50Access Contact Designated Fed. Officer*Yes
Number Of Recommendations CommentThe OEAB provided again 2 major sets of recommendations in addition to comments on various NOAA documents (such as comments on the NOAA strategy documents. These took the form of multi-page analyses of and recommendations, including a 50 page report and 16 recommendations on actions NOAA should take in support of the Blue Economy and an analysis of full-ocean depth ocean exploration capability. The OEAB also recertified the OER federal funding opportunity process to the NOAA Administrator in FY20. The annual FFO certification is required by law. The OEAB met three times during the fiscal year and produced letters summarizing recommendations or its FFO process certification at each meeting. Some of these recommendations were high-level strategic recommendations, or are recommendations that must be implemented over time, or are recommendations that NOAA may implement in the future. The NOAA Deputy Administrator met with the OEAB chair several times and participated in the all three FY20 meeting as an expression of his interest in the Board’s activitiesAccess Agency WebsiteYes
% of Recs Fully Implemented*75.00%Access Committee WebsiteYes
% of Recs Fully Implemented CommentSee comment above. The OEAB provides complex analysis and recommendations, many of which must be implemented over time.Access GSA FACA WebsiteYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented*15.00%Access PublicationsYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented CommentSee comment above. Recommendations partially implemented generally require time (more than one year) to implement.Access OtherNo
Agency Feedback*YesAccess CommentAll OEAB documents and meeting information are available at the OEAB website (
Agency Feedback Comment*The agency provides feedback through formal letters to the OEAB chair, through senior agency participation in OEAB meetings, and through discussions between the OEAB chair and the OER director.Narrative Description*The purpose of the Board is to advise the Under Secretary on matters pertaining to ocean exploration including the identification of priority areas that warrant exploration; and the development and enhancement of technologies for exploring the oceans, managing the data and information, and disseminating the results. The Board also provides advice on the relevance of the program with regard to the NOAA Next Generation Strategic Plan and other guiding documents.
Hide Section - COSTS


Payments to Non-Federal Members*$0.00Est Payments to Non-Fed Members Next FY*$0.00
Payments to Federal Members*$0.00Est. Payments to Fed Members Next FY*$0.00
Payments to Federal Staff*$25,000.00Estimated Payments to Federal Staff*$25,000.00
Payments to Consultants*$0.00Est. Payments to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Non-Federal Members*$12,500.00Est Travel Reimb Non-Fed Members nextFY*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Members*$5,000.00Est Travel Reimb For Fed Members*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Staff*$2,500.00Est. Travel Reimb to Fed Staff Next FY*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Consultants*$0.00Est Travel Reimb to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Other Costs$0.00Est. Other Costs Next FY*$0.00
Total Costs$45,000.00Est. Total Next FY*$25,000.00
Federal Staff Support (FTE)*0.15Est. Fed Staff Support Next FY*0.25
Cost RemarksOne of the three meetings (December 2019) was held in person.Est Cost RemarksWe expect that all meetings in FY21 will be virtual.
Hide Section - Interest Areas

Interest Areas

Applied Science
Applied Sciences
Basic Science
Basic Sciences
Computer Technology
Data Integrity
Data Quality
Social Services
Natural Resources
Oceans and Atmospheric Sciences
Food and Drugs
Federal Government
International Organizations
Research and Development
Science and Technology
Science and Technology
Social Sciences
Social Sciences


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Data from Previous Years

ActionCommittee System IDCommittee NameFiscal Year
 COM-035853Ocean Exploration Advisory Board2019
 COM-034282Ocean Exploration Advisory Board2018
 COM-001360Ocean Exploration Advisory Board2017
 COM-002923Ocean Exploration Advisory Board2016
 COM-003446Ocean Exploration Advisory Board2015
 COM-005055Ocean Exploration Advisory Board2014
 COM-005586Ocean Exploration Advisory Board2013
 COM-007244Ocean Exploration Advisory Board2012