The NOAA Research Laboratories conduct an integrated program of research, technology development, and services to improve the understanding of Earth's atmosphere, oceans and inland waters, and to describe and predict changes occurring to them. The laboratories and their field stations are located across the country and around the world.
The laboratories have established formal collaborative agreements with universities/non-profit research institutions to form joint research institutes that are centers of scientific excellence pertaining to the earth's oceans, inland waters, intermountain west, atmosphere, and arctic environment.
Scientific reviews are conducted every four years to evaluate the quality, relevance, and performance of research conducted at the OAR laboratories. These reviews help to strategically position laboratories in their planning of future science and are intended to ensure that OAR laboratory research is linked to the NOAA Next Generation Strategic Plan, remains relevant to the NOAA research mission and its priorities, and is consistent with NOAA planning, programming, and budgeting processes.