The Field Operations Division (FOD) operates and maintains all of CO-OPS oceanographic and Great Lakes observing systems that are required to meet our numerous mission objectives. Maintaining the continuous operation of more than 400 water level and meteorological stations along the U.S. coastline requires extensive travel, and a variety of technical skill-sets.
Geodetic surveying, SCUBA diving, construction, electronics, and instrumentation are critical skills that are applied routinely during station maintenance. The Division has two Branches consisting of three facilities: Atlantic Operations Branch (AOB) located in Chesapeake, VA & Mobile, AL, and the Pacific Operations Branch (POB) located in Seattle, WA.
The data collected by FOD are the foundation for public policy for many matters, including: port development, maritime and navigation safety, coastal zone, flood zone, Great Lakes, coastal management and policy decisions. Field personnel may be the first or only personnel the public have contact with, so we ensure that all field work is conducted with care for property, courtesy to stakeholders or the general public, and wearing of appropriate clothing, safety gear, and personal protective equipment.