SALISBURY, MD---Global positioning systems? Not in 1807.
That was the year President Thomas Jefferson recognized the need to chart the coastal waters as vital to the independence and prosperity of the economy and to the security of the then-fledgling United States.
Jefferson compelled Congress to pass an act establishing the Survey of the Coast, a predecessor agency of today’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the nation’s first scientific agency.
This year, NOAA and the Smithsonian Institution celebrate the bicentennial of national mapping with the traveling exhibit “From Sea to Shining Sea: 200 Years of Charting America’s Coasts.” The 20-chart exhibit comes to Salisbury University June 21-28, where it hangs in the lobby of Henson Science Hall. SU is one of only six Maryland agencies hosting the display.
“This year we are proud to be holding a year-long celebration of 200 years of science, service, and stewardship to the nation with its roots in the Survey of the Coast,” said Captain Steven R. Barnum, director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, which is one of the four offices that continues to carry out the original agency's mission. “We are honored that our partnership with the Smithsonian Institution has produced this vibrant depiction of our history to help us commemorate this distinguished occasion.”
Once the exhibit ends, the prints will be moved permanently to SU’s Geography Department offices and the office of the Eastern Shore Geographic Information Systems Cooperative.
Sponsored by the Department of Geography and Geosciences and University Galleries, the exhibit is free and the public is invited. For more information call Dr. Michael Scott at 410-543-6456 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.