May 14, 2023

Sharing NOAA’s key focus areas – via quilt

Posted by Laura Guertin

Hanging quilt with letters N-O-A-A and ocean-themed imagesI was in a meeting recently with a group of community members, when again, I was reminded how many people know of NASA but know very little (if anything) about NOAA. I will continue to write blog posts (A New Year’s resolution: help the public learn about NOAA, Celebrate the ocean and NOAA in June [World Oceans Month], What NOAA means to me, and how to “make it matter” to others, and other NOAA posts) and find additional ways to share the science and importance of NOAA in and out of the classroom, especially with the start of the North Atlantic Hurricane Season on June 1. And I’m not afraid to dig into my science communication toolkit to find creative approaches – even if it requires using a quilt!

For my friends and colleagues that are with me on a laptop, I encourage them to explore the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) website to learn about this “agency that enriches life through science. Our reach goes from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor as we work to keep the public informed of the changing environment around them” (from About our agency). This quilt then highlights the key focus areas of NOAA’s work: research, weather, climateocean & coasts, fisheries, charting, satellites, marine & aviation, sanctuaries, and education.


The quilt was completed on February 17, 2022, and measures 39 inches across by 49 inches in height. The majority of fabrics representing the key focus areas came from Spoonflower.


The fabric used for the letters N-O-A-A has a snowflake pattern, calling attention to the work NOAA does with the crysophere. The back of the quilt is not featured in the video, but it is the same fabric used for the hanging sleeve. The gallery of images below shows some of these quilt details not in the video. (*Note you may need to click on the image below to activate the animated GIF, with each image advancing every 7 seconds)

close-up images of hanging quilt


Do you have any activities or strategies to assist audiences in learning about NOAA? Note that June is National Ocean Month (in the United States) and World Oceans Day (June 8 – and there is some conversation around whether to call is “oceans” or “ocean” and drop the “s”) – be prepared to share your ocean knowledge, even if it involves some “creative” approaches!