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Virginia K. Tippie has become director of NOAA's National Ocean Service, which is responsible for collecting and distributing information about oceans and coastal areas.

As leader of one of NOAA's five major offices, Tippie's title is Assistant Administrator of Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management. She oversees offices that compile ocean maps, predict tides, monitor global climate and pollution, and manage coastal programs like the National Marine Sanctuary and the National Estuarine Research Reserve. Tippie was previously director of the NOAA Estuarine Program Office, which recently was made part of the office of the NOAA Administrator. From 1981–86 she directed the EPA's congressionally mandated Chesapeake Bay Program. Before that she directed the Center for Ocean Management Studies at the University of Rhode Island. Tippie has also been a special assistant to the chairman of the National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere.