The National Observatory of Athens (NOA) is the first research Institution created in Greece (1842). The activities of NOA are organized in 3 research Institutes, namely the Institute of Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing (IAASARS); the Institute of Environmental Research and Sustainable Development (IERSD); and the Geodynamics Institute (GI). Besides basic and applied research and services to the society, these Institutes provide the facilities for student training in collaboration with other Greek and foreign Universities. NOA hosts the UNESCO Chair for Natural Disasters and the Greek Focal Point of the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS), operates the National Seismological Network, participates in the OPTICON and other international research networks, etc.
The IERSD was established in 1846 and constituted the first official Meteorological Service of Greece, operating almost all meteorological stations of the existing network until 1931, when the National Meteorological Service was founded. It holds the longest and most complete climatological records in Greece, spanning a 150-yrs period, and a historical record of atmospheric ozone data, monitored from 1900 to1940, which is unique for Southeastern Europe. A milestone to the evolution of the Institute was the study of atmospheric pollution, through the systematic monitoring of pollutants with a network of six stations (passed to the Ministry of the Environment in 1984, forming the basis of the National Network for the Monitoring of Atmospheric Pollution. In 1999 the Institute was renamed as Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development (IERSD), in response to the modern environmental challenges for a sustainable future. Its activities expanded further towards the study of impacts of development on the environment, climate change, hydrology & natural resources management, air quality and energy saving. Currently, IERSD with its research and consultancy activities has become a national "focal point" for environmental issues and provides several added value services in the national economy, environment and society.