SIDEBAR 3-3 Ocean Drilling Program Facilities

The Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) is an international scientific drilling endeavor sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and 21 participating countries. The prime contractor for the program is Joint Oceanographic Institutions (JOI), Inc., a private, non-profit corporation based in Washington, D.C. JOI Inc. was established in 1976 to manage cooperative research programs for the international oceanographic community under the oversight of a consortium of 14 U.S. academic and research institutions.

Data gathered by the ODP are proprietary to the members of the appropriate drilling leg scientific party for 1 year after sample collection and are then released to the public domain. The ODP and its predecessor, the Deep Sea Drilling Program (DSDP), store cores in four repositories. The Gulf Coast Repository (GCR) at Texas A&M University in College Station maintains more than 140,000 meters (459,318 feet) of ODP core obtained from the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Its operational costs in fiscal year 2001 were $152,204. The West Coast Repository (WCR), at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, maintains 130,960 meters (429,659 feet) of DSDP core from the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The WCR was funded for $147,527 in fiscal year 2001. The East Coast Repository (ECR), at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York, maintains more than 80,000 meters (262,467 feet) of ODP and DSDP core. The ECR was funded for $261,467 in fiscal year 2001. The Bremen Core Repository (BCR) at the University of Bremen, Germany, maintains more than 72,000 meters (234,000 feet) of ODP cores obtained from the Atlantic and Southern Arctic Oceans. Curation costs for the Office of the Curator, which oversees all the ODP repositories, were funded at $133,030 in fiscal year 2001. Storage and maintenance of ODP material will continue through fiscal year 2004 when these materials will be transferred to the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). The facilities have planned to have enough space to accommodate additional cores from the next 2 years of drilling, and will maintain the cores an additional year, to allow the IODP time to arrange their storage plans. Refrigerated storage at the GCR is shown below.

The Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling (JOIDES) science advisory structure is responsible for the provision of scientific advice and guidance to ODP management. The science advisory structure is composed of the JOIDES Executive Committee and a number of scientific and technical advisory committees and panels (see Figure 4-1). The advisory structure office (the JOIDES Office), which rotates between U.S. and overseas institutions at 2-year intervals, currently is located at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami. Texas A&M University, as the program’s science operator, manages the drillship (JOIDES Resolution) operations, shipboard staffing, data collection, core curation, and publications. The Borehole Research Group at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is responsible for providing downhole geophysical logging services, such as collecting, processing, and distributing logging data.

Committee Conclusions of Best Practices: (1) wide (geographic) and diverse clientele; (2) community- and user-based science advisory committee; (3) common-sense regional repositories with good, regionally based holdings; (4) private, state, and federal consortium; (5) research-community emphasis on timely publication of results from collections studies and citations of collections use; (6) adequate funding (as of 2001).

SOURCE: Frank Rack, JOI, personal communication, 2001.

Interior of the Ocean Drilling Program GCR, College Station, Texas. Each box contains a partial length of a single core. SOURCE: Ocean Drilling Program.

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