Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.
OCR for page 79
J Domestic Organization and Management of an Ocean Exploration Program Incorporating a new ocean exploration program into the U.S. marine science field presents numerous challenges. The large scale of the program, the interdisciplinary nature of the research, and the need for participation by a number of agencies must be taken into consideration. The United States maintains the world's largest national commitment to national and international ocean research. Progress in the ocean sciences is largely attributable to support given to individual, independent projects and to large-scale, multiple-investigator programs. Support of U.S. ocean research programs comes primarily from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Office of Naval Research, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminis- tration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the U.S. Geological Survey, with additional support from many other government and private sources. The large scale of the program, the inter- disciplinary nature of the research, and the need for participation by a number of agencies must be taken into consideration. In a review of processes for selecting regional marine research, the National Research Council described four approaches: community plans, scientists' plans, agency plans, and legislative mandates (National Research Council, 2000b). Briefly, community plans are developed using a broad range of input from stakeholders, planners, and researchers; scientists' plans are developed generally through a series of scientific fore; agency plans seek to meet mission requirements; and legislative mandates are direct congressional requests. Of the four types of approaches, both the scientists' and agency plans are the most commonly used for project selection, and could be appropriate for ocean exploration. NOAA funds research more readily using the agency plan model, while NSF uses the scientist plan model (National Research Council, 2000b). Within NOAA, this agency-driven research agenda serves to assist the agency with meeting its mission, which in the case of NOAA, 79
OCR for page 80
80 EXPLORATION OF THE SEAS includes such diverse needs as support for regulations protecting living resources (fisheries and protected species), navigational charts, and weather forecasting. Most NSF ocean research is motivated by scientists' plans and conducted under individual, competitively funded grants. Panels of peer reviewers judge proposals according to a host of criteria including investi- gators' track records, the importance of problems to be addressed, and the adequacy of investigative techniques. Broader criteria also are considered- educational benefits, outreach, and whether contributions are possible that wi l l benefit society. Th is process has worked wel l for short-term (two- to three-year) projects with clear, testable hypotheses. Larger programs, such as the World Ocean Circulation Experiment, the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, and the Ridge Interdisciplinary Global Experiments complement the smaller projects. The larger programs are developed with more inte- grated, interdisciplinary, and long-term goals that are too lengthy and intri- cate to be completed by a single investigator. Projects within those programs are selected not only for their scientific excellence, but also for their antici- pated contributions to broader program goals. Ocean exploration best fits within this last category of funding models: the program must be larger, better coordinated, longer term, and more interdisciplinary than individual investigator grants, while still being prima- rily science (rather than mission) driven. Individual exploration expeditions should be chosen based on their quality and their contribution to broader exploration goals. Even using this model as the basis for exploration, there are several choices for where this large-scale program would be placed within the federal government and how it would be structured. The National Research Council noted in its report Global Ocean Science that "tt~he effec- tiveness and to some degree, the character of these major programs can be greatly influenced by the program's structure" (National Research Council, 19991. For that reason, the committee invested substantial time and effort in debating the lead agency and administrative structure for ocean exploration so as to achieve a program that is: 1. goal and theme oriented; 2. scientifical Iy excel lent and creative; 3. international; 4. wel I funded i n the long term; 5. reasonably independent from the missions of agencies involved; 6. provided with access to the highest-quality technical assets; 7. multisector, involving government, commercial, academic, private, and nongovernmental organizations;
OCR for page 81
DOMESTIC ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT 8. highly visible to the public and involved in educational outreach; 9. efficiently managed; and 1 0. independently evaluated. PLACEMENT OF OCEAN EXPLORATION WITH I N THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT The committee struggled with the difficulty of simultaneously satisfying goals ~ and 7 above. Consistent, adequate funding for a large-scale pro- gram requires a strong advocate and leader to guide the initiative through the federal budget process. This is a potential argument for housing explo- ration within a single agency, but only if the agency considers the program a high priority. If the agency does not have a vested interest in the success of the program, other efforts will be promoted instead, almost surely result- ing in the program's demise. Placing an exploration program within a single agency, however, can dampen the interagency cooperation that is especially important in ocean research, which unlike space research, is scattered among a number of agencies including NSF, Navy, and NOAA. In recognition of the fact that many federal ocean science agencies bring capabilities and expertise to the table, the U.S. Congress created the National Ocean Partnership Program (NOPP) (Box 5.11. . · . . . A National Oceanographic Partnership Program Sponsored Exploration Program NOPP is the government's best attempt to date at interagency coopera- tion. NOPP has embraced the task of implementing ocean observatories in an integrated, multi-agency manner. For example, through NOPP, there is not just one agency advocating ocean observing: there are many. Through NOPP's Ocean.US office, which is jointly supported by several NOPP member agencies, this inter-governmental organization is tackling major issues on the development, installation, and operation of ocean observatories that either cannot or should not be undertaken by one agency in isolation. NOPP is able to pool funds from the partner agencies and nonfederal sources to fund research proposals that respond to a broad interagency solicitation. The program has consistently encouraged proposals from teams that include academic, commercial, federal, and other not-for-profit partners. The leaders of the agencies meet twice annually to review program accomplishments and directions, and an Interagency Working Group is tasked with the day- to-day operation of the program. The program's independent advisory 81
OCR for page 82
82 EXPLORATION OF THE SEAS NOPP is a collaboration of 14 federal agencies that seeks to lead and coordinate national oceanographic research and education programs. The National Ocean Research Leadership Council (NORLC), the decision-making body of NOPP, confirms NOPP activities and funding opportunities (Figure 5.11. NORLC is responsible for establishing NOPP policies and procedures. NORLC meets biannually to review and approve NOPP activities, reporting annually to Congress. NORLC membership is legislatively mandated to include the heads of the 14 federal agencies involved in conducting or funding ocean research or developing ocean research policy. With membership that reflects NORLC's, the Interagency Working Group manages the day- to-day oversight and coordination functions of NOPP, such as formulation of recommendations to NORLC, implementation of NORLC decisions, routine interactions across agencies under NOPP, coordinating with the Ocean Research Advisory Panel, and oversight of the NOPP Office. The Interagency Working Group also makes funding recommendations to NORLC and oversees any interagency processes necessary to transmit funds for approved NOPP activities. The Ocean Research Advisory Panel meets twice a year to provide scientific guidance to NORLC. It is composed of representatives from the National Academies, ocean industries, state governments, academia, and other appropriate organizations and communities. The Federal Oceanographic Facilities Committee, composed of federal oceanographic fa- cilities managers, advises NORLC on policies, procedures, and plans relating to oceanographic facility use, upgrades, and investments. The Committee also provides guidance on require- ments and other matters relative to national oceanographic assets. The NOPP Office was established by NORLC to assist in the management of NOPP and provide daily administrative support. Using competitive procedures, a contract for the opera- tion of the NOPP Office was awarded to the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Educa- tion in July 1 997. group, the Ocean Research Advisory Panel, has already recommended that NOPP embrace ocean exploration as an additional theme area to comple- ment ocean observing and to better engage the public in ocean issues. NOPP is an existing organization that would allow the major agencies with an interest in ocean exploration and the necessary assets, such as NOAA, NSF, and the Navy, to pursue a major program cooperatively, and assume leadership of various aspects as fits with the agency's ability. For example, NOAA might take on the task of systematic ocean mapping, with NSF piggybacking programs for assessing biodiversity in the midwater, while the Minerals Management Service adds the equipment and expertise to assess nonliving resources on those mapping expeditions. An additional
OCR for page 83
DOMESTIC ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT 83 FIGURE 5.1 Current governance structure of the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (used with permission from the National Oceanographic Partnership Program Office). advantage of placing an ocean exploration program under the auspices of NOPP is that it allows for other member agencies, such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Environmental Protection Agency, to participate at any level with- out any additional bureaucracy. Within NOPP, a new Ocean Exploration Interagency Task Force could integrate the initiative across the full range of governmental capabilities and encourage efficient use of funds. Task force membership should include representatives from all federal agencies with ocean interests, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, to ensure that relevant ocean exploration disciplines, such as marine archaeology, are included. The task
OCR for page 84
84 EXPLORATION OF THE SEAS force should be aware of and promote efficient leveraging of assets that could be achieved by conducting ocean exploration activities during the course of other oceanographic missions. The task force would convene to coordinate ocean exploration initiatives and opportunities at the govern- ment level worldwide. The group would encourage cooperative inter- national use assets. Funding agencies should be engaged early through the task force to plan for collaborative exploration programs proposed by inter- national groups of scientists. The major drawback of a NOPP-sponsored ocean exploration program is that NOPP itself cannot directly receive funds appropriated by Congress. Garnering the financial resources for NOPP projects is dependent on the goodwi 11 and cooperation of the member organ izations. I nteragency coor- dination is not unprecedented the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System combined the efforts of the Departments of Commerce (NOAA) and Defense to consolidate satellite needs for polar data gathering. NOAA leads the management, the Department of Defense leads acquisition efforts, and NASA provides technology developments to meet the systems' operational requirements. However, funding a major program through separate line items in many agency budgets is not a desir- able situation. The committee believes that NOPP could be a nearly ideal home for ocean exploration if the difficulties in funding NOPP programs can be overcome. The tremendous disadvantage NOPP programs face in the federal funding process has received considerable attention from the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Funded Exploration Program In recognition of the need for a separate program for ocean exploration, and in response to the report of the President's Panel on Ocean Exploration (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2000), NOAA created an Office of Ocean Exploration in 2001 and has received modest funding to support it. NOAA managers develop program plans and choose expedi- tions from solicited proposals after seeking advice from a panel of peer reviewers. Clearly, capitalizing on this existing NOAA program and office could assist in the establishment of a new, large-scale program. The office has leveraged agency assets efficiently, and NOAA has worked to seek adequate funding for the program. Since its establishment, the NOAA program has included an engaged and substantial outreach program, and it has shown commitment to elementary and secondary education. NOAA's
OCR for page 85
DOMESTIC ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT experience in public affairs, education, and outreach would be an asset to an ocean exploration program. There are specific elements of NOAA upon which a successful, truly global program can be built. They include NOAA's rapid response capabil- ity, the ocean and atmospheric modeling work done in conjunction with NASA, and problem solving demonstrated by targeted programs such as the Hydrothermal Vents Program and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab. NOAA's current program has significant drawbacks, however. Outside the agency, the Ocean Exploration program is perceived as favoring internal NOAA agency topics and U.S. coastal regions, as opposed to exploring new frontiers in the least known oceans. The perception arises, in part, from the opaque budget and program selection processes. Program goals are vague, making it difficult to maintain exploration priorities independent of NOAA's mission. As a result, it could be difficult for the agency to maintain program direction true to its founding vision in times of fiscal hardship and in the face of pressure to focus on the agency mission. Recurring problems, such as slow grant processing and a lack of responsiveness to researchers, undermine the program's reputation in the oceanographic community, and are likely to only get worse if the program grows in size. For instance, the academic research community is not engaged in the expedition-planning process. As a result, support from the community is not likely to increase as necessary for a premier program. O O O Although allowances should be made for this young program, the trends in management, funding, and involvement of the scientific community have been troubling. Congressional earmarks are already appearing in the pro- ~ram budget resulting in a limited programmatic flexibility; the highest priority areas and highest quality proposals often do not receive funding. The office appears to be somewhat of an orphan ocean exploration is not included in the latest NOAA strategic plan (National Oceanic and Atmo- spheric Administration, 2003b). There also are no plans for a completely external, independent assessment of program success. If these problems were allowed to persist in the management or oversight of a larger program, the quality and effectiveness of the program would be seriously compro- mised. For a large-scale ocean exploration program to be successfully led by NOAA, there must be a fundamental departure from the current NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration. At a minimum, the agency would need to demonstrate a high-level commitment to exploration, a more open forum for setting program goals, a more transparent decision-making process, more efficient program management, the willingness to involve major agency 85
OCR for page 86
86 EXPLORATION OF THE SEAS partners and undergo external review, and an improved ability to protect ocean exploration funds from redirection towards mission-oriented research. The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy has recognized some of the struc- tural problems that limit the effectiveness of NOAA as the nation's oceans agency. A National Science Foundation Funded Exploration Program The National Science Foundation already has experience in running a major ocean exploration program. The International Decade of Ocean Exploration (IDOE) was a large-scale ocean exploration effort that incorpo- rated many separate projects from 1971 to 1980. Congress provided funding through NSF, a non-mission-oriented agency, and, although the program was directed by an NSF program manager, advice was provided by a steering group comprising of members of the academic community. The program was deemed a success and remained true to the founding vision. A new program in ocean exploration that followed the examples of IDOE would benefit from NSF's reputation for excellence both nationally and internationally. Incorporating an exploration program into NSF would not create any new institutions, and it would take full advantage of University- National Oceanographic Laboratory System capabilities. NSF also has relatively low administrative overhead, leaving more funds available for research. NSF has successfully managed the U.S. Antarctic Program (National Science Foundation, 1997), which shares some elements of an ocean explo- ration program: high-tech infrastructure, multidisciplinary research, grants management, and logistical support. NSF management of other successful programs the Ridge Interdisciplinary Global Experiments, the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP), and the World Ocean Circulation Experiment is familiar to the oceanographic community and could result in strong research com- munity involvement and support. Programs conducted under this model, especially IDOE, have boosted the international visibility and scientific output of the oceanographic community and produced data sets of lasting value. Incorporating an ocean exploration program within NSF would not be without problems. During IDOE, NSF had difficulty engaging federal part- ners, such as NOAA, NASA, and the U.S. Navy, so assets were not effectively leveraged. Scientists from agencies with stated missions were at a dis- advantage in academic peer review because of their unfamiliarity with the process and with the academic research community. Although siphoning
OCR for page 87
DOMESTIC ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT of exploration funds to agency missions must be avoided, a successful exploration program should allow agency scientists to compete fairly in the proposal process. More importantly, an NSF model could result in a loss of commitment from NOAA, the agency that is most aggressively pursuing the program. Finally, although NSF has significant input into the scheduling of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System facilities for NSF- funded science, its experience in operating ships through ownership or lease is restricted to the Office of Polar Programs and ODP, and thus it has less control over the capabilities and operations than is necessary for an exploration program. After weighing the issues involved in oversight and funding, perhaps the most appropriate placement for an ocean exploration program under the auspices of NOPP, provided that the problems with routing funds to NOPP- sponsored projects is solved. This solution has the best chance of leading to major involvement by NOAA, NSF, and other appropriate organizations such as the Office of Naval Research. The committee is not prepared to support an ocean exploration program within NOAA unless the major short- comings of NOAA as a lead agency, as described above, can be effectively and demonstrably overcome. A majority of the committee members felt that the structural problems limiting the effectiveness of NOAA's current ocean exploration program are insurmountable. A minority of the commit- tee members felt that the problems could be corrected. If there is no change to the status quo for NOPP or NOAA, the committee recommends that NSF be encouraged to take on an ocean exploration program. Although a program within NSF would face the same difficulties of the existing NOAA program in attracting other federal (and nonfederal) partners, NSF has proven successful at managing international research programs as well as a highly- regarded ocean exploration program that remained true to its founding . . vlslon. Finding: After exhaustive deliberation, the committee found that an ocean exploration program could be sponsored through NOPP, or through one of the two major supporters of civilian ocean research in the nation: NOAA or NSF. Recommendation: NOPP is the most appropriate placement for an ocean exploration program, provided the program is revised to accept direct appropriations of federal funds. If those funding issues are not resolved, NOAA (with consideration to the comments above) or NSF would be appropriate alternatives. 87
OCR for page 88
88 EXPLORATION OF THE SEAS MANAGEMENT OF AN OCEAN EXPLORATION PROGRAM An ocean exploration program could be managed within the ing agency or through a contract to an independent entity. In the past, it was common for major programs to be managed from within the sponsoring agency, even at NSF, which maintains a lean administrative structure and no in-house research or facilities. The advantages of retaining the manage- ment for major programs within the sponsoring agency are that the agency retains ownership of the program, connections to other internal agency programs are tight, and those within the agency who have nurtured the program are rewarded by assuming leadership. In fact, this is the route that NOAA has adopted for its current ocean exploration program. In recent years, agencies are increasingly turning to nongovernmental groups to take on the day-to-day operations of large programs. The advan- tages of this approach are several. First, the process of competitive bidding for the management of the program leads to creativity in program design, cost savings and incentives for excellent performance. ~ Second, as pro- grams build up and close down, there is no need to accommodate the personnel requirements through agency headcount. NSF chose the inde- pendent contractor route i n select) ng the Joi nt Oceanograph ic I Institutions (101) (Box 5.2) to run ODP (Box 4.1), and has recently issued a request for proposals for management of the Ocean Observing Initiative. NASA will be selecting an independent contractor to manage the International Space Station (ISS) (Box 5.31. The advantages of an external contractor are potentially even greater for an ocean exploration program. For example, if NOPP were to lead the effort, management by an independent contractor would provide a neutral third party to balance the interests of the various agency partners and accept contributions from a variety of public and private sources. If NOAA were to . . . lead the program, management by an external group could mitigate some of the perceived inadequacies in the present, internal-NOAA program. For example, the program would be an "arm's length" away from the pressures of the agency mission and subjected to regular external review. Depending on the choice of the external managing organization, grant processing, priority-setting, connection to the external community, and transparency of decision making could be improved. If NSF were asked to lead the pro- gram, the agency would almost surely choose this route rather than build internally the infrastructure to manage the exploration-specific assets and data system. ~ . ~ . · . . ~ . _ · —
OCR for page 89
DOMESTIC ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT il 89 JOI is a private, nonprofit organization that brings to bear the collective capabilities of Individual oceanographic institutions on research planning and management in the ocean sciences. Membership is by invitation only, and currently stands at 18 institutional members. Members pay annual dues, which support some basic administration. JOI has successfully bid on the management of several major programs, such as NSF's ODP and the U.S. Science Support Program. The size of JOl's organization can expand or contract to meet the needs of its current contracts. Agencies with interests in marine research have also found JOI a useful organization for convening meetings and workshops given its responsiveness and connection to the aca- demic community. The central controlling body of JOI is the JOI Board of Governors, whose members are representatives of U.S. oceanographic and marine research institutions, or other organizations, that are partners in ODP (Figure 5.2, refer to figure for acronym definitions). EXCOM comprises U.S. and non-U.S. members and is a subcommittee of JOI. EXCOM approves scientific and opera- tional plans developed by SCICOM, and sets policies for the achievement of the program's objectives. Actions of EXCOM are subject to approval by the Board of Governors and JOI manages the program including international co-mingled funds. EXCOM also evaluates and assesses ODP accomplishments in the context of the established goals and objectives of the Long Range Plan. BCOM oversees and reviews ODP's program plans and budgets. The Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling's science advisory structure is directed by SCICOM, which consists of two Science Steering and Evaluation Panels, several planning groups, TEDCOM, OPCOM, and three service panels. Each of these units follows the guidelines and mandates of SCICOM that are EXCOM approved. SCICOM's responsibilities include: supervision of ODP's Long Range Plan; prioritizing drilling proposals that address the scientific goals of the Long Range Plan; approval of OPCOM's annual drilling schedule; long-term science develop- ment; organizing Program Planning Groups; internal and public communication; assigning advisory panels proposals to review; and suggesting prospective Co-Chief Scientists for each drilling leg. ESSEP and ISSEP evaluate drilling proposal quality and foster ocean drilling proposals that concentrate on issues that are best solved by drilling. These panels recommend proposals for external comment so that SCICOM can better rank them. TEDCOM recommends the appro- priate drilling tools and techniques required to meet scientific objectives, and recognizes tools and techniques that need to be improved and supervises this progress. OPCOM deals with operational issues, such as ship scheduling, technological development, and scientific measure- ments and advises SCICOM on scientific implementation and technological development needed to achieve ODP's goals (Ocean Drilling Program, 2001 a, 2001 by.
OCR for page 90
go EXPLORATION OF THE SEAS l FIGURE 5.2 The advisory structure for Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling (modified from Ocean Drilling Program, 2000).
OCR for page 91
DOMESTIC ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT 91 Perhaps the best-known international scientific collaboration is ISS. This innovative pro- gram seeks to construct human habitat in outer space, to allow humans to learn how to live and work in space, and to develop a world-class research facility. Research will be conducted on the effects of long periods of weightlessness on human health a prerequisite for human explora- tion of Mars. NASA began the space station program in 1984, and a memorandum of under- standing was signed by Canada, Japan, the European Space Agency, and the United States in 1989. Russia joined in 1993, and as of 1998, it had received about $800 million from NASA for U.S. portions of the space station that were contracted to Russia the only exchange of money between partners. Currently, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States are ISS partners (Smith, 20021. Financial and equipment contributions determine each nation's share in the research program. In 1998, NASA proposed that a nongovernmental organization, which would report to NASA, should oversee space station research by managing and operating ISS. In February 2003, "Congress gave NASA a green light to create a private institute for research aboard the orbiting laboratory" (Lawler, 20031. The arrangement will be modeled on NASA's Space Telescope Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland, which directs the Hubble Space Telescope (Smith, 20021. The nongovernmental organization, which should be selected by the end of 2004, initially will manage a few aspects of the space station pertaining to science, technology, and commercial research. Once competence is established, NASA will hand over increasingly more duties (Smith, 20021. By deferring ISS management to another organization, NASA hopes to better assist research, increase research opportunities, and enhance ISS's long- range efficiency in science, technology, and commercial research and development (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2002a). The decision to establish a private overseer was in response to FY2001 and FY2002 Appro- priations Acts (P.L 106-377; P.L.107-73), directing NASA to complete an assessment of ISS man- agement options. NASA analyzed a range of options, from the agency's continued supervision of ISS to establishing an independent government entity that would completely assume direc- tion of the space station. A thorough qualitative and quantitative analysis of each option led NASA to propose that a nonprofit institute could optimize ISS management. This institute would "perform research leadership functions for ISS, which will maximize return of science results, advanced technologies, and commercial applications" (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2002a). The implementation of a nonprofit institute is expected to lead to a more effective and efficient space station program. NASA seeks to reduce the research community's detachment from ISS, and dedicate itself to making ISS a world-class international research resource, with appropriate science guidance and opportunities for experimentation. Although not yet imple- mented, the use of a nonprofit organization appears to have advantages that would benefit a large-scale, international engineering and science program.
OCR for page 92
92 EXPLORATION OF THE SEAS Finding: Management of large-scale ocean research programs can be effectively and efficiently operated through the use of independent contractors. Nonfederal operators can receive support from multiple government agencies and receive financial support from private spon- sors. Independent audits of program performance can be used to ensure the program is achieving the desired outcomes. Recommendation: A nonfederal contractor should be used to operate the proposed U.S. ocean exploration program. The original contract should be awarded following a competitive bidding process. The program should be reviewed periodically and should seek to leverage federal resources for additional private contributions. SUGGESTIONS FOR THE OPERATION OF AN EXPLORATION OFFICE The committee believes that the arguments in favor of managing ocean exploration through a nonfederal contractor are compelling, regardless of wh ich organ ization sponsors the program. The management of an i ndepen- dent Exploration Program for the Oceans (ExPO) office should be competi- tively awarded. ExPO would establish science committees to formulate program plans, manage program assets, award competitive grants for explo- ration proposals consistent with planning, and award other grants and con- tracts. The contracts could include support for important infrastructure, such as data management. International expertise in the form of an Inter- national Global Ocean Exploration (IGOE) committee would provide the national program with advice from respected ocean explorers worldwide. Because ExPO would be chosen competitively and evaluated periodically, it would be subject to rigorous scrutiny and held to a high standard of accountability. The oversightof ExPO would be critical to ensure proper management and should include a board of governors, science committees, and an IGOE committee. Participants from the private sector, the academic community, and government would participate in those groups with the exception of the Board of Governors (Figure 5.31. The proposed ExPO structure offers a process for project selection that follows most closely the ODP model for review, ranking, and selection of proposals. Selection of projects would begin in the subcommittees of ExPO's Science Committee. Subcommittees could be geographic or the- matic (e.g., biodiversity and Arctic exploration). Each subcommittee would first design program plans based on broad questions using the scientific method. The subcommittees might convene community workshops to
OCR for page 93
93 - :~:~:~:~: £ ~ ~ ~ :::::::::::: AL Id. ~~ Do - 4_ Lo Q ~0 U1 o . _ 4— 4— . _ 4— u . _ Q o u o 4— . _ o - ~0 4— u 4— o .U1 ~5 4— o ~5 U1 u o o X Lo 4— o 4— u 4— U1 _ . ._ ~ U1 ~ O ~ . _ Lo Lo .r Q Cot Lo
OCR for page 94
94 EXPLORATION OF THE SEAS formulate the exploration plans, which ultimately would be approved by the Science Committee and shared with other subcommittees to identify areas of common interest and overlap. If overlapping areas are anticipated, subcommittee liaisons would be appointed. Teams of investigators would submit proposals that respond to elements of the program plan for one or more of the theme or priority areas. Proposal teams would have members from several disciplines, including, for in- stance, biology, geochemistry, marine chemistry, and physical oceanogra- phy, as necessary. Examples of appropriate proposals are presented in Boxes 5.4 and 5.5. Proposals would be distributed to the most appropriate subcommittee for review, with input from other appropriate subcommittees as needed. Each subcommittee would present its top-ranked proposals to the Science Committee each year, and superior but unfunded proposals for which there is continued interest would be considered again. The Science A team of investigators proposes to conduct autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) video surveys along a transect in the Atlantic Ocean between the Grand Banks and the Sargasso Sea to determine the identity, abundance, and diversity of mesopelagic fauna associated with surface productivity. Six AUVs will be equipped with conductivity, temperature, and depth counters; plankton counters; red lights; and low-light video cameras. AUVs will porpoise up and down through the water column in swath formation along the track, automatically homing in on the support ship periodically for fresh batteries and to download data. The surface ship is equipped with a remotely operated vehicle and a human occupied vehicle to collect for physiological and genetic analysis some of the more unusual, fragile, and undescribed species encountered along the transect. While the submersibles are serviced, the ship collects water samples via a rosette to measure carbon export from the surface waters via 234Th. The results are combined with satellite observations of chlorophyll appropriate to the season of the year and altimetry for real- time geostrophic oceanography data on the distribution of water masses. The transects are run four times: spring, summer, fall, and winter. A computer program makes a first cut through the videos to determine which frames show macroorganisms. A video analyst then identifies the organisms in the flagged frames, providing statistics on the absolute numbers of organisms and their diversity. The transect data are used to place the results from the submersible sampling within a broader framework of marine biomass and biodiversity. The ExPO office would be responsible for coordinating with other research programs, such as the Census of Marine Life, to integrate the new exploration data and relate the findings to the public.
OCR for page 95
DOMESTIC ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT 95 A team of investigators, consisting of physical oceanographers, marine chemists, and microbiologists, proposes to install an array of deep moorings under the Arctic ice to monitor the intrusion of warm, saline Atlantic seawater under the ice cap. The moorings are installed from an ice-breaker, with some sites in the array accessed by the ship's helicopter, which deploys a small drilling rig. The ship conducts multibeam mapping and other measurements along its course to contribute to other themes of the Arctic Science Committee. The deployed moorings are equipped with conductivity, temperature, and depth counters, nitrate analyzers, osmotic water samplers, and molecular probes that identify microorganisms by genetic code. The moor- ings have sufficient battery life to operate unattended for one year, during which time they monitor the waxing and waning of the intrusion of Atlantic water under the ice and the associ- ated transport of heat, chemical compounds, and microorganisms into the Arctic environment. Weekly data "messengers" are deployed to melt through the ice and transmit data to ExPO via satellite link. If a major under-ice event is observed, the program has the flexibility to deploy AUVs from any platforms ExPO is currently operating in the region to sample the intrusion front precisely and to collect supplemental data. Those data will be important in collecting the first year-round measurements of this dynamic environment important to our understanding of global climate patterns and change. Committee would then produce an exploration plan for the following year by selecting from the subcommittee-endorsed proposals and considering geography, program balance, and best likelihood of fundamental discovery. The Science Committee also would establish a mechanism for responding to unexpected opportunities that require quick action. INTERNATIONAL GLOBAL OCEAN EXPLORATION COMMITTEE WITHIN THE U.S. OCEAN EXPLORATION PROGRAM Opportunities for international cooperation and collaboration should be sought by the U n ited States. An I GOE comm ittee cou Id be created within the proposed ExPO with membership drawn from those nations likely to engage in ocean exploration. Representatives from current member nations of the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research might be appro- priate for initial participation. Membership could be further adjusted as new international participants emerge. The IGOE committee would provide
OCR for page 96
96 EXPLORATION OF THE SEAS its international perspective on ocean exploration to a U.S. program. This advisory committee would encourage other national programs by example, through facilitating asset leveraging, and by clearly communicating the value of exploration. The IGOE committee also would assist in coordinat- ing those new efforts, and it could play a key role in overcoming barriers to data sharing.
Representative terms from entire chapter: