2
Planning, Review, and Implementation

Development of the current research plan included participation by the ocean science and stakeholder communities during a number of steps. The April 2006 workshop in Denver, as well as subsequent public comment on a “strawman” document, provided opportunities for community participation in development of the draft plan. Discussions at public presentations by the JSOST leaders, comments submitted by individuals and organizations, and review by this committee all provided suggestions leading to revision of the draft document. Part II of this NRC study provides an opportunity to comment on the final research plan (see Chapter 1) and to review the implementation strategy, which was not previously available.

Items (b) and (c) in the committee’s statement of task (Box 1-1) concern future review, updates, and implementation of the final Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy (ORPPIS). Because future planning and actual implementation depend on progress along the multiple priorities of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan, planning and implementation (b) should be coordinated and integrated with review and assimilation of new results, as well as reevaluating priorities (c). Thus, this report discusses these issues in parallel.

Below, the implementation strategy proposed in the final ORPPIS is described first, and then some additions and modifications are suggested. Basic issues for successfully engaging the research community in the planning, implementation, and review of scientific research programs are identified. Finally, the committee suggests coordination mechanisms that could facilitate community involvement and progress on the research priorities. An iterative cycle or cycles of review and planning activities emerges as the model for the future.



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A Review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy 2 Planning, Review, and Implementation Development of the current research plan included participation by the ocean science and stakeholder communities during a number of steps. The April 2006 workshop in Denver, as well as subsequent public comment on a “strawman” document, provided opportunities for community participation in development of the draft plan. Discussions at public presentations by the JSOST leaders, comments submitted by individuals and organizations, and review by this committee all provided suggestions leading to revision of the draft document. Part II of this NRC study provides an opportunity to comment on the final research plan (see Chapter 1) and to review the implementation strategy, which was not previously available. Items (b) and (c) in the committee’s statement of task (Box 1-1) concern future review, updates, and implementation of the final Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy (ORPPIS). Because future planning and actual implementation depend on progress along the multiple priorities of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan, planning and implementation (b) should be coordinated and integrated with review and assimilation of new results, as well as reevaluating priorities (c). Thus, this report discusses these issues in parallel. Below, the implementation strategy proposed in the final ORPPIS is described first, and then some additions and modifications are suggested. Basic issues for successfully engaging the research community in the planning, implementation, and review of scientific research programs are identified. Finally, the committee suggests coordination mechanisms that could facilitate community involvement and progress on the research priorities. An iterative cycle or cycles of review and planning activities emerges as the model for the future.

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A Review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy CURRENT IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY The final research plan includes an implementation “strategy,” not an implementation “plan,” deferring the practical considerations that sooner or later will be necessary not only for implementing the research plan but also for assessing progress and for reevaluating the priorities. The implementation strategy discusses operational principles and conceptual guidelines, as opposed to presenting specific federal agency actions, budgets, or time lines for activities that would be part of an implementation plan. The implementation strategy contains some noteworthy material on how to assess progress and reevaluate priorities in the future (JSOST, 2007, pp. 72-74), as reviewed briefly below. The final ORPPIS indicates that there will be both annual and five-year assessments of progress. On an annual cycle, a performance assessment based on the federal Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) will be provided to the Interagency Committee on Ocean Science and Resource Management Integration (ICOSRMI). GPRA mandates strategic planning and use of performance measures to identify performance gaps and to set improvement goals. The final ORPPIS states that performance goals for federal agencies should be consistent with the overarching goals of the individual priority, as well as individual agency missions. The five-year assessment is described as an external review that will be part of the five-year plan update and will include an evaluation of “the performance-assessment mechanism and an assessment of the success of the implementation.” This external review will also evaluate the updated priorities and implementation mechanisms for the federal agencies and federal partners. For the five-year plan update, the JSOST proposes to employ an approach similar to that used in the development of the current plan. According to the description in the final ORPPIS, the near-term priorities will be refreshed in concert with this five-year cycle. Between the annual and five-year assessments, the JSOST, in cooperation with the Subcommittee on Integrated Management of Ocean Resources, proposes to hold consultative workshops with various sectors of the ocean community about every three years. The purpose is to identify opportunities for establishing strategic partnerships that will enhance the impact of federal research activities. One of the more groundbreaking and potentially constructive elements of the implementation strategy is the JSOST budget memorandum that will describe interagency programs to address the priorities,

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A Review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy including cost estimates and funding options, for the fiscal year under consideration. On the approval of ICOSRMI, the memorandum will be used to inform the development of the joint Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) annual research and development memorandum. This budget planning process could encourage interagency cooperation, identify gaps in funding required to achieve the priorities, and provide agency accountability for efforts to address the research priorities. These potential impacts are described in greater detail later in this chapter. Hence, the basic framework for implementation is provided, but a more detailed plan is required to understand how these new research efforts will be initiated, tracked, and reviewed. The development of more detailed implementation plans provides an opportunity for additional community involvement that will help transition what is still predominantly a federal effort into more of a national undertaking. Some version of a scientific steering or advisory panel (see below) could be used to assist in the development of the detailed implementation plan. Many major ocean research programs have engaged a scientific steering committee to prepare an implementation plan and design specific activities to accomplish those plans (NRC, 1999b). Alternatively, the International Decade of Ocean Exploration (IDOE) programs were run through a project director and a small executive panel, while the Tropical Oceans and Global Atmosphere (TOGA) program was advised by an NRC committee comprised primarily of program investigators subject to the oversight of an NRC board (NRC, 1999b). To address statement of task items (b) and (c), the committee suggests several additional mechanisms for review, ongoing planning, and implementation. These are described in detail below. The committee has also elaborated on some mechanisms already mentioned in the implementation strategy. BASIC CHALLENGES FOR COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT Many of the issues discussed here have been confronted by the federal government in the development of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Strategic Plan (CCSP, 2003) and by the NRC’s Committee to Review the U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan (NRC, 2003d, 2004b). The CCSP and the ORPPIS are both distinguished by being large, ambitious programs that cut across the missions of many federal agencies, involve researchers from public and

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A Review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy private institutions and industries, and require inter- and multidisciplinary approaches and analyses. Some basic challenges for effective community involvement in implementation, ongoing planning, and review are common to both of these complex scientific research programs. The CCSP has involved the community in the development of the implementation plan, through a workshop and through the NRC committee. There are many advantages to the CCSP approach. Implementation needs to be understood at relatively fine levels of detail in order to effectively plan and integrate contributions from all partners and across the multiple priorities. To maintain coordination of the multiple agencies and their nonfederal partners will require broad dissemination of up-to-date information about past and current implementation activities and plans by all partners on a timely basis. This will be necessary to ensure that budgets are developed in concert among partnering organizations in addition to the federal government. To be effective in engaging the nonfederal community on a continuing basis, different activities and opportunities for input have to be available throughout the implementation of the current plan, as well as during revisions and development of the next version of the ORPPIS. Input into the earliest stages of the process will allow the insertion of cutting-edge science and technology into the planning process. Additionally, progress reports can be disseminated to sustain the interest of the nonfederal ocean community and facilitate coordinated research programs. One well-recognized option for engaging the nonfederal ocean community is through the establishment of external review and advisory committees (NRC, 1999b, 2003b). These external committees would provide expertise that would assist the JSOST in achieving the research priorities outlined in the ORPPIS. In this report, the term “external” is used to describe a committee, either governmental or nongovernmental, with the ability to provide the federal government with advice and reports that are not subject to an agency’s internal review or approval. Review and advisory committees should be transparent, balanced, and as free from conflicts of interest as possible to enhance accountability and proffer guidance with credibility to the greater ocean research community. The roles and detailed responsibilities of these external committees need to be articulated clearly before they are formed. Three types of external committees could be constituted to provide such review and advice:

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A Review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy An external committee with broad expertise that would provide ongoing advice to the JSOST throughout the lifetime of the ORPPIS. This would be a standing committee analogous to science advisory panels or boards with broad expertise in ocean research and would be readily available to advise on the ORPPIS, including consultation for the annual progress reports and budget memorandum (see below). The committee would also be available for consultation if and when a new near-term priority becomes necessary (see “Exceptional Circumstances” below). This advice and consultation would be summarized in brief written reports to the JSOST and other appropriate entities on an annual or biennial interval. The committee refers to this as the Advisory Committee. Specialized external committees that would be formed to provide advice on each of the near-term priorities. The establishment of a new near-term priority would trigger the formation of a new external committee. These external committees would be similar to scientific steering committees that often have been used in major ocean research programs with expert members in the subject area of the specific near-term priority (NRC, 1999b). The committee would be available to assess progress and recommend future actions, communicated to the JSOST through brief annual reports, to assist in achieving the near-term priority. The committee refers to this type as a Near-Term Committee. A broadly constituted external committee that would be established to assess progress over the previous five years of implementation and to review the research plan for the next five years. This committee would prepare a formal report to inform the JSOST, relevant congressional committees, and the interested public. This review would be similar to the process used to prepare this report. The committee refers to this as the Five-Year Committee. RECOMMENDATION: External committees should be established to provide independent and credible advice to the JSOST on the implementation of the ORPPIS. At least three types of external committees would be required: An advisory committee to provide ongoing advice on implementation, particularly when

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A Review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy the JSOST would like to make major changes to the ORPPIS (e.g., termination or initiation of a near-term priority), Near-term committees to provided specialized advice on each near-term priority, and A five-year committee that provides the formal five-year review of progress and future plans. Each external committee should represent broad community interests while providing expertise in the scientific, technological, and resource management aspects of the specific research areas. Consensus recommendations from external committees would foster partnerships among the different sectors represented in the membership. Independence from any one federal agency would increase the likelihood of acceptance of the external committee’s recommendations by the many different federal agencies represented. External, community-based reviews of ongoing and new initiatives would enhance the scientific credibility of the program and maintain the momentum generated in the development of the initial plans. In addition, the JSOST and individual agencies should be required to seek comment and advice from each advisory committee for all significant decisions regarding the implementation of the research plan. How should these external committees be formed? There are various models for establishing science advisory groups, including federal advisory committees, NRC committees, science advisory boards, and scientific steering committees. The key is to organize such an external committee so that it will be perceived by both the federal agencies and the external ocean sectors as providing advice that represents the best scientific and technical knowledge available. Such a committee would include members that reflect the broad partnership desired with the implementation of the final ORPPIS and its components as a national plan, including state and local governments, academia, industry, nongovernmental organizations, and other entities. A federal scientist could also be a member of an external committee when specific expertise is needed and there is no programmatic conflict of interest that would compromise the contribution of this member. However, federal scientists should not represent more than a small fraction of the membership to ensure the independence of the committee. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in the Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review (OMB, 2004), provides criteria for peer review that can also be relevant to the

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A Review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy formation of external committees. These criteria include transparency, independence, and qualified expertise (OMB, 2004). Adoption of a process similar to that used by the NRC for establishing review committees would incorporate the primary desiderata outlined above. An important feature of such processes is the provision of a degree of separation between the selection and activities of the committee and the agency sponsors that are under review. In some cases, an external committee could serve under the auspices of the federal government. For example, the Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel (ORRAP), a federal advisory committee (FACA), provides external advice and guidance to the federal ocean agencies. ORRAP was originally established by legislation to advise the National Ocean Research Leadership Council, which recently has been incorporated into the ICOSRMI. External scientific input could be provided through the ORRAP, its subcommittees, or another science advisory board. Membership in ORRAP has included individuals from state government, academia, and ocean industries representing marine science, marine policy, and other related fields. ORRAP could fulfill the role of the Advisory Committee recommended in this report. There are other models for establishing such groups, including the recent examples of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission. RECOMMENDATION: The selection process for members of external committees should ensure that the membership is balanced, is free of conflicts of interest, and contains the breadth of expertise required to provide the highest quality independent advice to the JSOST. Membership should be drawn from state and local governments, academia, industry, nongovernmental organizations, and other entities. The process should ensure that the committee will be respected by federal agencies, nonfederal research partners, and the science and ocean communities at large. In the following sections, the different types of external committees are referred to as the preferred mechanism to carry out reviews and provide external advice.

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A Review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy ORGANIZATION OF RECOMMENDED PROCESSES The implementation strategy proposes to have a formal, comprehensive, five-year review to assess progress in implementation and to update the plan. This is the appropriate time scale—a shorter cycle would be too burdensome, while a longer cycle would run the risk of the final ORPPIS becoming too outdated. However, there are critical activities that have to take place on shorter time scales, such as the annual1 assignment of program funding and day-to-day implementation activities. Many activities involving numerous partners must be conducted to achieve the planning and updates, the assessment and evaluation, and the implementation objectives. For the purpose of continuity, it is important to coordinate these activities and integrate their results. Thus, the activities taking place on different time scales need to be sequenced carefully. To parallel this sequence, the review processes are described below from the shortest time scales to the five-year formal cycle. Although many phases of the process would be on a standardized cycle, there may be circumstances that require exceptional activities, and these are also addressed. These activities are summarized in Table 2-1. Day-To-Day, Central Clearinghouse Operations The facilitation of the coordination of all the various activities that contribute to the implementation of the final ORPPIS will require some entity under the auspices of the JSOST to make program information rapidly and broadly available, most likely through a regularly updated Internet site and taking full advantage of developing Internet technology. However, use of the Internet does not preclude other mechanisms of disseminating information (e.g., special sessions at scientific meetings and other appropriate venues). Such information is critical to both federal and nonfederal partners in phasing of activities during implementation, in formulating budgets, and in assessing progress toward the multiple priorities of the final ORPPIS. This clearinghouse will require a dependable flow of information that can readily be shared with the multiple partners, implementing organizations, and stakeholders. This coordination function might also be extended to data systems, ocean observing 1 Some organizations use biennial budgeting, and there are variations in phasing of annual budget cycles.

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A Review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy TABLE 2-1 Suggested Processes to Ensure Community Engagement in the ORPPIS Frequency Key Participants Effort Purpose Continuous JSOST and Advisory Committee The JSOST provides project summaries and updates on activities (e.g., cooperative programs, funding opportunities). Ensure adequate communication of up-to-date information to all interested parties Annual JSOST, Advisory Committee, and Near-Term Committee External committees meet with agencies to review activities and provide scientific and technical expertise. Keep community up to date with technical progress Keep the JSOST and agencies up to date on community progress Tap expertise of external committees   JSOST and ocean community The JSOST makes presentations at meetings and national conferences summarizing progress on near-term priorities. Keep community up to date with technical progress Foster technical interchange among agencies and with nonfederal scientists Five-Year JSOST (with input from the Subcommittee on Integrated Management of Ocean Resources) One to two years prior to refreshing the ORPPIS, hold community workshops to focus on each of the six societal themes (similar to the planning workshop held to develop the current ORPPIS). This could include the “consultation” workshops discussed in the ORPPIS. These would build on, but be broader than, the annual presentations discussed above. Inform community of progress to date on near-term priorities Solicit ideas on research priorities for the ORPPIS and new near-term priorities   Five-Year Committee and ocean community Public comment on draft of the new ORPPIS Five-Year Committee provides formal report on new ORPPIS. Provide community input and ideas Review and comment on proposed changes Assess appropriateness and feasibility of implementation plan

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A Review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy Frequency Key Participants Effort Purpose When a new near-term priority becomes necessary (exceptional circumstances) JSOST, Advisory Committee, and new Near-Term Committee To develop a new near-term priority, the JSOST will consult with the Advisory Committee and establish a new Near-Term Committee. Provide community input and ideas Offer external objective view of proposed changes Assist in the development of a detailed implementation plan NOTE: The first column indicates the frequency of the specific efforts, spanning a broad spectrum of time scales from nearly continuous to every five years. The second column describes the key participants for that effort. The third column briefly describes the nature of the effort, while the fourth column describes some of the compelling reasons to make the effort.

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A Review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy programs, and other major components of the overall plan. Ideally, such an entity would be situated to facilitate coordination and integration of the numerous efforts toward the multiple priorities of the final ORPPIS. For example, the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and Supporting Research, more briefly known as the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorology (OFCM)2, serves this function for weather research and information. Another example is the CCSP Office, which provides coordination and management support in the implementation of CCSP. The CCSP Office provides staffing and day-to-day coordination of CCSP-wide program integration, strategic planning, product development, and communications. Currently, the National Ocean Partnership Program (NOPP, which is governed by the National Ocean Research Leadership Council [NORLC]) has a program office that could be reconstituted to assume these types of responsibilities for the JSOST (see Box 2-1 for a description of NOPP). The JSOST program office would be responsible for coordinating and managing projects to serve the broader community. On a day-to-day basis, a program office under the JSOST could facilitate the coordination of the various activities of the ORPPIS. RECOMMENDATION: The JSOST should establish a program office that would ensure coordination, collaboration, and integration of projects for implementing the ORPPIS. Annual and Budgetary Time Scales The implementation strategy includes a description of the process for incorporating the ORPPIS into the federal budget planning process. The JSOST will develop an interagency priorities memorandum (IPM) that is envisioned to include a description of interagency efforts to address the priorities for informing the joint OSTP-OMB annual research and devel- 2 OFCM is an interdepartmental office established because the U.S. Congress and the Executive Office of the President recognized the importance of full coordination of federal meteorological activities. The U.S. Department of Commerce formed OFCM in 1964 in response to Public Law 87-843. The mission of OFCM is to ensure the effective use of federal meteorological resources by leading the systematic coordination of operational weather requirements and services and supporting research among the federal agencies.

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A Review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy Box 2-1 The National Ocean Partnership Program According to the National Ocean Partnership Program website (http://www.nopp.org/): The National Ocean Partnership Program (NOPP) is a collaboration of fifteen federal agencies to provide leadership and coordination of national oceanographic research and education initiatives. NOPP facilitates interactions among federal agencies, academia and industry; increases visibility for ocean issues on the national agenda; and achieves a higher level of coordinated effort across the broad oceanographic community. By bringing together the public and private sectors, NOPP facilitates support of larger, more comprehensive projects, promotes sharing of resources, and fosters community-wide innovative advances in ocean science, technology, and education. NOPP’s 10-year strategic plan (NOPP, 2004) identifies the following four goals: Achieve and sustain an Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). Promote lifelong ocean education. Modernize ocean infrastructure and enhance technology development. Foster interagency partnerships to increase and apply scientific knowledge. NOPP was established in 1997 under Public Law 104-201: Sec. 7901. National Oceanographic Partnership Program ESTABLISHMENT.—The Secretary of the Navy shall establish a program to be known as the “National Oceanographic Partnership Program”. PURPOSES.—The purposes of the program are as follows: To promote the national goals of assuring national security, advancing economic development, protecting quality of life, and strengthening science education and communication through improved knowledge of the ocean. To coordinate and strengthen oceanographic efforts in support of those goals by— identifying and carrying out partnerships among Federal agencies, academia, industry, and other members of the oceanographic scientific community in the areas of data, resources, education, and communication; and reporting annually to Congress on the program. This legislation authorized the formation of a program office to support the activities of NOPP. Currently, the NOPP office provides logistical support for meetings of the NORLC, ORRAP, and associated working groups; manages the interagency proposal solicitation and peer review process on behalf of the federal agencies in NOPP; and maintains the NOPP Internet site.

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A Review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy opment memorandum. Ideally, these memoranda would provide substantive information about the plans of agencies related to ocean research priorities for the fiscal year under consideration and a summary of activities and accomplishments from the previous year(s). A public version of this document could then be released with the administration’s budget request to provide an annual update of federal progress in implementing the ORPPIS. The cumulative record of annual IPMs over the five-year cycle would be an important ingredient of the five-year review as discussed below. In preparing an IPM, the JSOST could draw upon expert advice both from within the agencies and from the external Near-Term Committees previously assembled to assist with the development of the detailed implementation plans for the near-term priorities. These experts would summarize recent accomplishments and explain their implications for the next year’s activities. The Near-Term Committees would provide progress reports and assess plans for the coming year to inform the development of the annual budget requests for the ORPPIS. These committees would require plausible longer-term budget outlooks to help them advise on implementation plans that would be realistic in terms of anticipated budgets. The ORPPIS does not include a cost estimate for implementing the research plan nor does it describe a process to estimate how much it will cost to reach the scientific goals of a specific near-term priority; however, these estimates will be necessary to develop a realistic long-term budget. Beyond the proposed CCSP-like performance review referenced in the final ORPPIS (JSOST, 2007, p. 72), a “holistic” JSOST-OMB annual summary would provide cross-agency perspectives, including budget plans and an evaluation of performance in implementing ORPPIS. This would also reveal other related research activities of the federal government that might be coordinated with ORPPIS. For example, CCSP envisions developing its “Abrupt Climate Change Synthesis and Assessment Product 3.4” during 2007 and 2008(McGeehin et al., 2007), and it would be advisable to ensure coordination of that effort with the JSOST efforts on the ORPP near-term priority on “Assessing Meridional Overturning Circulation Variability: Implications for Rapid Climate Change.” FINDING: The proposed JSOST-OMB budget memorandum is a critical element of the implementation strategy that would serve to both incorporate the ORPPIS into the federal budget planning process and provide accountability across agencies for par-

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A Review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy ticipation in the interagency implementation of the research plan. RECOMMENDATION: The JSOST should develop cost estimates for the federal components of the research priorities plan to facilitate longer-term planning for implementation and for achieving the plan’s goals. RECOMMENDATION: Upon finalization of the President’s budget, a public version of the JSOST budget memorandum should be released to inform Congress, states, and stakeholders about the federal government’s plans, including budget projections, for advancing the national ocean research priorities. It will be important for agency budget requests to specify how funds will be used to support the interagency research priorities to ensure accountability and encourage participation among all federal ocean agencies. OMB budget reviews are performed largely per agency, presenting an administrative barrier to assessment of progress on the interagency programs envisioned in the ORPPIS. A more coordinated mechanism will be required to ensure that the interagency priorities are included in the budget planning for individual agencies. A comprehensive interagency review, as part of the annual budget process, would help ensure that the full suite of research priorities is addressed over the duration of the ORPPIS. RECOMMENDATION: Agency budget information should specify how funds have been and will be used to support the interagency research priorities to provide accountability and encourage participation of all the federal partners in implementing the full set of ocean research priorities. OMB review of agency budget requests should be coordinated, potentially through common examiners, to ensure that interagency priorities are included in the plans of the individual agencies. Outreach to the community on an annual basis would in part be accomplished through the involvement of the Near-Term and Advisory

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A Review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy Committees in advising the JSOST on the annual budget memorandum. Additionally, the JSOST could facilitate communications with the broader community through participation in annual meetings of professional societies and other ocean organizations. An annual presentation to the relevant NRC boards (Ocean Studies Board [OSB], Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Marine Board, and others based on the topics to be addressed) could summarize progress on near-term priorities and share information on annual budget developments (including those of nonfederal partners). This annual presentation would be similar to past meetings of the OSB in Washington, D.C., at which leading agency program managers made presentations on their accomplishments and plans and engaged OSB members in a discussion of important trends at the federal level and within the ocean research community. RECOMMENDATION: The JSOST should continue and expand its efforts to reach out regularly to the ocean community concerning the activities, progress, and planning of the ORPPIS. Five-Year Comprehensive Review, Assessment, and Planning It is essential that all parties to the implementation of ORPPIS be involved in the formal five-year review. A broad sense of “ownership” in the success of the program cannot be achieved otherwise, with corresponding risk to continuity of implementation. It is also essential, for the reasons discussed previously, that this major review be spearheaded by a well-respected and objective Five-Year Committee of manageable size, encompassing a broad range of the competences that are relevant to the ocean research priorities. For the formal review process, it will be essential to integrate and synthesize the inputs from the full spectrum of JSOST-led community meetings, including the regional meetings suggested in the implementation strategy to facilitate federal-state-local partnering, professional society meetings (e.g., town halls), and perhaps national workshops organized along the six societal themes. These multiple venues would help to engage the communities that can provide the expertise and support to implement the plan. The JSOST would be the appropriate entity to conduct this integration and synthesis. To conduct a meaningful review and build on the annual JSOST process described in the ORPPIS (JSOST, 2007, p. 72), the Five-Year

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A Review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy Committee will need documentation of the achievements in addressing the ORPPIS priorities over the preceding five years. The following two main information streams will be needed to adequately review the program: A cumulative record of the JSOST plans made and plans realized, as identified in the set of IPMs, particularly including any substantial adjustments of research priorities during the five-year period, and Concise programmatic summaries of research conducted and results obtained as part of ORPPIS or identified by agencies and program managers as being associated with the ocean research priorities. Accurate assessment of federal progress on the ORPPIS will depend on the provision of reliable budget numbers that clearly indicate funding trends and distinguish new funds from redirected funds. The five-year record of IPMs would be an excellent starting point for this information. The JSOST could generate annually, and compile over the five-year cycle, information about progress in addressing the “implementation characteristics” outlined in the ORPPIS (JSOST, 2007, p. 61). Particularly important in this regard will be (1) information about the extent of use of peer review where appropriate and (2) the extent of partnerships with other sectors. Under the latter, it would be useful to document efforts at leveraging resources across such intersector partnerships and steps taken to reduce bureaucratic or structural impediments to partnering. RECOMMENDATION: The five-year review of progress-to-date and planned revisions for the ORPPIS should include an external Five-Year Committee and a public comment period, with an opportunity for the community to participate in the selection of new near-term priorities and preparation of implementation plans. This is similar to the process used to develop the first ORPPIS and the CCSP strategic plan (NRC, 2003d, 2004b).

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A Review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy Exceptional Circumstances Some exceptional circumstances might reasonably be anticipated to occur in the future, but at irregular intervals, that would require extraordinary mechanisms involving review and planning. For example, the JSOST could propose a major near-term priority change between five-year formal plan updates. This might be motivated by a natural disaster, such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami or Hurricane Katrina, which demands the attention of the ocean research community. A perceived rapid rate of progress on one or more near-term priorities might also motivate reconsideration. Congressional actions, for whatever reason, could result in serious budget shortfalls for implementation of the ORPPIS or, conversely, additional funding opportunities. Managing the impact of these circumstances on near-term priorities and the associated implementation plans is essential. Engaging the community in revising the plans to address such events is important to maintaining partnerships between federal and nonfederal entities. For this reason, some type of external committee review could be initiated to provide advice on proposed changes (the last row of Table 2-1). Because the time scale on which such advice could be needed might be very short, it may be advantageous for some broadly constituted standing committee to be consulted in such cases. For CCSP, the NRC’s Climate Research Committee, Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change, and Committee on Strategic Advice on the U.S. Climate Change Science Program provide the expertise for such review and advice. RECOMMENDATION: If an exceptional circumstance arises and a new near-term priority becomes necessary prior to the five-year formal update, the JSOST should consult with the broader ocean community and the Advisory Committee before its adoption. Upon adoption of a new near-term priority, the JSOST should establish a new Near-Term Committee with the appropriate expertise to advise on the latest near-term priority. Throughout the implementation of this new national plan for ocean research, success will be determined not only by the tasks accomplished but also by the involvement of the many sectors of the ocean community in terms of undertaking the science, developing new technologies, com-

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A Review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy municating results, and translating research into better policies for a sustainable and productive future.