Program); the NOAA Alliance for Coastal Technologies (ACT); the NSF Oceanographic and Interdisciplinary Coordination Program; and the various Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs. However, no effort has been made to indicate how these entities could work together to achieve the goals established in this Plan. The Strategic Plan thus could be strengthened by providing a roadmap that suggests effective ways for different organizations, including Federal government programs and private industry, to work in a coordinated fashion to develop improved technologies and evolve mechanisms to make these technologies accessible to the wide community of investigators in ocean acidification research and monitoring efforts.
Theme 4 also includes two other key concepts: the establishment of Centers of (measurement) Expertise and Community Research Facilities for ocean acidification perturbation studies. Such communal facilities, properly managed and operated, could provide a substantial boost to U.S. research needs by providing expertise, laboratory facilities with state-of-the-art equipment, and training to the community of ocean acidification researchers that will be needed. As new technology is developed, centers would play an important role in introducing users to this new apparatus. An example of such a development is the evolution of free ocean CO2 enrichment (FOCE) technology, which is being used to investigate ocean acidification in a variety of marine habitats, including coral reefs and kelp forests. It would be useful to more thoroughly specify how many of these facilities are required (including, perhaps, a broad regional distribution) and to indicate how they could be funded and managed to benefit the U.S. ocean acidification research community. The role of these Centers in integrating U.S. ocean acidification research and monitoring with other parallel international efforts needs to be emphasized as well. Issues of standardization, comparability, and quality of data are of critical relevance in global scale research as well as within the U.S. ocean acidification program.
In summary: To make Theme 4 of the Strategic Plan a more effective vehicle for communicating the Theme’s goals and how and by whom they will be implemented, more detail is needed. In the committee’s view, principal gaps in this Theme include issues of specific goals of measurements (What is to be measured—and why?—and with what accuracy?); priorities (Which goals are most important and which are of secondary significance?); and costs (What are the likely costs, and how can the goals be met with the available funds through appropriate prioritization efforts and cooperation among agencies and international entities?). This third concern is particularly important when considering the role that different federal agencies might play in ensuring that the various goals will be met.