objective evaluation of agency needs and poses possible solutions from a new perspective. The National Research Council is but one possible source of external advice. These advisory groups should report to a level sufficiently high that their views are presented directly to agency policy makers and the relationships are eventually institutionalized to establish a collective memory.
The board recognizes that the existence of multiple marine agencies with differing mandates brings a vigor and diversity to the field. However, the lack of coordination and cooperation among agencies that conduct or sponsor marine research detracts from this advantage. Informal attempts at coordination have been largely unsuccessful; a formal mechanism is necessary. The board recommends that, because no single agency is charged with and able to oversee the total national marine science agenda, an effective means be found for agencies to interact at the policy level and formulate action plans.
One model for such interaction is the Committee on Earth and Environmental Sciences of the Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology. Regardless of the coordinating mechanism chosen, it must permit the agencies to develop a synergistic approach to addressing national problems and to coordinating programs and infrastructure. High-priority tasks for such a group would be an examination of the balance between individual investigator awards and large project support, and the establishment of guidelines for the large, global change projects.
The vitality of basic ocean research in the United States resides principally in its academic institutions. The board recommends that federal agencies with marine-related missions find mechanisms to guarantee the continuing vitality of the underlying basic science on which they depend. In some agencies, the best mechanism is direct funding of individual investigator grants; in others, consultation and collaboration work well. NSF and, secondarily, ONR should retain primary responsibility for the vitality of the basic science, with NOAA becoming increasingly involved. Also, mission agencies such as EPA and DOE must share more fully in this responsibility. It is particularly important to encourage involvement of mission agencies in sampling and monitoring programs pertaining to long-term global change issues. At present, a disproportionate share of the funds is provided by NSF. As these programs expand, resources for individual