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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships
between individual investigator awards and large project support and the establishment of guidelines for the large, global change projects.
Agency Responsibility to Basic Science
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 the Department of Energy (DOE) must share more fully in this responsibility. It is particularly important to encourage the 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 investigator grants could be reduced if other agencies do not assume responsibility for some of the funding.
Responsibility of Academic Institutions
Through the years, academic oceanographic institutions evolved different organizational structures ranging from typical academic departments to large comprehensive institutions that operate multiple ships and shared facilities. As the benefits of cooperation became evident, arrangements for the cooperative use of ships and some other facilities have developed. The board recommends that academic oceanographic institutions find additional ways to achieve cohesiveness among the institutions and a sense of common scientific direction. It is essential that this cooperation be achieved at both the administrative and the working-scientist levels so that the interactions are based on the needs of science as well as the needs of the institutions. The board also recommends that academic institutions, individually or through consortia, take a greater responsibility for the health of the field, including nationally important programs. In particular, the large, long-lived global change programs could benefit from institutional responses that are of longer duration and more stable than those of individual scien-