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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships
cess between agency representatives and marine scientists in academic institutions. Some collaboration has already occurred; other cooperative arrangements need to be developed.
Partnerships between the academic community and the agencies that fund ocean research can be improved in several ways. One major improvement would be for the academic institutions to make it career enhancing and attractive for scientists to serve as short-term scientific officers (rotators) at federal agencies. There is a perennial shortage of rotators at these agencies. Rotators should be respected among their peers within the academic community, and assignments should be chosen carefully to benefit both the government and the scientist. Also, scientists should be rewarded for service on federal advisory panels and on community-wide management groups such as the committees of the Ocean Drilling Program.
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation was formed in 1950 to increase the nation's base of scientific and engineering knowledge and to strengthen its ability in research and education in all areas of science and engineering. NSF supports fundamental, long-term, merit-selected research in all the scientific and engineering disciplines, including oceanography. NSF maintains strong relationships with academic scientists and is the major source of funding for basic ocean research.
NSF depends heavily on external scientists for program management, program review, individual peer review of proposals, and review panel memberships. The Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) is the primary supporter of ocean science research within NSF, with specific programs for physical oceanography, chemical oceanography, biological oceanography, marine geology and geophysics, ocean technology, the Ocean Drilling Program, and a program to support facilities for oceanography. Ocean science research is also supported by the Division of Polar Programs, Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Division of Earth Sciences, and Division of Environmental Biology.
OCE depends on its Advisory Committee on Ocean Sciences (ACOS), which prepares long-range plans for the Division of Ocean Sciences. These plans, prepared with input from the ocean science community, identify needs and priorities for ocean science research and research infrastructure. The past two plans were reviewed by the Ocean Studies Board (OSB). A new strategic plan