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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships
basic ocean science with a long-term view. Any diminishing of that commitment can, in the long run, undermine both science and national security. The board notes, for example, that the Office of Naval Research is virtually the only federal agency supporting basic research in ocean acoustics.
The Navy recently completed a major consolidation of its laboratories. The result is one ''corporate" laboratory, the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), and four centers: the Naval Air Warfare Center, the Naval Surface Warfare Center, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and the Naval Command Control and Ocean Surveillance Center. These organizations, which primarily conduct research on weapon systems and sensors, provide limited general funding and program support to the academic research community. In addition, NRL has a strong continuing relationship with the applied physics laboratories of four universities: Johns Hopkins University, the University of Washington, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Texas at Austin. As the nation faces budgetary constraints, it is likely that NRL and its centers will explore more cooperative activities with the academic research community, especially in light of the reduction in number of the Navy's dedicated oceanographic ships.
The Office of Naval Technology supports Navy laboratories, universities, and private corporations to carry out its mission in the Navy's Exploratory Development (6.2) program. The academic institutions refine and transfer basic research results into technical feasibility and demonstration plans.
The Oceanographer of the Navy, who serves on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, is primarily responsible for providing the oceanographic products and services needed by the Navy's operational forces. In terms of direct funding of research, the Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy and its supporting organizations have only a modest relationship with the academic research community. However, the oceanographer's office provides the oceanographic community with access to global data sets and modeling capability. Data available from the Navy's monitoring network could be an important component of a global ocean observing system. The Navy possesses classified data about the ocean that could benefit ocean science research without compromising national security. It is noteworthy that the Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy has worked over the past three years to declassify much of the data it possesses on seafloor and sea surface topography. Oceanographers look forward to receiving access to more of the data possessed by the Navy. Also, the