maintain an adequate permanent staff of researchers, programmers, data processors, and systems analysts for support to visiting scientists. The duration of visits should be no less than six months and not longer than two years. All research work should be unclassified but should not compromise FNMOC operational and/or classified activities. For example, operational and classified activities should involve separate computers and strictly partitioned networks, and access to operational and classified locations should be restricted. ECMWF, the model for the new center, in fact operates in this way. However, the products and methods of the operational models should be unclassified within the new center, to encourage discussion and different approaches to interpretation of the results. There must be several common areas where visiting personnel can interact, exchange ideas, and discuss problems, as well as mechanisms (e.g., seminars, discussion, and small task groups) to explore existing problems with operational models and output products and to evaluate new model components and reprocessed historical data to maintain leading-edge modeling capabilities.
As a result of the general reduction of federal budgets, and of NASA's and NOAA's in particular, NRL's programs will have greater national importance and a national "critical mass" of science in the areas discussed above may be difficult to achieve. The possibility of joint interagency activity directed to the advancement and use of remote sensing for boundary layer dynamics research should be seriously considered.
One way to encourage atmospheric modelers, air-sea investigators, and others to couple their work more directly with remote sensing needs and capabilities of the kind required by the Navy would be to have periodic (annual or semiannual) internal NRL meetings at which the various research groups would present their current work, plans, and problems to one another. These meetings could be run at the scientific level expected at an open scientific meeting but be internal to NRL. Research in progress could be discussed candidly, specific naval priorities could be considered, and plans could be made to direct future efforts toward greater interaction and coordination in this research. In addition, talks by outside experts, and workshops including outside participants, could be encouraged.
NRL currently has in place programs to involve outside scientists in NRL activities through their appointment as summer faculty, consultants, and temporary personnel. It also has a variety of postdoctoral programs. The panel strongly encourages active recruitment of postdoctoral scientists, development of increased contact and collaboration with outside scientists, and an emphasis on visiting appointments for scientists working in BLD research areas.
A possible difficulty in straightforwardly implementing this suggestion is that, in oceanography at the present time, postdoctoral positions are relatively abundant, and NRL is unlikely to have much success in recruiting at this level. However, there are insufficient positions at the end of the postdoctoral time of typically two years. A possible strategy would be to identify and contact oceanographers as they finish their postdoctoral work and to offer them longer-term "visiting scientist" positions with term commitments on both sides. Some of these scientists could then become permanent staff, and the others could continue their collaborations after moving on to other positions.