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Trends in total UNOLS [University-National Oceanographic Laboratory] ship use by major oceanographic programs. Data provided by the program offices for 1987-1990 and 1999-2000 (dashed line) and by the UNOLS Office for 1991-1998 (solid line; Appendix F).
expressed the view that programs were not limited by research vessels, field equipment, and the maintenance of that equipment.
Interestingly, none of the responses to the SSC questionnaire suggest that the composition of the present or future UNOLS fleet is a major oceanographic program legacy. Yet, review of the UNOLS documents indicate that the fleet's evolution has been influenced by the major oceanographic programs (e.g., the newest vessels are the largest in the fleet and are designed for serving the large, interdisciplinary programs that require high endurance platforms). For example, the 1995 Fleet Improvement Plan (UNOLS, 1995) discussed the needs of research vessels by current large oceanographic programs and the need for ships by the major programs over the next decade.
The very long lead times for facilities development (e.g., research ships, remotely operated and autonomous vehicles [ROVs and AUVs], cable systems, and satellites) require that the oceanographic community be developing plans for facilities requirements for 2008 and beyond. Coordination among the various agencies supporting research efforts at all scales must be encouraged so that the