Research Section of NSF/OCE, charged with managing a broad spectrum of interdisciplinary projects. The large-scale global and integrative nature of some of the present scientific challenges, such as environmental and climate issues, will require greater coordination, as will the need for shared use of expensive platforms and facilities. The creation of such a unit could alleviate many of the real and perceived problems identified throughout this report related to coordination, collegiality, and planning, and thus help maximize the scientific return on the considerable investment this nation makes in ocean-related research.
Ocean sciences must reach a new level in order to successfully meet the emerging needs for environmental science. Doing so will require more integration and greater emphasis on consensus building. If the challenges can be met, a new interdisciplinary unit would be well positioned to aid in building partnerships among the agencies, and play a leading role in helping to create focused national efforts in future global geosciences initiatives.