Box 5-1 Task Group 3 Study Approach

Task 3) The committee will assist federal agencies and the ocean sciences community in identifying gaps and appropriate follow-on activities to existing programs.

Question 3a: Are there gaps in the major oceanographic programs included in the study focus group?

Data used:

    1.  

    short- and long-term research plans used to identify gaps between the programs;

    2.  

    short- and long-term research plans used to identify gaps in the programs;

    3.  

    brief descriptions of new programs planned;

    4.  

    list of relevant issues in ocean science to be addressed by future programs; and

    5.  

    explanation of program contingency plans (e.g., how to provide reserve funds for core activities needed to address unexpected science questions?).

    Question 3b: Are there obvious follow-on activities for the mature major oceanographic programs?

    Data used:

      1.  

      input from ocean science community about possible follow-on activities;

      2.  

      research community input about continuation of long-time series;

      3.  

      description of data collection activities that should be made into sustained observations and operational activities; and

      4.  

      description of modeling and assimilation activities.

      Questions 3c: Do adequate facilities and infrastructure presently exist for inter-program follow-on activities?

      Data used:

        1.  

        UNOLS planning documents;

        2.  

        data assimilation (DA) documents for each program; and

        3.  

        description of each program's plans for post-program data management.

        important to successfully address the unexpected. For example, one criticism of major oceanographic programs has been that they are developed to address the ''known unknowns." These known unknowns are usually important scientific problems; however, important breakthroughs and discoveries often come unexpectedly. In attempting to address today's known unknowns through the formation of major oceanographic programs, researchers should be prepared to meet and respond to surprises, or "unknown unknowns," through contingency plans.



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