during the planning and all stages. Modelers and observationalists need to work together during all stages of program plan design and implementation.

Coordination with Long Lead Time and Mission Agencies, and Ship Scheduling

One of the strengths of the major programs has been their ability to direct a significant amount of talent and scientific interest toward a large and often high profile scientific challenge. Consequently, these programs have been able to secure support for basic research outside NSF. For example, although WOCE was initiated with NSF funds, it received support from a number of mission agencies. Although NSF provided a significant share of the funding for individual principal investigators, other resources included contributions of personnel, facilities, satellites, etc. (Fig. 4-1). JGOFS included significant NOAA, ONR, and NASA components as well. It is doubtful that an equal number of principal investigators working alone or in small groups could have addressed a problem of such significant scope without similar resources being made available to them by federal agencies.

In some instances the present programs wrote their implementation plans in anticipation of new remote sensing data being available. Delays in providing that data limited achievement of some of the initial goals. The opportunities to use remote sensing data are rapidly expanding as they provide global scale temporal context for programs. In return, the satellite data are dependent on high-quality in situ data, often provided by major oceanographic programs. Future programs will likely be more closely coordinated with the satellite platforms.

Trying to maximize the resources available, in such a consortium of sponsors, requires significant levels of cooperation and coordination. This coordination hinges on good continuous interaction among program managers. There must be a commitment by all agencies to meet the needs of the program objectives. There are recent examples where agencies failed to keep their commitments: the U.S. JGOFS Arabian Sea process study, where ONR made last minute adjustments in its support, and where the DOE support for the U.S. JGOFS global carbon survey was removed before the program was completed. DOE also prematurely terminated its support for carbon fluxes from the Ocean Margins Program. As another example, the U.S. WOCE North Atlantic experiment was planned with the NOAA Atlantic Climate Change Program, and NOAA did not keep its commitments. These disappointments are reminders that priorities are set differently in and for the different agencies, and this needs to be considered in the planning process.

By definition, the science goals of major oceanographic programs are comprehensive and often cross discipline boundaries, casting a net greater than the programmatic venue of a given funding agency and beyond the mission of a single agency. For the present major programs, interagency coordination has



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement