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THE HEALTH OF OCEAN SCIENCES The United States is a world leader in oceanographic research. Continued excellence in oceanography, however, is essential to our national interests and requires constant improvement to both physical and human resources at oceanographic institutions. Ocean sciences must retain a healthy infrastruc- ture to enable them to contribute to the understanding and possible solution of ocean-related problems. To ensure these requirements are achieved, the OSB's first goal is to monitor and promote the health of ocean sciences. In part, Me OSB accomplishes this by functioning as a liaison between academic marine scientists and the federal government. The board also aids the discipline by carrying out other tasks, such as assessing the research infrastructure and identifying deficiencies, identifying promising new research areas, advising agencies, promoting science education at all levels, and promoting international cooperation in marine science. The OSB serves as the U. S. National Committee to the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), a component committee of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU). OSB member Brian Rothschild, elected Secretary of SCOR in September 1992, still serves in that capacity. The OSB receives regular updates on SCOR activities ant! discusses SCOR projects proposed by U.S. scientists, encouraging participa- tion of the U.S. ocean research community in SCOR meetings and associated international research. The OSB also seeks to promote international cooperation through its own committees. In 1994, a wealth of reports were published by the Board in a wicle variety of subjects. Issues such as the ocean's role in global change, low-fre- quency sound and marine mammals, marine fisheries science and manage- ment, the global ocean observing system, and coastal ecosystems were all explored. Additionally, reviews of ocean science programs of federal agencies, such as NOAA's Coastal Ocean Program (COP) and National Sea Grant College Program, and the ONR were also undertaken. Committee on Molecular Marine Biology (Complefedt Activity) The Committee on Molecular Marine Biology was torment in 1991 to evaluate the use of molecular biology tools to answer ocean science questions. The committee has focused on: . the basic research needs of the ocean science community' _1 Molecular Biology in Marine Science CATIONS CAM <11~<11 3

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how molecular techniques could help answer funciamental questions about the biology of marine organisms and enhance understanding of oceanographic processes, and the potential benefits to society that may result from such advances. Potential benefits include enhanced understanding of the ocean's role in regulating global processes, information necessary for improved management of ecologically and economically important fish populations, and aid in environmental quality evaluation ant} assessment of the impact of global change on marine ecosystems. The committee completed a report entitled Molecular Biology in Marine Science: Scientific Questions, Technological Approaches, arm Practical Implications in 1994. A Review of NOA21 National Sea Grant College Program _ 4 Review of the National Sea Grails College Program (Completed! Activity) In November 1993, Dr. D. James Baker, the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere of the Department of Commerce requested that the OSB review the National Sea Grant College Program by June 1, 1994. The purpose of the review was to "provide the basis for any needed changes in the program ant} to provide the basis for NOAA working with the Congress on Sea Grant's Reauthorization." A review committee of nine members was formed, with expertise including basic and applied marine science, engineer- ing, policy, ant] education. The committee cletermined that the effectiveness of the Sea Grant College Program could be enhanced by: relocating the program within the NOAA structure, coordinating strategic planning among all participants in the system, minimizing overlapping roles and responsibilities, streamlining and separating the proposal review ant! program evaluation processes, increasing interactions with industry, and increasing program funding, if the other changes are successfully implemented. The OSB received a response from Dr. Baker thanking the Board and the committee for its "excellent report," stating that the committee produced "in a very short span of time...an insightful analysis that can improve this important program...providing us with valuable input for the upcoming legislative reauthorization of Sea Grant."

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Pane' on the NOAA Coastal Ocean Program (Completed Activity) The NOAA COP coordinates new coastal research programs across NOAA's five line offices and awards research funding to both NOAA and academic scientists. COP elements address several of the pressing marine problems facing the coastal environment including environmental quality, coastal hazards, and fisheries ecosystems. An OSB pane! was formed in 1989 to advise COP on setting and managing program priorities; scientific planning; procedures for proposal solicitation, review, and peer review; information dissemination; and relationships with the scientific communities outside NOAA. The pane! issued a report in 1991, A Review of the NOAA Coastal Ocean Program, that commended the progress of COP and recommended improvements to the program. in late 1993, the panel began a new review, evaluating COP's accom- plishments and plans for the future. The pane} completed its work and pub- lished its findings in 1994 in the report, A Review of the NOAA Coastal Ocean Program (1994J. The pane} found that "COP funcling has advancer} unclerstanding and created useful products in a number of areas...The greatest program-wicle need is to develop a program that can be conducted under a situation of level funding, streamlining COP's management and advisory structures to reflect this probability." The panel also commended COP for promoting interactions between NOAA and academic scientists and urged the program to continue this effort. The pane] recommended other changes that COP should adopt in program management and the conduct of its scientific programs. ~ Review of the Accomplishments and Plans of the NOAA Coastal Ocean Program {I 9?4,' HA 10~t ~rst^ecl. COUNCIL

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