in terms of management improvements in the large-scale operations made NSF wary of that move. Instead, the basic research programs in astronomy were brought into AAEO to join with the operation of the observatories. That decision was vigorously protested by the astronomy community, but it would not be changed for more than a decade.
Another anomaly marked the internal organization of AAEO. The DSDP had been among the large-scale programs assigned to AD/NI in 1970. Although it had intellectual content spanning both the Earth and ocean sciences, the DSDP had been staffed and managed by oceanographers from its inception. Nonetheless, AAEO decided to assign it to the Division of Earth Sciences. The rationale was largely bureaucratic: it made for more symmetrical divisions in terms of budget and program structure. Without the DSDP, Earth Sciences would have been the only part of AAEO that did not have both research and facilities elements. The oceanographic community protested the decision, but to no avail.
For the ocean sciences, the reorganization of 1975 produced mixed results. IDOE and OFS were moved intact from AD/NI to AAEO; OSRS was moved intact from AD/R. The resultant Division of Ocean Sciences thus brought together for the first time all of the research support elements, large and small, and all of the facilities programs, with the exception of the DSDP.
This newfound organizational unity might have been the occasion for a surge of energy in NSF's leadership in the field. Unfortunately, the newly-created position of division director would remain vacant for more than two years. In the interim, the IDOE and OFS section heads alternated as acting division director, but neither had any mandate to complete internal organizational changes or to exert NSF leadership externally on behalf of the division.
This period of organizational limbo was particularly unfortunate on the research side, where tensions between proponents of "big" and "small" continued to grow. With IDOE at its mid-point, leadership toward a comprehensive ocean sciences research portfolio, including both individual and coordinated projects, might have invigorated the remaining years of the IDOE. Instead, resolution was postponed for several years.
1980 marked the official end of the IDOE. Contemporary views of its legacy were mixed. Some IDOE programs were acknowledged as tremendously successful, achieving research objectives that could not have been reached without the cooperative planning and management that characterized the program. Others were considered to have fallen short, not only of IDOE's objectives, but of what might have been accomplished by more traditional individual investigator projects.
As had been the case with the IGY two decades earlier, IDOE had given rise to many ideas for additional research, both large and small in scope. It had encouraged interdisciplinary research, not only within the ocean sciences, but also with other environmental fields. Moreover, the increased funding levels associated with the IDOE would largely be retained by the ocean sciences.
The research support functions were merged into an enlarged OSRS, where the former IDOE sections were restructured and renamed, resulting in an awkward transitional set of eight programs. The distinctions between them were more historic than substantive: "Oceanic Biology" and "Biological Oceanography" coexisted, for example, as did "Chemical Oceanography" and "Marine Chemistry." In 1981, NSF began dismantling the internal management structure for the IDOE. IDOE facility needs had always been handled by OFS, so that element did not require organizational change.
By 1980, DSDP had been in operation for 15 years. It had become a truly international program, with foreign participation in every aspect of science planning and operations as well as financial support. Discussion about successor programs had been going on in the community for some time. Three schools of thought had emerged: (1) continue the DSDP with a new ship or rehabilitated Glomar Challenger; (2) begin an Ocean Margin Drilling Program (OMDP), concentrating on deep penetration of a small number of drill sites, using a new advanced platform with riser capability; or (3) begin a new generation Advanced Ocean Drilling Program (AODP) with a new platform and revised management structure. A fourth option was to end ocean drilling altogether. That last view had few adherents in the ocean science community, but was seriously considered by NSF management, Congress, and the Administration.
DSDP was granted a two-year extension while discussions of options grew more heated. When discussions of new drilling options began in the 1970s, senior NSF officials indicated that while international JOIDES scientific direction was welcome, the agency would prefer to deal with an incorporated entity as the primary contractor for any new program. The ten U.S. members of JOIDES created JOI, Inc. Even though the ten continued to be members of JOIDES and participated in the ongoing aspects of the DSDP, the creation of JOI caused unease among the international partners.
Initially, JOI undertook a few small service contracts and special studies related to the DSDP and the future options. Soon, however, by virtue of an agreement among NSF, a consortium of U.S. oil companies, and JOI, Inc., JOI became the prime contractor for developmental work for the margin