. "Creating Institutions to Make Scientific Discoveries Possible A Chronology of the Early Development of Ocean Sciences at NSF." 50 Years of Ocean Discovery: National Science Foundation 1950-2000. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2000.
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50 Years of Ocean Discovery: National Science Foundation 1950—2000
ogy, and here the problem of definition was acute. Also, support came from the Division of Scientific Personnel and from the Offices of International Activities and the Antarctic Program. The NSF budget for oceanography was estimated by the committee to be $11.86 million for research, $7.3 million for shore facilities, $3.5 million for ships, $4.0 million for the International Indian Ocean Expedition and $0.14 million for a data center, totaling $26.80 million.
To determine manpower, the NSF asked the International Oceanographic Foundation (Miami) and a working group guided by Joel Hedgepeth, Walton Smith, Donald Pritchard, and Fritz Koczy for assistance. They agreed that the International Register, which contained some 5,000 oceanographers, was an unrealistically high estimate.
Athelstan Spilhaus, chairman of NASCO, proposed to the annual meeting of the American Fisheries Society the creation of Sea Grant Colleges analogous to Land Grant Colleges.
1965—Regular meetings of the CGO had lapsed. On June 9, 1965, Harve Carlson made a request to the Associate Director for Research that "we again set up regular meetings of the Coordinating Group on Oceanography." He reasoned that as the NSF member of the ICO, he was being asked for increasing amounts of data and for policy decisions regarding the role of NSF in interagency ocean issues (e.g., should Mohole and the "long core vessel" be included in the ICO budget?). Carlson noted that "with our buildup in oceanography, a rather major responsibility has grown over the last three to five years." The associate director responded affirmatively, naming Carlson his vice-chair.
On November 19 the Division of Environmental Sciences was established. It was formed to contain the Office of Antarctic Programs, Atmospheric Sciences Section, and Earth Sciences Section, both from MPES.
1966—President Johnson signed a bill into law that created what was to become known as the Stratton Commission, after its chairman Julius Stratton. The purpose of the temporary council and commission was to study the national oceanography program and propose revisions.
Meanwhile, in July 1966, the President's Science Advisory Committee (PSAC), chaired by Gordon MacDonald, issued "what may well be the single most influential design for reorganizing the oceanography program (Science, July 22, 1966) Effective Use of the Sea (PSAC, 1966). It called for the establishment of a new oceanography agency, but did not seek to put either NSF or ONR research into it. It downplayed an Academy report Economic Benefits of Oceanographic Research (NAS, 1964) that had apparently grossly exaggerated the economic benefits of a national oceanographic program.
The NSF Coordinating Group on Oceanography met on August 8, 1966, and Randall Robertson (its chair) reported that the director had asked him to establish a task force to analyze the PSAC report. The major topics of discussion were the concepts of a new oceanography agency (referred to here as a "wet NASA" [National Aeronautics and Space Administration]) and the regional fleet. The former was deemed "not appropriate at the present time" but the latter was looked on with favor.
By August 24 the ill-fated Project Mohole was halted as necessitated by congressional denial of funds, and the office was officially closed on December 31, 1966.
The National Sea Grant College Program Act was signed into law on October 15, and the Office of Sea Grant Programs was established as an organizational component of NSF reporting to the Associate Director for Research.
1967—On June 8, 1967, NSF issued an important notice announcing it was ready to receive Sea Grant proposals. NSF announced the first Sea Grant awards—nine grants totaling nearly $2 million—on February 21, 1968.
THE EMERGENCE OF THE DIVISION OF OCEAN SCIENCES
In March 1967, the Oceanography Program was raised to the section level within the Division of Environmental Sciences with the Physical Oceanography Program, Submarine Geology and Geophysics Program, and Oceanographic Facilities Program managed by Mary Johrde (see her contribution in this volume). Thus can be identified a recognizable cluster of programs (although without biology) out of which the modem Division of Ocean Sciences evolved.
1969—A further step was taken toward the evolution of the Division of Ocean Sciences when the Biological Oceanography Program was added as a new unit within the Environmental and Systematic Biology Section (Biological and Medical Sciences Division), which also included the Environmental Biology and Systematic Biology Programs.
The NSF Director, as a member of the Marine Council, responded in March to the Vice President's request for input on the Stratton Commission report. The director's message contained many cautions on the establishment of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), advising that it required further study. He was unenthusiastic about the transfer of Sea Grant to such a new agency.
In April, Edward Todd (NSF Deputy Associate Director for Research) reported on a briefing by ONR for NSF staff on the "oceanographic ships problem." Fee nan Jennings (this volume) represented ONR. They agreed to a further meeting to discuss the division of ship operation support between NSF and ONR, the impact on operational costs of the addition of large AGOR-class oceanographic vessels to the fleet by ONR, unilateral planning by each agency for fleet replacements or additions, and the recommendations of the Marine Science Commission with respect to "University-National Laboratories" and regional fleets.