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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships 4 Human, Physical, and Fiscal Resources HUMAN RESOURCES Public and private institutions have developed an excellent graduate education system, yielding graduates employed in academia, government, and the private sector in the United States and abroad. The boundaries of oceanography are not well defined, and the field is characterized by many entry points from associated fields at various educational levels. Because of the diversity within the field and its relative youth as a separate science, a research oceanographer cannot simply be defined as one who holds a doctor's degree in ocean science. Many senior faculty in oceanography departments and institutions earned degrees in fields other than oceanography, and many scientists continue to enter ocean science from other fields. Nor can oceanographers be defined as those who perform basic research that is funded by the Division of Ocean Sciences of the National Science Foundation (NSF) or by the Office of Naval Research (ONR). Either definition misses many scientists whose primary activity is teaching, whose research is funded from other sources, or who are employed by federal agencies. Ocean science will be characterized in the coming decade by a mixture of large multiple-investigator programs and individual investigations. The research will be only as good as the scientific
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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships talent that can be applied to the questions posed. Concern has developed regarding the potential shortage of Ph.D.s in science and engineering in the 1990s and beyond in terms of both number and quality. The oceanographic community has, however, questioned this assertion of a lack of qualified doctorates. This section discusses the demographics of oceanography and relates its characteristics to research needs. In examining ocean science, the board asked eight specific questions: How many Ph.D.-level oceanographers are there, and at what rate has the number of Ph.D.-level ocean scientists changed over time? How many ocean science doctorates are produced annually? What is the present age profile of oceanographers in academia and the federal government, and has it changed over time? Has the field matured in terms of becoming a separate discipline? How has the percentage of women, minorities, and foreign nationals in the field changed over time? Has the field changed in terms of academic emphasis among the major subdisciplines [physical oceanography (P.O.), chemical oceanography (C.O) and marine chemistry (M.C.), marine geology and geophysics (MG and G), biological oceanography (B.O.) and marine biology (M.B.), and ocean engineering (O.E.)]? Has the balance of the field changed in terms of the relative size and importance of the major oceanographic institutions? How are research oceanographers supported? What is the ratio of institutional to federal salary support for the oceanography community as a whole? Data Sources Information was collected from a variety of sources. Data on the demographics of oceanography was obtained from biennial reports (1973 to 1989) issued by NSF, called Characteristics of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers in the United States (NSF, 1975; 1977; 1979; 1981; 1983; 1985; 1987; 1989; 1991). In addition, the Ocean Studies Board surveyed the major ocean science institutions and federal agencies (Appendixes IV and V). These two sources form the basis for much of the information presented. Additional information on faculty ages and number of Ph.D.s graduating was obtained from Joint Oceanographic Institutions, Inc.
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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships (JOI). Data on ocean sciences grant recipient characteristics were obtained from NSF, and projected demands for Ph.D.-level researchers were obtained from four major oceanographic research programs. Results National Science Foundation Surveys Since 1973, NSF (through the NRC) has collected information on the employment and demographic characteristics of scientists and engineers with doctoral degrees in the United States. The NSF survey constituted a sample of the Ph.D. population, from which total population values were estimated. These estimates have substantial associated standard errors, so that statistical comparisons were not carried out. The number of oceanographers in all sectors of employment increased from 1,130 in 1973 to 2,460 in 1989 (Figure 4-1). From 1973 to 1981, the average annual rate of increase for academic oceanography was 4.7 percent; from 1981 to 1989, 4.0 percent. Oceanographers who consider teaching as FIGURE 4-1 Change in number of Ph.D.s employed in oceanography over time (NSF data).
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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships FIGURE 4-2 Primary work activity for Ph.D.s employed in oceanography (NSF data). their primary work activity decreased from 21 percent in 1973 to 11 percent in 1989; the portion of oceanographers who consider basic research as their primary work activity fluctuated around 40 percent (Figure 4-2). Percentages in all employment sectors show no discernible trends over time (Figure 4-3). In 1989, most Ph.D.-level oceanographers—about 60 percent—were employed at educational institutions, including secondary schools, junior colleges, and four-year colleges. The federal government employed approxi FIGURE 4-3 Employment sectors for Ph.D.s employed in oceanography (NSF data).
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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships mately 20 percent of the nation's oceanographers; industry, about 10 percent; nonprofit organizations, 7 percent; and state governments, 4 percent. These percentages remained relatively stable over time. The ''maturity" of a discipline is the degree to which it is self-perpetuating and separate from other fields. Estimating the absolute maturity of a discipline is difficult, but examining changes in a number of indicators over time can show whether a field is advancing or declining. Two such indicators are the number of post-doctoral fellowships awarded and the ratio of faculty positions that are in the form of full professorships versus assistant professors. According to NSF data, the number of postdoctoral positions has increased, from an estimated 20 in 1973 to 84 in 1989 (Figure 4-4). For new fields the ratio of full to assistant professors tends to increase over time because of the time required for faculty promotion and tenure, and the time universities need to establish tenured positions. For all science and engineering fields, the ratio has increased steadily over time, from 1.6 in 1973 to 2.4 in 1989 (Figure 4-5). The ratio for oceanography increased from 1.0 to 3.5 in the same period (Figure 4-5). The leap in the ratio in 1989 was due to a substantial increase in the number of full professors and a decrease in the number of assistant professors. The full to FIGURE 4-4 Postdoctoral fellows in oceanography (NSF data).
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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships FIGURE 4-5 Ratio of full to assistant professors (NSF data). assistant professor ratio is even lower for women, reflecting their relatively recent entrance into the field. The proportion of the field made up of women increased from about 3 percent in 1973 to 11 percent in 1989 (Figure 4-6A). Minorities and foreign nationals practicing oceanography in the United States showed no significant trend from 1973 to 1989 (Figures 4-6B and C). NSF data show that from 1973 to 1989, the median age of Ph.D. oceanographers shifted from the 35-to 39-year-old bracket to the 40-to 44-year-old bracket. Ocean Studies Board Survey Information on the potential supply of and demand for oceanographers is limited. Several attempts have been made to characterize the field over the past 20 years (NRC, 1970, 1972, 1981).
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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships FIGURE 4-6 (A) Gender of employed oceanographers (NSF data). (B) Race of employed oceanographers (NSF data). (C) Nationality of employed oceanographers (NSF data).
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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships For this study, the Ocean Studies Board (OSB) sent questionnaires to 52 oceanographic institutions, research laboratories, and academic members of the Council on Ocean Affairs, and to 8 federal agencies to assess the supply and demand within the academic and federal sectors. Responses were received from 40 academic institutions, including all the large academic programs and research institutions, and from 7 federal agencies (Appendixes VI and VII). Of the 40 institutions employing oceanographers in 1990, only 29 had employed oceanographers in 1970. Replies to the OSB questionnaire indicated that the number of academic oceanographers increased from 540 in 1970 to 1,674 in 1990 (Figure 4-7). These include both teaching faculty and research faculty. It should be noted that some of the growth in the 1980–1990 period for academic oceanographers was due to the inclusion of 378 faculty members from two newly created units, at the University of Hawaii (UH) and the University of Washington (UW), that had not been included in the totals before 1990. At the same time, the number of Ph.D. oceanographers in federal agencies rose from 148 to 516. The annual rates of increase (percent) were 1970–1980 1980–1990 Academic 6.4 2.6 (without UW and UH) 5.2 (with UW and UH) Federal 9.9 3.1 FIGURE 4-7 Ph.D.-level federal and academic oceanographers (OSB survey).
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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships FIGURE 4-8 Age distribution of Ph.D.-level oceanographers in oceangraphic institutions and universities (OSB survey). Figures 4-8 and 4-9 show that for universities and government laboratories, respectively, the largest number of oceanographers in any age range falls in the 40-to 50-year-old category. The marked peak in the age distribution of federally employed oceanographers could reflect the establishment and expansion of federal oceanography programs in the 1970s. The ratio of full to assistant professors in ocean sciences over the past 20 years has increased from 1.0 to 1.6 (Table 4-1). During roughly the same period, NSF data show an increase from 1.0 to 3.5. This reason for this discrepancy in unknown, although the large standard error in the NSF data makes comparisons difficult. Figure 4-10 shows the increase in Ph.D.-level staff by rank. The number of postdoctoral positions increased from 11 in 1970 to 111 in 1990, according to OSB data, compared with an increase from 20 in 1973 to 84 in 1989, according to NSF data. Figure 4-11 shows changes in the number of Ph.D.-level oceanographers by discipline over time, as determined by the OSB sur
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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships FIGURE 4-9 Age distribution of Ph.D.-level oceanographers employed by government agencies (OSB survey). vey. The category that includes biological oceanography and marine biology continues to dominate numerically, reflecting the number of relatively small marine laboratories that focus on biological research. Except for a marked increase in ocean engineering, the relative ratios among the academic subdisciplines have not changed substantially over the past 20 years (Table 4-2). For TABLE 4-1 Ratio of Full Professors to Assistant Professors in Oceanography, 1970–1990 (OSB survey) Year Ratio 1970 1.0. 1975 1.2 1980 1.2 1985 1.6 1990 1.6
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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships FIGURE 4-10 Rank of Ph.D.-level staff in academic institutions (OSB survey). FIGURE 4-11 Change in number of Ph.D.-level oceanographers over time (OSB survey).
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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships FIGURE 4-20 Distribution of federal support for ocean science in Fiscal Year 1992. 1982 dollars. The NSF budget grew at an annual rate of 14.4 percent during this time. More than half of this increase can be attributed to inflation; in constant 1982 dollars, the total NSF budget increased at an annual rate of 6.7 percent. This impressive record indicates continuing support in both the administration and the Congress for basic scientific research. Ocean Science The budget of NSF's Ocean Sciences Division (OCE) has not increased as rapidly as the overall NSF budget over this same period (Figure 4-21). In constant 1982 dollar terms, the OCE budget grew 2.4 percent annually between fiscal years 1982 and 1992, a constant dollar growth rate about one-third that of the overall NSF budget. Of the OCE growth, in constant 1982 dollar terms, 58 percent can be attributed to growth specifically in Ocean Science Research Support (OSRS). The Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) accounts for 16 percent of the constant 1982 dollar growth and Oceanographic Centers and Facilities (OCF) for 26 percent. It is encouraging to note that the 5.5 percent increase in the OCE budget from fiscal years 1990 to 1991 (in constant 1982 dollars) and the 4.6 percent budget increase from 1991 to 1992 may signal significant real growth in the OCE budget in the 1990s. Funding increases have not been uniform across the oceanographic disciplines in OCE (Figure 4-22). The physical oceanography budget increased more than the other three disciplines, ac-
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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships FIGURE 4-21 Budget history of the National Science Foundation and the ocean science component in current and constant 1982 dollars for Fiscal Years 1982–1992. counting for 53 percent (in inflation-adjusted dollars) of the entire OSRS growth between fiscal years 1982 and 1992. Biological oceanography accounted for 33 percent of the OSRS growth. In contrast, increases in the chemical oceanography and marine geology and geophysics budgets accounted for much smaller percentages of the OSRS growth, 11 and 6 percent, respectively. However, this relatively slow growth in core program support for MG and G has been offset by a $5 million to $6 million budget per year for drilling-related science that began when ODP was established in the mid-1980s. Thus at NSF, 1982–1992 was characterized by slow growth in research support for ocean sciences. Further, the percentage growth occurred mostly in OSRS and can be attributed primarily to increased support in physical oceanography and, in fiscal years 1991 and 1992, biological oceanography as well. Other Basic Sciences Overall, NSF support for most fields of basic scientific research grew relatively slowly from fiscal years 1982 to 1992. The three directorates that fund most of NSF's
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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships FIGURE 4-22 Budget history of the National Science Foundation's ocean science disciplines in current dollars (A) and in constant 1982 dollars (B) for Fiscal Years 1982–1992.
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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships basic scientific research (and comprise more than one-half its total budget)—Biological, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, and Geosciences—had budget growth rates substantially lower than the overall NSF budget. NSF directorates responsible for technology, computing, engineering, and education accounted for most of the percentage growth in the overall NSF budget. Office of Naval Research The Department of the Navy, primarily through the ONR, has been a major supporter of basic oceanographic research in the United States. ONR funding has changed little in constant dollars since fiscal year 1982 (Figure 4-23). Funding by ONR's oceanographic disciplines, which differ from NSF's, are also relatively constant (Figure 4-23). FIGURE 4-23 Office of Naval Research funding for ocean science in constant 1982 dollars for Fiscal Years 1982–1992.
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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy The Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy was the program sponsor for the following new construction of Navy-owned ships assigned to academic institutions between fiscal years 1982 and 1992: $33 million AGOR-23 (R/V Thompson) New construction $47 million R/V Knorr, R/V Melville Refitting $41 million AGOR-24 New construction Other Navy Support Other Navy support for ocean science comes from the Office of Naval Technology (ONT) and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). ONT provided $43.7 million in fiscal year 1992 for science, but no breakdown for ocean science is available. Further, no budget figures are available prior to fiscal year 1992. NRL provided $3.2 million in fiscal year 1992 for ocean science; here too, no prior budget figures are available yet. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA's research budget includes mapping, charting, geodesy activities, ocean and coastal management, climate research, and fisheries management (Figure 4-24). NOAA research is carried out at major federal laboratories, such as the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratories and the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratories, as well as through cooperative agreements with universities and the National Sea Grant College, Climate and Global Change, and Coastal Ocean programs. Sea Grant, NOAA's major extramural funding program for university-based scientists, provided approximately $25.3 million in fiscal year 1991 for ocean science research (Figure 4-25). The Climate and Global Change Program began in fiscal year 1989 and provides some support for academic scientists (Figure 4-25). The Coastal Ocean Program (COP) began in fiscal year 1990. Approximately 50 percent of its $11.5 million budget for fiscal year 1992 is used to support academic research in coastal ocean science (Figure 4-25). Although it is a young program, COP indicates a possible trend of increasing academic research support (164 percent between fiscal years 1990 and 1992 in constant 1982 dollars). If its budget continues to increase and congressional support continues, COP may emerge as a significant extramural funding pro-
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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships FIGURE 4-24 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) funding for ocean science in current and constant 1982 dollars for Fiscal Years 1982–1992. gram in the 1990s. Funding information for these three NOAA programs is included in Tables 4-7 and 4-8. Department of Energy For many years, the Department of Energy has supported a marine research program in areas such as subseabed waste disposal, carbon dioxide-related research, and coastal oceanography (Figures 4-26 and 4-27). In fiscal year 1982, the marine research program was budgeted at $22.9 million, with some of the work contracted to university-based marine scientists. Between fiscal years 1982 and 1987, the budget was reduced nearly 75 percent in constant 1982 dollar terms. Programs in subseabed waste disposal and strategic petroleum were eliminated, and funding for coastal oceanography and carbon dioxide research was reduced. With DOE involvement in the U.S. Global Change Program, funding for carbon dioxide-related research has rebounded. Since fis-
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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships FIGURE 4-25 Budget history of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Sea Grant, Coastal Ocean Program, and Global Change ocean science components in current dollars (A) and in constant 1982 dollars (B) for Fiscal Years 1982–1992.
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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships FIGURE 4-26 Budget history of ocean science research programs in several major federal mission agencies in current dollars for Fiscal Years 1982–1992. cal year 1987, DOE funding for ocean-related research increased 6.6 percent annually in constant 1982 dollar terms, but it is still significantly (63 percent) below the level of fiscal year 1982 support in constant 1982 dollars. U.S. Geological Survey USGS supports marine geological and geophysical research. During the past decade, it has emphasized mapping and assessing the geological resources of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone. USGS ocean science funding—which includes two major components, Offshore Geologic Framework and Coastal Geology—decreased 32 percent in constant 1982 dollars from fiscal year 1982 to 1983 (Figures 4-26 and 4-27). This reduction is due in part to the formation of a new bureau MMS, which was separated from the Conservation Division unit in the Department of the Interior in fiscal year 1982. Since fiscal year 1983, the USGS marine programs budget has grown 65.8 percent in constant 1982 dollar terms, a 6.6 percent annual average increase.
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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships FIGURE 4-27 Total federal support for ocean science including NASA satellites and Navy ships assigned to academic institutions, in constant 1982 dollars for Fiscal Years 1982–1992. Minerals Management Service MMS's Environmental Studies Program supports studies in physical oceanography, offshore geology, and marine pollution. Some studies are contracted with university-based researchers, and others are conducted by private industry or federal agencies (e.g., USGS). In general, the MMS ocean science budget has decreased continuously from fiscal year 1982 to fiscal year 1992, for a 63 percent overall decrease in constant 1982 dollars in these 11 years (Figures 4-26 and 4-27). Environmental Protection Agency EPA has a rapidly growing marine research program. Reliable figures are not available prior to fiscal year 1989, but between fiscal years 1989 and 1992, the EPA marine program budget increased 165 percent in constant 1982 dollars (an average annual
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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships increase of 41 percent), the largest percent increase in any federal agency (Figures 4-26 and 4-27). National Aeronautics and Space Administration Satellites are increasingly important in modern oceanographic research. NASA provides funding for construction, operation, and related research for ocean satellite missions such as TOPEX/Poseidon, instruments such as SeaWiFS and the NASA Scatterometer, and data collection and analysis from other satellites such as ESA's Earth Resources Satellite-1 (see ''Physical Resources"). It is difficult from NASA's budget presentation to identify specific ocean-related funding after fiscal year 1989, except for individual satellites. Expenditures for fiscal years 1982–1992 are shown in Tables 4-7 and 4-8 in two categories, Research and Analysis and Flight Programs. Funding of university-based researchers has nearly quadrupled in current dollars, from $3.3 million in 1982 to $12.6 million in 1992. NASA's ocean-related funding has grown, particularly for the development of new satellite sensors. Growth of NASA's budget in Earth observations is expected to be substantial as the Mission to Planet Earth begins and the Earth Observing System satellites are developed. Discussion Overall, federal funding of oceanographic research in the 1980s was relatively constant. Figure 4-27 shows that total federal spending on oceanographic research grew 5.1 percent from fiscal year 1982 to fiscal year 1992 (in constant 1982 dollars), an increase of about 0.6 percent annually. Although this report focuses on funding trends in the ocean sciences, funds for individual oceanographic investigators are influenced by the rapid growth in the number of academic oceanographers and a significant increase in the costs of ocean science. Throughout the period of slow growth in federal spending on the ocean sciences in the 1980s, the number of scientists competing for funds continued to grow. According to the OSB survey (see "Human Resources"), the number of Ph.D.-level academic ocean scientists increased about 70 percent from 1980 to 1990. WHOI data indicate that the number of proposals per staff member increased from 2.8 in 1975 to 4.8 in 1991. This finding seems to confirm a general impression among research oceanographers that they now spend more time writing proposals than in the past.
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Oceanography in the Next Decade: Building New Partnerships The costs of the latest equipment (e.g., ships, satellites, and laboratory instrumentation) used in oceanography today are rising much faster than the rate of inflation. This trend, seen in many scientific fields, is what D. Allan Bromley, the President's Science Advisor, calls the sophistication factor. For example, all major oceanographic research vessels in the 1970s were equipped with wide-beam echo sounders to measure the water depth beneath the ship. These simple systems cost a few thousand dollars to install and were inexpensive to operate. In the 1980s, the first multiple narrow-beam echo sounders were introduced. These systems produced more accurate seafloor maps up to 16 times faster than the older echo sounders, but they cost nearly $1 million per ship to install and are much more costly to operate and maintain. In the early 1990s, the second-generation multibeam swath mapping systems were introduced. They are up to 10 times faster than the first multibeam systems but cost nearly 2.5 times as much. This example is not atypical; each oceanography discipline could cite similar examples. As our capability to do oceanographic research has increased over the past 20 years, the associated costs of acquiring, operating, and maintaining modern facilities and equipment have outpaced inflation.
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