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their proposals to components compatible with their ongoing programs. As a result, academic researchers, with only modest engagement of other agencies, eventually carried out most IDOE programs.

Facilities Programs: OFS and UNOLS Evolve Together

The establishment of the Office for Oceanographic Facilities and Support (OFS) and the creation of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) coincided with NSF's abrupt assumption of the dominant role in ocean science funding.

Today the "academic fleet" is widely acknowledged as a capable and efficient research establishment. In 1970, the label of "academic fleet" would have been a misnomer; each institution tried to maintain its own operation, competition for funding was intense, and there was little incentive for cooperation in scheduling. In the rapid growth of the preceding decades, it had been almost too easy for institutions to obtain ships. Military surplus ships were converted for research use, as were yachts and tuna clippers. While some of the conversions served well, others were poorly maintained and outfitted, or simply not properly configured for research. Basically, there were more ships in operation than the system could afford.

The task facing OFS and UNOLS was thus not simply to compensate for the decline in Navy funding, but to change the community's way of doing business at sea. Having a ship had become part of an institution's identity as a center for marine research. If institutions were to be persuaded to give up inefficient ship operations, they would have to be convinced that they could still be serious players in ocean research. The key to that assurance would be to ensure that any scientist with a legitimate need for ship time could have access to the supported fleet. That required a change in attitude on the part of operating institutions as well as the scientific community.

The major instrument of that change was UNOLS. As with JOIDES, UNOLS was not an incorporated body, but rather an association of oceanographic institutions—ship operators as well as ship users. One of the participating institutions would serve as home base—the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution offered to be the initial host. In the ensuing years, UNOLS established credibility with ship operators, the larger research community, and NSF and other federal agencies.

OFS brought NSF attention to bear on the long-neglected area of facilities support. Ship operation funds for all NSF-supported research, whether originating in AD/R or AD/NI, were budgeted and administered by OFS. With the changing roles of federal agencies, interagency coordination took on new importance. OFS chaired the interagency negotiations that kept DSRV Alvin in operation and secured access to surplus Navy fuel supplies during the oil crisis in the mid-1970s. New programs were established for shipboard instrumentation, technician support, and oceanographic technology. The design and construction of several classes of mid-sized and coastal research ships was supported.

IDOE also made important contributions to the new approach to facilities use. Its large-scale coordinated programs became the linchpin of the schedules of the larger ships, enabling institutions to plan distant expeditions. IDOE's team approach introduced many senior scientists to the experience of working on ships other than those of their home institutions. Individual investigators were also indirect beneficiaries, because the schedule lead times provided an opportunity for them to seek support for additional projects in the areas visited by IDOE cruises.

The changes did not occur without debate. Ship operating institutions had to surrender much of their independence in scheduling. Decisions to reduce the size of the fleet were invariably controversial: institutional identity might be at stake, and ships generate emotional ties not often associated with inanimate research equipment. The net outcome of the changes, however, was a more capable and cost-effective fleet. Even more important, the new approach to scheduling did a better job of matching the needs of researchers to the facilities most capable of supporting the projects.

The Reorganization of 1975: The Ocean Sciences Are Reunified, But at a Price

In 1975, the NSF organizational pendulum swung again. Part of the reason was the continued "big vs. small" science tension, exacerbated by the complaints of the affected disciplines about the bureaucratic divisions between their "base" research programs and the AD/NI portfolio. Another internal pressure was the view that AD/R, encompassing basic research in all fields, had become unmanageable.

The ostensible purpose of the 1975 change was to restore the grouping of like disciplines as the organizing principle for all NSF research activities. Three new research directorates were established: Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), Biological, Behavioral, and Social Sciences (BBS), and the awkwardly-titled Directorate for Astronomical, Earth and Ocean Sciences (AEOS). The AEOS portfolio also included the Office of Polar Programs and the Division of Atmospheric Sciences. The presence of the latter was soon acknowledged by expanding the title to an even more unmanageable formulation, directorate for Astronomical, Atmospheric, Earth and Ocean Sciences (AAEO), promptly dubbed "A-Squared E-O" by NSF staffers.

The naming problem of the new directorate came about because of the Foundation's continued ambivalence about management of large-scale facilities. Logically, the disciplinary concept should have sent astronomy to MPS, where its intellectual roots in physics and mathematics lay, leaving the environmental sciences to form a separate, coherent directorate. But the positive experience of the prior five years



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