. "Two Years of Turbulence Leading to a Quarter Century of Cooperation: The Birth of UNOLS." 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
ment and planning of oceanographic facilities. The organization will be known as the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS).
Membership in the system would be open to academic institutions operating federally funded facilities. Facility use would be open to scientists from any institution, primarily for the conduct of federally funded programs. The purpose of the organization would be to provide a formal mechanism for community-wide coordination and review of the use of available facilities, equal opportunity for access to these facilities, community-wide assessments of the current match of facilities to the needs of federally funded oceanographic programs, and appropriate recommendations of priorities for replacing, modifying, improving, increasing, or decreasing the numbers and mix of facilities for the community of users.
There would be a UNOLS committee to monitor the activities of the system, provide advice and assistance to members, and submit reports to the funding agencies. It would consist of seven members, three of whom would be from nonmember institutions. A UNOLS office, with an executive secretary, would be established at a member institution to handle staff duties. Support for the office would be prorated among the funding agencies.
Once a year, UNOLS members would meet to coordinate ship schedules. There would be three separate meetings: one to schedule ship operations in the open ocean (500 miles or more offshore); one for the coastal waters (less than 500 miles from shore) for the East Coast; and one for the West Coast coastal waters. Detailed logistics for preparation and coordination of schedules were suggested.
The UNOLS committee would consist of members elected to three-year terms and would devote its early attention to the effective use of existing oceanographic facilities. It would evaluate the need for replacement and additional facilities and would recommend to the funding agencies on behalf of the oceanographic community consideration of specialized facilities or new concepts in facilities.
Many of the attributes of earlier versions of the NOLS plan were included. There were significant differences, however. There would be one national program, not divided geographically, but considering separately only open ocean, West Coast, and East Coast operations. The overwhelming difference from all the NOLS proposals was that this system would be managed almost exclusively by the institutions themselves. It would be a University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System—a cooperative venture.
The drafters of the UNOLS proposal, Dick Barber (Duke University), John Byrne (Oregon State University), Art Maxwell (Woods Hole), Bob Ragotzkie (University of Wisconsin, Madison), and Jay Savage (University of Southern California), presented and discussed the proposal at a meeting of representatives of the oceanographic laboratories at the Lamont Geological Laboratory of Columbia University on September 22, 1971.
UNOLS—The First Year and Beyond
The laboratories that agreed to participate did so with misgivings. UNOLS represented a new way of doing business. Those that participated agreed to give up an element of autonomy for the good of the community. However, because there was the threat of losing funding if they failed to participate, there was a strong incentive to do so. Even so, UNOLS was considered to be an experiment. The proposal was not accepted until a "renewal or dissolution" clause was added to the charter. In order for UNOLS to continue, it would require a renewal every three years by vote of its members. The proposal was unanimously accepted. UNOLS was born.
There were 18 initial members:
Florida State University
Johns Hopkins University
Lamont-Doherty Geological Laboratory of Columbia University
Oregon State University
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Skidaway Institute of Oceanography
Texas A&M University
University of Alaska
University of Hawaii
University of Miami
University of Michigan
University of Rhode Island
University of Southern California
University of Washington
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
These 18 institutions operated 33 vessels more than 65-feet long (Table 1).
At the first meeting, Art Maxwell of Woods Hole was elected chairman and Jay Savage of the University of Southern California, vice-chairman. The UNOLS committee was also elected at the time and included John Byrne, Oregon State University, chair; John Craven, University of Hawaii; Charles Drake, Dartmouth; David Menzel, Skidaway; Bob Ragotzkie, Wisconsin; Hank Stommel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Warren Wooster, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Soon after the inception of UNOLS, with Woods Hole as the host institution and Art Maxwell as chair, Captain Robertson P. Dinsmore (Coast Guard, Retired), was selected to serve as the executive secretary. Maxwell, Dinsmore, and Woods Hole would lead UNOLS during the early years of its existence.
The charter of UNOLS was adopted at the first regular UNOLS meeting held at Texas A&M at College Station in May 1972. At the outset, the main function of UNOLS was