The following HTML text is provided to enhance online
readability. Many aspects of typography translate only awkwardly to HTML.
Please use the page image
as the authoritative form to ensure accuracy.
50 Years of Ocean Discovery: National Science Foundation 1950—2000
nizingly slow, and in most cases, these governments were unwilling or unable to fund these projects. The IOC itself had very little funding for research and was unable to support the projects, and the U.S. IDOE could not use its funds to support scientists of other nations.
Two notable exceptions to this state of affairs were FAMOUS and POLYMODE. FAMOUS was a joint French-U.S. study of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which was in planning stages when IDOE was established and which was carried out during the first few years of the program. POLYMODE was a joint USSR-U.S. study of mid-ocean dynamics in the Central/North Atlantic. This project was carried out during the last half of IDOE and was a truly cooperative effort in planning and execution. Scientists from both countries designed the experiments, planned the logistics, and carded out the research, and the governments of both countries supported the operations.
Focus Areas—Of the four major topics of study identified in the NAS (1969) report, IDOE was prohibited from funding "biology and living resources" during the first year of the program. We in the IDOE office were informed that the prohibition was imposed by the Bureau of the Budget because of arguments regarding fisheries. At the time, we thought the disagreement was between the budget bureau and the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries. However, according to Wenk (1980) the problem lay in the Department of State, which wanted to exclude fisheries from IDOE's scope. The Department of State's traditional roles in multi-and bilateral fishery policy might be endangered. The issue was settled after IDOE's first year, and biology and living resources became an integral part of the program beginning in the second year of IDOE.
Program Development—Although, for reasons stated above, it was not possible to achieve the kind of international and government agency participation envisaged, NSF was very successful in implementing a program with the remaining distinguishing characteristics identified in the NAS (1969) report. We in the IDOE office required IDOE projects to be identifiably relevant to the more effective utilization of the ocean and its resources, the major goal of IDOE. Further, the project had to be large-scale, long-term research, drawing on the expertise and skill of scientists from all applicable disciplines. The result was "big science" projects involving key research scientists from the major U.S. academic institutions and having a duration of three to ten years. Table 3 illustrates some of these features (Jennings and King, 1980). Throughout its 10-year history, IDOE supported 21 major projects, totaling approximately $189 million. This did not include ship operating costs; which were included in budgets of the Office for Oceanographic Facilities and Support.
One other characteristic of IDOE was that all data would have to be submitted to the appropriate national or international data centers. The cost to each project for adhering to this policy was included in the project proposals and funded by IDOE as an integral part of the projects. Safeguards were established to protect the proprietary interests of the researchers. IDOE also provided special funds to the data centers to ensure their capabilities to manage the influx of additional data.
After the first frustrating year of dealing with required pass-through funds to other government agencies and less than satisfactory proposals from academic scientists, which failed to adequately address the goals of the program, IDOE managed to develop an operating philosophy that served the program well for the remainder of the decade.
In order for a project to become part of IDOE it would have to address some aspect of ocean utilization and would have to be comprehensive enough to hold the promise of a significant advance toward solving the problem under study. The importance of the project and its design would need to have the consensus of those individuals most knowledgeable about the issue to be studied. Some of the projects undertaken during the early days of IDOE had already reached this stage of development by the time IDOE was established: GEOSECS, MODE, CLIMAP, and Nazca Plate are examples.
For projects that had not reached this stage of development we were to become dependent on a series of planning workshops, each addressing its own project. The academic scientific leaders wishing to establish an IDOE project were called on to organize a planning workshop and to invite all research scientists who were knowledgeable about the subject and who might ultimately become important research members of the final project. If the workshop was successful, the leader or leaders of the project organized and submitted to IDOE a complex proposal describing the administration of the project, the scientific approach, and the role of each individual investigator in the project including a proposal from each investigator.
We came to refer to the leaders of these projects as the "Heroes" and the philosophy as the "Hero Principle." The Heroes were responsible for all administrative aspects of the project including budgets, logistics, planning, and so forth. In almost every project, the Hero was really an executive committee. For example, in GEOSECS, the executive committee included a scientist from each of five institutions: Lamont, Scripps, Woods Hole, Miami, and Yale. IDOE funds were granted to the home institution of each participating scientist.
The planning workshops were very successful and were carried out without difficulty during the first half of the decade. However, as the program matured, part of the scientific community became concerned that the workshop organizers were inviting participants on the basis of "old boy" networks and excluding some scientists who could make meaningful contributions. Thereafter, it became necessary to publicize, well in advance, our intention to sponsor these