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50 Years of Ocean Discovery: National Science Foundation 1950—2000
They are also usually fully international: a characteristic that dictates international coordination and management.
Table 2 illustrates some of the differences between the management structures of WOCE and TOGA. In this table, national steering groups are indicated by SSG (Scientific Steering Committee), whereas international steering groups are denoted by SSG (Scientific Steering Group). There are pros and cons to both mechanisms, which will be the subject of a future paper. For the purpose of this paper, it suffices simply to state the facts.
In conclusion, I would like to simply state the obvious and list some of the strengths of the major physical oceanography programs. Then I indicate what, to me, are some of the challenges remaining as we move into the CLIVAR era.
First of all, both large and small programs are needed to make scientific progress, even though more extensive review procedures are required for the large programs. This time and effort, however, seem warranted, since large programs usually add resources to the community. New major programs are much more likely to be interdisciplinary, and midsize programs are needed as bridges and to deal with pieces of the bigger puzzle.
Nevertheless, some challenges remain. More manpower is needed (especially strong leadership) in order to realize the potential for new programs already conceived. It is particularly incumbent on academic institutions to develop ways in which their faculty are recognized for sometimes thankless and onerous tasks. There is a need for community consensus in order to ensure community support for implementation of these major programs, and there is a special need for new ideas as old ways of doing things become obsolete. New approaches and new agreements are also needed in the issue of data collection and sharing.
From the agency side, the securing and allocation of adequate funding are crucial, without compromising agency missions, but exploiting the differences to accomplish a wide
Contrast of Management Structures and Institutions Involved in WOCE and TOGA. Both International and National Components are Listed.
NSF (ONR, NOAA, DOE, NASA)
NOAA (NSF, ONR, NASA, DOE)
NOAA (Boulder) → Geneva
SSG report to JSC
SSG report to JSC
SSC report to IAG
NAS panel report to BASC
IWP (IOC and SSG)
ITB (WMO and SSG)
IAG (Agency PDs)
Formal part of the USTPO
Panels and WGs
Established by SSC, SSG
Established by USTPO & Panel
NOTE: BASC = Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate; DOE = Department of Energy; IAG = Inter-Agency Group; ICSU = International Council for Science; IOC = Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission; IOS = Institute of Ocean Sciences/Southampton Oceanography Center, UK; ITB = Intergovernmental TOGA Board; JSC = Joint Scientific Committee for the WCRP; NAS = National Academy of Sciences; NASA = National Aeronautics and Space Administration; ONR = Office of Naval Research; PD = program director; SCOR = Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research; TAMU = Texas A&M University; USTPO = U.S. TOGA Project Office; WCRP = World Climate Research Program; WG = working groups; WMO = World Meteorological Organization.
diversity of tasks. This would help in reducing inertia in a system that is somewhat resistant to new approaches and would help in such specific issues as the costs of data sharing and dissemination.