very carefully and as a result are reinvigorating the program with additional resources that restore funding levels to those of a few years ago. We will also provide a few special programs to ensure that we have a sufficient pipeline of students, post-docs, and young faculty to address future acoustic issues, and we hope to send more acoustical research to sea! (Isn't that a novel idea!) I look forward to collaborating with NSF here as well.
Together, we have made a significant impact on ocean sciences. For example, long-term investments in the studies of ocean thermal, chemical, and acoustical properties, and bottom topography ultimately helped submariners process and assess the many noise sources in the sea, and enabled them to discriminate undersea threats. This capability was one of many that helped end the Cold War.
That research investment also led to a significant improvement in understanding ocean dynamics and the processes that control how the ocean responds to atmospheric forcing and internal changes in ocean structure.
Together, we have shared in the development and improvements in manned vehicles such as Alvin and remotely operated vehicles such as Jason that have allowed us to "look" at 98 percent of the ocean floor, and to discover (another novel concept . . . is discovery science?) new geological features and life forms.
Together, we have provided the oceanographic community with the tools they need to do their work. ONR has built a first-class armada of ships for global research in both shallow and deep waters . . . while NSF's normal role in the partnership is a major supporter of these national assets to address leading national ocean science challenges. We are working closely here as we take advantage of the good news about our funding to make sure we optimize both science and these assets for the good of the nation over the long-term. Together, we have undertaken significant work with these tools—the Arabian Sea process study, for example—and will continue to advance the state of the ocean sciences.
In the polar areas, NSF is clearly the leader—and we salute you. I had a chance to personally thank Joe Bordogna last month for NSF's major support of SCICEX (Scientific Ice Expeditions) research, while the Navy provided a unique platform of opportunity.
I think we should be very proud of our accomplishments—they form a strong foundation for the work we will do in the next millennium.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is expensive to do work in the oceans, we must cooperate—if not in shared funding, then at least in planning. No overlap is affordable. And what is really exciting is knowing there is so much we haven't even imagined yet!
This year was the International Year of the Ocean—a celebration that has placed ocean science both on the national and international agendas. Hurricanes, droughts, floods, coastal erosion, El Niños, La Niñas, and national security problems during the last few years have also brought home why it is imperative that we understand the oceans. Secretary of the Navy Dalton has taken the opportunity afforded by the International Year of the Ocean to remind not only the public, but also the Navy itself, of the importance of understanding the oceans, and how they affect our lives.
In closing, I believe that we are in a time of rich opportunity for research in ocean science. (No, "rich" is not right .·. . it is imperative that we understand the ocean now, broadly; it is the most American of all sciences as we are the world's greatest maritime nation.)
So permit me to offer a vision for the future of our partnership in ocean observing and exploration that may prepare us to move into areas yet unimagined. The vision is one of a maritime nation whose well-being is seen against the broader background of this planet's waters. Let us regard the future of research with alert and open minds prepared for fresh insights, and take care that we not lose our vision. In the future, there will be a place for ocean science in the interest of national security . . . and there will be a place for ocean science in the interest of national need. Let's go forth together and do great things.