tional scientific cooperation and became the vehicle for exporting American science and our scientific system to the rest of the world.
The plate tectonic revolution led to an explosion in the number of young graduate students studying marine geology and geophysics. At first, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, many of the most promising researchers were retained by their Ph.D. institutions or one of the other oceanographic institutions in order to complete the data analysis for the revolution. But by the mid-1970s, the slots within the institutions were filled by a young cohort, and nonoceanographic institutions began hiring the MG&G students to teach plate tectonics to undergraduates and graduates. As these former students who found themselves at nonoceanographic institutions sought to develop their own research programs, they saw the lock that their former alma maters had on MG&G funds and ship time, and they cried, "Foul!" By the end of the 1970s, the democratization of MG&G was well underway, as perhaps best illustrated by the increase in non-Lamont chief scientists on her ships (Figure 7).
This change was inevitable and brought a much larger talent pool to the table to compete for funding and ship time. The system became more open and more accountable. Cruises were more carefully planned, and no funds were wasted taking observations unnecessary to test the hypothesis at hand. But much was lost along the way as well. Without omnibus grants in the hands of the leaders of oceanographic institutions, there was no opportunity to put together larger projects that cut across disciplines by a few people with great vision. With less institutional funding, there was no incentive to work with colleagues at one's own institution as opposed to those across the country. The institutions became less cohesive. Since researchers from one oceanographic institution were likely to be scheduled for ship time on another institution's vessel, less attention was paid to maintaining and improving the home institution's assets. "Expeditions" became a string of unrelated legs with completely different science parties and objectives. With more PIs competing for the funding pool, the success rate dropped, such that researchers were writing more proposals to raise the same amount of research funds. The sharp curtailment of ONR support for MG&G that occurred soon after only made matters worse.
To some extent, this changeover in the support pattern in MG&G happened at a fortunate time. The reconnaissance sampling of the geology and geophysics of the oceans had already been completed, and it was time for more focused hypothesis testing in targeted areas, the type of research for which NSF funding is ideally suited. I wonder whether the same was true for the other oceanography disciplines, for which the critical observations were not as routinely measured or as easily archived during the early days of wideopen ocean exploration as they were for MG&G.
I view the growth of special initiatives in MG&G as an attempt to allow for the earlier type of coordinated planning in spite of the system that predominantly funded a single PI or small group of PIs for one month of ship time to address one problem. Initiatives such as the Ridge Inter-Disciplinary Global Experiments (RIDGE), provided a mechanism to tackle bigger science questions in a systematic way, while still maintaining the openness of the system and the advantages of peer review. This initiative has been immensely successful by any measure, integrating mid-ocean-ridge-related research throughout the oceans and across the disciplines of geology, geophysics, chemistry, and biology. The down side is that RIDGE has been so very successful in terms of discoveries and in capturing the attention of the community that it is in danger of reducing the breadth in interests for the RIDGE generation of students. I recall spending summers at Woods Hole when it was difficult to find a seminar that was not RIDGE-related or a graduate student that was not working on a RIDGE problem. Special initiatives are a