Welcome to this issue of Oceanography devoted to the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP). NOPP was established in FiscalYear 1997 through Public Law 104-201 to promote an improved knowledge of the ocean, and to coordinate and strengthen oceanographic efforts by building partnerships among Federal agencies, academia, industry, and other members of the oceanographic community.
Initially funded at $12 million by the Navy, NOPP has grown to over $18 million in FY 2000, with major sponsorship by the Navy, the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. In the FY-2001 Presidential Request pending before Congress, NOPP is proposed to grow to $25 million from these agencies. In addition, over $25 million has been provided for oceanographic surveys conducted by ships of the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System for the Navy.
This issue of Oceanography features ten representative projects drawn from the 36 which NOPP has funded through FY-1999. By the time this issue appears we will have announced the new NOPP projects and renewals for this FY-2000.
A central NOPP theme is improved ocean observing systems. NOPP is supplementing the traditional paradigm of individual, problem-specific, finite-duration, ocean observing systems with an integrated approach. This approach serves the needs of many users while addressing challenges identified at the 1998 National Ocean Conference and in its follow-up report, Turning to the Sea: America’s Ocean Future. This is the rationale for establishment of an ocean observations office which will serve to implement an integrated, long-term ocean observing system where the whole will be greater than the sum of the parts.
For more information describing NOPP projects or to keep abreast of the latest developments in ocean observing systems, please visit our website at www.nopp.org.