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The U.S. National Science Foundation on 30 March signed a cooperative agreement with the Joint Oceanographic Institutions (JOI) in Washington, D.C., to lead U.S. participation in the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP).

U.S. participation will be accomplished through the U.S. Science Support Program (USSSP), an entity created by NSF specifically to support U.S. scientists' activities in the IODP; the USSSP will be managed directly by JOI.