On June 1, 1990, George Bush and Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed a renegotiated bilateral agreement for cooperation in oceanographic research. The original agreement for “Studies of the World Ocean,” signed in 1972, did not provide for the protection of intellectual property. The new agreement is administered by executive secretaries from both countries working under the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Joint Committee on Cooperation in Ocean Studies. The committee held its first meeting in Moscow September 14–17, 1990, at the headquarters of the U.S.S.R. State Committee for Science and Technology (GKNT).

The U.S. delegation was led by John A. Knauss, undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and included Ned A. Ostenso, executive secretary of the agreement; Thomas E. Murray, NOAA; M. Grant Gross, National Science Foundation; Robert S. Winokur, U.S. Navy; Bonnie McGregor Stubblefield, U.S. Geological Survey; William S. Busch, Office of Science and Technology Policy; and William A. Erb, Eric Green, and Sidney Smith, Department of State.