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Three major marine research institutes in the northeastern United States have entered into a formal agreement to coordinate the operation and scheduling of five seagoing oceanographic vessels. NECOR (Northeast Consortium Research Fleet) consists of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the University of Rhode Island, and Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory.

NECOR was established, in part, to save money during a time of drastic funding reductions for ship support, explained Jules Hirshman, marine science coordinator at Lamont. Budget axings for 1982 chipped off 10–12% (constant dollars) from 1981 s ship funding, estimates Robert Dinsmore, chairman of facilities and marine operations at Woods Hole and chairman of NECOR's executive committee. Steadily rising fuel costs (Eos, June 23, 1981, p. 549) aggravate the funding problem.