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Oceanographers all share an interest in the environment and want to make progress understanding it. To make progress in this and in other aspects of our science we need a steady influx of young scientists, better ways of observing and computing, and new ideas about how things work. We need to have a community agreement on a few goals, and we need to convince our government that our science and technology is worth supporting.

How do we get these things accomplished? On the small scale, we work through our local institutions, a method that has served much of our science very well. On the larger scale, we need groups of various kinds. For example, UNOLS [Universities National Oceanographic Laboratories System], made up of all the operators of the academic fleet, helps to schedule the ships and advises NSF on funding priorities. Similarly, the Deep-Sea Drilling Project is coordinated by a group made up of the ten institutions that operate ocean-going research ships: Joint Oceanographic Institutions, Inc.