JOI to manage drilling program



The Joint Oceanographic Institutions, Inc. (JOI), has been awarded a 5-year, $141 million contract by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to manage and operate the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP). The international scientific program follows the 15-year Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) and is expected to last a decade. JOI, founded in 1976 to manage scientific services and planning functions for DSDP, is based in Washington, D.C., and consists of 10 major oceanographicinstitutions.

Drilling operations are expected to begin in October at the start of fiscal 1985. Negotiations are under way to lease a commercial drill ship for the program (Eos, May 5, 1983, p. 174; February 22, 1983, p. 73). According to D. James Baker, Jr., JOI president, and Sandra D. Toye, ODP program director, a decision on the choice of the research ship is likely to be made in February; overhaul of the commercial ship to make it suitable for scientific drilling is scheduled to be done by October. The Glomar Challenger had been leased for 15 years as DSDP's drill ship.