Reply [to comment on “Opportunities for research in the geological sciences”]



I think that Dr. Watts is quite incorrect to assert that marine geology and geophysics were given a “low priority” in the NAS-NRC report on “Opportunities for Research in the Geological Sciences.” To the contrary, “Marine Geology and Geophysics” is explicitly identified in chapter 3 (pp. 59–61) as one of the five key areas for research in the geological sciences. Detailed discussion of the marine field was deliberately not included in the report because such treatment lay beyond the charge of the study committee. The “Committee on Opportunities for Research in the Geological Sciences” was constituted at the specific request of the Director of the Division of Earth Sciences of the National Science Foundation to provide an evaluation and overview of research opportunities that might form part of programs funded by that particular segment of NSF. This task was regarded as a critical one that should be completed within a short time frame. The committee did its best to respond to the need for its advice in a timely fashion. The existence of its report of restricted scope certainly does not preclude a future broader study of the sort envisioned by Dr. Watts.