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to 9,000 persons engaged full time in the marine sciences. The Soviets have over 1,500 fully qualified oceanographers. The United States has less than 1,000 oceanographers. Total marine technology manpower at work full time in this country today numbers less than 3,000 persons.
The Soviet Union is placing high national priority on ocean tecnology training and application of marine research. The United States, by contrast, has just begun recognizing the importance of this new field.
The seas represent greater and more immediate economic returns than have yet been founded in outer space. The Interior Department estimates that this Nation's fish catch could be expanded to five or six times its present levelgood news for a nation which has allowed its fisheries to slip to fifth place among world fishing nations. The Soviets, who rank fourth, are increasing their fish catch by 500,000 tons per year. They have made fishing a science, have adopted progressive methods such as "fish farming"—transplanting millions of salmon eggs and fingerlings from the Far East to the Bering Sea.
Each year Americans spend over $500 million on imported fish products. Every other fish in the American frying pan is imported. By developing scientific methods in marine biology and ocean engineering through sea-grant colleges, this Nation could reach enormous economic benefits from sales of fish at home as well as to hungry and growing populations abroad.
Further economic returns are to be had for that nation which has the technology to surface precious minerals lying on the ocean floor. Offshore oil drilling in 1964 brought in U.S. producers 174 million barrels valued at $541 million. By 1970, U.S. offshore production will be worth about $1.2 billion, or about double what it is today. With increased knowledge, that figure could be even higher.
Manganese ore has just been discovered off the U.S. coast near the FloridaGeorgia State line. This layer has been estimated at 3 to 4 feet thick, and up to 1,900 square miles of pavement. Vital to the manufacture of steel and related alloys, as well as dry cell batteries, manganese is of vital importance to the Soviets as well as the United States, which consumes several times as much manganese as it produces. A sea grant college could be instrumental in develop ing methods of harvesting this mineral.
A host of other benefits could come from advancing this Nation's ocean technology. Better weather controls, improved antisubmarine warfare, utilization of sea vegetation, pollution control, conversion of salt water to fresh, and improved surface shipping are just a few returns to be had for an investment in the oceans which is meager compared to our financial stake in outer space probes.
Florida has already begun to move in the direction of schooling young minds in the value of the seas. In our State there are four State universities which offer courses in oceanographic and related sciences. One private institution, the University of Miami, maintains the Institute of Marine Science, one of the finest in the world. Florida Atlantic University, the newest of our State's institutions, offers programs in ocean engineering and other applied uses of the seas.
Other progressive States boast of such fine institutions as the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography, and the University of Minnesota's Institute of Technology, whose noted Dean Athelstan Spilhaus has long advocated the concept of sea grant colleges.
However, more must be done to raise the level and number of oceanographic students and educators in every State if this Nation is to win the wet space race. The ranks of America's qualified oceanographers must grow more rapidly than the present 10 percent per year if we are to outdo Russia's annual expansion of 15 percent. This Nation must discover more undersea technology if our national defense is to be maintained against such submarine military operations as may be launched from Soviet bases in Cuba. Sea grant colleges can be a major factor in turning this tide. I urge that S. 2439 be approved by this distinguished subcommittee, its parent committee, and both Houses of the Congress as well.
Thank you for this opportunity to be heard.
Our next witness is Dr. Randal M. Robertson, Associate Director for Research, National Science Foundation.
STATEMENT OF DR. RANDAL M. ROBERTSON, ASSOCIATE DIREC
TOR FOR RESEARCH, NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION; ACCOMPANIED BY HARVE J. CARLSON, DIVISION DIRECTOR FOR BIOLOGICAL AND MEDICAL SCIENCE, NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
Senator PELL. Will you proceed as you will, Dr. Robertson?
Dr. ROBERTSON. Thank you, Senator Pell. Í am delighted to have the opportunity to speak to you today. I would like first to introduce my colleague, Dr. Harve Carlson. Dr. Carlson is Division Director for Biological and Medical Sciences in the National Science Foundation, and is the Foundation member of the Interagency Committee on Oceanography of the Federal Council of Science and Technology.
I am a physicist, sir, and spent 12 years with the Office of Naval Research before joining the National Science Foundation in 1958.
I would like to read a very short statement outlining the Foundation's position with regard to S. 2439.
The Foundation is in agreement with three basic premises of S. 2439: first, that the time is now ripe for an aggressive move toward fuller exploitation of the resources of the seas; second, that our universities and colleges must play a key role in this movement; and third, that while ocean science itself is in reasonably good shape, the exploitation of ocean resources needs a new push forward.
Ocean science, both physical and biological, has only just begun to develop an adequate understanding of the complex natural phenomena of the seas. This work must go forward and should be intensified. The Foundation agrees, however, that the time is now at hand to mount a concurrent program of applied research and exploratory development, in which we must take direct aim at optimum utilization for our country of the resources of the oceans. On the basis of experience it can be expected that advances in ocean technology will open up new opportunities and techniques for basic research.
The Foundation believes that no one agency can undertake the entire task. For example, the Navy Department, the Department of Commerce, the Department of the Interior, and the National Science Foundation have essential roles to play. Each one has skills and resources in this very field which can and must be dedicated to our mutual objectives. Therefore, consideration should be given to having any sea grant bill make clear that direct participation of those and other appropriate agencies is contemplated.
The National Science Foundation can well undertake a key role in developing strength in the ocean resources field at our academic institutions. Under its present legislative authority, the National Science Foundation can undertake the support of many programs in the general field of oceanography. However, we would welcome a specific assignment in the area of academic research, basic and applied, and education along the lines envisaged by the provisions of the bill as our part of a continuing governmentwide effort. It is in interaction with the academic institutions of our country that the Foundation has the greatest store of experience and competence. However, the Foundation considers that it should not be assigned responsibility for activities involving the development of practical systems for exploitation of the marine environment.
I will comment very briefly now on two major aspects of the bill. One is how the program should be financed; the other relates to the basic concept of the sea grant institution. First, I cannot see many advantages in financing support under the bill by tying such support to a fraction of the funds derived from offshore leases as proposed in section 3(b) of the bill. The Foundation favors the established procedure of analyzing our needs and opportunities and then providing the necessary funds through the budget process. This would be a more direct procedure for insuring that funding is carefully planned in relation to the required program and that it is adequate to meet the opportunities.
Second, the Foundation would urge that the title “sea grant institution” be reserved for a limited group of carefully selected universities which agree to mount major programs in the ocean resources field rather than being applied merely to any institution receiving support under S. 2439. Institutions qualifying would most likely be in the coastal and Great Lakes areas. Further, I believe that the National Science Foundation should work closely with the State governments in this development, and that a "sea grant institution" should be the fruit of an agreement between the Federal Government and the State, in which the State agrees to commit some of its own resources to the program. To qualify for sea grant status, an institution would have to present a carefully worked out, realistic plan showing how it would proceed to develop a program of education and research, both basic and applied, aimed at training the manpower required and developing the knowledge and techniques necessary for tapping the resources of the oceans. These selected institutions would not in any sense have a monopoly on the field. However, they would be clearly identified as the focal institutions for this enterprise, which is so important to the future of our Nation. This would give a much more significant meaning to the term "sea grant institution” than that presently envisaged by the bill and thereby help stimulate research and education in this field.
I appreciate the opportunity of appearing here today to present the Foundation's position and will be glad to answer any questions.
Senator Pell. Thank you very much, Dr. Robertson, for your succinct, imaginative, and thoughtful testimony with the specific suggestions. I was struck with your point that it might be wiser not to relate the funds to the percentage of the rents and royalties. The Bureau of the Budget may have some views on this matter, too. And there may well prove to be considerable wisdom to your thought that we should just have a straight authorization. Our minds are open on that.
The reason we originally tied it into the rents and royalties was to show that it was a self-feeding operation, that the more money that went into it, the more money would be produced for the public weal.
Secondly, with regard to your point about matching programs with the States and not spreading the program too widely, diverting it, diluting it, I think there is some merit in this thought, too.
Have you thought how the program might be matched, what kind of ratio you are thinking of, 50-50, 90–10, or anything of that sort?
Dr. ROBERTSON. We have not worked it out in detail. I believe there should be a negotiated participation by the State in the program. Senator PELL. When you say the State, it would either be the State or private educational or business institutions within the State. You don't mind where the money came from as long as it didn't come from the Government.
Dr. ROBERTSON. I had in mind non-Federal funds, but sufficient State participation to insure that the State itself, the State government, is behind the venture.
Senator PELL. I know we are very lucky in my own State of Rhode Island where the university itself
and the State-particularly the university with great help from the Federal Government-have really taken considerable initiative in this field. This is what you are driving at, I would imagine, in other States as well, that the initiative should come locally and that the Federal Government would help it.
Dr. ROBERTSON. Yes. I think we should stimulate initiative, however, not simply wait passively for something to happen.
Senator Pell. I think this bill would probably do that. There is nothing that stimulates interest more than the prospect of funds, and it has that effect, I have noticed.
Now, another question with regard to the administration of the bill. I notice that you believe the Foundation should not be assigned responsibility for activity involving the development of systems for exploitation of the marine environment. The purpose of this bill is basically exactly that, not development of new research or the development of new knowledge. It is the practical exploitation from a money-making or health or economic viewpoint of the information and knowledge that we already have. So I would imagine you would not be adverse to it being administered by the agency that might be set up by the self-liquidating council under Senator Magnuson's bill, or on a temporary basis by the Smithsonian Institution. Would that be correct?
Dr. ROBERTSON. I believe that the engineering development of systems for exploitation of the resources of the sea should be done primarily by industry and the Government support should come from whatever agency of the Government has a mission to accomplish, such as the exploitation of mineral resources. I believe that the acacademic institutions should be involved in applied research in the exploration of new techniques, and in education which leads people to engage in such activities. I believe that we can support any program which would be appropriate for an academic institution, be it basic or applied.
I simply feel that the management of engineering development programs should not be undertaken by the National Science Foundation but by mission oriented agencies in collaboration with industry.
Senator PELL. But you have no strong view or preference as to where this program should be administered. I think we all agree the program is probably a pretty sound idea and to the national interest. The question is where it should be administered because where it should be administered would give the cachet to the program as it goes along, or the direction, and as I understand your view, your interests are mainly in this area of research and development of knowledge, but the exploitation of knowledge would not necessarily come within your purview or your practices even though it may be in the original mandato from the Congress.
Dr. ROBERTSON. I feel strongly that the bill, insofar as it relates to strengthening our academic institutions in this field, both in the basic and applied areas, should be managed by the National Science Foundation. I believe we are the Government agency best qualified to handle it.
Senator MURPHY. May I ask a question?
Senator MURPHY. Why wouldn't it come under the ordinary procedures of education?
Dr. ROBERTSON. We support many programs in graduate education in the sciences.
Senator MURPHY. Is it necessary to graduate? Dr. ROBERTSON. And in the undergraduate area as well. We have a broad mission to support education in the sciences and engineering, and under this we have supported work in the area of oceanography and couid support graduate education in marine resources, for example, in engineering schools.
Senator MURPHY. What is your association with the developments of La Jolla, if I may ask? Forgive me for being not knowledgeable on this subject, but there is so much to learn in such a short time.
Dr. ROBERTSON. We support many projects in oceanography at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Senator MURPHY. Individual projects.
Dr. ROBERTSON. Primarily through individual projects and in support of basic research to which we are limited. We cannot under our broad legislative authority support applied research unless specifically authorized to do so by the Congress.
Senator MURPHY. I see. Thank you.
Senator PELL. This brings out the very point I am driving at. The thrust, the purpose of this bill is not to go into research. It is to the application only of research that already has been done and also our concept of it, at least my concept, is not so much individual grants as program grants, somewhat along the lines of land grant colleges, which is the reason we call it sea grant colleges. I am a little confused because as I understand it from your testimony, you believe you should not be assigned responsibility for activities involving the development of systems for exploitation and you have just said, as I understood it, that you believe that your work involved the grants on an individual basis and not for applied research, but more for basic research.
Well, then, it would seem to me that the three viewpoints would indicate that you thought it best not to administer this program.
Dr. ROBERTSON. Well, let me clarify if I can some of these points.
First, under our general authority we can only support basic research.
Senator PELL. Excuse me for interrupting, but that is against the purpose of the bill because we are not seeking to develop basic research,
Dr. ROBERTSON. We would welcome in the case of the sea grants bill authority to extend our support into applied research in the fields relating to marine resources, but it would require this specific bill to authorize it. We would be happy to manage that program.
Senator Pell. Well, then, pressing you on this point, what this bill would do if you were left as administering agency would also be to widen your present congressional mandate.