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Dr. ROBERTSON. It would. It would widen our mandate in this particular field just as it was widened when we were assigned responsibility for weather modification where we may support both basic and applied research.
I would also say that I agree with you, sir, that this program requires something beyond the project type of support. It requires in my opinion the same kind of support that we have provided to selected academic institutions through our science development program where we have invited institutions to submit proposals which would permit them to strengthen their science programs across the board. We have made grants up to $4 million or $5 million for 3 years to assist these institutions to move to a stronger position in science.
I believe that the objectives of your act would probably best be met if we invited institutions to submit a proposal which would enable them to move strongly into this field across the board in both basic and applied areas, including the education of scientists, and the setting up of new groups. These broad proposals, which would have to be substantial in size, should be judged competitively, and those who can present the best plan should be selected as sea grant institutions and given grants of a broad nature to enable them to move ahead in this broad field.
Senator PELL. What I am concerned with, and I have the greatest respect for your work and the academic community I am, I guess, a frustrated teacher myself, but the problem I foresee in the National Science Foundation is with emphasis upon the development of scientific knowledge, the development of a larger number-I remember the arguments after sputnik-the number of Ph. D's we are getting in the scientific world. It is completely counter to the object of this bill. This bill is supposed to be to help get more fellows going into the fish business. We have a program for 2 years of training of youngsters so they can go on fishing boats. It is to have a greater development of use of the crabs, greater use of trash fish, and I am not sure that your purposes are terribly important for the national interests but are a little bit too high or esoteric, somewhat like asking a portrait painter to be a wall painter.
Dr. ROBERTSON. Well, I believe, sir, that in this broad field the several agencies which have applied missions, such as the Department of Defense in its particular area or the Department of Interior in areas such as commercial fisheries, each should pursue its program aimed at exploiting the resources in the seas around us, and they should do this in every way possible, including contracts with industry, and other methods aimed at developing the kind of systems of exploitation that are needed.
I feel the role that the National Science Foundation can well play in a joint enterprise among several Government agencies is in relation to the universities and to the education and the research, both basic and applied, which those universities will be doing to undergird the total program. We cannot call on our universities to do the final engineering systems development which only industry can do.
Senator MURPHY. Dr. Robertson, forgive me, but you are getting me confused. I thought what we were concerned with was setting up something like the Colorado School of Mines, if I may oversimplify, where young men can go and begin to learn, and after they have
learned the basics, then they arrive under this broad concept of what you are talking about. Is that
Senator PELL. That is my idea. Less esoteric.
Senator MURPHY. This is the idea of the committee, I am certain, that this is to develop or set up the primary schools which evidently don't exist at the present time.
Senator PELL. Or not set up new schools but develop courses in presently existing schools.
Senator MURPHY. Yes, in presently existing schools.
Dr. ROBERTSON. Well, I think that would be
Senator MURPHY. I mean, after they graduate, I would see them going into this broad concept of all sorts of particular accomplishments and special projects that you speak of, but these fellows we are talking about that we want to help, they are not qualified, they wouldn't understand what you were talking about any more than I do. Dr. ROBERTSON. Well, I feel, sir, that the academic institution selected for this purpose would develop courses, both undergraduate and graduate, in all aspects of marine science and technology.
Senator MURPHY. I would think you would start with the undergraduates because you have to begin at the beginning. Before you get to the graduate school, you have to have undergraduates prepared, and apparently there is little opportunity for a young fellow going to school today that wants to become interested in this, where he can get the courses that we think should be provided because of its obvious importance not only now, but in the future.
We are trying to get the first step started, is that right?
Senator PELL. Exactly. For instance, both you, Senator Murphy, and we in Rhode Island have people going to sea. One of the problems of people going to sea is find out how you start. It is a pretty tough life but there are young men who want to do it, but the skippers in the fishing boats would not take a young man now untrained because he would be a nuisance unless he is a relative or has a particular
What we are seeking to do to remedy this is to start a program which is not going to turn out bachelors of arts but will turn out fellows at the end of 2 years who want to fish. This is the thrust of the program.
I think what has happened here, and we notice it sometimes from the Hill, no matter what the merits of a program, rarely does a Government agency not wish to administer it. I think it is interesting in the executive branch of the Government, the interest in this program.
I hope that the executive branch will get together, come up with a composite conclusion. Maybe the Bureau of the Budget will be of some help in that matter, but aren't I correct in saying this that, if you did administer this program, as you suggest yourself, it would require an extension of your mandate?
Dr. ROBERTSON. It would insofar as some of the things that we would hope to support would be applied research in areas supporting our exploitation of marine resources. It would not insofar as it relates to our charter to support education at all levels in science and engineering. We could assist in developing the 2-year curriculum for this purpose, on the 4-year curriculum, or the graduate curriculum. There is no question that we have the authority and could
work in this field as we have in many others, to help provide the kind of education that is needed.
I believe that together with these educational activities should go hand in hand a research component at the university in which the faculty and the graduate students would be involved, just as we have in the other fields. I think this is necessary in order to have universities serve as centers for creating new knowledge and new techniques and new ways of doing things in the oceans, and in order that they can better educate people at all levels, both the ones who are in for a 2-year course and those who are going through to the doctor's degree in marine engineering, let us say.
Senator PELL. Well, I thank you.
Senator Murphy, do you have any further questions?
Senator MURPHY. No.
Senator PELL. I just repeat my point, that I never heard of a Government agency not wanting to administer a program, and I guess this is not an exception to it.
Thank you very much, Dr. Robertson.
Senator PELL. The next witness is Dr. Sidney Galler, Assistant Secretary for Science, Smithsonian Institution.
Dr. Galler, I see you have a short statement here. Will you proceed as you will?
Ďr. GALLER. Mr. Chairman, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution sends his regrets that an out-of-town commitment prevents him from being here, and with your permission, I would like to read this rather short statement from him.
STATEMENT OF HON. S. DILLON RIPLEY, SECRETARY OF THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION, AS PRESENTED BY DR. SIDNEY GALLER, ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR SCIENCE, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION
Dr. GALLER. The idea of injecting scholarship into the marine resources field is a sound one.
The challenges are many to lure students into this unexplored field. They can receive inspiration and become productive through legislation along the lines of this act.
The Smithsonian Institution is deeply involved in studies of the ocean. We are interested in such fundamental problems as the kinds, populations, and distributions of plants and animals in the sea. Thus, this proposed bill is of great interest to us. It could represent a major step forward in learning about the biology of marine forms of life, and utilizing this knowledge for improved management for husbandry of our marine resources.
In 1838-42 the Wilkes Expedition was sent to the southern oceans to study the occurrences and populations of harvestable whales. Captain Wilkes recognized that one could not study whales without knowing much more about the seas in which they live. He collected potential whale foods; he sampled the environment to find out why whales occurred where they did. At the time when Senator Justin Smith Morrill's first Land Grant College Act was passed in 1862, the fledgling Smithsonian Institution had just taken over, in 1858, the Wilkes Expedition collections to study them and to retain them for reference by future generations of scientists and scholars.
It seems appropriate that I and Secretary Dillon Ripley as successor to former Smithsonian Institution Secretaries Joseph Henry and Spencer F. Baird of 100 years ago, again record the Institution's concern with the total environment and the necessity for greatly expanded studies of life in the sea.
The proposed bill, S. 2439, is an important extension of our efforts to learn about the sea. It offers a great opportunity to exploit this 70-percent of the earth which is still, in many ways, a mystery to us.
The proposed act encourages the establishment of research centers of excellence in existing institutions. Whereas the Hatch Act of 1887 was necessary to extend the Morrill Act of 1862 into scientific research and experimentation, the proposed act hopefully will give due emphasis to basic research from the beginning.
As an extension of this historical illustration, I would like to compare the situation at the time of the passage of the Land Grant College Act with that at the present time. In 1862 the United States was an agricultural Nation. The vast majority of its citizens were engaged in farming as a vocation. The passage of the Morrill Act had been preceded 2 months earlier by the creation of a Department of Agriculture. Under these conditions it was highly appropriate and necessary to place great emphasis on the improvement of practical farming techniques and the dissemination of ideas through an extension system. By contrast, the seas today are almost as poorly known as was the American Continent when the Pilgrims landed in 1620. We do not have a major segment of our population ready to farm the sea. They are not merely awaiting the dissemination of known information. This proposed bill is in some ways more visionary in that regard than its predecessor.
The emphasis in sea grant colleges must be to obtain data of a basic nature needed for the appropriate husbandry and management of our marine resources. They must engage in such familiar agricultural practices as the seeking of brood stocks and experiments on how to improve them. At the same time they must approach with diligence the problem of inventory of the available resources and evaluation of their potentials. We know which varieties of cows should be husbanded for milk production and which for beef. We have no similar information on the sea creatures. We do not even know the complete life histories of one of our most important commercial fisheries, the
Hybrid vigor is recognized as a most useful factor when applied to the production of corn, chickens, beef, and other agricultural products. Yet today we do not even possess a rudimentary knowledge of the genetics of some of our most important species of fish. Only recently have we succeeded in culturing artificially some of the most common fish species. We will not be ready to move vigorously into the husbandry of marine resources until the fundamental knowledge about the classification, ecology, and genetic characteristics of the life forms of the seas is acquired.
I hope that this bill will focus attention on the need for basic research which must be carried out in order to achieve success in the exploitation of marine resources.
Additional activity stimulated by a bill along the lines as this would assist the Smithsonian Institution in increasing its fundamental investigations of many kinds of marine organisms of the sea by mak
ing more specimens available to us for study. As the agency responsible for the national collections, we would be called on to identify the unusual sea organisms and to produce better lists, descriptions, and monographs of the organisms to be encountered. The Institution would continue to utilize its research collections to advance the ability of the Nation to exploit its resources.
Colleges have a continuing need for identifications of animals and plants. The Institution has provided for identification of such specimens through making available reference collections, special library facilities, and staff assistance. We provide identifications directly and serve as hosts for scientific staffs for the specialists of the Department of Agriculture and Interior for example. We would hope to be able to extend our scientific and intellectual resources to meet the exciting challenge proposed in S. 2439.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator PELL. Thank you, Dr. Galler.
As to be expected from the Smithsonian Institution, I notice that your testimony was deft and muted and brought forth chuckles of appreciation from the audience.
I have great admiration for the work that you do. I was struck particularly by your point about how primitive we are in our fishing today, and how little we know, and actually our fishing-we talk about aquaculture as opposed to agriculture-fishing today is really at the same stage as when my own Indian forebears in this country were picking berries and food as they came across them and then moved on. Ultimately harvesting by this nomadic approach was replaced by establishing fixed farms. In harvesting the seas' resources we have not yet reached the farm stage.
Dr. GALLER. That is correct.
Senator PELL. And you are very right. We are very far behind. Now, there is one question that I have been asking various witnesses. I would be very interested in your response to it. One of the problems is where this program should be administered and while originally we had thought in interim of the National Science Foundation, the question has come up as to whether that might give too theoretical a cast to it or an approach to it, also too much of the so-called individual grant as opposed to program grant approach, and perhaps not enough emphasis on the types of work which are rather mundane and not necessary even at the college graduate level.
One of the thoughts that I had was that it might well go into the Smithsonian Institution to be spun off at a later date as we see fit or remain, but most likely spun off to whatever agency might be set up under the Magnuson bill to have responsibility for the development of oceanology in our quest. It may be a wet NASA-I would say I hope not-or it may be some other kind of agency. It is extremely unlikely that any Government agency would decline to take on a program, but I just wanted to ascertain your own thoughts in this matter and if you would be willing to take this on and if you wanted to take this on. What are your views?
Dr. GALLER. Mr. Chairman, I can only respond in a circumferential way to this question because it does involve a question of policy which would have to receive the appropriate consideration of our Board of Regents. So with your permission I would like to respond as a per