« PreviousContinue »
22 | No labs, exploratory fishing, training, oceanograph
ic and biological observs. 53 Lab, 21.7 square miles; for fisheries research and
training, also BT, GEK, bottom sampling
1 No additional data available.
NATIONAL OCEANOGRAPHIC COUNCIL
TUESDAY, MARCH 16, 1965
Washington, D.C. The committee was called to order, pursuant to notice, at 11:23 a.m., in room 5110, New Senate Office Building, Hon. Warren G. Magnuson, chairman of the committee, presiding:
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. We e resume our hearings on S. 944, which provides for expanded research in the oceans and the Great Lakes. Witnesses scheduled to testify are Dr. Milner B. Schaefer, director, Institute of Marine Resources, University of California, and chairman of the Committee on Oceanography of the National Academy of Scinces; Dr. Athelstan Spilhaus, director of the Institute of Technology, University of Minnesota, and immediate past chairman of the Committee on Oceanography; Dr. F. G. Walton Smith, director of the Institute of Marine Science, University of Miami, and president of the International Oceanographic Foundation; and Dr. John C. Calhoun, vice president of Texas A. & M. University, and former science advisor to Secretary Udall.
The Chair has a short statement before we call on these eminent scientists to testify on the proposed legislation. All of these people are testifying, of course, in their individual capacities. Neither the Committee on Oceanography nor the Foundation has taken a formal position on the pending legislation.
I want to call on Dr. Spilhaus first, because he has a very important engagement that he must leave for after this. He said he has a very short statement.
STATEMENT OF DR. ATHELSTAN SPILHAUS, DIRECTOR OF INSTI
TUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA, AND IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEE ON OCEANOGRAPHY
The CHAIRMAN. All right.
Dr. SPILHAUS. Senator, I have no prepared statement, but I am Dr. Athelstan Spilhaus, dean of the Institute of Technology, University of Minnesota, and as you said, former chairman of the National Academy of the Committee on Oceanography.
I speak to the question of this bill, because I have been interested in ocean engineering for about 30 years. One of my contributions in oceanography was the bathyothermograph, an instrument which enabled measurements to be made in the ocean rapidly and started taking oceanography out of the expedition stage into real rapid surveys.
I have felt that in the National Academy, our committee did much to put the United States in the forefront in oceanographic research, but I think the time has come when we need to concentrate on that gap that exists between the marine scientists on the one side with their wonderful research, and the people who need to use this research, the people who are going to sea : The fishermen, the merchane marine, and those who exploit the resources of the sea.
We have this gap. And this gap, Mr. Chairman, is ocean engineering which does not really exist today, except that pertaining to Navy needs. I think that this bill will do much to stimulate ocean engineering
I also think that to stimulate ocean engineering, we ought to do what wise people did about 100 years ago. When we needed a stimulus for agriculture in our country, and they invented an idea, a magnificent idea called land-grant colleges devoted to agriculture and the supporting mechanic arts.
Land-grant colleges did so well that they established the United States as preeminent in agriculture. We are first in the world in this and mechanic arts. We are the first in the world in producing the things that make for good living for people.
I think that we should take this idea and make sea-grant colleges, colleges which are dedicated to the exploitation of the resources of the sea, colleges which study not only marine science, but marine engineering, the practical dirty work of how to put science to work to get things out of the ocean for the good of people.
I think these colleges should have associated with them, just as our good agriculture colleges have, collages of law. We know that the law of the sea is in a mess. It is in a mess because the law of the sea is a traditional thing.
It did not look forward to the time when people could exploit all of the oceans. We need to have a total review of the law of the sea, so that we can encourage the exploitation of ocean resources and, hopefully, should do it in our country so that we don't get caught short when we go to international conferences by others who have given more thought to the matter than ourselves.
We should also have in our sea-grant colleges such down to earth things as sea-home economics. How do we cook fish so that it is more tasty to people so we can build the fishing industry and make people who now don't know, appreciate fish—just ordinary home economics of the sea.
We need all these things. We need to take fishing out of the status it is in now. We complain about the Russians fishing on the doorsteps of our waters, why do we complain?
We should outfish them with our technology. We could out fish them if we would do the engineering which is needed.
I am 100 percent for this bill, Mr. Chairman. I am not one who nit picks words in a thing. I think the broad concept of the bill is excellent. The idea of a council will focus attention at the right level on oceanography.
This council, because it can have a competent staff will be a place where many private industries can turn for advice on how they can best use their own resources to exploit the sea.
I think we need right now, and I think others will come to realize that we need an administration devoted to oceanic engineering. I would like to call it the sea engineering administration, SEA.
We have hundreds of industries in this country who want to devote their own resources to exploring the exploitation of the sea ; they will welcome such an administration.
They now have no central place to turn to other than the Navy. And we need a central liaison. The Council of this bill is a first and excellent step, but I hope it will be a step toward an establishment of a sea engineering administration, SEA.
The CHAIRMAN. Doctor, that is a very intriguing statement regarding the possibility of working out with some of our institutions in oceanography the same as we did with the land grant colleges and resources of the soil. I am sure the committee appreciates your throwing the idea out here and we probably can do something about it.
I appreciate the rest of your statement, too, because you, as well as some of the others, have been as much responsible for the upsurge of oceanography, on the part of the Government and institutions and Science Foundation and the academy, as anyone has been in the past
Without the help and the support we got from you and your colleagues, we would never have had even the present upsurge. Our idea is to not be critical of what has been going on, I do think that particularly under the urgency of the late President Kennedy and his science advisers in the White House appropriations and the work in oceanography has just about doubled in the past 4 or 5 years. It was long overdue.
I say we are not critical of what has been done, but we are trying to make it more effective, to have some goals, to assure better coordination of the program and see if we can't improve the whole situation. I appreciate your statement because there are so many things to be done.
Even the Defense Department now is paying much more attention to oceanography because they have some priorities that haven't been solved yet. We are very appreciative of the testimony.
Now, there is a publication called the "Ocean Science News," and in its March 4 issue, it said: "ICO has done a fine job in recent years, but there is serious doubt if it can meet oceanography's future needs, continuing to operate as it does now, at a second policy level in Government; where it has no real authority, where it cannot resolve major conflicts, where it cannot back up its budget needs with authority, and where it cannot have even a halfway satisfactory public information program.
Now, I don't know whether this criticism is a little too strong, but it is along the line we are talking about.
Dr. SPILHAUS. Sir, I would say this: When ICO was established, it filled a real need at the time, but oceanography is rapidly outstripping the level of ICO in Government and this is why I think we need a group at a much higher level, at decision making levels, because we are going to have massive expenditures in oceanic engineering, if we are going to maintain our first place in the world.