Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


In a time of austere funding for national ocean science R & D programs and Congressional balanced budget constraints, marine science investigators and program managers must increasingly ponder how committed to the support of oceanography our government will continue to be. The questions might better be phrased as how, in the absence of a credible open-ocean naval threat (the traditional focus of both basic and applied research), will policy makers justify the expenditure of scarce public revenues on marine science programs? Sea Power-as broadly defined in the works of Alfred Thayer Mahan and Sergei Gorshkov-has driven, and will continue to provide the sustaining vision, for governmental support marine science & oceanography. Economic and political pressures in the United States have resulted in increased scrutiny of the roles and rationales for all federally funded agencies and their programs. That investment in oceanography is likewise under review should surprise no one. With "everything on the table" in budgetary negotiations, articulating the need for continuing federal support thus becomes a marine science community responsibility. What is lacking is a post Cold War raison-d'etre for generatiing broad based support, whether expressed in terms of major national and international scientific and environmental concerns, or in the contextof commercial and economic pressures for a continuing national ocean presence, a strategy perhaps best exhibited by Japan's lavishly-funded JAMSTEC.