Dear Ocean Sciences Community,

Given the impacts and uncertainties from the current pandemic, we would like to raise awareness of a few issues which might be particularly relevant for ocean science proposal submissions in the near future. The current stand-down of the U.S. Academic Research Fleet (as well as many foreign research vessels) is delaying many 2020 projects dependent upon sea time and is expected to create a backlog of research cruises into 2021. We would like to assure the community that OCE will continue to accept proposals with Ship Time Requests and they will be reviewed as normal with the science rationale coming first, followed by assessment of the fit of the ship request to the science proposed, and finally ship logistics (timing and location). That said, PIs will need to be even more flexible than usual about cruise scheduling over the next year or so. With regards to currently funded cruises, we’d like to take this opportunity to make sure you are also aware of the latest information from UNOLS.

In addition, we want to remind the community that NSF OCE is, as always, interested in receiving proposals that use existing data and samples. The ocean research community has made significant progress in getting data and samples into public repositories for wider use and re-use. We believe these resources can be more fully exploited to advance our understanding of the oceans, ocean basins, and margins. Proposals with strong science that synthesize and utilize these data are welcome. Ongoing streams of data are also available from sources such as OOI, Argo, coastal observing networks, LTER sites, remote sensing, model output, and others. We expect continued enhancements in access to an even wider array of data sets in the future with innovations in observational capability and cyberinfrastructure.

Like you, we are all looking forward to returning to our offices and to more normal operations. We appreciate your ongoing support with our review processes. Please continue to reach out to us with any questions you have.


Hedy Edmonds
Michael Sieracki
Deborah Smith
Mete Uz
Rose Dufour

On behalf of OCE Programs