Voyage into knowledge: $250 million will support expeditions at sea

JOIDES The National Science Board has authorized the National Science Foundation to enter into a cooperative agreement with Texas A&M University to continue managing the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) and operating its scientific research vessel  JOIDES Resolution, considered a premier research vessel for deep-ocean drilling. The new cooperative agreement with the NSF could be as high as $250 million, with the international community contributing another $87.5 million, subject to availability of funds and continued scientific priorities. The five-year agreement begins Oct. 14, 2014. “Research aboard JOIDES Resolution has contributed to our knowledge about Earth’s climate, ancient sea levels, continental drift, volcano formation and the onset of earthquakes,” said Roger Wakimoto, assistant director for the NSF geosciences directorate. During the 28-year period that Texas A&M has served as science operator for the program, it has received funding in excess of $1.5 billion, with much of it spent in Texas. IODP headquarters are located in the Texas A&M Research Park.