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Ocean exploration program to open next chapter with renewed funding

Drilling ship sails off coast of ice schelf

Photo: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute / Mimi Katz

The most extensive and comprehensive ocean drilling program ever conceived – the International Ocean Discovery Program – begins yet another chapter in Aggieland on Oct. 1.

That’s when the new five-year agreement to manage the drilling program and operate its research vessel, the JOIDES Resolution, begins yet another new research chapter for the university.

The scope of the project and contract with the National Science Foundation is huge – as high as $250 million, with international partners contributing as much as $87.5 million.

During the 31-year period that Texas A&M has served as science operator, the program has received funding in excess of $1.5 billion, with much of it spent in Texas.

Of federally funded programs that have successfully been carried out in Texas, only the Johnson Space Center in Houston is thought to have received more financial support than the ocean discovery  program.