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A Sea Change for U.S. Oceanography

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Science  08 Mar 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6124, pp. 1138-1143
DOI: 10.1126/science.339.6124.1138

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Two cultural shifts are simultaneously shaking the foundations of oceanography in the United States—and fueling a debate about the future direction of a fast-changing field. Fewer scientists are going to sea as a result of a shrinking science fleet, flat budgets, and skyrocketing costs. At the same time, oceanographers are using a growing array of high-tech devices—from satellites and gliders to vast networks of sensors tethered to the sea floor—to remotely collect more data than ever before without getting wet.