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Instead of sporadic, expeditionary glimpses of the ocean from ships and subs, oceanographers would like to establish a permanent presence in the ocean. For a decade, researchers have been planning an infrastructure of long-term ocean-observing outposts that can transmit round-the-clock data from remote oceans to shore-based scientists. NSF's Ocean Observatory Initiative would provide $309 million for new ocean observing systems and infrastructure over the next 10 years. For instance, researchers are planning instrument arrays that combine surface and sub-surface bouys, moorings, gliders, drifters, and shipboard measurements that can monitor many complementary ocean processes. (Illustration by E. Paul Oberlander and Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Image courtesy of the OceanSITES program.)

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Last updated November 1, 2007
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