A Valentine's from Congress

Yesterday, February 14, the House passed HR 1834, the National Ocean Exploration Program Act (amended), by a vote of 352-49. The bill would authorize the National Ocean Exploration Program and the National Undersea Research Program, two extramural research programs within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The amended bill differs very little from the bill that was reported out of the House Science and Technology and the House Natural Resources committees a few months ago. The bill would charge the NOAA Administrator with developing, in coordination with NSF, a competitive process for merit-based peer review and approval for proposals to the Ocean Exploration Program. In addition, the bill maintains authorization of appropriations levels for fiscal year 2008 ($30.5 million) through fiscal year 2014 ($54 million) for Ocean Exploration; the original bill as introduced authorized the program for 10 years, through 2017.

Dr. M (1801 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Executive Director of the Lousiana University Marine Consortium. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Additionally, Craig is obsessed with the size of things. Sometimes this translated into actually scientific research. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (http://deepseanews.com/), a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.