Major Issues and Guiding Principles
UNOLS Mission &
What the Charter Says
Vision and Mission Statements
- Vision - The US Ocean Science research
and education programs are healthy and vigorous, thanks to broad access
to the best possible mix of modern, capable, efficiently run, and
well-operated research vessels, aircraft, submersibles and other major
- Mission - UNOLS provides a primary forum
through which the ocean research and education community, research
facility operators and the supporting Federal agencies work cooperatively
to improve access, scheduling, operation, and capabilities of current
and future academic oceanographic facilities.
the Charter Says
The UNOLS Charter was originally adopted in 1972 and serves
as the bylaws and guiding document for operation of the organization.
The introduction and objectives underscore the overall purpose of UNOLS
- Recognizing the need for coordinated use of federally supported
oceanographic facilities, the community of academic oceanographic
institutions, which use and operate those facilities, by virtue
of this Charter, do hereby establish an organization of academic
oceanographic institutions. The organization shall be named the
University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS). UNOLS
is solely an advisory body. Execution and enforcement of its recommendations
are matters for member institutions and for agencies, which fund
the construction and operation of UNOLS facilities.
- An objective of UNOLS is to coordinate and review the access to
and utilization of facilities for academic oceanographic research,
and the current match of facilities to the needs of academic oceanographic
programs. UNOLS makes appropriate recommendations of priorities
for replacing, modifying or improving the numbers and mix of facilities
for the community of users. Another objective is to foster federal
and other support for academic oceanography, thereby continuing
and enhancing the excellence of this nation's oceanographic program.
Emphasis is placed on ships and other seagoing facilities.
- Promote broad, coordinated access to oceanographic research
- Maintain a system and procedures that facilitate and promote
broad access to research vessels and other major ocean science
- Support coordinated, efficient and effective scheduling of
research vessels and facilities.
- Support continuous improvement of existing facilities
- Foster co-operation among facility operators, funding agencies
and research scientists with the goal of continuously improving
the quality and capability of existing ocean science facilities
and the quality, reliability and safety of their operation.
- Plan for and foster support for the oceanographic facilities
of the future
- Provide leadership and broad community input to the process
of planning for and supporting the improvement, renewal and addition
of facilities required to support the ocean sciences in the future.
Goals for 2012/2013:
- To develop and implement a systematic and transparent process (or processes) to facilitate our agency sponsors in responding to the changing realities both in ocean science and the U.S. economy/federal budgets specifically addressing the difficult tradeoffs that almost certainly will need to be made
- To nuture the next generation of seagoing oceanographic scientists.
Goals for 2010/2011:
- Explore Options for Establishment of a UNOLS Speaker
- Options to establish a speaker series will be explored to highlight
UNOLS ships and oceanographic research and to serve as an outreach
activity to non-UNOLS colleges and universities, with particular
attention given to institutions with under-represented minorities
in the marine sciences. As one option, the series could be introduced
as a pilot program that would include a revolving set of speakers
who would participate in this outreach program each year for three
years, at which time a review of the program would be carried
out to determine if it is a worthwhile outreach activity for UNOLS.
Goals for 2009/2010:
- Explore the relationship of working with NSF's Office
of Polar Programs to coordinate support for Antarctic Research Vessels.
- Explore how to make the present and future fleet more
- New and existing technologies and practices should be used
in the construction, operation and recycling of research vessels.
- UNOLS should take a leadership role in promoting a green U.S.
research fleet as we move forward in developing the academic fleet.
Oceanographic Laboratory System is an organization of 61 U. S. institutions
that have academic research and education programs in the ocean sciences
and an interest in promoting the best possible national shared use facilities
to support these programs. Sixteen of the UNOLS institutions are operators
of these major shared use facilities, including research vessels, submersibles,
aircraft and major instrumentation. Facilities are owned either by one
of the Federal agencies or by individual institutions. UNOLS serves
in an advisory role to the facility operators and to the supporting
Federal agencies, and as a coordinator or facilitator of community-wide
efforts directed toward scheduling, access, and improvement of existing
facilities, and planning for future facilities.