Weathering the budget storm Essay

Embodied in the $407 million request (down by $2 million fromfiscal year 1985) for the U.S.

Geological Survey (USGS) are shifts awayfrom geological hazards surveys, landslide research and side-lookingairborne radar. The FY ’86 focus shifts to mineral resources,which would receive a $1 million boost, and the mapping of the ExclusiveEconomic Zone, for which a $3.2 million increase would be earmarked.USGS is also requesting $2 million for the Deep Continental DrillingProject. Among the programs that would not survive the 20 percent proposedreduction of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)budget are the $6.5 million Undersea Research Program and the $3.

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8million federal research program at Great Lakes Environmental ResearchLaboratory. Other oceanic research would be cut by $2 million, and $12million would be taken from atmospheric and hydrological studies. Fundsfor hardware are up in the proposed $931 million NOAA budget, includinga $3 million increase for the development of an upper atmosphere windprofiler and $2.5 million more to modernize weather technology. NOAAhas decided to fund only one polar satellite instead of two, saving $11million. But the agency is also asking for $18 million toward twoadditional geostationary weather satellites, bringing the number indevelopment to five, in case a satellite should fail, as one did lastsummer. Most of the $4.4 million increase in the National ScienceFoundation’s (NSF) earth sciences budget goes for studies of thecontinental lithosphere.

The NSF budget calls for 4 percent increasesin both oceanic and atmospheric studies. The U.S. Antarctic ResearchProgram funds would rise by $9 million to $120 million. All earth-related research at the National Aeronautics and SpaceAdministration is slated for modest increases.

The largest jump is $78million toward the construction of the upper atmosphere satellitescheduled for launch in October 1989.


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