U.S. Advisory Committee for Scientific Ocean Drilling


The U.S. Advisory Committee for Scientific Ocean Drilling (USAC) is the national advisory committee for U.S. participation in the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) and wider issues in scientific ocean drilling. USAC is established through the U.S. Science Support Program to broadly represent the scientific community. USAC members are peer-elected, serve three-year staggered terms, and generally meet biannually. They review research proposals and applications to sail on IODP expeditions, nominate new members to IODP panels, and discuss new initiatives to energize and engage the community.


Letters from the USAC Chair
Members & Subcommittees
USAC Meeting Schedule

USAC Terms of Reference

Working Group & Planning Reports

IODP Facility Boards and Advisory Panels


IODP evaluates proposals for scientific drilling expeditions based on impact, logistical feasibility, and cost through a system of Facility Boards and Advisory Panels whose membership is drawn from the international scientific community.


Drilling proposals are first evaluated by the Science Evaluation Panel (SEP), which is responsible for evaluating the scientific objectives and technical approach of submitted proposals at all stages, and for forwarding ready-to-drill and top-priority proposals to the appropriate Facility Board. The Environmental Protection and Safety Panel (EPSP) provides critical support to the review process, and engineering panels are convened as needed by the ship operators.


The JOIDES Resolution Facility Board oversees the operations of the JOIDES Resolution, including scheduling expeditions, approving program plans, monitoring the advisory panels to ensure efficient and effective review of drilling proposals, and developing and monitoring policies for data collection, publications and core curation. Independent facility boards also oversee Chikyu (Chikyu IODP Board) and Mission Specific Platform (ECORD Facility Board) operations.


The U.S. members of the Facility Boards are:


  • JOIDES Resolution Facility Board: Anthony Koppers (Chair, Oregon State University), Barbara John (University of Wyoming), and Clive Neal (University of Notre Dame)
  • ECORD Facility Board: Ellen Thomas (Yale University)
  • Chikyu IODP Board: Ben van der Pluijm (University of Michigan) and Keir Becker (University of Miami)


The U.S. Science Support Program provides travel support for U.S. members serving on the IODP Facility Boards and Advisory Panels, as well as approved liaisons, to attend their respective panel meetings.

Volunteer for a Board, Committee, or Panel


For 2018, the U.S. Science Support Program, in association with IODP, is seeking new U.S.-based members for the U.S. Advisory Committee for Scientific Ocean Drilling (USAC) and the JOIDES Resolution Science Evaluation Panel (SEP), as well two senior scientists (one U.S.-based and one non-U.S.-based) to serve on the JOIDES Resolution Facility Board (JRFB). All new members will serve three-year terms, beginning in October 2018.


Scientific disciplines particularly needed for SEP this year include: paleoclimate & paleoceanography; marine geology & geophysics; structural geology & tectonics; paleomagnetics; gas hydrates/submarine geohazards; geomicrobiology; and sedimentology.


For USAC, USSSP seeks expertise in all scientific disciplines relevant to IODP, though particular needs this year include paleoclimate & paleoceanography and sedimentology. USSSP also seeks to add a committee member with expertise in outreach and education who can serve as an ex-officio USAC member. Candidates should have significant experience with outreach associated with large scientific programs, ideally other than IODP.


Scientists interested in volunteering for these opportunities should send a cover letter and a two-page CV to The deadline for applying to serve on SEP or USAC is July 9, 2018. The deadline for applying to serve on the JRFB is July 20, 2018. Letters should clearly indicate your primary field of expertise, briefly document previous committee experience, describe your interest in the scientific ocean drilling programs, and identify your preferred panel or committee assignment. Candidates for the JRFB should have an extensive history of participation in scientific ocean drilling. We encourage the involvement of early career scientists on USAC and SEP, as well as those with more experience.