Letter from the USAC Chair
Even as we celebrate the sailing of the refitted JOIDES Resolution and look forward to an exciting year of drilling expeditions, we also have to recognize that in these uncertain times, the future of scientific ocean drilling beyond 2013 is by no means guaranteed. The funding agencies that support scientific ocean drilling are sending a clear message that the scientific community must make a very strong scientific case for future drilling. The time to make that case is now. Help make that case by participating in the online CHART workshop.
The results of CHART will be condensed into a document that summarizes the priorities of the U.S. drilling community in preparation for the international INVEST conference (September 2009), which will lead directly to the international science plan for post-2013 drilling.
INVEST will be open to all interested participants; however, budgetary realities mean that USSSP will be able to provide only partial support to approximately 100 U.S. participants. USAC has developed criteria, which include participation in CHART, that will be used to ensure breadth of IODP involvement and scientific expertise of the U.S. cohort that is supported to attend INVEST.
NSF will view the level of CHART participation as one of several measures of the U.S. community’s interest in the future of scientific ocean drilling. I urge you to take a few minutes to post your ideas and encourage your colleagues to do so as well. This is your chance to shape a new drilling program for post-2013 operations.