November, 2016

Dear Colleagues,

As we begin to prepare for the American Geophysical Union (AGU), an annual milestone in our research lives, please reserve time to attend the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Town Hall meeting. The day, Wednesday (December 14, 2016), is a change from previous years, and the hope is that the new day will limit conflicts with other events.

The focus of the Town Hall meeting is renewal of funding for the JOIDES Resolution, the U.S. riserless drilling vessel. Recall that the program is approved through 2023, but U.S. funding for the facility must be requested to continue drilling for the second five-year period of the International Ocean Discovery Program. Support for the request must come from you, the IODP community.

All users of the JR facility, from all IODP member nations, are asked to respond to a short survey on how successful the JR has been in fulfilling the IODP Science Plan 2013-2023. All comments and concerns are welcome, and are critical in demonstrating need. The survey will also focus on your experiences in the first five years. It will kick off at the Town Hall and close in spring of 2017.

Survey results will provide the foundation for a U.S. community workshop, Denver II, to be held in September of 2017. The primary goal of Denver II is to provide the National Science Foundation (NSF) with the information needed for the request to U.S. government agencies for renewal. Denver II will be led by a steering committee tasked with summarizing the community response and preparing a report for the NSF. The Denver II effort should not be confused with the IODP New Ventures in Exploring Scientific Targets (INVEST) conference in 2009, which drew from massive international participation and focused on development of the IODP science plan, or Denver I, a U.S. initiative to prioritize implementation of the drilling efforts.

While at AGU, stop by the United States Science Support Program and other IODP booths to learn more about upcoming opportunities and, as always, share your concerns. Please make the time to attend the Town Hall, and to take the survey. Your input really is critical.

Beth Christensen
Chair, U.S. Advisory Committee for Scientific Ocean Drilling