Letter from the USAC Chair

December, 2013

Dear Colleagues,

This is a momentous time for the scientific ocean drilling community. With the transition to the new International Ocean Discovery Program, we are pursuing the exciting science proposed in the 2013-2023 IODP Science Plan, developing new drilling proposals (more than fifteen submitted at the last deadline), expanding the number of member nations (see page 5), and continuing to operate at the forefront of high-impact international science.

As incoming chair of the US Advisory Committee for Scientific Ocean Drilling (USAC), I recognize the currently challenging environment for federally funded science and understand the impact this has on our scientific planning, financial support and outreach plans. The IODP community is actively engaged in providing advice on its priorities, and these views are being heard within the program and at NSF.

NSF has also engaged the National Research Council to develop a list of top ocean science priorities through the Decadal Survey for Ocean Sciences (DSOS). The DSOS committee’s report will present a research strategy based on the current state of knowledge, ongoing research activities and resource availability. Within IODP, we recognize that the oceans’ influence reaches beyond the seafloor, but we also know that the science we do is compelling component of any national strategy for scientific investment. Ocean Leadership and USAC will keep you informed of any opportunities to contribute to this process through the US-IODP listserve.

I invite you to share your comments, concerns and suggestions about IODP and the start of the new program with me and the other USAC members. Write us an email or meet with us at the IODP Town Hall Meeting (Marriott Union Square, Main Ballroom, Tuesday, December 10, 5:30pm) during the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

All the best,

John Jaeger
Chair, U.S. Advisory Committee for Scientific Ocean Drilling