October, 2008

Dear Colleagues,

My term as chair of the U.S. Advisory Committee for Scientific Ocean Drilling (USAC) has drawn to a close, and it pleases me to introduce Brad Clement of Florida International University as the next USAC chair. As a first-rate researcher in paleomagnetism, Brad has had a long history of involvement in scientific ocean drilling: he sailed on four expeditions, worked as an ODP staff scientist, and served on the JOIDES Ocean History Panel. He also worked as an associate program director for ODP at NSF and has served for the last two years as a capable and respected member of USAC. With such valuable experience and varied insight into the complex relationships among the various contributors to IODP, I know that Brad will serve the community effectively in his new role, and I look forward to working with him, USAC, and the community as we plan for the next phase of IODP.

I also take this opportunity to write to you about planning for the renewal of IODP beyond 2013. As you know, IODP and its predecessors have succeeded over the years through the collaborative efforts of many talented and creative individuals. Now more than ever, we need your input and support to ensure that the community retains access to this vital tool for producing transformative, world-class science. The national funding agencies and IODP-MI have just begun to explore different possible frameworks for the future structure of IODP, and they anticipate receiving community input along the way. At the same time, the science planning process will require direct community input to define the key scientific directions. The main opportunities for the U.S. community to provide scientific input will be:

CHART – Charting the Future Course of Scientific Ocean Drilling: An on-line workshop, to be held in the winter of 2009 to gather input and initiate discussion among U.S. scientists about the future of scientific ocean drilling. Similar planning activities in other countries are occurring now and over the next year. The results of CHART will augment the international planning meeting, INVEST.

INVEST – IODP New Ventures in Exploring Scientific Targets: An open, community-based international conference to define the new science directions of IODP, on 23-25 September 2009 at Bremen University.

As one of the organizers of these events, I strongly encourage you to plan on participating in the extremely important task of defining the scientific directions of the next phase of IODP.

Best Regards,

Christina Ravelo
USAC “Share Your Discoveries” Toolkit